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Muhammad, Chung Headline Semifinalists on Friday in Bluegrass

Muhammad wins marathon match to book spot in final four


LEXINGTON, Ky. – The semifinals are set at the 2018 Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships, as the field has been whittled down from eight to four in both the men’s and women’s singles main draw – as well as the championship matches for the doubles. It was quarterfinal Friday at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center in front of the week’s best crowd and the fans weren’t disappointed.

The most intense match of the day came on the women’s draw where Asia Muhammad (USA) was able to fight off young rising Czech Marie Bouzkova (CZE) in three thrilling sets. After falling behind an early break in the opening set, Muhammad broke at 4-5 to level the set and would go on to win the opening frame’s final three games, breaking again at 6-5 to take the set, 7-5. After Bouzkova leveled the match with a second set win, she took a lead in the third with an early break of serve. Muhammad got the break right back at two all and then got another break to eek ahead and rode that to the finish line. The match in the heat of the Lexington sunshiny day lasted over two and a half hours and Muhammad earned her ticket into the semifinals on Saturday.

On the men’s side, there were two retirements, as Yunseong Chung (KOR) and Joris De Loore (BEL) each won their matches via an opponent being forced to stop due to injury. After long, tough battles, both Jay Clarke (GBR) and [WC] Collin Altamirano (USA) were forced to stop play midway through their matches from losing positions.

The second-highest seeded player remaining in the men’s draw is Lloyd Harris (RSA) at No. 6 in the draw. He won his semifinal very straight-forward with a comprehensive 6-4, 6-4 win over Stefano Napolitano (ITA) to close out the day session.

Other matches in the women’s draw on Friday featured Jessica Pegula (USA) ousting Katy Dunne (GBR) in three sets and then wild card Ann Li (USA) continued her remarkable run through the field with a win over Anastasia Nefedova (USA) in an all-American quarterfinal.

Women’s night session matches featured the final quarterfinal match, in which American wild card Quinn Gleason (USA) was able to rally in three sets after being forced a third by Jessika Ponchet (FRA) with a convincing 6-1 win in the third set. Quinn will face fellow American Asia Muhammad, who also won today in three sets.

It will be an all-American semifinals and finals in Lexington – with all four semifinalists representing the Red, White and Blue.

The doubles finals will be held congruently on Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET at the Boone Tennis Center on courts one and two to make up the night session. Semifinal Saturday in singles begins at 2 p.m. on the two stadium show courts.

For more information contact:
Chris Shoals (cmsh223@uky.edu, 513-312-2489)

Lexington Challenger Tennis Charity, Inc.  ((LCTCI a 501(c)3) dba)) Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships was organized in 2012 by a core group of conscience minded citizens with the purpose to raise charitable funds to benefit the local and state community. The idea initiated with the opportunity to generate money through a key event that came available- the Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships, a USTA Pro Circuit Tennis Tournament for Men and Women.  This event along with many other fundraising throughout the year will provide the resources to disperse funds to other charities in the community that operate with like minded missions. The tournament has been held in Lexington, KY at the UK Hilary J. Boone Center for 24 years. For more information on LCTCI or Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships, contact Brooks Lundy at lblundy1@gmail.com or www.lexingtonchallenger.com

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