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.

USTA Juniors Fare Well On Day 1 of Unique Collegiate Event

ST. HELENA, Calif., (Sept. 24, 2010) – The USTA brought their best to Napa Valley for the annual Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic and the elite eight juniors ended up having a  red-letter first day.

The juniors faced off against players from six of the nation’s top collegiate teams and won six of the eight singles matches, led by U.S. Open boys’ champion Jack Sock, who beat Johnny Hamui of Illinois, 6-4, 6-3, on Sock’s 18th birthday.

“I’m not tired because I actually haven’t been playing or practicing that much since the Open,” said Sock, a senior at Blue Valley North High School, who also won the Kalamazoo National 18s and played in the main draw at the Open. “I had kind of a long summer. It was nice to get back to school. I had people I didn’t even know coming up to me and congratulating me, like I was a mini-celebrity.”

This is the first year the juniors have been invited to play in the unique event run for the past 10 years by University of Cal-Berkeley Coach Peter Wright and Meadowood Director of Tennis Doug King.

Wright said he was elated to see the juniors do so well. “That’s part of the allure of this event; to see how well the juniors will do,” Wright said. “I think we have a pretty good cross-section of college players with some top guys and then some of the middle-range guys on the team.

“Some of the juniors are playing an incredible level of tennis. It’s great. I think after one day every one is encouraged. I think the juniors are happy, the USTA is happy and the college guys are happy. Someone asked me how I would feel if the juniors beat the college guys and I said that would actually be a good thing. It’s good for American tennis.”

Joining Sock in the winner’s circle on Friday were Alexios Halebian, Mitchell Krueger, Marcos Giron, Mitchell Frank and MacKenzie McDonald. Bjorn Fratangelo and Hunter Harrington each suffered defeats.

The collegiates did manage to win all three doubles matches played against the juniors, but it was a dominating day in singles for the juniors.

“My mindset was that it was just another match,” said the 17-year-old Giron of Thousand Oaks, Calif., who beat Vasko Mladenov of Texas, 6-3, 6-4. “Obviously he’s a good player because he’s in college. I actually feel less pressure because the college guys want to win and don’t want to lose to players so much younger than them.”

Sixteen-year-old Mitchell Krueger was another one of the elite eight juniors selected to play. In his match, he defeated USC’s Jaak Poldma, 7-6 (3), 6-2. “I played really well and served pretty well,” said Krueger. “It was fun. It’s so nice and relaxed up here. I love it.”

Poldma lost to Tennessee’s Rhyne Williams at No. 3 singles in the championship of the NCAAs last May. Despite his loss, the Trojans went on to win their second straight NCAA title. The Most Outstanding Player in that event was also in action on Friday in Napa as Daniel Nguyen fell to Halebian, 16, of Glendale, Calif., in an entertaining three-setter, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 6-4.

The two-time defending champion USC Trojans lost all four of their singles matches on Friday.

Krueger, 16, of Aledo, Texas, said he has played a few college players in the past, but was grateful for the experience on Friday. “I didn’t really know what to expect,” he said. “Now I know a little bit better where I’m at.”

Krueger said an event like this might even give him a better idea of whether or not to turn pro. “It just depends on how I do. I’m right in the middle right now.”

Each school is represented by four players to compete alongside the eight juniors, and the 32-man field is split into eight pools featuring three collegians and a junior. Following three matches in pool play, the eight pool winners will compete in a single-elimination, 10-point tiebreak tournament. The winner of the tournament will receive a USTA-sponsored wild card into a USTA Pro Circuit event that is yet to be determined.

The juniors were selected by USTA Player Development based on ATP rankings (if applicable), national rankings and results, and a selection of younger players for developmental purposes.

Friday’s singles results

Eric Quigley (Kentucky) def. Bjorn Fratangelo (USTA, Pittsburgh, Pa.), 7-6 (8), 6-7 (9), 6-1

Carlos Cueto (Cal) def. Raymond Sarmiento (USC), 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4)

Abe Souza (Illinois) def. Anthony Rossi (Kentucky), 7-5, 6-2

Jean Andersen (Texas) def. Nassim Slilam (Florida), 6-1, 6-2

Mitchell Krueger (USTA, Aledo, Texas) def. Jaak Poldma (USC), 7-6 (3), 6-2

Nick Andrews (Cal) def. Bruno Abdelnour (Illinois), 6-4, 6-2

Mitchell Frank (USTA, Annandale, Va.) def. Pedro Zerbini (Cal), 6-2, 6-7 (3), 7-5

