News from Day 2 at the National Bank Challenger, July 9-17 at Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club.
Di Lorenzo Qualifies For Main Draw
Competing in Canada for the first time, Ohio State ace Francesca Di Lorenzo beat Toronto’s Devin Chypyha 6-0, 6-0 on Sunday to advance to the women’s singles main draw at the National Bank Challenger.
Di Lorenzo, 18, had just started her freshman year at Ohio State University when she left for Flushing Meadows, New York to play in junior draws at the 2015 US Open.
“My teachers weren’t too happy,” she said with a laugh. “But I worked it out in the end. It was definitely an adjustment (starting university). You learn time management.”
Di Lorenzo didn’t have much free time to catch up on her studies in New York: she was too busy on the court, making the semifinals in both junior girls’ singles and junior girls’ doubles with partner Luisa Stefani of Brazil.
“I learned a lot that week,” Di Lorenzo said. “It was probably one of the best weeks of my life playing wise. The atmosphere was amazing – playing in the US, having that home court advantage was pretty cool. It was an unbelievable week.”
Two months later, Di Lorenzo returned to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows and won the 2015 USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships title. She beat Clemson’s Joana Eidukonyte 6-3, 6-1 to capture the first national title in Ohio State women’s tennis history.
Di Lorenzo is from New Albany, Ohio. At age 10 she started working with coach Ann Grossman, a former WTA player who reached a career-high ranking of No. 29 in the world.
When Di Lorenzo developed a stress fracture in her foot a couple of years ago (putting her in a cast for four weeks and then a boot for two weeks), she would sit in a chair every day while Grossman fed balls to her.
“I hate taking days off,” said Di Lorenzo, explaining why she continued to practice despite the injury. “At least I could keep my timing. I wasn’t going to be able to move much but I would sometimes just stand and not put weight on my cast. I didn’t want to get behind so I had to do something on the court.”
A victory Di Lorenzo will always cherish was teaming up with older sister Cristina to win the Division I state doubles title for New Albany High School in 2012.
“We decided to play because we didn’t want to play each other in singles,” Di Lorenzo said.
Next up for Di Lorenzo at the National Bank Challenger is a meeting with Montreal’s Catherine Leduc in the first round of the women’s singles main draw. Di Lorenzo is paired with Ronit Yurovsky of Pittsburgh in the women’s doubles.
Kylar Takes On Smyczek
Kevin Kylar, Manitoba’s top ranked player, received a wildcard into the men’s singles main draw at the National Bank Challenger. He’ll play Tim Smyczek of the United States Monday at 10 am on Stadium Court.
Smyczek, ranked No. 125 in the world, reached a career-high ATP ranking of No. 68 in April of 2015. He went the distance with Rafael Nadal in the second round of the Australian Open before losing 6-2, 3-6, 6-7(2), 6-3, 7-5.
The feature match on Stadium Court Monday night (not before 6 pm) will see No. 1 seed Bjorn Fratangelo of the United States play Great Britain’s Lloyd Glasspool. In 2011, Fratangelo captured the French Open junior boys’ singles title.
On the women’s side, top seed Julia Glushko of Israel will take to Stadium Court Monday afternoon (not before 3 pm) against American Jessica Failla. Ranked No. 135 in the world, Glushko has won eight career International Tennis Federation (ITF) singles titles and 10 ITF doubles titles.
See the tournament draws and Order Of Play for Monday:http://winnipeg.nationalbankchallenger.com/draws-schedule/
Kylar Teams Up With Peck
Kevin Kylar will play with Joshua Peck of Calgary in men’s doubles at the National Bank Challenger. They’ll meet the Australian duo of Jarryd Chaplin/Benjamin Mitchell on Monday.
Peck, 17, won the doubles title at the 2014 U16 Rogers Outdoor Junior Nationals with Victor Krustev of Ontario. This fall, Peck will enter his freshman year at the University of North Carolina. He’ll join fellow Canadian Brayden Schnur (who is competing in main draw singles and doubles in Winnipeg this week) on the Tar Heels men’s tennis team.
Peck, who lost in the final round of qualifying at the National Bank Challenger to Australia’s Dayne Kelly 7-6(3), 6-3, likes the set up at Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club.
“It’s really well done,” said Peck. “The Stadium Court, which I played on the past two days, is really nice. It was nice having ball kids and a good crowd cheering for me.”
After his win Sunday, Kelly said it was difficult to contend with Peck’s big serve.
“He served well,” said Kelly. “I watched a little bit of his match yesterday and he’s serving how he likes to play his tennis so it was tough.”