Fourth-seeded Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva scored what might seem like an easy 6-0, 6-2 victory over sixth-seeded Hanna Chang in the final of the H-E-B Women’s Pro Tennis Open 2023. In the process, Jimenez Kasintseva gained a coveted wild card into February’s ATX Open, a major event on the Hologic WTA Tour – a huge leap for someone competing in W25 tournaments.
But winning the title wasn’t that simple. A day of relentless mist and rain made it impossible to play on the outdoor hardcourts at the Texas Tennis Center. In a repeat of the final of the Greenview Development & Majestic Realty Men’s Pro Tennis Open last week, the championship match was moved indoors 30 minutes northwest to the UT Golf Club facility.
Instead of starting at 11 a.m. as scheduled, the final was rescheduled to begin seven hours later, at 6 p.m. But Jimenez Kasintseva, an 18-year-old left-hander from Andorra, adjusted well to all of the adversity and took control of her own destiny. She ended winning in about an hour.
“The adjustment had to be for both players,” Jimenez Kasinsteva said after her victory. “It’s not just me, it’s my opponent too, so in order to win I had to adjust. I actually had a lot of time to think and to calm down, I just tried to not think too much. Sometimes when you overthink, it can get kind of heavy, so I was just trying to be calm until I got onto the court.
This was the pair’s first time facing each other in an ITF match. Despite Jimenez Kasintseva being the higher seed, she is ranked No. 336 in the WTA rankings while Chang is ranked No. 320.
Chang, a 25-year-old from Fontana, California, forced long rallies but was no match for Kasintseva’s energy, power and spunk.
Chang saved one match point on her serve, but it wasn’t enough to hold back Jimenez Kasintseva, who won the match on her next service game.
With the win, Jimenez Kasintseva received an automatic bid to the ATX Open, a women’s 250K tournament. Last year’s H-E-B champion, Peyton Stearns, also received a wild card to the ATX Open, where she reached the quarterfinals. Later that year, she made it to the Round of 16 at the U.S. Open.
“It’s certainly very special,” Jimenez Kasintseva said of receiving a wild card. “I’m just very happy – this is a great present and I’m very excited to be back here next year for the WTA 250 event.”
The second annual ATX Open will be held at Westwood Country Club from Feb. 24 to March 3.
Article and photograph by Bevo Video Productions, a division of Texas Student Media at UT-Austin’s Moody College of Communication.
Check out the bios of the H-E-B Women’s Pro Open players.