email_us_left_rail_box_85x40 staff_directory_left_rail_box_85x40
contact_us_left_rail_box_85x40 top_jr_tournaments_left_rail_box_85x40
join_jr_team_left_rail_box_85x40 join_adult_team_left_rail_box_85x40
ntrp_tournaments_left_rail_box_85x40 age_level_tournaments_left_rail_box_85x40
jr_tournaments_left_rail_box_85x40 jr_rankings_left_rail_box_85x40
find_jtt_left_rail_box_85x40 adult_rankings_left_rail_box_85x40
usta_league_left_rail_box_85x40 adult_tournaments_left_rail_box_85x40

Clay Court Season Brings USTA Challenger Events to Section

April 17, 2007 09:06 AM
As the clay court season begins USTA Pro Circuit Events around the Section welcome USTA Pro Circuit players to their cities for some of the top Challenger events of the season.

The Movie Gallery USTA Pro Classic kicked off on Monday at the Westgate Tennis Center in Dothan, Alabama. The $75,000 challenger is one of six tournament the highest women’s purse on the USTA Pro Circuit. All rounds of play will take place at the Westgate Tennis Center in Dothan, Alabama.

Meghann Shaughnessy of Scottsdale, Ariz., enters as the top-seeded player in the draw with her world No. 43 ranking. Varvara Lepchenko of Uzbekistan, who resides in Allentown, Pa., follows at No. 85. Shaughnessy is the winner of five WTA Tour events and two USTA Pro Circuit events and has been ranked as high as No. 11 in the world (Sept. 10, 2001). Lepchenko was the $75,000 Dothan runner-up in 2005 and 2006. Milagros Sequera of Venezuela has won a title at this tournament four of the past five years, including two singles tittles (2002, 2005) and two doubles championships (2003, 2004). The US contingent is led by No. 47 Shaughnessy, No. 95 Ashley Harkleroad, No. 113 Ahsha Rolle of Miami Shore, Fla., and No. 120 Abigail Spears of Pueblo, Colo.The USTA Pro Circuit clay court season runs from April 2 through May 14.

The main draw play of the St. Vincent Auxiliary USTA Men’s Professional Tennis Tournament , the eighth USTA Pro Circuit men’s futures event of the 2007 season, kicked off today at the Rebsamen Tennis Center in Little Rock, AR. The tournament is the only professional tennis event in the state of Arkansas and in its 27th year making it by far the longest-running USTA Pro Circuit event.

The top-ranked player in the field this week is No. 189 Sam Warburg of Sacramento, Calif. Warburg was a doubles semifinalist with Scott Lipsky at $50,000 Tallahassee and was a wildcard entry into the ATP’s San Jose tournament. The American contingent is led by Warburg, while seven others are included in the main draw. Among those is No. 288 Brian Wilson of San Marcus, Calif., who has played his last three tournaments in France. He also qualified for the ATP event in San Jose, but fell in the first round to Yen-Hsun Lu. Also, No. 305 Todd Widom of Coral Springs, Fla. is scheduled to appear. He is a two-time quarterfinalist on the USTA Pro Circuit in 2007, having done so at $50,000 Dallas and $10,000 Boca Raton events.

The 2007 Cloister Cup returns to the USTA Pro Circuit schedule for the first time since 2003. The $50,000 Challenger will begin on Sunday, April 22nd with Qualifying rounds. Main draw play is set for Tuesday, April 24th at the Cloister Tennis Facility.

Southern Section native, Ashley Harkleroad, enters as the top-seeded player overall and top-ranked American in the draw with her world No. 84 ranking.Varvara Lepchenko of Uzbekistan, follows at No. 89. Harkleroad is the winner of five USTA Pro Circuit events and is a two-time runner-up at Sea Island. She was runner-up in singles and doubles (w/Cochran) in 2002. This year she reached the third round of the Australian Open, losing to Daniela Hantuchova. She also competed at WTA events in Memphis, Indian Wells, Miami and Charleston. Lepchenko reached her career-high ranking of No. 84 in 2006 and is nearing it again this year. She was a semifinalist at $75,000 Midland and was a quarterfinalist at $75,000 Las Vegas. The US contingent is led by Harkleroad, No. 121 Bethanie Mattek of Boca Raton, Fla., No. 123 Abigail Spears of Pueblo, Colo. and No. 139 Lilia Osterloh of San Francisco, Calif.

The Cloister Cup is the first of three USTA Pro Circuit events in Georgia and one of two at the $50,000 prize level. Georgia will host its second $50,000 tournament in Lawrenceville the week of October 15. Augusta will host at $25,000 event the week of October 22nd.

Current world No. 2 Maria Sharapova was the last singles winner at Sea Island back in 2003 when it was a $25,000 event. She defeated Christina Wheeler, 6-4, 6-3. Since then, Sharapova has garnered two Grand Slam titles, which includes the 2006 US Open and 2004 Wimbledon.




Print Article Email Article Newsletter Signup Share
Newsletter Signup