SUMMERLIN, November 10, 2018 (by Steve Pratt)
Playing her 23rd match over the last 19 days with just two days off, Giuliana Olmos won a singles match for the sixth consecutive day Friday to advance to the semifinals of the Red Rock Pro Open.
The 25-year-old former USC standout credited the amount of matches she has played over the past three weeks and staying injury-free as reasons why she keeps coming up with wins. “I feel pretty good. I had an ice bath in Macon (Georgia) and haven’t been sore since,” said the qualifier Olmos, who upset No. 3-seeded Fanny Stollar of Hungary, 6-4, 6-2 Friday. “I’m actually impressed with how my body is holding up.”
She added, “I’ve got a little bit of momentum and I’m trying to ride this wave.”
Olmos, an Austrian-born Northern California resident who represents Mexico, will face former two-time NCAA singles champion Nicole Gibbs in Saturday’s second semifinal. Gibbs prevented Olmos from playing her former USC teammate Danielle Lao as Gibbs defeated Lao 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-3. After the match, Gibbs decided to pull out of her evening doubles semifinal to rest an ailing knee.
“I practice with both of them so it will be hard to play someone you’re friends with,” Olmos said during the 2 hour, 22 minute match between Gibbs and Lao. “They both know how I play and I know how they play.”
Olmos has never reached the semifinals of an $80,000-level event but did reach the quarterfinals in singles at the $100,000 tournament in Tampico, Mexico.
She said it has been easy not to look ahead but focus on one match at a time. “I didn’t think I’d get this far so I have not looked ahead,” said Olmos, who added she is playing her best singles of her career this week. “I’m just going to try and keep it going. I finally have the belief that I can play with these top players and just playing with a lot of confidence right now.”
Olmos had played Stollar once before, but only in doubles. Stollar is 19 years old and ranked No. 127 in the world.
In the other quarterfinal matches on Friday, top-seeded Belinda Bencic overcame a slow start to beat No. 6 Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic, 1-6, 6-1, 6-4. In Saturday’s first semifinal at 10 a.m., Bencic will face unseeded Japanese player Kurumi Nara. In the night match on Friday, Nara beat No. 7 Veronica Cepede Royg or Paraguay, 6-4, 7-5.
Las Vegas’ Asia Muhammad and partner Maria Sanchez advanced to the final after Gibbs withdrew and will play in Sunday’s doubles final. Sophia Chang and Alexandra Mueller will be their opponents as the pair continued their strong play one day after upsetting the top-seeded team of Olmos and Desirae Krawczyk in the quarterfinals on Thursday and posting a straight-set semifinal win on Friday.