Jones top wild-card pursuer

MaKenna Jones of Greenville is at least one step ahead of everyone else in the 12-player singles field in the Shape Invitational chasing a wild card into the main draw of next month’s Volvo Car Open.

The daughter of two former touring tennis professionals, the 18-year-old was the only player to win two matches on Tuesday in round-robin play on the clay at Family Circle Tennis Center to advance to the semifinals where she will be two wins away from securing the Volvo Open singles wild card.

University of Alabama-bound Jones eked out a pair of tiebreaker wins over Vanderbilt’s Sydney Campbell, 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (6), and South Carolina freshman Paige Cline, 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (3), as Jones’ mother, former world’s top 50 Tami Whitlinger-Jones, watched.

The winners of three 10 a.m. Wednesday matches, pitting former Georgia star Lauren Herring against St. Mary’s Jacqueline Pelletier, Duke’s Beatrice Capra against Vanderbilt’s Frances Altick, and the College of Charleston’s Liza Fieldsend against Duke freshman Kaitlyn McCarthy, will join Jones in the 2 p.m. semifinals.

SINGLES: Lauren Herring (Georgia) def. Katherine Schofield (CofC), 6-0, 6-4; Beatrice Capra (Duke) def. Chloe Gullickson (Virginia), 6-0, 6-3; Liza Fieldsend (CofC) def. Caroline Dailey (USC), 6-0, 6-2; McKenna Jones (Alabama) def. Sydney Campbell (Vanderbilt), 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (6); Jacqueline Pelletier (St. Mary’s) def. Schofield, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 1-0 (7); Frances Altick (Vanderbilt) def. Gullickson, 6-1, 6-4; Kaitlyn McCarthy (Duke) def. Dailey, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 1-0 (2); Jones def. Paige Cline (USC), 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (3).

Reach James Beck at