Asia Muhammad And Maria Sanchez Win In Singles And Doubles At Central Coast Pro Tennis Open

Jessica Pegula at Templeton Tennis Ranch (photo: Lori Sortino)

TEMPLETON, September 28, 2018 (by Steve Pratt)

For the second straight day, Asia Muhammad had a second-set letdown after winning the first, but rallied to come back and win the third set as she beat Canada’s Katherine Sebov on Thursday Canada, 6-1, 5-7, 6-1, to advance to Friday’s quarterfinals at the Central Coast Pro Tennis Open taking place at the Templeton Tennis Ranch.

A 10-year veteran of the WTA and USTA Pro Circuit Tour, the 27-year-old Muhammad has always prided herself on being one of the fittest players on the pro tour. Currently ranked No. 210 in the world in singles, Muhammad is also a Top 100 doubles players in the world and later in the day won her doubles match to advance to the semifinals as the top-seeded team with partner Maria Sanchez.

“I’ve had a really good year and I had heard so many good things about this tournament I decided to stay in the states and play this one,” said Muhammad, who lives and trains in Las Vegas and played in the main draw of the US Open recently. “I’ve had the same coach since I was 10 (Tim Blenkiron). I feel like I’m doing the same things, but the more you do them the better you get at it.”

Muhammad next faces Swiss qualifier Amra Sadikovic in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Muhammad’s doubles partner Sanchez joined her in the singles quarterfinals following her 6-3, 6-4 win over Norway’s Ulrikke Eikeri.

“I always seem to play better in the fall,” said Sanchez, a former USC All American who grew up 175 miles north of Templeton in the Central California town of Modesto. “I always love to come back to the West Coast and do well. So that really motivates me.”

Like Muhammad, Sanchez has seen her best success in doubles peaking at No. 56 in the world in doubles in September of 2016. She won a WTA doubles title in 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand, with Sharon Fichman and holds 21 USTA/ITF Pro Circuit doubles titles, the latest coming at the $100,000 grass-court event in Ilkley, Great Britain, this June.

The top-seeded Taylor Townsend was upset on Thursday as she was forced to retire from her second-round match against Bulgaria’s Sesil Karatantcheva, down 6-0, 3-0.

In two high-profile All-American matchups, No. 2 seeded Madison Brengle beat Lauren Davis, 6-3, 6-2, and unseeded Grace Min got past rival Jessica Pegula, the tournament’s No. 4 seed, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Thursday’s Second-Round Singles Scores

Maria Sanchez, U.S., def. Ulrikke Eikeri, Norway, 6-3, 6-4

Grace Min, U.S., def. Jessica Pegula, U.S. (4), 3-6, 6-3, 6-1

Jovana Jaksic, Serbia, def. Marie Bouzkova, Czech Republic (7), 3-6, 6-1, 6-3

Sesil Karatantcheva, Bulgaria, def. Taylor Townsend, U.S., (1), 6-0, 3-0, ret.

Asia Muhammad, U.S., def. Katherine Sebov, Canada, 6-1, 5-7, 6-1

Amra Sadikovic, Switzerland (q), def. Emina Bektas, U.S., 6-2, 7-5

Sofya Zhuk, Russia (6), def. Ann Li, U.S. (wc), 6-4, 6-4

Madison Brengle, U.S. (2) def. Lauren Davis, U.S., 6-3, 6-2

Thursday’s Quarterfinal Doubles Scores

Beatrice Gumulya, Indonesia-Ana Veselinovic, Montenegro (4) def. Dominique Schaefer, Peru-Sophie Whittle, U.S. (wc), 6-4, 7-5

Quinn Gleason, U.S.-Luisa Stefani, Brazil, def. Madison Brengle, U.S.-Jessica Pegula, U.S. (2), 7-5, 6-4

Asia Muhammad, U.S.-Maria Sanchez, U.S. (1) def. Jessy Rompies, Indonesia-Chanel Simmonds, South Africa, 6-2, 7-5

Kristie Ahn, U.S.-Giuliana Olmos, Mexico, def. Jovana Jaksic, Serbia- Cornelia Lister, Sweden, 6-1, 3-6, 10-5