American teenager advances to Central Coast Tennis Classic Quarterfinals
Tournament continues through Sunday
– In eight rounds of 16 matches played on Thursday at the EPIC Central Coast Tennis Classic, one could argue that no player was as dominant as the youngest player remaining in the singles field, 18-year-old qualifier Robin Montgomery from Washington, D.C.
A product of the same Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Md., that produced Top 20 American ATP player Frances Tiafoe, Montgomery beat wild card Victoria Duval, 6-1, 6-2, convincingly in just 62 minutes at the Templeton Tennis Ranch to reach the quarterfinals of USTA Pro Circuit Women’s $60,000 event.
The lefty Montgomery, who won the US Open Juniors in both singles and doubles in 2021, will next face No. 7 seeded Katarzyna Kawa from Poland on Friday. It was the third time this year – and all in California – that Montgomery has won two qualifying matches and a first-round match in a $60-thousand event. But she fell in the second round at Arcadia and last week at Berkeley. Thursday’s second-round win was the second time in her young career that Montgomery had advanced to the quarterfinals of a $60-thousand as she equaled her career-best as a pro at this level with the first coming in 2021 in Rome, Ga.
Kawa will be facing her second straight US Open Junior Girls’ singles champion when she takes on Montgomery as she toppled wild card and 17-year-old Alex Eala with an emphatic 6-0 result in the third set after splitting the first two.
The Cinderella run for Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko continued as the 36-year-old mother of two won again on Thursday. The 2008 Australian Open doubles champion outlasted American Elvina Kalieva, 19, in three sets. Kalieva is the younger sister of Uzbek-born ice hockey player Arthur Kaliyev, who plays for the Los Angeles Kings.
Top-seeded Madison Brengle advanced to the final eight beating qualifier and Pepperdine player Janice Tjen in straight sets. Unseeded Sophie Chang from Maryland also advanced in two sets, taking out wild card and former Duke star Maria Mateas.
Both Kawa and Chang were doubles winners on the day as the two paired up as the top-seeded team to advance to the doubles semifinals. The featured evening match on Friday will be a doubles semifinal pitting the unseeded Bondarenko and Hiroko Kuwata of Japan against Nao Hibino of Japan and former USC All-American Sabrina Santamaria, the tourney’s No. 2 seeds.
The tournament is part of the USTA Competitive Pathway circuit. Check the tournament’s website at www.centralcoasttennisclassic.com and Facebook page www.facebook.com/ttrprotennis in the coming months for player announcements and other tournament news.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at www.centralcoasttennisclassic.com/tickets/. Prices start at $10.