PRO TENNIS KICKS OFF 2024 WITH ITF WOMEN'S 35PRO TENNIS | USTA SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
EVENT IN ARCADIA
EVENT IN ARCADIA
JANUARY 5, 2024 | STEVE PRATT
PRO TENNIS KICKS OFF 2024 WITH ITF WOMEN'S 35 EVENT IN ARCADIAUSTA SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
JANUARY 5, 2024
Fontana’s Hanna Chang, the number one seed in Arcadia, competes at this past summer’s SoCal Pro Series. (Photo – Jon Mulvey/USTA SoCal)
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A total of $25,000 in prize money is up for grabs over the next three days as the iTennis Arcadia ITF Women’s 35 tournament continues with the playing of the singles quarterfinals and doubles semis on Friday at the Arcadia Tennis Center.
Fans who come out and enjoy the free tennis this weekend will catch a glimpse of some of the rising stars in the women’s game, and will get to see some local Southern California products who are looking to start the year off on the right foot pocketing a little cash, some WTA points (35 for the singles winner) and a huge confidence boost.
The 2023 NCAA singles and doubles champions both won second-round matches on Thursday to advance. Reigning singles champ UCLA sophomore Fangran Tian from China was tested in the first set by 15-year-old qualifier Wakana Sonobe from Japan before advancing, 7-6 (5), 6-1.
Fiona Crawley, who won the NCAA doubles title just days after leading the University of North Carolina to its first-ever NCAA team title back in May, also was a straight-set winner beating Carson Branstine from nearby Orange, 6-2, 6-4. An All-American at Texas A&M, Branstine’s senior season was cut short in the spring after a leg injury. Branstine was a top world-ranked junior and won back-to-back Grand Slam doubles titles in 2017 at the Australian and French Opens with US Open champion Bianca Andreescu.
Fontana’s Hanna Chang is the No. 1 seeded player and into the quarterfinals where she’ll face Tian Friday in the second match on, not before 11:30 a.m. Chang is currently ranked No. 257 in the world. The No. 2 seed is 18-year-old Texan Liv Hovde, who won the Wimbledon juniors in singles in 2022.
About the same time Chang faces Tian, Hovde will take on the No. 6-seeded Crawley.
To start the day of play at 10 a.m., No. 4 Sophie Chang will meet fellow American and Pepperdine star Ashley Lahey, the No. 5 seed.
In the doubles semis to follow singles, San Diego’s Haley Giavara and Brea’s Brandy Walker face Stephanie Visscher (Netherlands) and Lisa Zaar (Sweden), a Pepperdine grad student playing her final season with the Waves. In the other semi, former USC Trojan Angela Kulikov and Lahey take on the Japanese pairing of Sonobe and Mayuka Aikawa.