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Loeb, Townsend, Vickery advance to Semifinals at Central Coast Pro Tennis Open

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Jamie Loeb keeps getting better and better as she’s progressing deeper and deeper in the Central Coast Tennis Pro Open draw. On Friday in the quarterfinals, the University of North Carolina’s first NCAA women’s singles champion (2015) moved on to the semifinals with a convincing 6-2, 6-4 win over Elitsa Kostova of Bulgaria in the $60,000 USTA Women’s Pro Circuit event taking place at the Templeton Tennis Ranch.

“I’m getting better as I’m going on in this tournament, which is always a good thing,” said the 21-year-old No. 8-seeded Loeb from Ossining, N.Y. “I’m playing the key points smart and hanging in there and even when I’m down in a game finding a way to come back and win them.” 

Loeb will next face Taylor Townsend in the first semifinal on Saturday starting at 12 noon. The 22-year-old Townsend was watched by her coach Donald Young Sr., as the No. 5 seeded USTA wild card continued her torrid run beating Great Britain’s Laura Robson, 6-1, 6-3, in just under one hour and 20 minutes.

Loeb couldn’t recall facing Townsend in the juniors, but has played doubles with her on the pro level. She holds a 3-1 lifetime record against Townsend in singles on the Pro Circuit Challenger level, but Townsend won the last time the two met in Burmie, Tasmania. Loeb, who holds seven USTA and ITF Pro Circuit singles titles and six in doubles, beat Townsend in a $60,000 in Auckland (finals) to start 2017, and beat her in Macon in 2016 (first round) and El Paso in 2015 (second round).

Earlier this summer Loeb also made the Stockton $60,000 semifinals and did the same in Charlottesville, Va. earlier this year.

Against Kostova she controlled the first set using her serve as her main weapon. She stayed loose by serving during one point in the second set after Kostova called a medical timeout. “I was a little surprised by it, because of the timing in the match,” said Loeb, who broke Kostova to go up at 4-3 in the second set when Kostova called for the trainer. “I wanted to stay warm and focused so I hit some extra serves.”

Loeb also stayed on the court after her matches and did 20 minutes of ground strokes with her coach.

Asked after the match what her injury was, Kostova said, “Everything just started hurting at once. I think I’m getting sick and I’ve been so congested.”

Loeb is enjoying her first trip to the Central Coast. “The facility is really nice,” Loeb said. “I hear they have some amazing wine tastings here, so maybe after the tournament I’ll have to try some.”

In the other semifinal, 22-year-old Floridian and No. 4 seeded Sachia Vickery will take on top-seeded Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland. Vickery went up quickly 5-2 in the first set, and hung on to beat unseeded Marina Erakovic of New Zealand, 6-4, 6-3.

The doubles finalists were determined later on Friday as the top-seeded Swiss team of Viktorija Golubic and Amra Sadikovic will take on former USC teammates Kaitlyn Christian and Giuliana Olmos on Sunday.

Friday’s Quarterfinal Singles Results

Sachia Vickery, U.S. (4), def. Marina Erakovic, New Zealand, 6-4, 6-3

Viktorija Golubic, Switzerland (1), def. Maria Sanchez, U.S., 6-1, 7-6 (3)

Jamie Loeb, U.S. (8), def. Elitsa Kostova, Bulgaria, 6-2, 6-4

Taylor Townsend, U.S. (wc) def. Laura Robson, Great Britain, 6-1, 6-3

Friday’s Semifinal Doubles Results

Viktorija Golubic, Switzerland-Amra Sadikovic, Switzerland (1), def. Alexa Guarachi Mathison, Chile-Erin Routliffe, Canada, 7-5, 6-4

Kaitlyn Christian, U.S.-Giuliana Olmos, Mexico (4), def. Quinn Gleason, U.S.-Sanaz Marand, U.S., 6-4, 6-4