Cincinnati's Caty McNally, 16, earned an emphatic victory Thursday to reach the quarterfinals at the RBC Pro Challenge. Photo by Joey Hanf       

It was a busy day of tennis Thursday at the Tyler Athletic and Swim Club, as 16 total matches were completed across singles and doubles at the RBC Pro Challenge presented by Oak Creek, an $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit event.   

Four first round singles matches that were suspended due to rain on Wednesday were completed, including wins for Americans Lauren Davis and Claire Liu.
Second round singles matches followed with a handful of highly competitive encounters. By days end, three American teenagers had advanced to the singles quarterfinals. 
Nineteen-year-old Kayla Day, who reached the quarterfinals last week in Macon (Georgia), won two tight sets over No. 8 seed Christina McHale, 6-4, 7-6 (3). Also, 16-year-old Whitney Osuigwe was the same, a set down, but rallied to defeat veteran Kurumi Nara, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-2. American 18-year-old Claire Liu fell in her second match of day, with Sesil Karatantcheva of Bulgaria prevailing, 6-4, 6-3.  

But the story of the day was 16-year-old Caty McNally, who once again looked dominant in a victory over an opponent ranked hundreds of places higher in the rankings. She defeated Nadia Podoroska 6-2 6-1, and through two singles matches has only lost five total games. 

The young American from Cincinnati has been dominant on serve, only getting broken twice thus far in the tournament.    

“I’ve been working on my serve a lot, at least an hour a day for the last week,” McNally said. “I'm glad that work is paying off a little, and on second serve I’m really just trying to go after it.  

McNally also advanced to the doubles quarterfinals with partner Christina McHale. 
Danielle Lao upset No. 6 seed and fellow American Nicole Gibbs, 6-2 6-3, to reach the quarterfinals for the second straight week. Lao is small in stature, but still managed to dictate play and force her opponent back. 
“I don’t have the most power and I don’t have the biggest serve, but I try to use my variety to stay offensive,” said Lao, who is currently in a tie for second place in the USTA Australian Open Wild Card challenge. “I try to play the ball in the right spot as much as possible, and when I see a ball to attack, I have to be accurate.”  

Top seeded Belinda Bencic made her way to the quarterfinals, beating the current leader in the Wild Card Challenge and last week’s champion in Macon, Varvara Lepchenko, 6-2, 7-5.   

Play continues at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Tyler Athletic and Swim Club with quarterfinal singles matches as well quarterfinal and semifinal doubles matches. All matches are open to the public and tickets can be purchased at

Joey Hanf is the Digital Media Manager for Cliff Drysdale Management


RBC Pro Challenge
A USTA Pro Circuit Event
Thursday, November 1
Tyler Athletic and Swim Club
Tyler, Texas
Purse: $80,000
Surface: Hard-Outdoor 
Thursday, Nov. 1 -- RESULTS
Singles - First Round
Nadia Podoroska (Argentina) d.  No. 3 Fanny Stollar (Hungary), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
No. 5 Claire Liu (USA) d. Bianca Turati (Italy), 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
Lauren Davis (USA) d. Ellie Douglas (USA), 7-5, 4-6, 6-4.
Sesil Karatancheva (Bulgaria) d. Alexandra Kiick (USA), 6-1, 6-2.
Singles - Second Round
No. 1 Belinda Bencic (Switzerland) d. Varvara Lepchenko (USA), 6-2, 7-5.

Lauren Davis (USA) d. No. 2 Madison Brengle (USA), 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. 

Beatrice Haddad Maia (Brazil) d. Louisa Chirico (USA), 7-6 (3), 6-4.
Whitney Osuigwe (USA) d. Kurumu Nara (Japan), 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-2.
Danielle Lao (USA) d. No. 6 Nicole Gibbs (USA), 6-2, 6-3.
Kayla Day (USA) d. No. 7 Christina McHale, 6-4, 7-6 (3).
Caty McNally (USA) d. Nadia Podoroska (Argentina), 6-2 6-1.
Sesil Karatancheva (Bulgaria) d. No. 5 Claire Liu (USA), 6-4, 6-3.

Doubles - First Round
Ulrikke Eikeri (Norway)/Ingrid Neel (USA) d. Beatrice Gumulya (Indonesia)/Aymet Uzcategui (Venezuela), 6-1, 7-6 (4).
No. 4 Nicole Gibbs (USA)/Asia Muhammad (USA) d. Sara Castellano (Italy)/Holly Verner (USA), 7-5, 6-2.
Lauren Davis (USA)/Madison Brengle (USA) d. Christina McHale (USA)/Caty McNally (USA), 7-5, 3-6, 10-7.
Doubles - Quarterfinals 
No. 1 Desirae Krawczyk (USA)/Giuliana Olmos (Mexico) d. Ulrikke Eikeri (Norway)/Ingrid Neel (USA), 6-2, 6-4.
No. 3 Sophie Chang (USA)/Alexandra Mueller (USA) d. Sanaz Marand (USA)/Whitney Osuigwe (USA) 6-4 6-2
No. 4 Nicole Gibbs (USA)/Asia Muhammad (USA) d. Kristie Ahn (USA)/Quinn Gleason (USA), walkover.
ORDER OF PLAY - Friday, Nov. 2
Stadium - 11:30 a.m. Start
No. 1 Belinda Bencic (Switzerland) vs. Kayla Day (USA)
Danielle Lao (USA) vs. Lauren Davis (USA)
Caty McNally (USA) vs. Whitney Osuigwe (USA)
Sesil Karatantcheva (Bulgaria) vs. Beatriz Haddad Maia (Brazil)
Not Before 5:30 p.m.
No. 1 Desirae Krawczyk (USA)/Giuliana Olmos (Mexico) vs. No. 3 Sophie Chang (USA)/Alexandra Mueller (USA)
No. 2 Belinda Bencic (Switzerland)/Fanny Stollar (Hungary) vs. Lauren Davis (USA)/Madison Brengle (USA)

Court 7 

After Rest, not berfore 3 p.m.
No. 2 Belinda Bencic (Switzerland)/Fanny Stollar (Hungary) vs. Lauren Davis (USA)/Madison Brengle (USA)
After Rest, Time TBA
No. 4 Nicole Gibbs (USA)/Asia Muhammad (USA) vs. No. 2 Bencic/Stollar or McNally/McHale.


Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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