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Ellen Perez Qualifies for San Diego Open

Ellen Perez of Australia serves. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP) (Photo by PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images)

By Richard Osborn

SAN DIEGO (October 9, 2022) —
 The San Diego Open WTA 500 main draw took shape on Sunday at Barnes Tennis Center, with six players advancing through the qualifying rounds.

Ellen Perez has already made a name for herself on the doubles court. Teaming with Nicole Melichar-Martinez this summer, the Australian reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon and the semifinals at the US Open, while claiming titles in s-Hertogenbosch and Cleveland. But Perez is sure looking comfortable on the singles court, too, in Southern California.

A last-minute addition to the qualifying rounds, the lefthander, ranked No. 348, finds herself through to the main draw. She opened with a dominant 6-1, 6-1 win over Varvara Flink on Saturday, then advanced when Anna Kalinskaya retired due to an injury trailing 1-4 in the opening set.

“You never want to win in that kind of fashion, but I’m really happy with where my tennis is,” said Perez. “I just hope that she’s okay and can bounce back from her injury.”

“I feel really positive,” added the 26-year-old. “I’ve got nothing to lose. I’ve seen the draw, and it’s one of the strongest 500s I’ve ever seen. Obviously, I’ll be the underdog, but I’m happy to be out there playing more singles and doing my thing.”

Photo credit: San Diego Open

American Caroline Dolehide impressed with a 6-4, 6-2 upset of 36th-ranked Jil Teichmann of Switzerland, saving seven of the eight break points she faced.

“It was a really aggressive match from both of us,” said Dolehide, ranked No. 177. “I think stepping inside the court and playing aggressive helped me out a lot today. I love playing in California, especially San Diego, because I played the juniors here. I have a lot of great memories with my family here. I love coming back.”

Joining their fellow American Dolehide in the main draw will be Louisa Chirico and Robin Montgomery. Chirico needed just 54 minutes to defeat Ashlyn Krueger, 6-3, 6-1, while the 18-year-old Montgomery, who hails from the same College Park, Md., tennis center that produced the likes of ATP Tour counterparts Frances Tiafoe and Denis Kudla, roared back from a set down to defeat countrywoman Bernarda Pera, 1-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Colombia’s Camila Osorio rallied from a set down to upset China’s Qinwen Zheng in a three-hour battle of 20-year-olds, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3). Zheng came into the match on the heels of her first WTA final in Tokyo, ranked a career-high No. 28. However, it was the former US Open girls’ singles titlist (2019) Osorio who would prevail.

Croatia’s Donna Vekic rounded out the results with a 7-6 (3), 6-4 defeat of American Lauren Davis.

San Diego Open WTA 500
Barnes Tennis Center
Results — Sunday, Oct 9

Q2 – [ALT] E. Perez (AUS) d. [10] A. Kalinskaya 41 RET
Q2 – [WC] R. Montgomery (USA) d. [7] B. Pera (USA) 16 61 64
Q2 – [11] C. Osorio (COL) d. [3] Q. Zheng (CHN) 46 64 76(3)
Q2 – [WC] L. Chirico (USA) d. [WC] A. Krueger (USA) 63 61
Q2 – [12] D. Vekic (CRO) d. L. Davis (USA) 76(3) 64
Q2 – C. Dolehide (USA) d. [6] J. Teichmann (SUI) 64 62

Schedule — Monday, Oct 10

STADIUM COURT starts at 11:30 AM
M. Keys (USA) vs [Q] E. Perez (AUS)
[Q] L. Chirico (USA) vs A. Riske-Amritraj (USA)
NB 5:30 PM [7] C. Garcia (FRA) vs D. Collins (USA)
B. Andreescu (CAN) vs L. Samsonova

HOLOGIC COURT 2 starts at 11:30 AM
H. Chan (TPE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs L. Kichenok (UKR) / K. Zimmermann (BEL)
M. Trevisan (ITA) vs [Q] C. Osorio (COL)
[WC] C. Vandeweghe (USA) vs [SR] S. Kenin (USA)
NB 4:30 PM [1] C. Gauff (USA) / J. Pegula (USA) vs Y. Xu (CHN) / Z. Yang (CHN)