Sorry If Its Been Posted, But I Noticed A Few Days Ago Someone Talking About Her:
University of Florida graduate Jessica Lehnhoff won her first Uncle Toby International at Nuriootpa yesterday when she defeated Aiko Nakamura from Osaka, Japan in two tiebreak sets 7-6 7-6. Lehnhoff produced her own happy ending to her first singles final in Australia when she won both tiebreaks with the loss of only two points in each.
In the first set Nakamura started confidently in the windy conditions racing to a 4-1 lead as her American opponent made more than her share of unforced errors. Lehnhoff appeared to be suffering from an early attack of final nerves as her footwork was letting her down with the ball moving unpredictably in the gusty conditions. Although the first five games were dominated by the Japanese player an amazing turn around occurred when Lehnhoff reeled off four consecutive games to lead 5-4 before Nakamura held serve.
Lehnhoff then took command in the first set tiebreak as she also took control of her game moving Nakamura from side to side exploiting the lack of reach from her opponent, who hits both forehand and backhand ground shots with two hands.
In the second set Lehnhoff gained in confidence as Nakamura continued to wilt under the pressure of her American opponent who threatened to run away with the match when she led 5-3. However the Japanese player was not finished as she broke back when the American served for the match. Both players held serve to take the second set into the tiebreak and Lehnhoff now playing very consistently was waiting for the short ball to attack. This plan produced five consecutive points for her to lead five points to one. It was only a matter of time before the sun set on the Japanese challenge that saw Lehnhoff win her first Challenger tournament.
Lehnhoff, who delayed her move to turn pro so that she could finish her degree, will now improve her world ranking of 353 after today’s win. This capped a strong performance as the American also reached the semi-final of the doubles with Australian player Christina Wheeler.