STRONG QUARTET OF SEMIFINALISTS WIN EXCITING MATCHES ON DAY 4 OF LEXUS OF LAS VEGAS OPEN

LAS VEGAS, Nev., (Oct. 1, 2010) – The top four seeded players moved into the semifinals at the second annual Lexus of Las Vegas Open being played at the Red Rock Country Club in Summerlin.

There were no upsets on Friday with No. 1 Edina Gallovits, No. 2 Varvar Lepchenko, No. 3 Sorana Cirstea and No. 4 Mirjana Lucic all advancing to Saturday’s semifinals with the sole American Lepchenko needing three sets to
beat Anna Tatishvili, the No. 6 seed from Georgia.

Saturday’s Lucic-Lepchenko semi will be a rematch of last weekend’s semifinals in Albuquerque, N.Y., which Lucic won on her way to the $50,000 title. The Croatian is now riding an eight-match winning streak.

“I’m feeling really great right now and healthy,” said Lucic, 28, the 1999 Wimbledon semifinalist. “I’ve been slowly playing these events and gaining my confidence.”

Lucic qualified for the U.S. Open and lost in the second round last month. She stands at No. 104 in the world currently, very close to a goal she would like to reach by the end of the year. “The goal is still Top 100 by the end of the year,” she said. “I’m very close. I just want to reach that one and then move on to the next.”

Cirstea had the easiest time Friday, beating American Lauren Albanese on her 21st birthday, 6-2, 6-3. Albanese knew she’d have her hands full against the 2009 French Open quarterfinalist and a player who already has career wins over four players currently in the Top 10 in the world: Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Jankovic, Francesca Schiavone and Agnieszka Radwanska.

“I was a little erratic at the start and thought I could have played better,” Albanese said. “I’m playing so much better than I was at this time last year and to start the year. I think I lost the first 10 matches I played. When I go big, I go big.”

In the doubles final on Sunday, wild cards Irina Falconi and Maria Sanchez will face No. 4 seeds Lindsay Lee-Waters and Megan Moulton-Levy in the first match on beginning at 11 a.m.

Friday’s Quarterfinal Singles Results

q: qualifier; wc: wild card

Mirjana Lucic, Croatia (4), def. Abigail Spears, U.S., 7-6 (3), 7-5

Sorana Cirstea, Romania (3), def. Lauren Albanese, U.S., 6-2, 6-3

Edina Gallovits, Romania (1), def. Valerie Tetreault (Canada) (8),

Varvara Lepchenko, U.S. (2), def. Anna Tatishvili, Georgia (6), 7-6 (5), 6-7
(5), 6-3

Friday’s Semifinal Doubles Results

Irina Falconi, U.S. / Maria Sanchez, U.S. (wc), def. Alexandra Mueller, U.S.
/ Ahsha Rolle, U.S., 6-2, 6-2

Lindsay Lee-Waters, U.S. / Megan Moulton-Levy, U.S. (4), def. Abigail
Spears, U.S. (2) / Mashona Washington, U.S., 3-6, 6-2, 11-9

Saturday’s Order of Play

Stadium Court Starting at noon

Mirjana Lucic, Croatia (4), vs. Varvara Lepchenko, U.S. (2)

Followed by Sorana Cirstea, Romania (3), vs. Edina Gallovits, Romania (1)

Note: The doubles final will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday followed by the
singles final.

The following is a tentative schedule of events supplementing the
tournament:

COMMUNITY EVENTS

*       Saturday, Oct. 2 – Super Semifinal Saturday; USTA Ladies League
Luncheon.

