Playing with the pros — Lozano gains world ranking in doubles
This summer, Idaho women’s tennis player Vicky Lozano had a chance to impress on the world stage, and she didn’t disappoint.
Lozano decided to use her summer break as a chance to earn a world ranking, which meant she needed to earn ranking points at three professional events in one year. Bolivia hosted three pro tournaments in three weeks, in which Lozano qualified for three straight finals.
The first of the three was the Cochabamba $10,000, where Lozano won her first four singles matches in straight sets before dropping the final to Peruvian qualifier Patricia Ku Flores. In doubles, she paired up with Camila Silva of Chile and they came out on top of three consecutive matches, also making it to the final where they picked up the first set but fell just short in the second set and ensuing tiebreak.
“It’s a big achievement for her to make the finals in such a big event even though she is competing as an amateur,” Idaho coach Daniel Pollock said.
The achievements had just begun for Lozano. The very next week she entered the La Paz $10,000 and, with Silva, won four straight doubles matches to claim the title. Lozano entered the singles draw as well but lost a tight three-setter in the opening round.
With two pro tournaments down, Lozano needed one more to earn a world ranking in doubles. She got her chance the very next week at the $10,000 Santa Cruz de La Sierra in Bolivia.
Lozano teamed up with Flores and won 7-5, 6-4 in the first round, 6-4,4-6, (10-7) in the quarterfinal and 6-3, 6-4 over the top-seeded doubles pairing in the semifinal. They lost the championship match 7-6, 6-4, but Lozano had acquired the ranking points she needed.
Pollock said it’s excellent to see one of his players perform so well in a professional competition.
“We all know Vicky is a very talented girl, she has a lot of skills that a lot of people aren’t used to seeing,” Pollock said. “It says a lot about her work ethic and her practice throughout the year and we are looking forward to having her back playing well and getting even better.”
Idaho Director of Tennis Jeff Beaman said Lozano’s success also says a lot about Idaho’s tennis program.
“For (Lozano) to take advantage of the schedule we have and the girls on the team and Daniel’s coaching and be able to do that well, it shows that people can get a first class, basically a world class tennis experience here at Idaho,” Beaman said.
In the past, Idaho players have tried their luck with acquiring a world ranking, but most of them opt to do it before or after they come to school.
“She will definitely be the highest ranked player since I have been in Idaho and as far as I can remember going back that played actually in the off-season while still in college,” Beaman said.
Lozano entered all of these tournaments as an amateur so that she could maintain her collegiate eligibility. Since she was entered as an amateur, she was not eligible for any of the prize money at the tournaments.
“It’s got to be a confidence boost for the team and especially for Vicky. It should give her a lot of confidence coming into the year,” Pollock said.
Charles Crowley can be reached at email@example.com