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Russians Roll Through Jackson, MS

April 20, 2004 10:39 AM
In a two-hour, 42-minute final that featured two talented Russian teenagers, 17-year-old Eugenia Linetskaya defeated 14-year-old Alisa Kleybanova, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, this past weekend to win the $25,000 Bankplus/USTA Women’s Challenger of Jackson, MS.

Fifth seed Linetskaya, a quarterfinalist at junior Wimbledon in 2003, was challenged throughout the tournament, needing three sets to win four of her five matches. The victory was her first on the USTA Pro Circuit, with her previous best result coming last month in Orange, CA, where she reached the final as a qualifier.

Kleybanova, who is currently the third-ranked junior player in the world, was playing in her first USTA Pro Circuit singles final. She upset two seeded players during the championship, including No. 8 Yan Ze Xie, 4-6, 6-0, 6-4, in the second round and top seed and defending champion Shuai Peng, 6-4, 7-5, in the quarterfinals. Both Ze Xie and Peng are from China.

Kleybanova also had an outstanding week in doubles competition. She and partner Stephanie Dubois, from Canada, advanced into the main draw after earning a spot with their qualifying round win. They then went on to capture the championship with an easy 6-2, 6-3 victory over Americans Cory Ann Avants of Gastonia, NC, and Kristen Schlukebir of Atlanta.

The $25,000 Bankplus/USTA Women’s Challenger was played at the River Hills Club in Jackson.

Round by round coverage of the event can be found here.

The USTA organizes, sponsors and administers the USTA Professional Circuit, the gateway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis professionals and a frequent battleground for established players. The 2004 circuit features nearly 100 events for men and women. Prize money at USTA Professional Circuit events ranges from $10,000 to $75,000, with more than $3 million in purses this year. Players also earn valuable ATP and WTA tour ranking points.

Among the players to have launched notable careers on the USTA Professional Circuit are: Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Lindsay Davenport, Michael Chang, Patrick Rafter, Mary Pierce, Todd Martin, Chanda Rubin, Alexandra Stevenson, Jan-Michael Gambill, Anna Kournikova, Meghann Shaughnessy, James Blake and Andy Roddick. For more information about the USTA Pro Circuit visit www.usta.com.




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