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Former Wildcat Standout Witten Defeats Italy’s Crepaldi

News Release – July 22, 2014

Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships



Former Wildcat Standout Witten Defeats Italy’s Crepaldi


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Former Wildcat and five-time All American Jesse Witten hasn’t been on his college courts in eight or nine years. But he was glad to find Tuesday the magic was still there with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 victory over Italy’s Erik Crepaldi.


Crepaldi moved through the qualifiers into the first round of the main draw of the Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships only to find his opponent to be a player who once lost to Novak Djokovic in the third round of the 2009 US Open in four sets.


Witten is a tennis legend around UK. In addition to his showing at the US Open, he is one of 15 players in the history of college players with four All-American singles titles, and he is one of six players to ever reach the NCAA singles finals as a freshman. Before entering his senior season at UK in 2004, he reached the finals at this tournament.


Crepaldi fought hard to try and neutralize Witten’s power by moving him back and forth, a tactic that proved to be successful in the second set. The third set, though, Witten used his powerful serve, his uncanny ability to read the court and his ability to anticipate to shutout the 24-year-old.


Witten, who was on the tour for several years, now said he plays more for the joy.


“I don’t think about game plans any more,” he said. “For me it’s about getting out there and having fun.”


In the second set, Witten said his energy began to flag but the crowd’s support got him back on his feet again and strengthened his determination to win.


“I love tennis, and I love competing, but it’s tough being on the road 40 weeks a year,” said the 31-year-old, who has moved back to Florida. “These guys who are playing every day have a big advantage.”

Jesse Witten 3

(Jesse Witten)


Wild Card Ditty Takes Loss to No. 2 Seed Brengle


Wild card entry and local favorite Julie Ditty knew that getting back into professional tennis was going to be a challenge. The 35-year-old found out just how much of a challenge on Tuesday night when No. 2 seed Madison Brengle beat her 6-0, 6-1 in under an hour at the Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships.


While Ditty, who grew up in Ashland, Ky., had some nice points in the first set, particularly when using her slice backhand to set up winners, Brengle’s speed and power proved too much to overcome, leaving her scoreless in the first set.


Brengle, a 24-year-old who trains in Bradenton, Fla., said that she has played Ditty six times before her retirement in 2011 (going 3-3), and they were all tough matches. Giving Ditty credit for being able to open up the court, Brengle said she just tried to change up the pace and direction to keep Ditty behind the baseline.


While Ditty did manage to hold serve in game three of the second set, it was more of the same from Brengle as she continued to angle her groundstrokes deep to the baseline out of Ditty’s reach. Brengle went on to take the second set, and the match, 6-0, 6-1.


Ditty was disappointed with the loss, feeling like she made too many errors and was forced too far behind the baseline. She said she is still undecided about truly coming out of retirement but is saving that decision for at least one more tournament.

 Madison Brengle 1(Madison Brengle)


Ireland’s McGee Upsets No. 1 Singles Seed Donskoy


James McGee pulled out a win in three sets over No. 1 seed Evgeny Donskoy, 6-7(3), 6-3, 7-5. Donskoy, 24, of Moscow, currently ranked 111, has finished in the top 100 for the past two years. McGee, Ireland’s top player, is ranked 193.


“It was a dogfight, but I stuck in there … It could’ve gone either way,” McGee said after the two-hour-and-forty-minute match.


 No. 4 Seed Upset in Women’s Doubles


By Janey Pendergrass


LEXINGTON, Ky. – American Alexandra Mueller and Chieh-Yu Hsu of Taiwan upset the No. 4 seed Americans Melanie Oudin and Asia Muhammad in a close women’s doubles match, winning 6-7(5), 6-3, 1-0  on Tuesday night at the Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships.


The opening set was very even, with only one service break each until the set reached a tiebreaker. The tiebreak was more of the same; down 1-5, Hsu and Mueller fought back to tie it at 5-5. Then Asia Muhammad picked up the next two points to give her and Oudin the first set 7-6(5).


In the second set, with Mueller and Hsu both playing the baseline much of the time, the close play continued until Mueller and Hsu got a service break and followed it up with a strong serve and volley hold. Up 5-3, Mueller and Hsu broke again to take the second set 6-3.


In the super tiebreak, Hsu stepped up. She played very aggressive at the net to hit several volley winners, the last one a beautiful drop volley to win the tie break 10-6 and give Hsu and Mueller the match victory.

