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Hampton Gains Tangipahoa Tourism / Loeb Law Firm $25K Tennis Classic Final

March 1, 2010 04:42 PM

Jamie Hampton, of Enterprise, Ala., advanced to the final of the Tangipahoa Tourism / Loeb Law Firm $25K Tennis Classic in Hammond, La.

Hampton, 20, lost the final of the women's USTA Pro Circuit tournament to third-seed Zhang Shuai of China 6-2, 6-1. In her  semifinal, Hampton defeated Japan’s Kurumi Nara 6-1, 1-1 retired. Nara was seeded sixth.

The tournament was celebrating its fifth year on the USTA Pro Circuit and was played from Feb. 28- March 7. It is the sixth $25,000 women’s tournament of the year and one of two tournaments held in Louisiana (joining the men’s $50,000 Baton Rouge event held in April). The tournament was hosted by the Oak Knoll Country Club. Its web site is www.futuretennis.com.

Preview information
This year’s main draw is expected to feature Nicole Vaidisova, a Top 20 player for 140 consecutive weeks from October 2005 to June 2008, peaking at No. 7 in 2007. She has been a semifinalist at the Australian Open (2007) and the French Open (2006), plus a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon (2007-08). Her best result at the US Open came in 2005, when she reached the round of 16. Vaidisova owns six Sony Ericsson WTA Tour titles, including Vancouver in 2004 at age 15. She is also one of the youngest champions on the USTA Pro Circuit (14 years, 9 months at 2004 Columbus, Ohio).

The main draw is also scheduled to include Lindsay Lee-Waters, of Dunwoody, Ga., a mother of two, who ended the 2009 season as the women’s prize money leader on the USTA Pro Circuit. She broke into the Top 50 in 1995, when she qualified for Wimbledon and upset Pam Shriver in the opening round. Lee-Waters holds 26 USTA Pro Circuit titles (15 doubles) and has competed in 12 US Opens. Lee-Waters is also schedule to play with 2007 USTA Girls’ 18s singles champion Ashley Weinhold.

The main draw is also scheduled to feature Lauren Albanese, who established herself as a player to watch in 2006 with a tournament title at the $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Wichita, Kan. She followed that victory by winning the USTA Girls’ 18s National Championships to earn an automatic wild card into the US Open, where she advanced to the second round of the women’s singles main draw. Also expected to compete are Alison Riske, who improved her Sony Ericsson WTA rankingmore than 650 places in 2009 by winning her first pro title at the USTA Pro Circuit $50,000 event in Troy, Ala., as a qualifier., and former USTA Girls’ 16s No. 1 and 2006 Easter Bowl champion Kimberly Couts.

A strong qualifying field is expected to feature Megan Moulton-Levy, a former All-American at the College of William & Mary and the first player in school history to advance to the singles semifinals of the NCAA Championships (2006). Others expected to compete in qualifying include: Asia Muhammad, who won the doubles title at the USTA Girls’ 18s National Championships with partner Christina McHale in 2009, earning a wild card into the main draw of the women’s doubles at the US Open; Weinhold; and 17-year-old Courtney Dolehide, who reached her first pro final at $10,000 Wichita, Kan., in 2009.

Past champions at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Hammond include 2009 singles champion Kristie Ahn, who made headlines at the 2008 US Open—winning three matches to become the youngest player to qualify for the main draw, before losing to eventual semifinalist Dinara Safina in the first round. 2008 Hammond singles champion Carly Gullickson, formerly of Brentwood, Tenn., found success at the 2009 US Open, capturing the mixed doubles crown with fellow USTA Pro Circuit veteran Travis Parrott.




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