TEMPLETON, September 29, 2019 (by Steve Pratt)
Doubles partners for the 2017 United States Fed Cup champions and good friends CoCo Vandeweghe and Shelby Rogers took different routes to the singles final at the third annual Central Coast Pro Tennis Open, a USTA Women’s $60,000 Pro Circuit event taking place at the Templeton Tennis Ranch.
The USTA wild-card Vandeweghe, 27, swept past unseeded American Grace Min, 6-3, 6-3, while the 26-year-old Rogers was taken the distance against former University of Michigan star Emina Bektas, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, in front of an appreciative crowd of 200 fans on a gorgeous Saturday. The singles final will take place on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The former US Open doubles champion Vandeweghe, who reached a career-high singles ranking of No. 9 in 2018, won the only meeting between her and Rogers on the pro level. In 2012 in Alabama at a $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event on clay, Vandeweghe beat Rogers, 6-4, 6-4.
“I felt good out there and was happy to get the W today,” said Rogers, whose career-high ranked is No. 48. “The knee feels great so I’m really excited about that. I don’t even have to think about it anymore.”
Rogers, who like Vandeweghe is coming back from injury, said she didn’t care who she faced in the final: her doubles partner Vandeweghe or longtime rival Min.
“It’s crazy,” Rogers said before the Vandeweghe-Min match. “It feels like it’s 2009. We’re all doing really well and I respect both of them a lot.”
Rogers said besides a meeting with a large tarantula in the parking lot, her first trip to Templeton has been a positive one. “It has exceeded my expectations here and it’s just been beautiful,” she told the supportive crowd. “We’ve had some amazing food too. You guys have some great restaurants here.”
Hear what Shelby Rogers had to say after her match. She’s not use to running into tarantulas in the parking lot. pic.twitter.com/n26SKXx87L
— TempletonTennisRanch (@ttrtennis) September 28, 2019
In the doubles final, Vladica Babic of Montenegro and Caitlin Whoriskey, the No. 3 seeds, captured the title with a convincing 6-4, 6-2 win over Gabriela Talaba of Romania and Marcela Zacarias of Mexico. It was the sixth career ITF doubles title for the former Oklahoma State star Babic and the 18th for the former three-time All-American from the University of Tennessee Whoriskey.
“We had a slow start but we started playing much better as the match went along,” Babic said. “I’ve never been to this area and I definitely enjoyed the Templeton Tennis Ranch and hope we can come back again.”
Whoriskey stayed in Avila Beach during the week. “It’s definitely way better than all the other big cities you guys have,” she said referring to California. “It’s definitely relaxing and enjoyable and such a cute little town. It’s actually a place I could see myself living once my career is finished.”
Saturday’s Semifinal Singles Scores
CoCo Vandeweghe (wc), U.S., def. Grace Min, U.S., 6-3, 6-3
Shelby Rogers, U.S., def. Emina Bektas, U.S., 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
Saturday’s Final Doubles Score
Vladica Babic, Montenegro/Caitlin Whoriskey (3), U.S., def. Gabriela Talaba, Romania/Marcela Zacarias, Mexico, 6-4, 6-2