STOCKTON, CALIF. – On a thrilling penultimate day at the Hal Nelson Tennis Courts, the USTA Stockton Challenger crowned its inaugural doubles champion, as defending NCAA singles champion Jamie Loeb, a current University of North Carolina student, an Sanaz Marand, an alumni of UNC, took down former University of Southern California teammates in Danielle Lao and Kaitlyn Christian, 6-3, 6-4 in a matchup of American pairs.
Loeb and Marand will now compete at the FSP Gold River Challenger in Sacramento with an eye on capturing another title on the road to a potential US Open invitation.
Marand was the only player on the day to compete twice, as she fell in singles action to Nao Hibino, the No. 5 overall seed, by a final score of, 7-6(5), 7-6(4). The extremely intense match went the way of Hibino despite tiebreakers in both sets as the contrast in styles between the two players kept fans on their toes.
Hibino will now await the No. 1 overall seed An-Sophie Mestach who took down Kimiko Date-Krumm by a score of 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.
Date-Krumm fought back after dropping six straight games in the first set and charged on valiantly falling just short of the finals but proving that she has the mettle to compete for larger prize money as the oldest player on the Pro Circuit at age 44.
Mestach (111th overall) and Hibino (173rd overall) will take to the Stadium Court at 12:00 pm on Sunday for the singles championship of the USTA Stockton Challenger.
The two also faced off in an early round matchup in May with Hibino taking a 6-2, 6-2 victory at an ITF 50,000 event in Kurume, Japan.