Sometimes, the rankings of a player in tennis just don’t matter.
Francesca DiLorenzo, who still plays college tennis at Ohio State, carries a ranking of 367, while her opponent on Wednesday, Sachia Vickery, currently sits at number 142.
But in the round of 32 at the W.L. Amos Sr. Tennis Classic at Mercer, DiLorenzo was a little better, as she rolled to a three-set win over Vickery.
DiLorenzo started off strong with a 6-1 first set, but Vickery, who was coming off the removal of wisdom teeth just last week, battled back to win the second set 6-4. DiLorenzo got it going again in the third set and led 5-0 before Vickery retired from the match.
“Being here is a lot less stressful than being in a college match where you are playing for your team,” said the 19-year-old DiLorenzo, who will meet up with Chanel Simmonds in the next round. “I was playing a higher-ranked player, so I was able to play freely, and that made a big difference. I don’t really feel much pressure, and it is just a good experience getting a chance to play at this level.”
Last year’s champion, Rebecca Peterson, struggled in the first set but rallied back to take the set 7-5, and then held on to take the second set 6-4 against qualifier Ingrid Neel.
“She (Neel) played very well, but I think I lost myself mentally a little bit,” said Peterson, who will meet American qualifier Emina Bektas on Thursday. “I could have done better with my attitude, but I’m really happy that I still won the match.”
Peterson admitted to feeling comfortable playing in Macon.
“I played really good last year, but that tournament means nothing (Wednesday),” she said. “It’s a new day and a new week. I had a problem for the last week with an injury in my arm so I cannot really have the rhythm but I’ve been working on it, and it’s getting better so hopefully it keeps getting better and better.
“I really enjoy playing in the States, so I’m really happy to be back.”
Wednesday’s winners included Americans Jennifer Brady, Danielle Collins, and Ronit Yurovsky, while other winners included Alize Lim, Basak Eraydin, Sesil Karatantcheva and Barbara Haas.
Those players will join the Tuesday winners: Americans Samantha Crawford, Kayla Day, Grace Min, Danielle Lao, Jamie Loeb and Simmonds, a South African.
Some of the better tennis on Thursday includes a 10 a.m. match with Lao taking on top seed Crawford, and Collins going up against second-seeded Brady in a match that will not start before 1 p.m.
The doubles tournament is also underway, with No. 1 seeds Taylor Townsend and Michaella Krajicek taking on Sophie Chang and Alexandra Mueller on Thursday.