By Steve Pratt, special to USTA.com
LAS VEGAS – Alexa Glatch doesn’t know if she’ll ever play at 100 percent physically again, but she reported on Wednesday that the bulging disk injury in her lower back felt "a thousand times better" than one year ago.
That’s good news for Glatch and bad news for her future opponents, including the rest of the round-of-16 singles field remaining at the Lexus of Las Vegas Open, where Glatch beat Mashona Washington, 6-3, 6-4, in the first round Wednesday at the Red Rock Country Club.
Also on Wednesday, Las Vegas’ Asia Muhammad, 19, opened up play by upsetting No. 5-seeded Mariana Duque-Marino of Colombia, 6-1, 6-7 (2), 6-3.
Muhammad meets American Lauren Albanese in a second-round match Thursday on Stadium Court not before 3:30 p.m. Muhammad beat Albanese in the same round last year at this event before she fell in the quarterfinals.
"It feels great playing in front of the hometown crowd," Muhammad told those in attendance. "I get some home-cooked meals and see a lot of familiar faces."
Glatch, 21, made a move from the beach (Newport) to the mountains (Parker, Colo.) at the end of last year and was hoping her new surroundings would do her career some good. Currently ranked No. 269 in the world, Glatch has always been a talented player who many feel hasn’t yet reached her full potential.
"My back is feeling pretty good now," said Glatch, who is being coached by Ryan Segelke and has a fitness trainer she’s working with outside of Denver. "I don’t know if I’ll ever be 100 percent. It hasn’t been the best year for me. I played three events and then the US Open. We’ll see how it goes from here."
In one of the more entertaining matches of the day, No. 3-seeded Sorana Cirstea of Romania downed former Georgia Tech All-American Irina Falconi, a qualifier, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Also advancing was No. 4-seed Mirjana Lucic of Croatia, who beat Camila Giorgi of Italy, 6-2, 6-4.
q: qualifier; wc: wild card
Alexa Glatch, U.S. (wc), def. Mashona Washington, U.S., 6-3, 6-4
Mirjana Lucic, Croatia (4), def. Camila Giorgi, Italy, 6-2, 6-4
Sorana Cirstea, Romania (3), def. Irina Falconi, U.S. (q), 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
Edina Gallovits, Romania (1), def. Petra Rampre, Slovakia, 7-6 (3), 6-3
Heidi El Tabakh, Canada, def. Madison Brengle, U.S, 5-7, 6-2, 6-3
Kimberly Couts, U.S., def. Brittany Augustine, U.S (q), 6-1, 6-1
Julie Ditty, U.S. (q), def. Ashley Weinhold, U.S. (q), 6-0, 6-3
Valerie Tetreault (Canada) (8), def. Ekaterina Shulaeva, Canada, 6-3, 6-3
Abigail Spears, U.S., def. Laura Siegemund, Germany, 6-1, 6-4
Lindsay Lee-Waters, U.S., def. Shelby Rogers, U.S., 4-6, 6-3, 6-0
Anna Tatishvili, Georgia (6), def. Amra Sadikovic, Switzerland, 6-2, 6-2
Asia Muhammad, U.S. (wc), def. def. Mariana Duque-Marino, Colombia (5), 6-1, 6-7 (2), 6-3
Alexandra Mueller, U.S./Ahsha Rolle, U.S., def. Liga Dekmeijere, Latavia/Varvara Lepchenko, U.S., 6-3, 6-1
Thursday’s Order of Play:
Stadium Court Starting at 10 a.m.
Chelsey Gullickson, U.S. (wc), vs. Abigail Spears, U.S.
Followed by Sorana Cirstea, Romania (3), vs. Julie Ditty, U.S.
Followed by Heidi Tabakh, Canada, vs. Mirjana Lucic, Croatia (4)
Lauren Albanese, U.S., vs. Asia Muhammad, U.S., (wc)
Court 2 Starting at 10 a.m.
Lindsay Lee-Waters, U.S., vs. Varvara Lepchenko, U.S. (2)
Followed by Kimberly Couts, U.S., vs. Valerie Tetreault, Canada (8)
Followed by Christina Fusano, U.S./Courtney Nagle, U.S. vs. Lindsay Lee-Waters, U.S./Megan Moulton-Levy, U.S. (4)
Followed by Madison Brengle, U.S./Amra Sadikovic, Switzerland vs. Irina Falconi, U.S./Maria Sanchez, U.S. (wc)
Court 3 Starting at 10 a.m.
Anna Tatishvili, Georgia (6), vs. Alexa Glatch, U.S. (wc)
Followed by Edina Gallovits, Romania (1), vs. Alexandra Mueller, U.S. (wc)
Followed by Stephanie Foretz Gacon, France/Alexa Glatch, U.S., vs. Alexandra Mueller, U.S./Ahsha Rolle, U.S.
The following is a tentative schedule of events supplementing the tournament:
Thursday, Sept. 30
– High School Day, 6-8 p.m. (Free general admission for ages 15-18).
Friday, Oct. 1
– Volkl/Becker Racquet Day, 6-8 p.m.
USTA Members Day ($10 off admission for all current USTA members)
Saturday, Oct. 2
– Super Semifinal Saturday; USTA Ladies League Luncheon.
For additional event and ticket information, please visit www.lexuslvopen.com
LAS VEGAS PAST CHAMPIONS
Regina Kulikova (RUS)
Camille Pin (FRA)
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)
Erika de Lone (U.S.)
2009: Aniko Kapros (HUN) – Agustina Lepore (ARG)
2008: Melinda Czink (HUN) – Renata Voracova (CZE)
2007: Victoria Azarenka (BLR) – Tatiana Poutchek (BLR)
1999: Erika de Lone (U.S.) – Annabel Ellwood (AUS)
SINGLES: Prize Money Points
Winner $7,315 70
Runner-up $3,990 50
Semifinalist $2,185 32
Quarterfinalist $1,235 18
Round of 16 $760 10
Round of 32 $475 1
DOUBLES: Prize Money (per team)
Round of 16 $285
USTA Pro Circuit
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