Houston Pro Tennis Classic
(May 30, 2004)Cory Ann Avants, Gastonia,
N.C., streaked to a 5-0 lead in the finals of
the $10,000 Houston Pro Tennis Classic, sponsored
by Encore Bank, at the Downtown Club at the Met
before Varvara Lepchenko, Miami, could put even
a temporary stop to the runaway match.
The 19-year-old Avants, the No. 3 seed, took the
first set 6-1 and ultimately the match but ran
into more resistance in the 6-4 second set.
The left-handed Lepchenko altered her game in
the second set, reducing the speed of her shots
to Avants, who thrives on a fast pace.
"I have a lot of will and dont like
to give away points," Lepchenko explained.
Lepchenko, 18, broke Avants in the second game
and jumped to a 3-0 lead, but Avants returned
the favor in the fifth game and evened the score
at three all. Both held serve until the ninth
game when Avants broke her opponent and held in
the tenth and final game.
Eventually, the previous days three-hour-plus
semifinal against Natallia Dziamidzenka, Belarus,
took its toll. Lepchenko reluctantly admitted
that being tired was a factor in her loss.
"I gave it my best, but it didnt work
out," she said.
Avants, who lost only one game in the semifinals,
acknowledged that her opponent was tired.
"She had a tough one yesterday, but shes
definitely a tough competitor even when tired."
Bruna Colosio, Brazil, who played on the Louisiana
State University team, and Anne Mall, San Diego,
playing competitive tennis after a five-year hiatus,
upset the No. 2 seeded team of Angela Haynes,
Compton, Calif., and Ahsha Rolle, Miami Shores,
Fla., 7-6(5), 6-4.