HENDERSON, November 10, 2019 (by Steve Pratt)
Unseeded Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine continued her surprising singles run to the Henderson Tennis Open final with a dominating 6-3, 6-0 semifinal win on Saturday over Canadian Katherine Sebov in the USTA Women’s $60,000 Pro Circuit event taking place at the DragonRidge Country Club.
“I was lucky because most of my other matches have been three-setters and this one went quickly because she was playing so aggressively,” said Kalinina, who needed 6-4 scores in the third set to beat Grace Min and Fanny Stollar in the first and second rounds, respectively, before taking out Varvara Lepchenko in straight sets in Friday’s quarterfinals. “At this point it’s been tough because I wasn’t playing tennis because of an injury for two months. And this is my third tournament back.
“I’m super excited to be in the final because I didn’t expect it and didn’t have good preparations except for the two other American tournaments (Macon, Ga., and Tyler, Texas) before coming here.”
Kalinina, a former US Open Junior Girls’ singles runner-up, will face Japanese player Mayo Hibi, who resides in Irvine, Calif., in Sunday’s 2 p.m. singles final. Hibi got past another Ukranian who had a great week in Henderson in No. 3 seeded Katarina Zavatska, taking the second semifinal 7-6 (10), 6-4. Hibi was able to save four first-set points finally winning it on a missed Zavatska overhead.
“It really was a close one and definitely could have gone either way,” said Hibi, who waited patiently as Zavatska called a medical timeout leading 5-4 in the second set. “It really could have gone either way. I just tried to stay focused and anything could have happened.”
Two longtime WTA tour veterans and mothers over 30-years-old Olga Govortsova (Belarus) and Mandy Minella (Luxembourg) captured the doubles final on Saturday to start the day as they beat longtime doubles partners and best friends Sophie Chang and Alexandra Mueller of the U.S., 6-3. 6-4.
It was the first doubles title as partners for Govortsova (age 31) and Minella (age 33), who made it to the third round at Wimbledon in 2012 as partners. Just last week, Minella captured the Tyler $80,000 Pro Circuit singles titles. She has 20 Grand Slam singles appearances and 20 Grand Slam doubles appearances and reached a career-high singles ranking of 66 in 2012.
Chang and Mueller lost in last year’s Red Rock Open doubles final to Asia Muhammad and Maria Sanchez. The winning doubles team earned $3,344 with the runners-ups splitting $1,672.
— Henderson Tennis Open (@HendersonOpen) November 10, 2019
SUNDAY’S SINGLES FINAL:
2 p.m.: Unseeded Anhelina Kalinina (Ukraine) vs. unseeded Mayo Hibi (Japan).