Oprandi earns semifinal date with familiar foe at Lexus tennis tourney

Top-seeded Romina Oprandi of Italy knows she’ll be in for quite a challenge today when she faces unseeded Kurmuri Nara of Japan in a semifinal match of the Lexus of Las Vegas at Red Rock Country Club.

It was about a month ago that the two met in a second-round qualifying match for the U.S. Open in New York, with Oprandi winning, 7-6, 3-6, 6-0. Oprandi used that victory, which came after 3½ grueling hours of play, as a springboard to qualifying for the Open and winning a first-round match in the main draw.

Now Oprandi is the top player in this week’s $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event — having advanced into today’s semifinals with a 7-6 (6), 6-1 victory over University of Florida junior Allie Will on Friday — and will face Nara again.

Nara breezed into the semifinals with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over No. 8 seed Jamie Hampton of Auburn, Ala.

In today’s other semifinal match, Alexa Glatch of Newport Beach, Calif., will face unseeded Regina Kulikova of Russia. Glatch advanced with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over wild-card Maria Sanchez, and Kulikova moved on with a 6-3, 7-5 win over second-seeded Anna Tatishvili of Georgia.

In doubles play, Glatch and Mashona Washington won their semifinal match, beating Sanchez and Yasmin Schnack, 3-6, 7-5, 10-8.

Varvara Lepchenko and Melanie Oudin were leading Macall Harkins and Ahsha Rolle 6-4, 3-0 in their semifinal match when play was stopped because of rain.

The completion of that match will start today’s play at 11 a.m.

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