Seven Women Compete In Tennis Daily Double
Completing the daily tennis double is no easy task.
Asia Muhammed pulled it off Thursday at the ColemanVision Tennis Championships, winning a tough singles battle in the morning and prevailing in doubles in the afternoon.
Muhammed wasn’t the only player gunning for a daily double at Tanoan Country Club. In fact, she was one of seven competing in both singles and doubles.
But Muhammed’s back-to-back victories were the most unlikely.
First, she rallied for a marathon 4-6, 7-6 (2), 7-5 singles victory over Allie Will. That match lasted more than three hours and admittedly took a toll on Muhammed.
“It was kind of brutal,” she said of trying to recover for doubles a few hours later. “I just tried to hydrate, get some food and rest as much as possible.”
The rest was much needed because Muhammed had to use an aggressive approach to outlast Will.
Muhammed was watching when Will ousted the tournament’s No. 1 seed (Edina Gallovits-Hall) on Wednesday and knew she was playing particularly well. The first set did nothing to change that perception, as Will prevailed with a barrage of baseline forehands.
“I didn’t want to stay back and rally with her,” Muhammed said, “because that’s Allie’s game. I just started coming in every chance I got and started getting some momentum that way.”
Coming into the tournament, Muhammed’s world singles ranking of No. 552 was the second-lowest in the field. It’s by far the lowest of the remaining eight singles players, the rest of whom are ranked between 120 and 186.
Thursday’s other singles matches offered no major surprises. The six seeded players left in the bracket advanced, with only one of them (No. 5 seed Irina Falconi) being extended to three sets.
The singles results were: No. 2 Michelle Larcher De Brito defeated Adriana Perez 6-2, 6-3; No. 3 Lauren Davis defeated Grace Min 6-2, 7-6; No. 5 Falconi outlasted Stephanie Dubois 3-6, 6-3, 6-3; No. 6 Allison Riske defeated Amra Sadikovic 7-6, 6-1; No. 7 Heidi El Tabakh defeated Chieh-Yu Hsu 7-6, 7-5; No. 8 Jessica Pegula defeated Veronica Cepede-Royg 6-4, 6-2; and unseeded Maria Sanchez edged Sachia Vickery 5-7, 6-0, 7-6.
Muhammed’s tough singles match was evident early on when she teamed with Yasmin Schnack for doubles. Muhammed made a pair of unforced errors in the eighth game of the first set, as her team fell behind 5-3 to the team of Madison Brengle and Nikola Frankova.
But Muhammed and Schnack, playing just their second tournament as a doubles team, took over at that point. Muhammed blasted three straight aces in her next service game, Schnack began to dominate at the net, and their team won 10 of the final 11 games in a 7-5, 6-1 quarterfinal win.
Muhammed won last year’s ColemanVision doubles title with another partner, but she and Schnack have developed good chemistry in a relative hurry.
“I love playing with this girl,” Schnack said. “She’s not afraid to tell me to keep swinging and be aggressive, which is what I need. We really work well together.”
The tournament continues today with singles quarterfinals and one doubles semi.
— This article appeared on page D1 of the Albuquerque Journal