A USTA 25K Women's Pro Circuit Event

By Rick Limpert
TROY, Ala. (Oct 8, 2012) – Perfect weather, record attendance and a huge honor made for a busy Monday at the USTA Tennis Classic of Troy.  Oh, and there were 16 qualifying matches played as the main draw will start on Tuesday.

Brian Earley of the USTA made the trip to Troy from New York to present Troy tournament director Eric Hayes with a plaque celebrating the event's 10th anniversary.  In turn, the current and incoming Mayors of Troy presented Earley with a key to the city.

"Troy gets it," stated Earley in a ceremony attended by about 200 media members and members of the Troy tennis community.  "A tournament like this is important in the development of a tennis player."

Earley said a tournament like this teaches players how to be professionals.
"Every player (in the professional ranks) under the age of 30 has played in these events."

Earley also made the point that the USTA needs cities like Troy to host these events as much as cities the size of Troy need smaller professional tennis events.

"(Cities like Troy) are where these events are most successful," Earley admitted.  "In a bigger city, this kind of tournament gets lost in the shuffle."

The remaining Troy University player in singles, Hannah Toro, a sophomore from the UK was defeated 6-2, 6-0 by a tough American player in Lauren Albanese.
Toro said she could've played better, but was satisfied with the result playing against the pros.

"It's my first tournament like this in years, and it's a real test, stated Toro.
Toro, who will be playing for the Troy women's team come January said this is a great event for college players.
"It's fun to play against the pros and see how your game compares."

Among the other winners on day two of qualifying were former WTA top-40 player Rebecca Marino of Canada, the top-seed in qualifying Angelia Gabueva of Russia and former University of Iowa player, Sonja Molnar of Canada.
Monday's results:
Starting at 09:00 WSQ Rebecca MARINO (CAN) [3] Eva RASZKIEWICZ (USA) 6-1 6-2
Starting at 09:00 WSQ Isabella ROBBIANI (PAR) [4] Mariya SLUPSKA (UKR) 6-3 6-3
Starting at 09:00 WSQ Anamika BHARGAVA (USA) [8] Rhiann NEWBORN (USA) 6-2 6-3
Starting at 09:00 WSQ Anne-Liz JEUKENG (USA) [5] Morocco HITT (USA) 6-2 6-2
Starting at 09:00 WSQ Sonja MOLNAR (CAN) [16] Daria SHARAPOVA (BLR) 7-6(4) 6-0
Starting at 09:00 WSQ Maria SMITH (USA) Rosalia ALDA (USA) [14] 6-4 6-0
Followed by WSQ Lauren ALBANESE (USA) [7] Hannah TORO (GBR) 6-2 6-0
Followed by WSQ Angelina GABUEVA (RUS) [1] Brooke LASHWAY (USA) 6-3 4-6 6-0
Followed by WSQ Vojislava LUKIC (SRB) [2] Magdalena EKERT (POL) 6-4 6-1
Followed by WSQ Jelena PANDZIC (CRO) [10] Kristi BOXX (USA) 7-6(1) 2-6 6-2
Followed by WSQ Chalena SCHOLL (USA) [6] Denise MURESAN (USA) 7-5 7-6(4)
Followed by WSQ Nicola SLATER (GBR) [9] Samantha POWERS (USA) 6-3 6-3
Followed by WSQ Natalie PLUSKOTA (USA) [11] Wendy Qi-Wen ZHANG (CAN) 6-1 7-6(7)
Followed by WDQ Rosalia ALDA (USA) / Isabella ROBBIANI (PAR) [1] Anne-Liz JEUKENG (USA) / Simone KALHORN (USA) 4-6 6-4 [10-7]
Followed by WSQ Emily J. HARMAN (USA) [12] Andie K. DANIELL (USA) 6-3 6-4
Followed by WDQ Anamika BHARGAVA (USA) / Jelena DURISIC (SLO) [2] Andie K. DANIELL (USA) / Karolyn GRYMEL (GER) 6-0 6-0
Followed by WSQ Keri WONG (USA) Jelena DURISIC (SLO) [13] 6-4 6-4
Followed by WSQ Amanda RODGERS (USA) Simone KALHORN (USA) [15] 6-3 6-2

Also on Monday, the annual kid's clinic took place with about 75 young tennis players from the area.  Some of the tournament pros assisted with the clinic.


