photo by Tracey Lee
Two Former USC Teammates Roll Into the Quarterfinals at the Red Rock Pro Open
At Red Rock Country Club Nov. 4-11 In Summerlin
SUMMERLIN, Nev. (Nov. 8, 2018) – Having already suffered two lopsided losses against Heather Watson on foreign soil in 2018, Southern California’s Danielle Lao knew she’d be in for a battle against the No. 2 seed on Thursday at the Red Rock Pro Open.
Watson took the first set, but Lao was able to figure Watson’s game out in the final two sets as Lao advanced on to the quarterfinals with a, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1, upset victory against the one-time Wimbledon mixed doubles champion.
“In the second set I got a couple of breaks and won some big points and the momentum rolled my way,” said Arcadia’s Lao, who is traveling this week with longtime coach Kal Moranon and Andy Gerst of the Kramer Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. “The second and third sets were 1 and 1, but the games were a lot closer than the score says.”
The 26-year-old Lao, who majored in Communications and minored in Business at USC earning her degree in 2013, will be joined in the final eight by her former USC teammate qualifier Giuliana Olmos. Born in Austria and raised in Northern California, Olmos won her fifth straight match in Las Vegas taking out unseeded Varvara Flink, 6-3, 6-2.
Lao, who qualified for the US Open main draw the past two years, next faces 2015 Red Rock Pro Open doubles champion Nicole Gibbs in Friday’s quarters. Just last week in Tyler, Texas, Lao beat the former two-time NCAA singles champion Gibbs in the second round dropping just five games in the straight-set win.
Unlike last season, Lao has played this season injury-free and isn’t defending any ranking points until February. “I don’t look at the numbers too much,” she said of her ranking where she sits at No. 181 in the world. You keep an eye on them so you can plan your schedule but I’m just looking to improve. After I take a loss I looked to see what parts of my game I need to keep working on.”
For the third consecutive day a former Red Rock Pro Open champion was eliminated as No. 6-seeded Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic downed 2012 winner Lauren Davis, 6-2, 6-1.
In other second-round action, top-seeded Belinda Bencic downed Great Britain’s Naomi Broady, 6-4, 6-2, and Gibbs beat fellow American Grace Min, 6-2, 7-5.
In doubles, Las Vegas’ Asia Muhammad and partner Maria Sanchez improved to 19-1 on the year as the No. 2 seeds beat the French pairing of Manon Arcangioli and Sherazad Reix, 6-2, 6-0.
Presenting Sponsor: Gaudin Porsche of Las Vegas; Premier Sponsors: Cox Media, Lotus Broadcasting, Sunshine Valley Pediatrics, WG Communications Group, Storage One, Sunrise Hospital, Char Luxury Real Estate, USTA Nevada, The D Las Vegas & SNH, UNLV School of Medicine and UMC of Southern Nevada; Primary Sponsors: Rachel’s Kitchen, Guild Mortgage, Inspiring Children Foundation, Energy Wise LED Solutions, Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers, Marquis Aurbach Coffing, and the Law Offices of Saggese & Associates.
For a complete list of Red Rock Pro Open past singles champions, take a trip down Memory Lane HERE.
For ball kid information or to volunteer, go to: redrockproopen.com/volunteer; to sponsor the tournament, go to: redrockproopen.com/sponsors or contact Copenhaver at: firstname.lastname@example.org. For a complete schedule of events, go to: redrockproopen.com/schedule.
Tickets start at just $5 during the week, $10 for the quarterfinals on Friday, $15 on Saturday for the singles semifinals, and $20 on Sunday for the singles and doubles final.
About the USTA Pro Circuit
With more than 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country and prize money ranging from $15,000 to $125,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The USTA launched its Pro Circuit 39 years ago to provide players with the opportunity to gain professional ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, offering more than $3 million in prize money. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed in cities nationwide. Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova, John Isner, Sloane Stephens, Kei Nishikori, Victoria Azarenka, and Sam Querrey and are among today’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit. Follow the USTA Pro Circuit at #USTAProCircuit and www.procircuit.usta.com.
About Red Rock Country Club
Red Rock Country Club is nestled beneath a towering red mountain, caressed by cool mountain breezes and offering luxurious amenities in a private haven. The club provides the perfect escape in one of the most breathtaking natural settings in Las Vegas. There are two Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Courses, and another sister course called Siena, designed by master architects Brian Curley and Lee Schmidt. The main clubhouse is the social hub of the club, a 44,000-square-foot area that features the Oasis Grille with an outdoor terrace and spectacular views of the Arnold Palmer courses. The majestic Red Rock Mountains and the lights of the Las Vegas Strip are visible, as well. Private rooms are available for social events, weddings and banquets as well as a stately Board Room with private garden patio for entertaining and private meetings. The tennis complex consists of nine lighted, hard surface tennis courts including an impressive stadium court for competition. The Red Rock Spa offers an array of services designed to make you feel pampered. Members can relax and unwind with a full menu of treatments including massages, facials, body wraps and scrubs, waxing and, our ever popular manicure and pedicure services. Red Rock also offers an athletic center, three swimming pools and spa services.
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