Townsend follows through on No. 1 seed, winning Sumter Pink Open


Taylor Townsend's second go-around as a No. 1 seed in a USTA Pro Circuit at Palmetto Tennis Center went better than the first.

Much, much better.

Townsend was the No. 1 seed in the 2015 Palmetto Pro Open and exited in the first round. On Sunday, Townsend won the inaugural Sumter Pink Open, rolling to an easy 6-2, 6-1 victory over seventh-seeded Ulrikke Eikeri in the singles main draw.

I had really good expectations from the last time I had come, and they didn't disappoint," said Townsend, who was ranked No. 128 in the world entering the tournament. "There are a lot of really good players in the qualifiers and in the main

draw. "It's really good competition, and I'm glad I was able to pull it out this week, because I played some really great people."

In Eikeri, Townsend took out a player who came into SPO on a roll. While Townsend had three singles titles on the USTA Pro Circuit, Eikeri had three titles in 2017 alone. The most recent came the previous week in Hilton Head, while Townsend hadn't won since 2016.

While falling short, Eikeri said there are plenty of positives to take away from the tournament.

"I have to stay positive - I had a great week," said Eikeri. "Taylor played too good today - she deserved the win."

Up 5-0 in the second set, Townsend couldn't manage to put Eikeri away. Several match points became deuce and deuces became advantages for Eikeri, who was not beating herself.

Finally, Eikeri lobbed a shot over a charging Townsend and as the former No. 1 junior player in the world gave chase, it landed just long and gave the match to Townsend.

Townsend, who also won the doubles title with Jessica Pegula on Saturday, said the complex lends itself well to tournaments like the Sumter Pink Open.

"It's super easy to get a hit and it's not really a struggle to find

somewhere to practice and not have to be four to a court," she said.

"Everybody's really accommodating here, and very helpful with anything

that we needed."

For Eikeri, she's risen 142 spots in the world since last year and she wants to continue to ride the momentum wave to her first Grand Slam. The 24-year-old Norwegian has won 11 total singles titles on the USTA Pro Circuit.

Patrick Enzor contributed to the story.