December 22nd, 2015
Daytona Beach USTA Pro Circuit Tournament Preview; Wild Card Tourney
Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015 is the entry deadline for the 2016 Daytona Beach Women’s Open Wild Card Tournament, where the winner will receive automatic entry into the main draw of the 2016 Daytona Beach $25,000 Women’s Open, a USTA Pro Circuit event.
The wild card tournament will be held on Jan. 2-4, 2016 at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach. In addition the runner-up will receive an entry into the qualifying tournament for the Daytona Beach $25,000 Women’s Open, as will the back draw and 3rd place finishers.
For more information or to enter the wild card tournament go to http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=176208.
The main event, the 2016 Daytona Beach $25,000 Women’s Open, will be held on Jan. 10-17, 2016 at the Florida Tennis Center.
Direct acceptances to the main draw include former world No. 1 junior Catherine “CiCi” Bellis, and fellow Americans Shelby Rogers, Asia Muhammad, and Bernarda Pera.
Bellis is best known for stunning Dominika Cibulkova in the first round of the 2014 US Open. Bellis is a perfect 3-0 in career USTA Pro Circuit singles finals, winning at Rancho Santa Fe in February of this year, and two in 2014.
Rogers in 2014 reached the WTA tour singles final in Bad Gastein, Austria, losing to German Andrea Petkovic. This year she was a runner-up in doubles with fellow American Irina Falconi in Bogota, Colombia.
Currently vying for spots in the qualifying draw are former University of Florida standout Lauren Embree, former NCAA singles champ Jamie Loeb, and Florida junior standouts Sofia Kenin and Ingrid Neel.
Last year’s final was an all-unseeded affair as Russian Darya Kasatkina defeated Elise Mertens of Belgium for the singles title, and Americans Jan Abaza/Sanaz Marand won the doubles.
Former Daytona Beach Women’s Open singles and doubles champs:
2015 — Darya Kasatkina (RUS), Jan Abaza/Sanaz Marand (USA)
2014 — Anna Tatishvili (GEO), Nicole Melichar (USA)/Teodora Mircic (SRB)
For more info go to www.usta.com.