Houston Pro Tennis Classic Sunday results

HOUSTON (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 don’t 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 day’s 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 didn’t 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 she’s 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.

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Cory Ann Avants has her sites set on the HPTC title during a changeover Sunday.

Avants used her two-fisted game to dispatch Varvara Lepchenko in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4.

With the fruits of her labor in hand, Avants accepts the $1,600 winner's check Sunday at The Met.

Anne Mall (left) and Bruna Colosio address the crowd following their doubles triumph Sunday.