Red clay? No problem for Shelby Rogers.
Grass? Maybe the same.
Rogers already has kicked the clay off her tennis shoes and started winning matches on grass in England. The Charleston 20-year-old, who is projected to move into the world’s top 140 on Monday as a result of a first-round victory in the French Open, is one win from qualifying for the WTA Tour’s $235,000 Aegon Classic in Birmingham, England.
She picked up a victory over former world’s 14th-ranked Eleni Daniilidou on Saturday when the 30-year-old Greek retired while trailing Rogers, 6-0, 4-1. Rogers will take on 5-2 Kurumi Nara of Japan today (9 a.m. Charleston time), with the winner advancing to the main draw of the 64-draw Birmingham tournament.
After being eliminated in the second round of the French Open, Rogers switched quickly to grass as the singles top seed in qualifying in a $75,000 ITF event in Nottingham, England, winning a three-set first-round match there. She lost her second match. She also teamed with Australian Olivia Rogowska to make the Nottingham doubles quarterfinals.
Rogers’ family, mother Starley and stepfather Jim Gabrish, stayed a week in France, and were thrilled by being at courtside when Shelby posted her initial Grand Slam tournament victory. They are now back home on Daniel Island.
What’s next for Shelby before returning to the USTA’s national training center in Boca Raton, Fla.? She plans to play Wimbledon’s qualifying tournament, according to Charleston coach Bryan Minton.
Martin picks Wofford
Former Wando standout Catherine Martin signed a tennis grant with Wofford on Thursday. Martin trains under Bryan Minton in Family Circle’s ITA Elite Program. After helping Wando to the Class AAAA state final in 2011, Martin was online-schooled as a senior.
Minton said Martin “has developed an excellent all-around game through hard work and determination over the years and she is just now coming into her own.”
Alex Martin, Catherine’s older sister, spent her sophomore year at the University of South Carolina after playing for Texas in 2011-12, posting a 6-11 singles record for the Gamecocks at Nos. 5 and 6. She went 3-1 in doubles.
The Lowcountry Tennis Association added five state titles last weekend in 18-and-over league competition after earlier winning three 40-plus state crowns. Last week’s state titlists were a 4.0 men’s team from Mount Pleasant Rec captained by John Fanning, a 2.5 women’s team from the Daniel Island Club, a 4.5 women’s team from LTP Tennis, and a 5.0 women’s team and 3.0 men’s team from St. Andrew’s.
Registration for next weekend’s Pine Forest Country Club’s Wounded Warrior mixed doubles tournament will close Monday. Contact Joshua Strimple (firstname.lastname@example.org) or register online at www.charlestonclassic.org. Competition will be in 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0 and open.
Columbia’s Hayley Carte won girls 18 singles and doubles titles at the recent Belton championships to break Charleston native Ryan Young’s overall Belton record of 15 titles (1994-2003). The doubles title was Carter’s eighth, tying the record of Charleston native Katie Coleman (1992-2000). Summerville’s Adam Elliget teamed up with Wood Benton of Spartanburg to win the boys 18 doubles crown, Elliget’s sixth doubles title. Emma Navarro of Charleston was a doubles titlist in girls 14 and Jared Pratt was a winner in boys 14 doubles.
Registration opened this weekend for league tennis’ summer combo doubles and will continue through June 30.
Several local players stood out in last weekend’s Southern Senior Cup Team Championships in Huntsville, Ala., helping the South Carolina team to a fourth-place finish while taking the Gil Stacy Memorial Cup, which goes to the state with the most individual wins.
Reach James Beck at email@example.com. See his columns on pro tennis at ubitennis.com/english.