25K Women's Champion Gets Direct Accept Wild Card into WTA 250 ATX Open - February 24-March 3, 2024

Saturday’s Preview: More Than Semi-Tough


The matches at the H-E-B Women’s Pro Open 2023 have been as unpredictable as the weather, and Saturday’s semifinals should be no different.

On paper, fourth-seeded Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra, with a WTA ranking of No. 336, should be favored over unseeded Chloe Beck, a 22-year-old  from Watkinsville, Georgia, pictured below. But Beck, now a career-high No. 412, has shown her resiliency all week, and Friday’s quarterfinals were no different. She escaped against Ashley Lahey, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, in the day’s tightest match. In addition, Beck defeated Jimenez Kasintseva, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, last week in the first round of a W100 clay event in Charleston, S.C.

Jimenez Kasintseva defeated Martina Okalova, 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-0, in a match that improbably went three sets. Jimenez Kasintseva let the first set slip away after Okalova had taken a medical  timeout for an injured leg. The 18-year-old Andorran soon righted the ship, she said, while never losing focus.

“No, I never focus on yesterday, tomorrow,” she said. “There’s always an opportunity to lose or win because tennis is just that way, but I wasn’t thinking about tomorrow at all … now I can think about tomorrow.”

The Beck-Lahey match was a roller-coaster for both players. In the third set, Lahey served for the match at 5-4 and also had break points to take the final set to a tiebreak, but Beck held her off to reach her third semifinal of the year. Beck reached the final of a W25 in South Carolina in October and the semifinals of a W40 in Peru in August.

Jimenez Kasintseva faces Beck on Court 1 at 11 a.m., with both semifinals taking place simultaneously.

The bottom half of the draw offers a match of contrasting styles. Sixth-seeded Hanna Chang of Fontana, California, will face Madison Sieg, who plays for Southern Cal. Chang was too steady for Ellie Douglas in the quarterfinals, coming away with a 6-4, 6-0 victory that took 1 hour 42 minutes because of a drawn-out opening set. Sieg’s powerful strokes eventually overcame the slices and unorthodox play of Catherine Harris, 7-5. 6-3. Saturday’s semifinal marks the fifth time Chang, 25, and Sieg 20, will face each other in ITF matches, with Chang holding a 3-1 lead. In their last match, Chang won 6-3, 6-2 in January on a hardcourt in Malibu.

In today’s doubles championship, Lahey and Maria Kozyreva, the top-seeded pair, will face Jiangxue Han and Yujia Huang. The Kozyreva-Lahey team scored a 6-3, 7-5 victory over the third-seeded team of Beck and Harrison. Han and Huang were 6-3, 6-4 winners over Taisiya Pachkaleva and Nicole Rivkin. The doubles final will be contested after the singles’ semifinals.

Article and photograph by Bevo Video Productions, a division of Texas Student Media at UT-Austin’s Moody College of Communication. Scan the QR code, left, to read bios of the H-E-B Women’s Pro Tennis players.