RANCHO SANTA FE, September 29, 2022 (by Steve Pratt)
World No. 51 Madison Brengle and Top 100 player and defending champion Rebecca Peterson headline a strong field of top players expected to compete in the second annual Rancho Santa Fe Open October 3-9 and hosted by the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club.
Tournament Director John Chanfreau announced that 10 more players ranked within the world’s top No. 175 rankings will head to San Diego County for the second playing of the USTA Pro Circuit event with increased prize money set at a total of $80,000 combined in singles and doubles. In addition, valuable WTA points are at the stake, as well as a spot in the main draw of the 2023 Australian Open for the top point-getter in a series of Pro Circuit events over five weeks that the includes Rancho Santa Fe Open.
The 32-year-old veteran Brengle is already straight into the main draw at the Australian Open by virtue of her current ranking. Coming off her big ITF singles title at last week’s Berkeley Tennis Club W60K, Brengle has won at least one round in each of the four Grand Slams during her career, including a fourth-round showing at the 2015 Australian Open when she upset 13th-ranked Andrea Petkovic in the first round eventually losing in the fourth round to Madison Keys.
Last year, the top-seeded Peterson from Sweden beat American teenager Elvina Kalieva in straight sets to win the first RSF Open. Peterson currently sits at No. 92 in the world. China’s Yue Yuan will be seeded No. 3 and is seeded ranked No. 104.
A main-draw singles wild card has been awarded to Pepperdine’s Janice Tjen of Indonesia, recent winner of the Battle of the Bay ITA singles event. San Diego residents Katherine Hui and Megan McCray will play in the qualifying singles draw as wild cards. Hui, a Santa Few Christian Schools senior who is headed to Princeton, recently competed in the US Open Junior Girls’ tournament and placed fourth at the USTA Hardcourt Nationals at Barnes Tennis Center in August. Oceanside’s McCray played her college tennis at Oklahoma State. The USTA has granted a singles main-draw wild card to the ITA preseason No. 1 player in the nation Eryn Cayetano from USC.
In doubles, local college teams will be represented as the University of San Diego’s Kailey Evans (Texas) and Claudia De Las Heras (Spain) were given a main-draw wild card, as was the San Diego State pairing of Andjela Skrobonja (Serbia) and Dariya Detkovskaya (Kazakhstan).
Former Top 30 world-ranked singles Urszula Radwanska from Poland and Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko are also entered into the main draw. Radwanska has won seven singles and 10 doubles titles on the ITF circuit during her pro career. As a junior, the 31-year-old reached No. 1 in the world and won the 2007 Wimbledon Girls’ singles title. The 36-year-old Bondarenko is a former Australian Open doubles champion, partnering with her sister Alona in 2008 to win her first major title.
Top American’s expected to compete include: Northern California’s Katie Volynets (No. 116), Las Vegas’ Asia Muhammad and Illinois’s Caroline Dolehide – both ranked in the top 30 in doubles – Florida’s Sachia Vickery (No. 177), 18-year-old Woodland Hills, Calif., resident Katrina Scott (No. 186) and New York’s Louisa Chirico (No. 193) are also entered.
The RSF Open “Opening Day” festivities will kick off the tournament taking place Friday, Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. The night will include an opening ceremony and sponsor recognition, pro doubles exhibition and appetizers and drinks with the community and incoming players.
Saturday, October 8, will be Second Serve Saturday at the RSF Open with a kids’ clinic for juniors ages 5 to 14 starting at 9:30 a.m. CEO and Co-Founder Ayanna Shah announced that players from the Second Serve program will attend the tournament, and that local juniors will have the opportunity to hit with some of the top professional women’s players competing in the tournament. For more information on Second Serve, go to: www.secondserve.org.