Kulikov stands out in women’s tennis’ opening week

first_imgSophomore Estella Jaeger also competed in a three-set match in the first round, taking down freshman Elise Frigout of the University of Pacific 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.  The Trojans are slated to play Thursday at the ITA Oracle Masters in Malibu, Calif. “We had great results from everyone representing USC at the tournament, and it’s exciting to begin the year by taking home a title in our first event,” Swain said.  The USC women’s tennis team competed in the Milwaukee Tennis Classic this weekend to open their 2019 season, in addition to the Battle in the Bay tournament in San Francisco. The Trojans left Milwaukee with a singles title win from senior captain Angela Kulikov. The Trojans look to continue their success after a 20-8 2018 season that ended in a Round of 16 loss to South Carolina. After graduating only one senior, the program will continue to build and strengthen its roster with a blend of youth and experience.  Kulikov’s teammates also enjoyed a successful weekend in Milwaukee. Sophomore Danielle Wilson reached the semifinals of the MTC, defeating three top 16 seeds before her 6-2, 6-2 loss to Achong.  The program also features the promotion of Rachel Manasse to assistant coach, who served as a volunteer coach on the staff this past season.  With the No. 7-ranked recruiting class in the nation according to the Tennis Recruiting Network, the new class comprised of players including Carson Branstine, Eryn Cateyano and four-star Payton Saca figures to be a strength for the Trojans in 2019 and beyond.  “Angela came into the tournament prepared to compete and executed her game plan throughout the event,” Swain told USC Athletics. “It was tough to transition from indoors to outdoors throughout the weekend, but Angela handled it well and competed at an exceptionally high level.” Kulikov was seeded No. 13 in the singles draw for tournament, and her path to the championship was not easy. She defeated both the No. 3 and No. 7 seeds on the road to the final against No. 5-seeded sophomore Daevenia Achong of the University of Miami. center_img “I’m very excited to be back this season as an assistant coach,” Manasse told USC Athletics. “It’s such an amazing opportunity. This team has so much potential, and I can’t wait to be a part of their continued success.”  Milwaukee wasn’t the only destination for the women’s team this week, as several Trojans participated in the Battle of the Bay Classic in San Francisco. Senior Sydney Van Alphen defeated top-seeded sophomore Solymar Colling of the University of San Diego in three sets 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.  Both Van Alphen and Jaeger advanced to the tournament’s quarterfinal, while freshman Payton Saca gained her first collegiate experience by winning an extra match 6-2, 6-3 against freshman Alicia Yue from the University of San Francisco. Jaeger and Van Alphen were also paired in the doubles bracket and lost 8-2 to Arizona graduate student Abby Amos and junior Talya Zandberg.  Kulikov’s title earned her a wild card spot in the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships in Newport Beach this November.  Wilson and Kulikov teamed up in the doubles bracket and reached the semifinals along with the duo of senior Constance Branstine and junior Ana Neffa, but both pairs fell short of the championship match.  Kulikov narrowly defeated Achong 7-6, (5) in a close first set tiebreak. She went on to take the second set 6-4, securing the MTC title. Head coach Alison Swain believed Kulikov was well prepared heading into her matches and that she maintained an elite degree of focus.  Editor’s note: This article published Wednesday misidentified a photo of Rianna Valdes as Angela Kulikov. The article has been updated online. The Daily Trojan regrets the error.last_img read more

US OPEN: Ramos Opts Out of Umpiring Serena Matches

first_imgUS Open referee Soeren Friemel says the decision is a good one for the tournament, the players and the umpires.“We have selected the best officials for the 2019 US Open, and there is some flexibility,” he told reporters at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre at Flushing Meadows “It’s not the first time that we made decisions that is good for the tournament, is good for the players, and is good for the umpires as well to not be on those matches.“In the end, our goal is to assign the best chair umpire for the right match so in taking all those factors into consideration, the decision was made that he would not do any of the Williams sisters’ matches.”In heated exchanges in last year’s final, Williams told Ramos “you will never, ever, ever be on another court of mine as long as you live.” But the US Open says the decision has been taken “collectively,” and not in response to a request from the Williams sisters. It is not unusual for umpires to be kept away from players after a contentious match. The Brazilian Carlos Bernardes did not umpire Rafael Nadal for a significant period after a disagreement about time violations at a tournament in Rio in 2015.Ramos umpired this year’s Australian Open semi-final between Petra Kvitova and Danielle Collins, but has not yet been given the chance to add to his tally of 10 Grand Slam singles finals. “Carlos has worked all the other Grand Slams,” Friemel added. “He has done Davis Cup, Fed Cup, and he’s going to work the Davis Cup final so he’s considered still for all high-profile matches.”The US Open is the final Grand Slam of the year, and begins in New York on Monday.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Carlos Ramos will not umpire any matches involving Serena or Venus Williams at this year’s US Open, tournament officials have confirmedThe Portuguese umpire docked Serena Williams a game for verbal abuse in last year’s final against Naomi Osaka. US Open 2018: Naomi Osaka wins after Serena Williams outburst Naomi Osaka wins the US Open after an angry Serena Williams accuses the umpire of being a “thief” in some of the… Williams, 37, called Ramos a “liar” and a “thief” having already received a point penalty for smashing her racquet.She was also handed a code violation for coaching during the final in New York, which she lost in straight sets.last_img read more