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UF’s Lauren Embree Wins U.S. Open Tennis Qualifying First Round

Courtesy: Florida Athletics

FLUSHING, N.Y. – University of Florida freshman Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) won her first round match at the 2009 US Open Women’s Qualifying Tournament that got underway Tuesday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Embree, who was awarded a wildcard into the Women’s Qualifying event, was impressive in her 6-4, 6-1 victory over Irina Falconi (USA), a Georgia Tech sophomore who played the No. 1 singles position for the Yellow Jackets last season.

The Gator rookie held a 5-4 lead in the first set and won a long game to take the opening frame. At 3-1, 15-30, in the second set, Falconi hit a strong second serve, but Embree cracked the return that set up double-break point, which she capitalized on for the 4-1 lead en route to the victory.

“Lauren was just so tough today,” said UF associate head coach Dave Balogh, who is with Embree at the event. “She stepped on the big points and was going for it, which was good to see. She was trying to be more aggressive and she was.”

Embree, who earned a wildcard into the 2009 French Open where she made her Grand Slam debut, is aiming to win two more qualifying matches and earn one of the 16 available spots in the US Open main draw. The qualifying draw began with 128 competitors.

Embree next plays No. 24 seeded Shenay Perry (USA) on Thursday.