LAS VEGAS PAST CHAMPIONS

Singles

Year                Winner
Runner-up

2009                Regina Kulikova (RUS)                      Aniko Kapros
(HUN)

2008                Camille Pin (FRA)                               Asia
Muhammad (U.S.)

2007                Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)                 Akiko Morigami
(JPN)

1999                Erika de Lone (U.S.)                           Hila
Rosen (ISR)

Doubles

Year                Winner

2009                Aniko Kapros (HUN) – Agustina Lepore (ARG)

2008                Melinda Czink (HUN) – Renata Voracova (CZE)

2007                Victoria Azarenka (BLR) – Tatiana Poutchek (BLR)

1999                Erika de Lone (U.S.) – Annabel Ellwood (AUS)

PRIZE MONEY

SINGLES:                  Prize Money              Points

Winner                         $7,315                         70

Runner-up                   $3,990                         50

Semifinalist                 $2,185                         32

Quarterfinalist             $1,235                         18

Round of 16                $760                            10

Round of 32                $475                            1

DOUBLES:                Prize Money (per team)

Winner                          $2,660

Runner-up                     $1,425

Semifinalist                 $760

Quarterfinalist             $380

Round of 16                $285

HENDERSON’S MUHAMMAD FALLS IN HOMETOWN EVENT TO ALBANESE, WHO FACES CIRSTEA NEXT ON 21st BIRTHDAY

LAS VEGAS, Nev., (Sept. 30, 2010) – Lauren Albanese had a miserable 20th birthday one year ago, losing to Asia Muhammad in both singles and doubles at the Lexus of Las Vegas Open.

A day before her 21st birthday on Thursday, Albanese got some satisfying revenge, beating the hometown hero from Henderson in the same round as last year, 6-4, 7-5.

It was a boisterous Red Rock Country Club crowd cheering all the way for Muhammad who lost in last year’s quarterfinals one round after beating Albanese. “I can understand it; you would expect it with her being from here,” Albanese said of the fans. “Maybe I can get them on my side tomorrow. I’ll need it. It’s no fun losing on your birthday.”

Muhammad let a 5-1 lead slip away in the second set as Albanese survived two sets points down 5-4 in the most intense game of the match. Muhammad was disappointed she couldn’t force a third set. “I just love this tournament and I’m encouraged with how well I played this week,“ Muhammad said. “Lauren played the best I’ve seen her play.”

Albanese, ranked No. 238 in the world and from Jacksonville, Fla., will have her hands full Friday as she goes up against No. 3 seeded Sorana Cirstea in the quarterfinals. “I’m excited to play a former Top 100 player and to see how I’ll do,” Albanese said of Cirstea, the 2009 French Open quarterfinalist.

Cirstea is guaranteed to have several fans on hand as she trains part time with the Adidas group in Vegas with Andre Agassi’s former coach Darren Cahill, who was on hand to watch on Thursday while Gil Reyes and Sargis Sargsian were on hand for her first-round match on Wednesday.

Unseeded 29-year-old American Abigail Spears beat wild-card Chelsey Gullickson to also move into the quarterfinals. The 2010 NCAA singles champion from Georgia Gullickson lost the first set at 6-0 for the second straight match. But unlike her last match where she came back to beat Julia Cohen, Gullickson couldn’t hold off Spears. 6-0, 5-7, 6-4.

“I just came out and didn’t miss,” said Spears, who said she was unaware of Gullickson’s slow starting issues. Spears, who was born and raised in San Diego, currently resides in Pueblo, Colo.

She will meet Mirjana Lucic, the No. 4 seed from Croatia, in the first match on Stadium Court at 10 a.m. Friday.

Thursday’s Second-Round Singles Scores

q: qualifier; wc: wild card

Mirjana Lucic, Croatia (4), def. Heidi El Tabakh, Canada, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3

Sorana Cirstea, Romania (3), def. Julie Ditty, U.S. (q), 6-2, 6-3

Edina Gallovits, Romania (1), def. Alexandra Mueller, U.S. (wc), 6-3, 6-4

Valerie Tetreault (Canada) (8), def. Kimberly Couts, U.S., 0-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2

