They’re more than 10,000 miles away, but two Middle States players are representing well so far at the Australian Open.
Madison Brengle (Dover, Del.) and Varvara Lepchenko (Allentown, Pa.) both advanced through the second round of 2015’s first major, giving the United States’ women a boost as the brackets shrink each day. Brengle next faces American Coco Vandeweghe, while Lepchenko takes on Agnieszka Radwanka in the next round.
Ranked a career-high No. 64, Brengle took down No. 13-seeded Andrea Petkovic (Germany) before dropping fellow American Irina Falconi, 6-1, 6-3.
Lepchenko, ranked No. 30 in the world, scored a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Russia’s Vitalia Diatchenko in the first round and beat Croatia’s Ajla Tomljanovic in the second round.
Brengle is picking up plenty of media attention in her first Australian Open since 2008. Not only is she having her best major showing in her career, the 24-year-old recently went through a scare with cancer. Only weeks ago, she was told that she was given the “all-clear” from her doctors.
“Every time I go out there, I kind of appreciate it a little bit more than I used to because you’re not aware of how lucky we are to be healthy until you have a scare like that,” Brengle said to the Associated Press. “I’m very appreciative to have my health.”
There are other players with USTA Middle States connections playing in the Open, as well. Pittsburgh-native Alison Riske was eliminated in the tournament’s first round, while Lisa Raymond (Wayne, Pa.) lost in the women’s doubles draw Thursday. Raymond is teaming with Sweden’s Robert Lindstedt in mixed-doubles.
Updated results and match info can be found at http://www.ausopen.com/.