The 2013 USTA Women's Pro Circuit kicked off this week in Florida with the Innisbrook Women's Open, and what can best be described as an international field.
The Innisbrook tournament is the first of two consecutive $25,000 women’s events to be played on clay to start out 2013. it begins the first of two clay-court seasons on the USTA Pro Circuit calendar; the other begins in the spring prior to the French Open.
Play this week is taking place at the beautiful Innisbrook Golf Resort and Spa in Palm Harbor, Florida.
Four Americans had pushed their way into the second round in Florida, but none of them survived play on Thursday as the play and the weather warmed up.
American wildcard entry Asia Muhammed lost a close three-setter to Hilda Melander of Sweden, and then University of Florida player Lauren Embree fell to Tadeja Majeric 6-2, 6-1 to start the day. Muhammed is making a comeback on the USTA Pro Circuit, and Embree is preparing for her senior season playing for the Gators.
Former University of Florida player Allie Will also found similar fate losing to Ajla Tomljanovic, a tour veteran 6-1, 6-0.
German Anne Schaefer, ranked No. 241 in the world defeated the remaining American player in Katerina Stewart 1-6, 7-6, 6-3 to make the quarters.
One other player to watch as the week progresses is Norwegian Ulrikke Eikeri. Eikeri had a strong fall on the USTA Pro Circuit, and she appears to have picked right off from where she ended 2012.
Quarterfinal play is scheduled for Friday.