HENDERSON, November 8, 2019 (by Steve Pratt)
On her way to reaching a WTA World Tour Top 20 singles ranking back in 2012, 33-year-old American Varvara Lepchenko recalls an important tournament victory in Las Vegas that set her on a positive path to achieving that ranking.
The year was 2010 and the lefty Lepchenko lifted the Vegas single title trophy following a straight-set win over Sorana Cîrstea.
“That win in Las Vegas gave me a kick start to my highest ranking, so I’m looking forward to doing that again,” said Lepchenko, who Thursday beat Mexico’s Guiliana Olmos, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, to advance to the quarterfinals of Henderson Tennis Open taking place at the DragonRidge Country Club.
The lefty Lepchenko was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and has lived in the U.S. since 2001. She switched nationalities in 2007 and officially became a U.S. citizen in September of 2011.
Lepchenko is anxious to work hard this off-season with hopes of playing regularly on the WTA Tour in 2020. “It’s a challenge as you get older to stay physically fit,” she said. “At the same time, I’m one of the hardest workers on the tour so I know what it takes to stay in shape.”
Joining Lepchenko in the quarterfinals will be a fellow past Las Vegas champion Alexa Glatch. A year after Lepchenko’s win in 2011, the former US Open Girls’ Junior champion Glatch won the Vegas doubles title at Red Rock Country Club in Summerlin, and made a run to the singles final.
Glatch is now 30-years-old and is coming back from numerous hip and knee surgeries and received a special exemption into the main draw after advancing to the final at last weekend’s Tyler, Texas, $80,000 Pro Circuit event. Glatch beat No. 6 seeded American Ann Li, 6-4, 6-4, on Thursday.
“I’m really happy to be into the quarters,” said Glatch, whose world ranking sits around No. 425. “I so glad I was able to get a special exemption and not have to play qualifying after making the final last week. I was out for so long and my game is finally starting to come along.”
“I won the doubles and lost in the singles 7-6 in the third so that was a little tough to get over,” Glatch recalled about 2011. “I like playing in a little bit of altitude and the ball gets going a little bit more here so it suits my game.”
A day after upsetting the top-seeded player Kirsten Flipkens, 18-year-old Florida qualifier Alycia Parks was stopped by unseeded Canadian Katherine Sebov, 6-0, 7-6 (9). Down 4-1 in the third set, American and No. 7-seeded Sachia Vickery was forced to retire from her match because of injury over Olga Govortsova of Belarus. American Caroline Dolehide continued her solid play as she beat University of Virginia freshman Natasha Subhash, 6-3, 6-3.
Former world top 5 player and one-time Wimbledon finalist Genie Bouchard and Hungary’s Fanny Stollar, the No. 2 seeds, split sets then won a 10-point tiebreaker, 10-3, to beat Chieh-Yu Hsu of Taipei and Marcela Zacarias of Mexico, to advance to the doubles semifinals on Friday.
Nice night for some dubs featuring No. 2 seeds Genie Bouchard and Fanny Stollar at the Henderson Tennis Open. pic.twitter.com/BSFn7Lx6Eo
— Henderson Tennis Open (@HendersonOpen) November 8, 2019