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ColemanVision tennis tourney has local flavor

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Tournament coordinators for this year’s ColemanVision USTA Pro Circuit Women’s Tennis Tournament say they’ve got the best entry list in the event’s 16-year history.

That talent pool, vying for $75,000 in prize money, will be on display starting today with qualifying rounds at Tanoan Country Club, including some local flavor.

The main draw tournament – 16 singles players and 32 doubles competitors – starts Tuesday.

La Cueva graduate and current LSU freshman Gabrielle Otero is scheduled to play in today’s qualifying tournament, as will University of New Mexico senior tennis star Michaela Bezdickova, who is from the Czech Republic.

The top-seeded player in the event’s main draw is Allison Riske, the No. 81 ranked player in the world, who advanced to the round of 16 of this year’s U.S. Open after knocking off the world’s No. 7 player, Petra Kvitova, in the process.

Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic is also competing this year in singles after having just won the U.S. Open’s doubles title with countrywoman Luci Hradecka.

Defending champion Maria Sanchez was given a wild-card entry into the main draw of the tournament, as were 2010 champion Mirjana Lucic of Croatia and 2011′s runner-up, Anna Tatishvili from the Republic of Georgia.

Also competing is Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal, who knocked off Maria Sharipova at Wimbledon.

The tournament title includes a purse of $11,400 for the singles champion and $6,080 for the runner-up. The winning doubles team splits $4,180.

For the first time, many of the tournament’s matches will be streamed live online at procircuit.usta.com.

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