15 Mar 2016

Lina Glushko following sister Julia into tennis

News Article

By Sandra Harwitt

Photo: Susan MullaneUsue Arconada (USA)

If Lina Glushko’s family name sounds familiar there’s good reason as her older sister, Julia, is a 26-year-old pro tennis player with a current ranking of No. 126.

The 16-year-old Lina, an Israeli who currently holds a junior combined ranking of No. 344, is playing at this week’s Grade A Campeonato Internacional Juvenil de Tenis de Porto Alegre in Brazil. The younger Glushko was off to a good start in Porto Alegre on Tuesday, coming through the first round against Marcelle Cirino of Brazil 57 62 64.

Glushko’s parents, Sergey and Olga, are both teaching pros who moved from their native Ukraine to Israel with Julia and her brother, Alex. Unlike her sister and brother, Lina is a Sabra - a native-born Israeli - born a year-and-a-half after the family emigrated to Israel.

The second round will likely deliver a much tougher task for Glushko, who will face defending champion and top seed Usue Maitane Arconada of USA. Arconada, who admitted to being nervous in the role of defending champion, also advanced on Tuesday with a 63 61 win over Maria Tyrina of Russia.

“Yes, I did feel the pressure a little bit,”Arconada said. “It was a tough match, but now I am very happy and confident going into the second round.”

This is the first junior tournament of the year for Arconada, who has been trying her luck at $25,000 Pro Circuit events since the beginning of January. Thus far, on the Pro Circuit she has a 1-3 win-loss record for 2016.

Glushko is not the only Israeli to make some winning noise on Tuesday. In the boys’ draw, 16-year-old lefty Y’shai Oliel was responsible for upsetting ninth seed Corrado Summaria of Italy.

Oliel made headlines as a younger junior when he won the prestigious Orange Bowl 12-and-under title in 2012 and 14-and-under title in 2014.

Most recently, Oliel journeyed to the Banana Bowl quarterfinals as a qualifier.

But what Oliel made headlines for in February was cutting off his trademark below-shoulder hair, donating the locks to a cancer charity to make wigs.

Boys’ top seed Yosuke Watanuki of Japan faced a serious challenge from American Brandon Holt, the son of Grand Slam champion Tracy Austin, before squeaking by with a 64 67 (5) 75 first round win.

Other seeded girls’ winners on Tuesday: No. 4 Mai Hontama of Japan defeated Nathalia Wolf Gasparin of Brazil 60 62, No. 8 Berfu Cengiz of Turkey defeated Rafaela Rodrigues Dos Santos of Brazil 63 61, No. 9 Lara Escauriza of Paraguay defeated Andressa Silva Gomes of Brazil 61 60, No. 10 Panna Udvardy of Hungary defeated Najah Dawson of USA 61 61, No. 11 Ayumi Miyamoto of defeated Yarden Akler of Israel 62 60, No. 12 Melany Solange Krywoj of Argentina defeated Vitoria Okuyama of Brazil 62 60, and No. 13 Emiliana Arango of Colombia defeated Katya Townsend USA 61 62,

Other seeded boys’ winners on Tuesday: No. 2 Ulises Blanch of USA defeated Joao Ferreira of Brazil 62 62, No. 4 Genaro Alberto Olivieri of Argentina defeated Trent Bryde of USA 64 61, No. 7 Nathan Ponwith of USA defeated Valentin Guenther of Germany 62 64, and No. 10 Louis Wessels of Germany defeated Juan Bautista Otegui of Argentina 62 60,