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Ditty Wins 28th Career USTA Pro Circuit Title

March 29, 2007 09:00 AM
Ashland, Ky., native Julie Ditty is one step closer to making USTA Pro Circuit history after an impressive performance in doubles last week at the Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness USTA Challenger of Redding, Calif.

Ditty teamed with Chin-Wei Chan of Taipei, and the No. 2-seeded duo captured the doubles title at the $25,000 event, cruising through the draw without dropping a set and defeating Jorgelina Cravero of Argentina and Su-Wei Hsieh, also of Taipei, 6-3, 6-2, in the final.

With the victory, Ditty has now captured a total of 28 career USTA Pro Circuit titles – six in singles and 22 in doubles – and she is just two wins shy of Nana Miyagi’s all-time record of 30 USTA championships.

Doubles runner-up Hsieh had better luck in the singles draw, picking up her second career USTA Pro Circuit title and her first since winning the $25,000 event in Peachtree City, Ga., in September 2001. By winning in Redding, the 21-year-old right-hander has now tallied a total of 12 ITF Circuit titles during her career.

Hsieh had to battle back from a set down to win her first-round singles match against China’s Shuai Zhang, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. She then posted straight-set victories in her next three matches against American Madison Brengle, Czech Sandra Zahlavova and France's Mathilde Johansson, before pulling out a dramatic win in a third-set tie-break against Ekaterina Afinogenova of Russia, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), in the final.

Hsieh, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 114 in May 2006 and is now listed at No. 135, has had an outstanding year so far in doubles competition. In addition to reaching the Redding final, she also won the doubles title in Orange, Calif., and finished runner-up at the WTA events in Bangalore, India, and Auckland, New Zealand.

This Week on the USTA Pro Circuit…

After two events in California, the women have traveled south to compete at the Wolfe Lumber Women's $25K Challenger in Hammond, La. The tournament was first held in 2005 and last year became the first professional tennis event to take place in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area in August 2005.

Alla Kudryavtseva, a 19-year-old Russian, leads this year’s field as the tournament's No. 1 seed. Other seeded players include No. 2 Hana Sromova of the Czech Republic and last week's singles champion at Redding, Su-Wei Hsieh, who is seeded third in the draw.

Americans competing in Hammond include Redding doubles champion Julie Ditty, Raquel Kops-Jones, Tiffany Dabek and Diana Ospina; wild cards Lindsay Lee-Waters, Christina McHale and Mallory Cecil; and lucky loser Madison Brengle.

Coming Up Next…

Looking ahead to next week, after a three-week layoff, the men return to action at the 2007 USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger in Tallahassee, Fla. The $50,000 tournament boasts a strong field, led by Davide Sanguinetti of Italy, a former Wimbledon quarterfinalist who was once ranked as high as 42nd in the world and is currently listed at No. 106.

Among the Americans entered in the draw are Zack Fleishman, Kevin Kim, Wayne Odesnik, Rajeev Ram, Bobby Reynolds, Phillip Simmonds and Jesse Witten.

An American has captured the singles title for the last five years in Tallahassee. Last year’s champion was Mardy Fish, who at the time was making a return to pro tennis after having two wrist surgeries in 2005. Fish is now ranked 23rd in the world.

The women will be in action at the M&F Bank $25,000 Women's Challenger in Pelham, Ala., for the first of seven straight clay-court tournaments.

The top-ranked player in the field is Edina Gallovits of Romania at No. 104. Gallovits finished runner-up at the $50,000 event in Waikoloa and won the doubles title with Julie Ditty at the $25,000 tournament in Palm Desert.

Ditty is also scheduled to play in the main draw, as are Americans Abigail Spears and Raquel Kops-Jones.

2007 USTA Pro Circuit men's schedule
2007 USTA Pro Circuit women's schedule




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