Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Glatch continues rise to prominence with Paris win:

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Passing Shots: Glatch continues rise to prominence with Paris win:

The expectations for American players at this year's French Open started with Serena and ended with Venus. But the first few days in Paris produced some encouraging results for the Yanks, highlighted by the performance of a teenager making her Roland Garros debut.

One day after Andy Roddick won his first match at the French Open since 2005,

Alexa Glatch, 19, of Newport Beach, Calif., engineered the bigg

est early surprise by routing 14th-seeded Flavia Pannetta 6-1, 6-1 on Monday.

"Even though the scoreline may look like it was pretty easy, it definitely wasn't out there," Glatch told TheAssociated Press. "It's never easy to beat a top 20 player like that."

Glatch rose to prominence at last month's Fed Cup, joining the U.S. team as a late replacement for the semifinals when the Williams sisters opted not to participate. She responded by winning both her singles matches -- including a victory against then-No. 29 Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic -- to help the United States book a place in the November finals.

The U.S. success was particularly rewarding for Glatch, who had a motor scooter accident in 2005 that nearly derailed her career. Just months after turning pro and signing an endorsement contract with Nike, Glatch broke both her arms after slamming on the brakes to avoid hitting a dog. She was sidelined for eight months.

Next up for Glatch is a second-round date with Spain's Lourdes Domínguez Lino, whose lone WTA singles title came against Pennetta in 2006.

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