While most of the tennis world is focused on the start of the first major championship of 2013 in Australia, a few tennis players with aspirations to be there in Melbourne as early as next year will take to the court on Sunday in Florida as the first women's USTA Pro Circuit event of the year will crown a champion.
The Innisbrook Women's Open is the first of two consecutive $25,000 women’s events to be played on clay to start out 2013. It also begins the first of two clay-court seasons on the USTA Pro Circuit calendar; the other begins in the spring, leading up to the French Open.
Play this week is taking place at the beautiful Innisbrook Golf Resort and Spa in Palm Harbor, Florida, on perfectly manicured green clay courts.
The four competitors left in the singles have taken quite a liking to these courts, and on Saturday two Europeans made straight-set work of their opponents and advanced to the finals.
That would include seventh-seeded Tadeja Majeric of Slovenia. Majeric defeated Kristina Barrois 6-4, 7-6 in a match that kept going back and forth. Majeric is currently ranked a career high No. 214.
In the other semi, Ulrikke Eikeri of Norway faced off against Croatian player Ajla Tomljanovic. Both had impressive weeks, but Eikeri hadn't dropped a set in her three previous rounds. She ran out of gas on Saturday as Tomljanovic won going away 6-4, 6-0.
Sunday will mark the first time Tomljanovic and Majeric have met.
In the doubles final, Eikeri teamed with American Chieh-Yu Hsu to defeat Florencia Molinero and Adriana Perez 7-6, 1-6, [10-8].