 Melanie Oudin & Asia Muhammad 2

(Melanie Oudin, front right & Asia Muhammad, back left)


Wednesday Night Feature Matches


Former US Open mixed doubles champion and singles quarterfinalist Melanie Oudin, 22, will play Louisa Chirico, one of the top juniors in the world before turning pro last year and currently at a career-high ranking of 218.

Both women are in the running for a wild card into the US Open that will be awarded to the player with the most ranking points in two out of three designated tournaments, with Lexington being the last stop. Oudin, with 48 points, is currently running second to Nicole Gibbs’s 88 points and is followed closely by Chirico with 44. (Julie Boserup has 63 points but is not playing here.)

At just 17, Oudin captured the singles title here in Lexington in 2008 and ranked as high as 31 in the world in 2010. Chirico was one of the top juniors in the world before turning pro last year. The match begins at 7 p.m.

Their match will be followed by former UK doubles partners Edmee Morin Kougoucheff of France and American CeCe Witten, who garnered five wins together, taking on Shuko Aoyama of Japan, who is currently ranked 58 in doubles, and two-time doubles All-American Keri Wong of Jackson, Miss.

Also, beginning at 7 p.m., last year’s tournament winner, James Ward, has returned to Lexington to defend his title and will play Witten. The 27-year-old from London is currently ranked 150. In May, Ward became the first Englishman since 1973 to make the main draw of the French Open (Andy Murray is from Scotland), losing in round one to No. 19 ranked Tommy Robredo in four sets.

Following the singles match, one half of last year’s doubles championship team, Canadian Peter Polansky, and his fellow countryman Adil Shamasdin will play James Duckworth of Sydney, Australia, and Matt Reid, also from Sydney.



Kentucky Bank Tennis Championship

A USTA Pro Circuit Event

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center

Lexington, KY

Purse: $50,0 00

Surface: Hard


Tuesday July 22 – RESULTS

Women’s Singles – Qualifying Finals

Alexandra Mueller, USA, def. Emily Webley-Smith, GBR, 6-2, 6-2,

Maria Sanchez, USA, def. (7) Marina Shamayko, RUS, 6-0, 6-2,

WC-Jennifer Brady, USA, def. Carol Zhao, CAN, 6-3, 6-4,

WC-Kristie Ahn, USA, def. Asia Muhammad, USA, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3.


Women’s Singles – Main Draw First Round

Laura Pigossi, BRA, def. Stephanie Foretz, FRA, 6-4, 6-2,

Irina Falconi, ITA, def. Heidi El Tabakh, CAN, 6-3, 6-2,

WC-Julia Elbaba, USA, def. Julie Coin, FRA, 7-6, 1-6, 6-3,

Nao Hibino, JPN, def. (4) Eri Hozumi, JPN, 6-4, 6-1,

(2) Madison Brengle, USA, def. WC-Julie Ditty, USA, 6-0, 6-1.


Women’s Doubles – First Round

Montserrat Gonzalez, PAR, and Laura Pigossi, BRA, def. Anamika Bhargava and Denise Muresan, USA,   6-2, 4-6, 10-4.

WC-Kristie Ahn and Kaitlyn Christian, USA, def. Nao Hibino and Eri Hozumi, JPN, 6-4, 1-6, 10-6,

Chieh-Yu Hsu (TPE) and Alexandra Mueller, USA, def. Asia Muhammad and Melanie Oudin, USA, 6-7, 6-3, 10-6.


Men’s Singles – First Round

Austin Krajicek, USA, def. Q-Marcos Giron, USA, 6-4, 6-2,

Emilio Gomez, ECU, def. SE-Benjamin Mitchell, AUS, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3,

Vincent Millot, FRA, def. (4) Daniel Evans, GBR, 6-4, 6-3,

James McGee, IRL, def. (1) Evgeny Donskoy, RUS, 6(3)-7, 6-3, 7-5,

LL-Jordan  Thompson, AUS, def. LL-Evan King, USA, 6-3, 6-4,

(7) Marcus Copil, ROU, def. Andrea Collarini, ARG, 7-6(1), 6-3,

(8) Hiroki Moriya, JPN, def. Q-Raymond Sarmiento, USA, 6-4, 7-5,

Wayne Odesnik, USA, def. Q-Yoshihito Nishioka, JPN, 6-1, 6-4,

WC-Thanasi Kokkinakis, AUS, def. Daniel Smethurst, GBR, 6-2, 6-1,

Ruben Bemelmans, BEL, def. Jarmere Jenkins, USA, 6(5)-7, 6-3, 7-6(1),

WC-Jesse Witten, USA, def. Q-Erik Crepaldi, ITA, 6-4, 3-6, 6-0,

(3) Yuichi Sugita, JPN, def. Daniel Cox, GBR, 6-3, 6-2.