Professional women's tennis hit Troy on Sunday as the USTA Tennis Classic of Troy arrived in town for the 10th consecutive year and two players from the Troy University women's team grabbed spots in the qualifying draw.

Troy player Hanna Toro started the day with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 comeback win over American Brittany Lashway. 

The sophomore from the UK was relieved after the match.

"It's really my first match since 2009," admitted Toro, who will become eligible to play for the Trojan tennis team this January.  "I love competing and loved getting back out there."

Toro said she gained confidence as the match progressed and even surprised herself a little with the win.

She credited her forehand for the win, even though she says her backhand is the more dependable shot.

"Towards the end, I just decided to go for it with the forehand and it improved as did my my confidence.

Next up for Toro is the seventh seed in qualifying, Lauren Albanese.

Another Trojan player, Karolyn Grymel lost her opening round qualifying match to Wendy Qi-Wen Zhang of Canada 6-4, 6-4.

Grymel said the breaks didn't go her way.

"I didn't have much luck, but fought hard and it's early in the year," stated the senior from Hamburg.

Among the other winners on the opening day of qualifying was a familair name to tennis fans, Sharapova.  17-year old Daria Sharapova, a dead ringer for, and cousin to Maria Sharapova defeated Madeleine Kobelt in a long three-setter.

Sunday's results:
Starting at 09:00 WSQ Simone KALHORN (USA) [15] Miriam Ruth LANE (USA) 6-0 6-2
Starting at 09:00 WSQ Hannah TORO (GBR) Brittany LASHWAY (USA) 3-6 6-4 6-0
Starting at 09:00 WSQ Daria SHARAPOVA (BLR) Madeleine KOBELT (USA) 6-3 3-6 6-4
Starting at 09:00 WSQ Sonja MOLNAR (CAN) [16] Alexus JONES (USA) 6-0 6-0
Starting at 09:00 WSQ Eva RASZKIEWICZ (USA) Samantha KOELLIKER (SUI) 6-2 6-2
Starting at 09:00 WSQ Rhiann NEWBORN (USA) Jimena WU (PER) 6-1 6-1
Starting at 09:00 WSQ Rosalia ALDA (USA) [14] Alannah Jessica MENDOZA (USA) 6-0 6-1
Starting at 09:00 WSQ Maria SMITH (USA) Gail FALKENBERG (USA) 6-0 6-0
Followed by WSQ Emily J. HARMAN (USA) [12] Komal SAFDAR (USA) 6-0 1-6 7-5
Followed by WSQ Mariya SLUPSKA (UKR) Elizabeth VLACHAKIS (USA) 6-1 6-1
Followed by WSQ Andie K. DANIELL (USA) Emily WEISBERG (USA) 6-1 6-2
Followed by WSQ Jelena DURISIC (SLO) [13] Sydney CAMPBELL (USA) 6-0 1-6 7-5
Followed by WSQ Wendy Qi-Wen ZHANG (CAN) Karolyn GRYMEL (GER) 6-4 6-4
Followed by WSQ Natalie PLUSKOTA (USA) [11] Nyla BEENK (USA) 6-0 6-1
Followed by WSQ Denise MURESAN (USA) Brianna LASHWAY (USA) 6-4 6-0
Followed by WSQ Morocco HITT (USA) Dewonder DAVIS (USA) 6-0 6-0
Followed by WSQ Amanda RODGERS (USA) Maria Andrea CARDENAS (VEN) 6-1 2-6 6-2
Followed by WSQ Jelena PANDZIC (CRO) [10] Silvia TUMOVA (SVK) 6-1 6-1
Followed by WSQ Samantha POWERS (USA) Alexandra CHAMPION (USA) 6-0 6-0
Followed by WSQ Kristi BOXX (USA) Spirit EDLEY (USA) 6-0 6-0
Followed by WSQ Magdalena EKERT (POL) Salome DEVIDZE (GEO) 6-3 6-4
Followed by WSQ Brooke LASHWAY (USA) Chelsea CARTER (USA) 1-6 6-3 6-4
Followed by WSQ Keri WONG (USA) Carol Jane ELLIOTT (USA) 6-0 6-0

