Rain delays tennis tournament

Published 1:16 pm Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thunderstorms and steady rain Tuesday postponed the start of the United States Tennis Association Women’s Pro Circuit $25,000 Challenger at the Pelham Racquet Club.

The competition in the main draw was scheduled to begin Tuesday morning, but was now begin Wednesday morning with No. 1 seed Patricia Mayr, 22, of Austria playing Alexandra Panova of Russia on the stadium court. Mayr is currently ranked 78th in the world.

Following Mayr vs. Panova will be No. 3 seed Carly Gullickson of Tennessee vs. Maria-Fernanda Alvarez-Teran of Bolivia. Also playing second on Wednesday will be daughter of Hall of Fame basketball player Julius Erving, Alexandra Stevenson of California. Stevenson was once worked No. 18 in the world before suffering a shoulder injury in 2005. She will take on Anna Gerasimou of Greece.

The featured matches of the day begin with a doubles match at 5:30 p.m. between Kimberly Couts of Florida and Sharon Fichman of Canada vs. Nicole Gibbs of California and Asia Muhammed of Nevada. The singles feature match will follow at 6:30 p.m. between Australian Sophie Ferguson and last year’s runner-up, Rosana De Los Rios of Paraguay.

Defending champion Raquel Kops-Jones will not be among the pros, as she and her doubles partner Abigail Spears qualified for the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami this week. Kops-Jones and Spears defeated Alona Bondarenko and Kateryna Bondarenko, 6-4 6-4, in the second round of play Tuesday morning.

To check on playing conditions at the Pelham Racquet Club, call 621-3380.