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Southern Players Gain Exposure at BallenIsles USTA $25,000 Women’s Challenger

May 22, 2006 05:46 PM

Three players with ties to the USTA Southern Section, including former Brentwood, TN resident Chelsey Gullickson, Fayetteville, NC's Reka Zsilinszka and Atlanta's Ansley Cargill, competed in the BallenIsles USTA $25,000 Women’s Challenger this past week in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.

This USTA Pro Circuit event featured the professional debut of 15-year old Chelsey Gullickson, younger sister of established Pro Circuit player Carly Gullickson. It also included 16-year old Reka Zsilinszka of Fayetteville, NC in only her second appearance at a pro event and Atlanta’s Ansley Cargill, who came into the tourney as the no. 8 singles seed and competed in both the singles and doubles draw.

In a hard fought match, Valerie Tetreault of Canada defeated Gullickson, 5-7, 7-6, 6-0, in the opening round. Reka Zsilinszka, who currently tops the USTA Girls 18s rankings, also fell in the first round to top seed Maria-Fernanda Alves of Brazil.

Ansley Cargill advanced to the second round after defeating Alexandra Mueller, 6-2, 7-6, in her opening round match but fell to veteran Rosana De Los Rios of Paraguay in the second round, 6-2, 6-4.

Cargill had more success at BallenIsles with partner Marie-Eve Pelletier in the doubles draw. The pair defeated Anna Bartenstein and Jelena Durisic, 6-4, 6-2, in the first round and Elizabeth Kobak and Jennifer Stevens 6-3, 6-2 in the second round. Cargill and Pelletier were set to face no. 2 seed Tetiana Luzhanska and Romana Tedjukusama in the semifinals but the match was cancelled due to an illness, which automatically advanced Cargill and Pelletier to the finals. Unfortunately top seeded Angela Haynes and Raquel Kops-Jones clinched the doubles title defeating Cargill and Pelletier, 6-3, 6-3.

The USTA organizes, sponsors, and administers the USTA Pro Circuit - the gateway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis professionals, and a frequent battleground for established players. The 2005-2006 circuit features nearly 100 events for men and women. Prize money at the USTA Pro 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. The USTA Pro Circuit boasts an alumni of some of the biggest names in tennis, many of whom have gone on to win Grand Slam titles, including Andre Agassi, Lindsay Davenport, Chanda Rubin, Tim Henman, James Blake, and Mary Pierce.




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