Marcos Giron (USTA, Thousand Oaks, Calif.) def. Vasko Mladenov (Texas), 6-3, 6-4

Ed Corrie (Texas) def. Hunter Harrington (USTA, Spartanburg, S.C.), 6-4, 6-1

Alexandre Lacroix (Florida) def. Christoffer Konigsfeldt (Cal), 6-1, 6-3

Bob Van Overbeek (Florida), def. Alex Musialek (Kentucky), 6-4, 6-3

Jack Sock (USTA, Lincoln, Neb.) def. Johnny Hamui (Illinois), 6-4, 6-3

MacKenzie McDonald (USTA, Piedmont, Calif.) def. Maks Gold (Kentucky), 6-4, 6-2

Dennis Nevolo (Illinois) def. JT Sundling (USC), 6-4, 6-2

Sekou Bangoura (Florida) def. David Holiner (Texas), 2-6, 6-0, 6-1

Alexios Halebian (USTA, Glendale, Calif.) def. Daniel Nguyen (USC), 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 6-4

Friday’s doubles results

Nick Andrews / Christoffer Konigsfeldt (Cal) def. Dennis Nevolo / Johnny Hamui (Illinois), 8-4

Eric Quigley (Kentucky) / Alex Musialek (Kentucky) def. Ed Corrie / Jean Andersen (Texas), 9-7

Vasko Mladenov / David Holiner (Texas) def. Mackenzie Macdonald / Hunter Harrington (USTA), 8-5

Alexandre Lacroix / Nassim Slilam (Florida), def. Jaak Poldma / JT Sundling (USTA), 8-5

Bob Van Overbeek / Sekou Bangoura (Florida) def. Mitchell Krueger / Bjorn Fratangelo (USTA), 8-6

Daniel Nguyen / Raymond Sarmiento (USC) def. Jack Sock / Mitchell Frank (USTA), 9-7

DAY 2: Saturday’s Schedule

10:30 a.m.

Eric Quigley (Kentucky) v. Carlos Cueto (Cal)

Bjorn Fratangelo (USTA) v. Raymond Sarmiento (USC)

Dennis Nevolo (Illinois) v. MacKenzie McDonald (USTA)

JT Sundling (USC) v. Maks Gold (Kentucky)

Bob Van Overbeek (Florida) v. Vasko Mladenov (Texas)

11:30 a.m.

Pedro Zerbini (Cal) v. Abe Souza (Illinois)

Noon

Bruno Abdelnour (Illinois) v. Hunter Harrington (USTA)

Alex Musialek (Kentucky) v. Marcos Giron (USTA)

1:00 p.m.

David Holiner (Texas) v. Mitchell Krueger (USTA)

Ed Corrie (Texas) v. Nick Andrews (Cal)

Alexandre Lacroix (Florida) v. Johnny Hamui (Illinois)

2:00 p.m.

Christoffer Konigsfeldt (Cal) v. Jack Sock (USTA)

Anthony Rossi (Kentucky) v. Mitchell Frank (USTA)

3:00 p.m.

Daniel Nguyen (USC) v. Jean Andersen (Texas)

Nassim Slilam (Florida) v. Alexios Halebian (USTA)

4:00 p.m.

Jaak Poldma (USC) v. Sekou Bangoura (Florida)

DAY 3: Sunday’s Schedule

8:00 a.m.

Alex Musialek (Kentucky) v. Vasko Mladenov (Texas)

Bob Van Overbeek (Florida) v. Marcos Giron (USTA)

Alexios Halebian (USTA) v. Jean Andersen (Texas)

Jaak Poldma (USC) v. David Holiner (Texas)

Sekou Bangoura (Florida) v. Mitchell Krueger (USTA)

Ed Corrie (Texas) v. Bruno Abdelnour (Illinois)

9:15 a.m.

Christoffer Konigsfeldt (Cal) v. Johnny Hamui (Illinois)

Eric Quigley (Kentucky) v. Raymond Sarmiento (USC)

Pedro Zerbini (Cal) v. Anthony Rossi (Kentucky)

10:30 a.m.

Daniel Nguyen (USC) v. Nassim Slilam (Florida)

Nick Andrews (Cal) v. Hunter Harrington (USTA)

Alexandre Lacroix (Florida) v. Jack Sock (USTA)

Carlos Cueto (Cal) v. Bjorn Fratangelo (USTA)

Abe Souza (Illinois) v. Mitchell Frank (USTA)

Dennis Nevolo (Illinois) v. Maks Gold (Kentucky)

JT Sundling (USC) v. MacKenzie McDonald (USTA)

The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level — from local communities to the highest level of the professional game.  A not-for-profit organization with 750,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game.  It owns and operates the US Open, and launched the Olympus US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open.  In addition, it owns the 90-plus Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., is a minority owner and promotional partner of World TeamTennis, and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games.  USTA Serves, the National Charitable Foundation of the USTA, provides financial support for disadvantaged youth and people with disabilities through tennis and education programs.  For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.