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Ex-USC player wins twice at Lexus tennis tourney

Former Southern California All-American Maria Sanchez notched wins in singles and doubles Tuesday in the first round of the Lexus of Las Vegas Open at Red Rock Country Club.

Sanchez, who turned pro in June and got a wild card into this week’s tournament, beat Monica Puig, 6-1, 7-5. Later, Sanchez teamed with former UCLA player Yasmin Schnack to beat the No. 2 doubles team of Irena Pavlovic and Kathrin Woerle, 6-4, 6-3.

Last year, Sanchez partnered with Irina Falconi to reach the doubles final in this event.

“I like it here,” Sanchez said. “It’s a great tournament.”

Defending singles champion Varvara Lepchenko, seeded third, beat Julia Boserup, 6-4, 7-6 (2).

Today’s matches feature 2009 U.S. Open quarterfinalist Melanie Oudin against Sessil Karatantcheva at 9:30 a.m., followed by Las Vegan Asia Muhammad against No. 2 seed Anna Tatisvili. Fourth-seeded Mirjana Lucic, a former Wimbledon semifinalist, plays qualifier Krista Hardebeck at 9:30 a.m.

Muhammad was also in the doubles field, with Alexandra Mueller, but the duo lost to third-seeded Alexa Glatch and Mashona Washington 6-4, 6-1 on Tuesday.

The tournament continues through Sunday.

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