TEMPLETON — The last time many of us saw Lauren Davis play a match, she was locked in a record-setting 3-hour, 45-minute marathon match against the world’s No. 1-ranked player Simona Halep in the third round of the Australian Open in a nationally televised match on ESPN.
The 24-year-old Davis held match points in that match, eventually falling 15-13 in a match that tied the Australian Open record for most games played. Having started the year ranked No. 48 in the WTA World Tour rankings, Davis has since fallen to No. 207 and wants to end her year with several big wins on the USTA Pro Circuit Challenger level and have another shot at playing Down Under again in January.
On Tuesday in the first round of the Central Coast Pro Tennis Open being played at the Templeton Tennis Ranch, the Ohio-native Davis needed a little more than three hours to beat fellow American Vicky Duval, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.
“I knew Vicky was a grinder and makes a lot of balls,” said Davis, who had beaten the 22-year-old Duval on tour two other times but hadn’t played her in four years. “I just tried to stay aggressive and play my game. Vicky picked up her game in the second set.”
Davis, who has made more than $2.3 million in prize money during the course of her career, said she’s just enjoying being out there playing. “It’s a process, and I’m young,” she said. “So I’m just trying to enjoy it. I’ve burned out in the past and I’ve learned my lesson on how to do things differently this time.”
In 2017, Davis peaked at No. 26 in the world in May after reaching her third quarterfinal of the year at the WTA event in Rabat, Morocco. She also reached the quarterfinals in Qatar and Dubai in February and reached the fourth round in Indian Wells.
Also posting straight-set wins on Tuesday in the first round was No. 2-seed Madison Brengle, No. 4 Jessica Pegula and 2014 US Open junior champion Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic, the tournament’s No. 7 seed.
In a first-round matchup of two wild cards, 18-year Pennsylvania resident Ann Li beat the local favorite Sophia Whittle of Nipomo, 6-4, 6-2. The former Arroyo Grande High star is in her senior year at Gonzaga University, and last year at this event won her first WTA ranking point shocking the tournament’s No. 3 seed in the first round.
In final-round qualifying matches, three former college All-Americans advanced to the main draw as Giuliana Olmos (USC), Maegan Manasse (UC-Berkeley) and Robin Anderson (UCLA), all won coveted spots in the main draw.
In a first-round match on Wednesday evening not before 6 p.m., former Junior Grand Slam champions, top-seeded Taylor Townsend will play former US Open Junior Girls’ singles winner Kayla Day of Santa Barbara. Following that is an intriguing doubles matchup of local players. Last year’s tandem of Whittle and Delanie Dunkle of Arroyo Grande will oppose each other with Whittle playing with Dominique Schaefer and Dunkle with Christine Maddox.
Sponsors include: Halter Ranch Vineyard, KJons Jewelers, Sentinel Peak Resources, Belden Blaine Raytis LLC, Tiebreaker Brewing Company, Tennis Warehouse, Vacasa, Medina Light Show Designs, ESPN Radio, Maserati Alfa Romeo of Bakersfield, Tolosa Wines, SportCourt, SportMaster, Toyota San Luis Obispo, Pier 46 Seafood, The Tribune, Tenet Health, Bland Solar, Mitch and Theresa Scott, Maserati Alpha Romeo of BFL, Sotheby's International Realty, Owen Main Photography, The Groves On 41, Heidi Grant - Mary Kay, Rabobank, South Paso Chevron, Brochelle Vineyards, Southern California Tennis Association, The Manse On Marsh and Simply Clear Marketing & Media.
The Templeton High School FFA Club will be hosting a barbecue on Friday, Sept. 28 beginning at 5 p.m., and following that will be both doubles semifinals back-to-back beginning at 6 p.m.
To follow all the action, go to the tournament website: www.ttrprotennis.com and on Facebook and search Central Coast Pro Tennis Open. And follow the USTA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @USTA (#USTAProCircuit).
Tuesday’s Final-Round Qualifying Scores
Robin Anderson, U.S. (1), def. Kai-Chen Chang, Taipei (5), 3-6, 6-3, 7-5
Maegan Manasse, U.S., def. Quinn Gleason, U.S. (7), 6-2, 6-2
Amra Sadikovic, Switzerland, def. Hanna Chang, U.S., 6-3, 6-3
Giuliana Olmos, Mexico, def. Hayley Carter, U.S., (
Tuesday’s First-Round Singles Scores
Madison Brengle, U.S. (2) def. Ashley Kratzer, U.S., 6-4, 6-1
Marie Bouzkova, Czech Republic (7) def. Danielle Lao, U.S., (
Katherine Sebov, Canada, def. Beatriz Haddad Maia, Brazil, 6-2, 6-2
Ann Li, U.S. (
Jessica Pegula, U.S. (4), def. Louisa Chirico, U.S., 7-5, 6-3
Lauren Davis, U.S., def. Victoria Duval, U.S., 6-4, 5-7, 6-4
Tuesday’s First-Round Doubles Scores
Jessy Rompies, Indonesia-Chanel Simmonds, South Africa, def. Beatriz Haddad Maia, Brazil-Nadia Podorska, Argentina, 3-6, 6-4, 10-4
Asia Muhammad, U.S.-Maria Sanchez, U.S. (1)-Sharon Fichman, Canada-Jamie Loeb, U.S., 6-4, 6-2
Kristie Ahn, U.S.-Giuliana Olmos, Mexico, def. Tara Moore, Great Britain-Amra Sadikovic, Switzerland, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 10-7
Lauren Davis, U.S.-Louisa Chirico, U.S., def. Jovana Jaksic, Serbia- Cornelia Lister, Sweden, 6-4, 7-5
Prize Money/Points - $60,000 Women
SINGLES: Prize Money Points
Winner $9,119 80
Runner-up $4,863 48
Semifinalist $2,659 29
Quarterfinalist $1,520 15
Round of 16 $911 8
Round of 32 $533 1
DOUBLES: Prize Money (per team)
Round of 16 $304
Photo by Lori Sortino