In 2012, Anna Tatishvili was on a roll. She reached the Round of 16 at the U.S. Open and rose all the way to No. 50 in the world.
Then she lost her health. Injuries piled up and her ranking dropped.
Missing all or most of each of the last five years, she entered the Sumter Pink Open, a $25,000 USTA Women’s Pro Circuit event, ranked No. 602 in the world and had to go through qualifying.
If she keeps this up, she’ll be done with qualifiers in no time. Tatishvili topped Jovana Jaksic 6-1, 6-3 to make her first semifinal on the circuit since May 2016 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
“It’s not my first comeback, but it has been the longest,” said Tatishivlli, who has yet to drop a set in Sumter. “I completely lost my ranking, but it is what it is. I love to play tennis.”
Her last singles title came in 2014. Two more days, two more wins to erase that drought.
“Mentally, I wasn’t into matches (at the beginning of her latest comeback,” said Tatishvili, who has had two ankle surgeries since Wimbledon in 2016. “It’s been better each tournament and obviously this one is going well.”
Tatishvili will face No. 7 seed Ulrikke Eikeri, who defeated No. 4 seed Victoria Rodriguez 6-1, 6-4.
“There are no easy matches,” she said. “Mentally, you just have to push.
“My goal was to win as many matches as possible,” Tatishvili added. “I don’t really have a goal – it’s just every day that I’m on court, I want to win.”
Doubles partners Taylor Townsend, the top seed in the tournament, and qualifier Jessica Pegula had to take a quick break from their partnership to face off in a singles quarterfinal. Townsend came out on top 7-5, 6-4.
Townsend will face Marta Paigina in the semifinals. Paigina was a 6-1, 6-4 winner over Montserrat Gonzalez.
The doubles championship is set with the No. team of Alexandra Mueller and Caitlin Whoriskey facing off against Townsend and Pegula. Mueller and Whoriskey topped Daneika Borthwick and Tara Moore 6-2, 6-2, while Townsend and Pegula defeated Rasheeda McAdoo and Jada Robinson 6-1, 6-2.
The tournament will conclude with Championship Sunday on Sunday, October 15. Admission is free to all matches.
ABOUT THE USTA PRO CIRCUIT:
With approximately 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country and prize money ranging
from $15,000 to $125,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level
competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The
USTA launched its Pro Circuit 38 years ago to provide players with the opportunity to gain professional
ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world,
offering more than $3 million in prize money. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than
70 countries competed in cities nationwide. Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova, John Isner, Sloane
Stephens, Kei Nishikori, Victoria Azarenka, and Sam Querrey and are among today’s top stars
who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.