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Qualifier Hardebeck upsets Lucic at Las Vegas Open

September 29, 2011 10:03 AM
Krista Hardebeck
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Calling it her career-best win "for sure", newly turned 17-year-old Krista Hardebeck upset No. 4 seeded Mirjana Lucic 7-6, 6-4 in the first round of the third annual Lexus of Las Vegas Open, a $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event, taking place at the Red Rock Country Club in Summerlin.
 
Hardebeck, a qualifier from Santa Ana, CA, is currently a high school senior completing her studies through a distance learning program while testing the pro circuit. She prevailed over two-time semfi-finalist Lucic, who called for the trainer during the match and said she felt like she was going to faint several times on court.
 
"I did feel some dizziness and very faint, but I’m not one to retire," said the Croatian Lucic, the 29-year-old former Wimbledon semifinalist (1999), who called for a medical timeout between the first and second sets. "I don’t know what it was. Perhaps I’m just tired or dehydrated. It’s been a long year."
 
Also on Wednesday in the first round, 2009 US Open Melanie Oudin lost her first-round singles match to Sessil Karatantcheva of Kazakhstan, 7-5, 6-7 (2), 6-0. Oudin saved a match point against the former French Open quarter-finalist (2005) in the second set but was able to battle back and win the tiebreaker before getting shutout in the third.
 
A day after being eliminated in the doubles, Las Vegas’ Asia Muhammad also lost a three-set match in singles to No. 2 seeded Anna Tatishvili of Georgia, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.
 
"I think it’s always nice to play in your hometown," said Muhammad, now 20, who first played in the main draw at the Vegas event as a 14-year-old in February of 2006 and was a finalist here in 2008. "It sucks that I wasn’t able to do better in singles and doubles but it’s OK. I’m playing another event next week (Kansas City Challenger) and I did well last week so that’s the way it goes."
 
Lucic, a semifinalist here last year, says she can recall only retiring from one match in her entire career. "It was about 12 years ago and I actually fainted on the court. I will fight and grind until they have to pick me up and carry me off. I kept hoping I would feel better and I was just trying to end the points quickly."
 
Hardebeck, currently ranked just inside the top 500 in the world, said she was aware that Lucic wasn’t feeling well, but was determined not to think much about it. "I could tell she looked a little tired and then called the medical before the second set," she said. "I could tell she was trying to be the aggressor but I just kept playing good defense and knew that if it went three sets I would win."
 
Hardebeck will play former USC All-American Maria Sanchez in the second round on Thursday. Both players have trained together at the USTA Training Center – West in Carson, Calif., and both players are intimately familiar with one another’s game.
 
The Orange County native has a season pass to the Magic Kingdom just 10 minutes from her house and it’s a place she goes to often with her SoCal passport season pass. Hardebeck said she spent half her birthday doing schoolwork when she turned 17 two weeks ago. "Then I went to Disneyland for half the day," she said smiling.
 
Hardebeck said she wouldn’t mind cancelling a college recruiting trip to Stanford this weekend if she’s still playing in Las Vegas. She also plans to visit UCLA and Duke this fall with the hopes of making a college decision in November. "Unless I have a great spring," she said. "Then I’ll have to decide whether or not to turn pro."
 
Follow on Twitter for live results at @lvprocircuit. Also, visit the tournament website at: www.lexuslvopen.com.
 
The Lexus of Las Vegas sponsors include: Lexus of Las Vegas (title), Nevada Orthopedic and Spine Center (presenting), Gold sponsors: Neil Fineman Executive Wealth Strategies, Hand Surgery Specialists of Nevada, Cox Communications, Marquis and Aurbach Attorneys at Law, AceBuilder, Nestle Water; Silver sponsors: USTA Nevada, IMI Marketing, 10sBalls.com, Galen Schutt Attorney At Law, New Belgium Brewery and American Printing. The tournament powered by CourtThink and Agent Atleta.
 
Wednesday’s Singles Scores
(wc: wild card; q: qualifier)
 
Sessil Karatantcheva, Kazakhstan, def. Melanie Oudin, 7-5, 6-7 (2), 6-0
Anna Tatishvili (2), Georgia, def. Asia Muhammad (wc), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
Regina Kulikova, Russia def. Ajla Tomljanovic, Croatia, 6-1, 6-2
Krista Hardebeck (q) def. Mirjana Lucic (4), Croatia, 7-6 (4), 6-4
Alexa Glatch, U.S., def. Alison Riske (5), U.S., 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
Edina Gallovits-Hall (6), Romania, def. Gabriela Dabrowski (q), Canada, 6-0, 6-2
Romina Oprandi (1), Italy def. Laura Siegmund, Germany, Laura Siegemund, Germany, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-5
Vasilla Bardina (q), Russia, def. Michelle Larcher De Brito, Portugal, 6-3, 7-6 (5)
Camila Giorgi, Italy, def. Ying-Ying Duan (q), China, 6-4, 6-0
 
Wednesday’s Doubles Scores
Alison Riske, U.S.-Ashley Weinhold, U.S., def. Julia Boserup, U.S.-Malou Ejdesgaard, Denmark, 6-4, 6-2
Shelby Rogers, U.S.-Allie Will, U.S. (wc) def. Jamie Hampton-Anna Tathihvile (1), Georiga, 6-3, 6-3
Yuliana Lizarazo, Colombia-Nicole Melichar, U.S., def. Brittany Augustine, U.S.-Madison Brengle, U.S., 6-2, 6-1
Varvara Lepchenko, U.S.-Melanie Oudin, U.S., def. Julie Coin, France-Valeria Savinykh, Russia (4), 6-3, 6-3
 
Thursday’s Schedule of Play
Stadium Court starting at 9:30 a.m.
Varvara Lepchenko, U.S., [3] vs. Kurumi Nara, Japan
Followed by Maria Sanchez, U.S., vs. Krista Hardebeck, U.S.
Followed by Sessil Karatantcheva, Kazakhstan, vs. Jamie Hampton, U.S. (8)
Not before 4 p.m.
Gabrielle Dabrowski, Canada, vs. Laura Siegemund, Germany, vs. Maria Sanchez, U.S.-Yasmin Schnack, U.S.
Court 2 starting at 9:30 a.m.
Valeria Savinykh, Russia, (7) vs. Regina Kulikova, Russia
Followed by Allie Will, U.S. (wc), vs. Edina Gallovits-Hall, Romania
Followed by Romina Oprandi, Italy (1), vs. Camila Giorgi, Italy
Followed by Shelby Rogers, U.S.-Allie Will, U.S. (wc), vs. Macall Harkins, U.S.-Ahsha Rolle, U.S.
Court 3 starting at 9:30 a.m.
Alexa Glatch, U.S. vs. Timea Babos, Hungary
Followed by Vasilla Bardina, Russia, vs. Anna Tatishvili, Georgia (2)
Followed by Varvara Lepchenko, U.S.-Melanie Oudin, U.S., vs. Yuliana Lizarazo, Colombia-Nicole Melichar, U.S.
Followed by Alison Riske, U.S.-Ashley Weinhold, U.S. vs. Alexa Glatch, U.S.-Mashona Washington, U.S.
 
 
 

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