The top seed on the women's side of the Fifth Third Bank Tennis Championships is gone, and so is a top-100 player for the men.
No. 1 seed Katie Ruckert fell 7-6 (5), 6-4 to Sloane Stephens, a high school sophomore-to-be out of Boca Raton, Fla. The 15-year-old is the country's top-ranked recruit for the class of 2011, according to www.tennisrecruiting.net. Ruckert, 25, a former University of Texas star, had reached her highest WTA ranking of 404 coming into the tournament at Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.
Never miss a local story.
Stephens is no stranger to the UK courts, where she reached the semifinals of the Kentucky International Junior Tennis Derby in 2007. She'll face Maureen Diaz in the second round of qualifying Monday. The other seven seeded women survived.
On the men's side, Rylan Rizza knocked off the 93rd-ranked player in the world in Sunday's last round of qualifying and now faces a first-round matchup with top-seeded Dudi Sela of Israel on Monday. Rizza was 841 spots behind 6-foot-7 Chris Guccione in the rankings but beat him 7-6 (3), 6-3.
”A huge serve is all (Guccione) had — and of course he played down a level coming here,“ said the elated Californian who played at collegiate powerhouse Virginia. ”And I'm just excited to be out there ... a great opportunity for me.“
All three women with Kentucky ties lost Sunday: fourth-seeded Jennifer Elie defeated Arkansas signee Emily Carbone, the '07 state high school champ for Lexington Christian, 6-3, 6-2; seventh-seeded Christina McHale humbled North Oldham senior Lauren Kline, the '08 state high school champ, 6-1, 6-0; and Tiya Rolle took care of Megan Broderick, UK's No. 1 player, 6-2, 6-2.
Alberto Francis (2) def. Marinko Matosevic, Australia, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.
Justin O'Neal def. Luigi D'Agord, Italy, 7-6 (4), 6-2.
Somdev Devvarman (3), India, def. Jose Statham (7), New Zealand, 6-2, 6-2.
Rylan Rizza def. Chris Guccione, Australia, 7-6 (3), 6-3.
Brian Battistone and James Ludlow def. Rahim Esmail, Canada, and Eric Quigley, 6-3, 6-1.
Stephen Bass and Todd Paul def. Yaoki Iishi and Yuichi Ito, Japan, 1-6, 6-3, 10-6.
Jennifer Elie (4) def. Emily Carbone, 6-3, 6-2.
Christina McHale (7) def. Lauren Kline, 6-1, 6-1.
Robin Stephenson (6) def. Claire Bartlett, 6-2, 6-2.e_SClBTiya Rolle def. Megan Broderick, 6-2, 6-2.
Sloane Stephens def. Katie Ruckert (1), 7-6 (5), 6-4.
Lindsay Lee-Waters (2) def. Amanda McDowell, 7-5, 6-0.
McCall Jones def. Tiffany Welcher, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
Theresa Logar def. Whitney Jones, 6-2, 6-4.
Liga Dekmeijere (8), Latvia def. Tiffany Kurniawan, 6-0, 6-0
Allie Will def. Stacey Tan, 6-4, 6-3.
Neha Uberoi (3) def. Christy Striplin, 6-4, 6-4.
Kristi Miller def. Anastasia Kharchenko, Ukraine, 6-3, 6-2.
Maureen Diaz def. Amy Dillingham, 6-0, 6-0.
Kristy Frilling def. Shikha Uberoi, India, 6-4, 6-4.
Lena Litvak (5) def. Sylvia Schenck, 6-2, 6-1.
Alexandra Anghelescu def. Nancy Ferguson, Australia, 6-2, 6-3.
Women's qualifying second round begins at 10 a.m; Men's main draw first round begins at 7 p.m.