Khmelnitckaia on to ITA Fort Worth $25K main draw
FORT WORTH, Texas – After receiving a late wild card to compete in the 2018 Fort Worth Women’s Pro Tennis Classic on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Women’s Circuit, Kansas senior-to-be Nina Khmelnitckaia is making the most of the opportunity. The Jayhawk advanced through the first three rounds of the qualifying draw and will now play in the singles’ round of 32.
In Round 1 of the qualifying draw, Khmelnitckaia, a native of Moscow, Russia, advanced when Niluka Madurawe of the United States of America (USA) was forced to retire with the match tied, 3-3. The second round was a clean sweep for KU’s 5-foot-10 inch netter, as she downed Liga Dekmeijere of Latvia, 6-1, 6-2. The third and final round of the qualifying draw paired Khmelnitckaia against No. 5-ranked Jessica Failla of the USA. After a hard-fought match, Kansas’ Khmelnitckaia came out on top, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, to advance to the tournament’s main draw of 32 players.
The main draw will begin Wednesday, at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center in Fort Worth at 9 a.m. Khmelnitckaia’s match will be the third of the day on court V3, and is not slated to start before noon, according to the schedule. She will be playing American Whitney Osuigwe, the No. 8 seed, for the opportunity to advance to the round of 16.
“It’s very exciting for me to make it to the main draw through the qualifying. I’m very happy and ready to compete again (Wednesday),” Khmelnitckaia said.
KU’s lone representative in Fort Worth, Khmelnitckaia, will be up against tough competition, as Osuigwe is the reigning ITF Junior World Champion and is currently ranked the No. 1 junior in the world. In 2017, Osuigwe won the French Open, becoming the first American to win the girls’ singles event in 28 years.
To follow Wednesday’s action, live stats will be available at http://live.itftennis.com. Use the filter at the top of the page to choose the appropriate date of play and then scroll down to Court V3 for Khmelnitckaia’s match.
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