Abigail Spears, U.S., def. Chelsey Gullickson, U.S. (wc), 6-0, 5-7, 6-4

Varvara Lepchenko, U.S. (2), def. Lindsay Lee-Waters, U.S., 7-6 (8), 6-3

Anna Tatishvili, Georgia (6), def. Alexa Glatch, U.S. (wc), 3-6, 6-3, 7-5

Lauren Albanese, U.S., def. Asia Muhammad, U.S., 6-4, 7-5

Second-Round Doubles Scores

Alexandra Mueller, U.S. / Ahsha Rolle, U.S., def. Kimberly Couts, U.S. / Anna Tatishvili, Georgia (3), 6-2, 6-3

Lindsay Lee-Waters, U.S. / Megan Moulton-Levy, U.S. (4), def. Christina Fusano, U.S. / Courtney Nagle, U.S., 6-2, 6-3

Irina Falconi, U.S. / Maria Sanchez, U.S., def. Madison Brengle, U.S. / def. Amra Sadikovic, Switzerland, 6-4, 6-3

Abigail Spears, U.S. (2) / Mashona Washington, U.S., def. Stephanie Foretz Gacon, France / Alexa Glatch, U.S., 7-6 (3), 7-5

Friday’s Order of Play

Stadium Court Starting at 10 a.m.

Abigail Spears, U.S. vs. Mirjana Lucic, Croatia (4)

Followed by Sorana Cirstea, Romania (3), vs. Lauren Albanese, U.S.,

Followed by Lindsay Lee-Waters, U.S. / Megan Moulton-Levy, U.S. (4), vs. Abigail Spears, U.S. (2) / Mashona Washington, U.S.

Court 2 Starting at 10 a.m.

Varvara Lepchenko, U.S. (2), vs. Anna Tatishvili, Georgia (6)

Followed by Valerie Tetreault, Canada (8), vs. Edina Gallovits, Romania (1)

Followed by Irina Falconi, U.S. / Maria Sanchez, U.S., vs. Alexandra Mueller, U.S. / Ahsha Rolle, U.S.

The following is a tentative schedule of events supplementing the tournament:

COMMUNITY EVENTS

  • Friday, Oct. 1 – Volkl/Becker Racquet Day, 6-8 p.m.

USTA Members Day ($10 off admission for all current USTA members)

  • Saturday, Oct. 2 – Super Semifinal Saturday; USTA Ladies League Luncheon.

For additional event and ticket information, please visit www.lexuslvopen.com

LAS VEGAS PAST CHAMPIONS

Singles

Year                Winner                                                Runner-up

2009                Regina Kulikova (RUS)                      Aniko Kapros (HUN)

2008                Camille Pin (FRA)                               Asia Muhammad (U.S.)

2007                Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)                 Akiko Morigami (JPN)

1999                Erika de Lone (U.S.)                           Hila Rosen (ISR)

Doubles

Year                Winner

2009                Aniko Kapros (HUN) – Agustina Lepore (ARG)

2008                Melinda Czink (HUN) – Renata Voracova (CZE)

2007                Victoria Azarenka (BLR) – Tatiana Poutchek (BLR)

1999                Erika de Lone (U.S.) – Annabel Ellwood (AUS)

PRIZE MONEY

SINGLES:                  Prize Money              Points

Winner                         $7,315                         70

Runner-up                   $3,990                         50

Semifinalist                 $2,185                         32

Quarterfinalist             $1,235                         18

Round of 16                $760                            10

Round of 32                $475                            1

DOUBLES:                Prize Money (per team)

Winner                         $2,660

Runner-up                   $1,425

Semifinalist                 $760

Quarterfinalist             $380

Round of 16                $285

USTA Pro Circuit

With 94 tournaments throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed on the USTA Pro Circuit for approximately $3.2 million in prize money and valuable ATP and WTA Tour ranking points. Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Lindsay Davenport, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Jelena Jankovic are among the top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit. The USTA Pro Circuit is world-class tennis administered on the local level and played on local tennis courts as part of the fabric of communities nationwide — an opportunity for current and new fans to experience the excitement and intensity of the professional game in their neighborhood.