By Rick Limpert

TROY, Ala., (Sept. 25, 2012) – Even though the U.S. Space and Rocket Center is located a couple hours to the north in Huntsville and the Stennis Space Center is located 150 miles to the south; Troy, Alabama has proven to be the place where careers "blast off" in recent years when it comes to professional women's tennis.  Once again, some of the best women tennis players in the world will be in Troy for the the USTA Tennis Classic of Troy, Alabama, taking place October 7-14, 2012.

"It's another great field," said tournament director Eric Hayes.  Hayes is also the head tennis coach of the men's and women's teams at Troy University.

Headlining the field in 2012 are Edina Gallovits-Hall, a Romanian living in Atlanta that has been ranked as high as No. 54 in the world and has won 18 ITF Circuit titles.  Slated to be the No. 2 seed is Michelle Larcher De Brito from Portugal.  De Brito plays an exciting brand of tennis and has been ranked as high as No. 74 in the world.

Joining these two will be a group of young Americans looking for a title and breakthrough.  These include Chi Chi Scholl, Grace Min, Julia Boserup and Chieh-Yu Hsu.

They are hoping that they can duplicate the results posted by the two singles finalists from 2011.  Last year, Romina Oprandi of Italy defeated American Varvara Lepchenko in the finals, but both used Troy as a way to improve their rankings and move on to bigger and better things in 2012.  Lepchencko is one of the most improved players on the WTA Tour and she is now ranked No. 20 in the world.  Oprandi also has tasted success in 2012 and she sits at No. 64 in the rankings released on 9/24/12.

This tournament is unique in the fact that it takes place on a vibrant college campus and that it's an event that the entire community of Troy gets behind.

"We are fortunate to have the support of the university, the city and the tennis community," adds Hayes.  "Without them, this tournament wouldn't exist."

The tournament is also a great tool for the children of the community. It introduces many of them to a sport they have never played, and it also renews a spirit in all of them that they can achieve anything that they put their heart, soul and mind toward.

The players love this event as well, and some come back year after year.  Players that compete in Troy will tell you that the tournament is more than tennis; it is a week full of Southern Hospitality and an opportunity to change not only their lives, but others too. The City of Troy, The Classic, and the media coverage is graciously appreciated by all the participants.

The tournament offers $25,000 in prize money to the singles and doubles players and a 64-player qualifying tournament will take place during the opening weekend of the tournament.
Wildcards will be given out leading up the start of the main and qualifying draws and they will join those that survive the qualifying tournament in the main draw, with 20 the players that gained direct entry.

There will be a lot of tennis played the second week of October in Troy.  Quite a few of these players have the potential to be the next stars in women's tennis and Troy could once again be the launching pad.
2011 Final Results
Singles: Romina Oprandi (ITA) def Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 6-1, 6-2
Doubles:  Bovina/Savinykh (RUS/RUS) d. Lepchenko/Washington (USA/USA) 7-6(6) 6-3
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 more than 785,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Emirates Airline US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns approximately 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S, and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA philanthropic entity, USTA Serves, provides grants and scholarships and helps underserved youth and people with disabilities. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com, “like” the official Facebook page facebook.com/usta or follow @usta on Twitter.
For more information:
On-site PR contact: Rick Limpert (209) 920-7425 or email: Rick.Limpert@gmail.com
Website: www.troyusta.com
Twitter: @troyusta