It hasn't been a great year for Shelby Rogers so far in terms of wins and losses. She has suffered seven straight defeats. All of that could change in a heartbeat.
The 21-year-old Daniel Island pro has achieved a milestone in her young career. She has earned her first direct entry into a Grand Slam tournament.
Currently ranked 130th in the world, 21 spots off her career-best from two months ago, Rogers has drawn Russia's hard-hitting Ekaterina Makarova in the first round of the French Open that starts Sunday.
The match isn't on Sunday's schedule and should be played either Monday or Tuesday.
Rogers notched her first Grand Slam tournament win a year ago in Paris after earning a wild card into the Roland Garros main draw.
She already has earned $32,800 for making the French Open main draw. A win over the 23rd-ranked Makarova would increase her payday to $57,500.
But Rogers hasn't tasted victory since a March 5 first-round win over Petra Cetkovska at Indian Wells. She lost in first-round qualifying at Strasbourg, France, last weekend.
Heinz picks Samford
Palmetto Christian Academy senior Austin Heinz will be honored with a celebration at Family Circle Tennis Center on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. after deciding to play college tennis for Southern Conference member Samford University of Birmingham, Ala. Heinz led Palmetto Christian to four SCISA Class A state tennis titles and two runner-up finishes, including this year in Class AA-A.
A two-time All-Lowcountry selection prior to spending the 2013 season on scholarship at Nick Bollettieri's Academy in Florida, Heinz has been ranked as high as 27th in the nation.
Lukas Zalesky ended his Bishop England tennis career in style with a runner-up finish last Tuesday in the SCHSL Class AA-A state singles tournament.
He dropped a third-set match tiebreaker against defending champion Paul Hendrix of state champion Waccamaw.
Noah Stiepel, the Bishops' No. 2 tennis player who qualified as a semifinalist in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program, also completed his career successfully by capturing the Class AA-A third-place match.
After defeating Bishop England in the Lower State final, Waccamaw upended defending champion Christ Church, 5-2, in the Class AA-A state final last weekend. Spartanburg crushed 2013 champion South Aiken, 6-0, in the Class AAAA state final, while Hilton Head High won the Class AAA crown.
In SCISA, Hilton Head Prep defeated Hilton Head Christian in the AAA state final.
Daniel Island's Connor Clements has been named honorable mention NAIA All-America. Clements helped Georgia Gwinnett win the NAIA national men's championship last weekend in Mobile, Ala., by winning No. 5 singles and No. 3 doubles in the championship match.
A 4.5 men's 40-plus team captained by Chuck Lee won a state title last weekend in Aiken, while Alice Kryder's 4.5 women also brought home a 40-plus state championship.
Reach James Beck at firstname.lastname@example.org. See his columns on pro tennis at ubitennis.com/english.
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