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Will Zhao's Run Continue?
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 07/27/2014

STANFORD, Calif.- After working her way through the qualifying draw, sophomore Carol Zhao will make her main draw debut at the Bank of the West Classic on Tuesday at Taube Family Tennis Stadium.

Up next for the 19-year-old All-American from Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, is a first-round contest against Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer, ranked No. 65 in the world and winner of three WTA singles titles. Zhao and Wickmayer will face off at 11 a.m. to begin the day session.

After her singles match, Zhao will pair up with former teammate Kristie Ahn in the doubles draw, with the match not to be played before 2 p.m. against Caroline Garcia and Shuai Zhang.

A wildcard entrant in the qualifying field, Zhao defeated Russia’s Marina Shamayko 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 on Sunday to emerge as one of four qualifiers into the 32-player main draw field.

Zhao, who competed in only two three-set matches – both wins – during her entire first season on The Farm, had to go the distance in both qualifying matches this weekend.

On Sunday, Zhao cruised 6-1 in the first set before Shamayko took the second frame by an identical score. Tied at 3-3 in the deciding third set, Zhao won back-to-back games for a 5-3 advantage and was able to hold on for the 6-4 victory.

On Saturday, Zhao rallied for a 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (3) triumph over Czech Republic’s Katerina Siniakova, the qualifying draw’s No. 2 seed. In the final set, Zhao trailed 3-1 before winning four straight games and later overcame a 6-5 deficit.

Zhao, who earned All-America honors after advancing to the round of 16 at the NCAA Singles Championship, enjoyed an impressive rookie campaign and was named the ITA Northwest Region Player to Watch. An All-Pac-12 Second Team pick, Zhao was awarded a final No. 22 national singles ranking after finishing 30-7 overall and 19-2 in duals, playing mainly at the No. 3 spot. She was dominant all year, with 27 of her 30 wins coming in straight sets while winning 17 consecutive matches from Jan. 19-April 12.

Stanford players enjoying recent success in the Bank of the West Classic include Nicole Gibbs, who reached the second round in each of the last two years and faced Serena Williams in 2012) and Mallory Burdette, who advanced to the second round in 2012.

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ABOUT THE BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC: The Bank of the West Classic is the longest-running women-only professional tennis tournament in the world and is the first stop of the Emirates Airline US Open Series. Owned and operated by IMG, the WTA Premier event features a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw with total prize money of $710,000. Held on Stanford University’s campus at Taube Family Tennis Stadium since 1997, former champions include: Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters.

ABOUT THE BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC: Founded in 1874, $68 billion-asset Bank of the West (, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender, offers a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 600 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries with 190,000 employees.

ABOUT THE EMIRATES AIRLINE US OPEN SERIES: Now in its 11th season, the Emirates Airline US Open Series continues to serve as a true regular season of hard court tennis, linking eight summer tournaments to the US Open. Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams won the 2013 US Open and Emirates Airline US Open Series men’s and women’s titles, each earning a record tennis paycheck of $3.6 million. Roger Federer (2007) and Kim Clijsters (2005) also accomplished the feat of winning the Emirates Airline US Open Series and US Open singles title within the same year.



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