Murphy sits, waits for chance
By Jerry Magee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
July 30, 2006
CARLSBAD – Emma Murphy is the former USD tennis player from Ireland who says her game is based on “running around like a madwoman.”
She might arrive in the second round of qualifying for the Acura Classic without taking a step.
For this reason: She was matched in the opening round of qualifying yesterday at the La Costa Resort and Spa against Bethanie Mattek of New York. Mattek, however, was playing doubles at the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford and was unable to keep the date.
A player in Mattek's position is permitted to gain a one-day postponement. She cannot gain a two-day postponement. Unless Mattek shows up at La Costa today by noon, she will be defaulted and Murphy will move ahead to challenge veteran Amy Frazier, the No. 1 qualifying seed, with the winner to gain a place in the main draw of the $1.34 million tournament.
San Diego players, meantime, found the going difficult yesterday as the qualifying procedure began. Three players with San Diego identities competed. Three lost.
Allison Bradshaw, who had not attempted to serve since suffering an abdominal injury last Sunday in an Acura “opportunity” match at the San Diego Tennis & Racquet Club, had Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia dismiss her 6-3, 6-4.
Biffy Kaufman drew one of the qualifying procedure's most impressive players, Lioudmila Skavronskaia of Russia, and fell 6-2, 6-2.
Alexandra Stevenson on Friday had accepted an 11th-hour invitation to the qualifying test when entries did not fill the 32-player draw. For a time, Stevenson played strongly against American Jessica Kirkland, gaining a 4-2 advantage in the opening set, but turning her right ankle handicapped the San Diego player and Kirkland won 6-4, 6-3.
Of the graduates of the “opportunity” series the Acura had arranged as a means of affording area players a vehicle in which to gain the qualifying draw, the one who made the strongest stand was Hilary Barte, a Southern California high school champion. Barte, from Los Angeles, was down 0-5 in the final set. She mounted a rally that Vasilisa Bardina of Russia barely survived 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. Stanford player Celia Durkin of West Los Angeles, like Barte an “opportunity” winner, had her moments before Olga Savchuk of Ukraine was able to complete a 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 victory.