Tournament 28 Dec 2018

Kiwis in action for qualifying tomorrow

by Rhonda Karl
Kiwis in action for qualifying tomorrow

Kiwi number one Paige Hourigan, NZ champ Valentina Ivanov, top ranked doubles player Erin Routliffe and 17-year old Elys Ventura have all been awarded wildcards to compete in the ASB Classic Women’s singles qualifying which kicks off tomorrow.

While it’s Valentina and Elys’ first opportunity to play at this level, both Paige and Erin have previously received wildcards to the event.

Tomorrow will see a repeat of the NZ Champs final, Paige has drawn fellow kiwi Valentina Ivanov which will guarantee a kiwi advancing to the second round.

Paige has been juggling playing and studying at Georgia Tech in the United States the past four years. She’s now finished college so 2019 will be her first full year as a professional tennis player. Paige started the American summer season ranked 1125 and after playing some ITF tournaments over a couple of months, the top ranked Kiwi moved her ranking to 602. She currently sits at 576.

Valentina has also been setting herself up for life as a pro, she became the first NZ tennis player to compete at the youth Olympics games in Buenos Aires and after winning the NZ Champs this month the talented teen completed the set of national titles winning the U12’s, U14’s, U16’s, U18’s and the senior champs.

Erin Routliffe will play Russian Alexandra Panova following the match between Paige and Valentina.

Erin has been performing strongly in doubles, her current ranking is just outside the top 100, at 107. She’s already assured of a place in the doubles main draw playing with Alexa Guarachi (Chile) but her focus this weekend is getting her first singles win at the ASB Classic.  Erin has played qualifying in the last two years, pushing her opponents to three sets both times.

Our final wildcard Elys Ventura has drawn Iga Swiatek. The NZ U18 runner-up will play on centre court at 10am.

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