Fighting Illini Open women's tennis tournament starts November 6

Lorilei Yau lines up a winning shot while playing a high school match against Centennial in August. The Urbana senior and a state-qualifier in tennis this season, along with other area tennis players and fans, will have the opportunity to watch some of the top female tennis athletes in the world compete at the Fighting Illini Open from November 6-13 at Atkins Tennis Center.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

URBANA - Atkins Tennis Center, located on the University of Illinois campus, will host the area's final women's professional tennis tournament of the year on November 6-13. The Fighting Illini Open will be a unique opportunity for central Illinois tennis players and fans to see rising stars on the ladies' side of the sport and top players from all over the world. Thirty-two singles players and 16 double pairs will compete for a $15,000 purse during the first full week of November.

Last year's title was won by China's Fangran Tian, who defeated Ania Hertel from Poland in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. The 20-year-old rolled through the bracket without dropping a set.

Fangran, who was ranked 1,138 in the world by the International Tennis Federation, has won three more W15 hardcourt tournament titles since visited the home of the Fighting Illini Womens Tennis program. Now a sophomore on the UCLA roster, she picked up titles and prize money at tournaments this summer in Rancho Santa Fe (CA), San Diego, and Los Angeles, pushing her international ranking to a career-high 512.

Katherine Duong, a junior at the University of Illinois last November, battled her way from a wildcard entry to a semifinal match against Sara Daavettila, who is currently ranked 525 by the Womens Tennis Association. Doung fell 6-3, 6-2, ending her 2022 run but not before winning matches over Swiss Sophie Luescher (6-4, 6-1), Great Britain's Tiffany William (6-3, 6-3), and Wisconsin University frosh Maria Sholokhova (7-5, 6-4) from Sochi, Russia.

This year's tournament draw and results can be found on X (formally known as Twitter) at @illiniProTennis or on the official tournament website at For more information contact Atkins Tennis Center at (217) 244-8562.

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