Muhammad’s quest for title at Lexus Open comes to end

Asia Muhammad wasn’t able to repeat history Thursday at Red Rock Country Club, and the 19-year-old Las Vegan is out of the Lexus of Las Vegas Open tennis tournament.

Muhammad lost to fellow American Lauren Albanese 6-4, 7-5 in the second round on the same court where a year ago Muhammad defeated Albanese to advance to the quarterfinals.

Albanese will face third-seeded Sorana Cirstea, who beat Julie Ditty, 6-2, 6-3.

Down a set, Muhammad regrouped and led 5-1 in the second set and appeared to be headed for a third and deciding set.

But Muhammad was unable to put Albanese away, as she squandered two set points serving at 5-4.

Muhammad, ranked No. 443 in the world, received a wild-card entry into the main draw. Despite her second-round exit, she was grateful for the chance to play in her hometown.

“I love this tournament,” she said. “To be home and have all the support I got this week meant a lot to me.”

Albanese, who turns 21 today, gave herself an early present by winning the final six games to advance to the quarterfinals.

”Lauren played the best I’ve ever seen her play,” Muhammad said. ”But I’m encouraged by the way I played. It was the best I’ve played all year.”

The top four seeds advanced, including No. 1 Edina Gallovits, who will face No. 8 Valerie Tetrault after defeating Alexandra Mueller, 6-3, 6-4.

No. 2 Varvara Lepchenko will meet sixth-seeded Anna Tatishvili after Lepchenko ousted Lindsay Lee-Waters 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 and Tatishvili defeated Alexa Glatch, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.

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