- Kimberly Runyan
TASC Hosts Tyler Area Chamber at RBC Pro Challenge
After a day off from play, the RBC Pro Challenge, a USTA Pro Circuit event, was back swinging at Tyler Athletic and Swim Club as matches resumed Thursday morning. One of the headlines of the day was players rising to the challenge as several seeds were knocked off the draw in singles and doubles.
After claiming her spot in the main draw from wins in the qualifying draw, American Katherine Fahey grabbed the first set 6-3 over third-seeded and #114 ranked Maria Patrica Tig from Romania. In the second set, Fahey claimed a quick 3-0 lead and finished her upward trek with a 6-4, 6-2 upset.
Wildcard qualifier and 2019 NCAA singles champion, Estela Perez-Somarriba jumped to a 5-2 lead against #189 in the world, Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina. After many back-and-forth deuce points, Perez-Somarriba clinched the first set by breaking serve to go up 6-2. Kalinina broke serve to make the second set 2-1. Perez-Somaribba immediately claimed the advantage back with a down-the-line winner at 40-15 to tie the match up at 2-2. Perez-Somarriba broke serve to make it 5-3. A crosscourt winner at 40-love finished the match, with Perez-Somarriba winning in straight sets 6-2, 6-3.
Other matches of note included wildcard Coco Vandeweghe, who reached as high as #9 in the world, claimed her match against American qualifier Sanaz Marand 7-6, 6-3. In an exciting evening match in front of a crowd of tennis fans and Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce members, wild card doubles team Liga Dekmeijere from Latvia and Maria Kononova from Russian faced off against Chieh-Yu Hsu (Taipai) and Marcela Zacarias (Mexico). Dekmeijere/Kononova ran away with the first set, 6-1. Hsu/Zacarias stormed back at walked away with a strong second set, 6-2. The 10-point tie breaker for the third set went to Hsu/Zacarias, 10-8, to launch them into Friday’s semifinals.
Friday’s match play brings two rounds of singles and semifinals of doubles. Friday’s matches are free and open to the general public. Doubles will conclude with the finals match on Saturday and the singles semifinals, with match play beginning at 10am. On Sunday, the singles finals will be at 12:30pm. Tickets for Saturday and Sunday’s matches can be purchased at rbcprochallenge.com.
Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours
Tyler and Athletic and Swim Club hosted Business After Hours with the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce during the evening matches of the RBC Pro Challenge. Chamber members and tennis fans enjoyed dinner and drinks courtside and inside the Cliff Drysdale-owned state-of-the-art athletic club and tennis facility.
“This tournament makes Tyler even more of a tennis destination. It gifts our city with great tennis talent and unbelievable national exposure,” said Tom Mullins, President/CEO, Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce. “Tyler Athletic and Swim is a fantastic venue for our community and has done a great thing for our city bringing this tournament to within our city limits.”