Men’s Doubles – First Round

James McGee, IRL, and Chase Buchanan, USA, def. Benjamin Mitchell and Jordan Thompson, AUS, ret,

Austin Krajicek and Rhyne Williams, USA, def. (1) Marcelo Demoliner, BRA, and Raja Purav, IND, 6-1, 3-6, 11-9.

WC-Eric Quigley and Kevin Metka, USA, def. Sekou Bangoura and Evan King, USA, 6-3, 7-5.


Wednesday July 23 – SCHEDULE

Women’s Singles – Main Draw Second Round

Stadium 1 – starting at 10:00 a.m.

(1) J Gajdosova, AUS, vs. Mayo Hibi, JPN, followed by,

Chieh-Yu Hsu, TPE, vs.WC- Jamie Loeb, USA.


Stadium 2 – Starting at 10:00 a.m.

Hiroko Kuwata, JPN, vs. Miharu Imanishi, JPN, followed by,

Q-Kristie Ahn vs. (7) Nicole Gibbs, USA, followed by,

Following previous match

WC-Louisa Chirico, USA, vs. (3) Melanie Oudin, USA.


Court 3 – Starting at 10:00 a.m.

Arina Rodionova, AUS, vs. SR-Daria Gavrilova, RUS, followed by,

Montserrat Gonzalez, PAR, vs. Sachia Vickery, USA.


Court 6 – Starting at 10:00 a.m.

Emily Webley-Smith, GBR, vs. Q-Maria Sanchez, USA, followed by,

(8) Romina Oprandi, SUI, vs. Q-Alexandra Mueller, USA.


Court 7 – Starting at 10:00 a.m.

(6) A. Mestach, BEL, vs. Samantha Murray, GBR, followed by,

Risa Ozaki, JPN, vs. Q-Jennifer Brady, USA.


Women’s Doubles – First Round

Stadium 2 – Following previous match

(3) Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith, GBR, vs. Danielle Lao, USA, and Carol Zhao, CAN, followed by,

(1) Mayo Hibi, JPN, and Madison Brengle, USA, vs. Jacqueline Cako and Natalie Pluskota, USA, followed by,

Following previous match

WC-Edmée Morin-Kougoucheff, FRA, and Cordelia Currey-Witten, USA, vs. (2) Shuko Aoyama, JPN, and Keri Wong, USA.


Court 3 – Following previous match

Hiroko Kuwata and Riko Sawayanagi, JPN, vs. Stephanie Foretz, FRA, and Emily Webley-Smith, GBR, followed by,

Justyna Jegiolka, POL, and Marina Shamayko, RUS, vs. Samantha Murray, GBR, and Marcela Zacarias, MEX.


Men’s Singles – Second Round

Stadium 1 – Following previous match, but not before 1:00 p.m.

Chase Buchanan, USA, vs. Matt Reid, AUS, followed by,

(6) James Duckworth, AUS, vs. LL-Jordan Thompson, AUS, followed by,

Not before 7:30 p.m.

WC-Jesse Witten, USA, vs. (5) James Ward, GBR.


Court 6 – following previous match

Vincent Millot, FRA, vs. Emilio Gomez, ECU.


Men’s Doubles – First Round

Stadium 1 – Following previous match

James Duckworth and Matt Reid, AUS, vs. Peter Polansky and Adil Shamasdin, CAN.


Court 6 – Following previous match, but not before 1:00 p.m.

WC-Mark Ein and Jesse Witten, USA, vs. Daniel Evans and Daniel Smethurst, GBR.


Court 7 – Following previous match, but not before 1:00 p.m.

Jordan Kerr, AUS, and Fabrice Martin, FRA (4) vs.WC- Marcos Giron and Dennis Novikov, USA, followed by,

Ruben Bemelmans, BEL, and Evgeny, RUS, vs. Marcus Daniell and Artem Sitak (3), NZL.


Men’s Doubles – Second Round

Court 6 – Following previous match

Austin Krajicek and Rhyne Williams, USA, vs. Jarmere Jenkins, USA, and Sanam Singh, IND.


For more information, contact:

RENA BAER, Tournament Press Aide

Cell: (859)351-3230

Email: rena.baer@twc.com

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