Katherine Hui Advances To Semis At SoCal Pro Series Irvine

Katherine Hui (photo: Jon Mulvey/USTA SoCal)

IRVINE, July 1, 2023 (by Steve Pratt)

Three times over three SoCal Pro Series tournaments in her hometown county of San Diego, Katherine Hui advanced to the singles quarterfinal round only to fall short in the final eight – including the last two times in third-set tiebreakers.

So, you wouldn’t fault the 18-year-old recent high school graduate Hui for feeling a little apprehensive as she headed into the third set of her quarterfinal match on Friday in the Racquet Club of Irvine $15,000 ITF World Tennis Tour event.

The future Stanford player and No. 6 seeded Hui controlled the first set against Newport Beach’s Danielle Willson, 6-1, but the former USC player Willson won the second, 6-2, before Hui took the third set and the match, 6-3.

Later in the day, Hui and her doubles partner No. 2 seeded Haley Giavara beat Giavarra’s college teammate at Cal Makenna Thiel and Taylor Cataldi to advance to Saturday’s doubles finals to be played after the singles semifinals.

Hui will face Giavarra in Saturday’s semis at 10 a.m., followed by top-seeded Jia-Jing Lu of China taking on USC All-American and No. 3-seeded Eryn Cayetano. Cayetano became the third of four singles semifinalists to also advance to the doubles final as she paired with Isabella Chhiv to beat Anne Lutkemeyer and Rinon Okuwaki, 10-8, in a super tiebreaker after splitting sets to force a meeting against Hui-Giavarra.

Cayetano’s spirited singles match against UC-Santa Barbara player and wild card Ameila Honer ended in the USC star’s favor, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-5. Cayetano is trying to pick up her second SoCal Pro Series singles title having won the Kramer Club singles and doubles in 2022.

Just like Hui and Cayetano, Irvine’s Learner Tien will also play twice on Saturday. The 17-year-old unseeded Tien took out No. 3 Tristan Boyer, 7-5, 6-3, in a morning singles quarterfinal and then paired with Bryce Nakashima to advance to the doubles final. The duo meets Great Britain’s Joshua Goodger and Matthew Summers.

Tien faces qualifier Isaiah Strode from San Diego in the first men’s semifinal while fellow qualifier Quinn Vandecasteele from Utah takes on Australia’s Edward Winter to follow.

The semifinal will amazingly be the 14th consecutive day Vandecasteele will play a singles match as the University of Oregon junior has qualified in two straight events and played in last Sunday’s Kramer Club final.

Daily tournament admission and parking is free to the public at all SoCal Pro Series events. The SoCal Pro Series’ remaining tournament dates and locations are:

  • Currently through Sunday – Racquet Club of Irvine, Irvine
  • July 3-9 – Lakewood Tennis Center, Lakewood
  • July 10-16 – Lakewood Tennis Center, Lakewood

To learn more about the SoCal Pro Series, go to: https://www.ustasocal.com/proseries.