Chasing USTA (United States Tennis Association) points can take you to some of the most remote and often quietly fascinating regions of discovery.

We have an associate in our circle who used to be a United States Tennis Association Official here in Northern California whose daughter was a USTA high school star who during her time eventually reached a Nor Cal ranking of number 67.

To help her reach that ranking they had to play in many out of town tournaments to have any chance at winning a match or receiving points.

If you stay in the big city and only play those tournaments, you’re liable not to get any as the very top players want to stay in town and just drive down the street to play too.

That’s understandable. Later in the day they might go shopping at the mall.

Such is life on the regional circuit.

It appears to mirror what occurs at the highest level as well.

This year’s 2018 Australian Open is presenting us with some surprising results due to the fact that the winners of massive upsets who find themselves fighting it out in the mid stages of the tournament are, at least for now, ranked above the century mark on the tour.

BERNARDA PERA – PERFECTION

fciwomenswrestling.com, femcompetitor.com article, Bernarda Pera photo via Twitter

The global British news source express.co.uk on Friday January 19, 2018 posted, “She lost to Bernarda Pera, the Croatian-born American world No123, 6-4, 7-5 in the second round of the Australian Open. Pera played well but Konta had a stinker of a day – and she knew it.

Twice she tumbled over and landed on her backside, twice she went for an overhead and fluffed it spectacularly. The first attempt ended up with the ball dribbling down her racket frame and landing at her feet and the second, on match point, sailed towards the stands. It really was not a good day at all.”

They sound a little disappointed regarding the play of their country’s top female tennis player, Johanna Konta of Great Britain.

They weren’t alone.

BERNARDA GETTING THE JOB DONE 2018 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

fciwomenswrestling.com, femcompetitor.com article, Bernarda Pera Getty Images photo credit via WTA

Their contemporary theguardian.com added, “Konta tried hard to sound upbeat after the 23-year-old American Bernarda Pera, a lucky loser who has risen nearly 200 ranking places in 12 months to 123, defeated her 6-4, 7-5 on show court No2, nearly doubling her career prize money in an hour and 40 minutes. But the setback was more worrying than the ninth seed allowed herself to imagine.”

Last year Ms. Konta was doing so well, Femcompetitor Magazine featured in an article on her before the 2017 United States Open began.

https://femcompetitor.com/johanna-konta-british-tennis-super-star-widely-admired/

As of this January 20, 2018 writing Ms. Konta is ranked number 10 in the world.

So hail to the brand new headline maker and WTA point chaser in the American Bernarda Pera.

Bernarda Pera is a Croatian-American tennis player.

fciwomenswrestling.com, femcompetitor.com article, Bernarda Pera Ralf Reinecke photo credit via Flickr

Ms. Bernarda has won eight singles and eight doubles titles on the ITF Women’s Circuit. On October 23, 2017, she reached her best singles ranking of world no. 133.

Ms. Pera made her WTA Tour debut at the 2014 US Open, having received a wildcard with Tornado Alicia Black in the doubles tournament. She made her Grand Slam singles main draw debut at the 2018 Australian Open, where she received entry as a lucky loser after Margarita Gasparyan withdrew from the tournament.

Now she can wear the title of skilled winner.

The Australian media is singing her praises. At ausopen.com they announce, “Second serves, advantage scoring, three- and five-set matches – tennis is a sport built on the premise of second chances. And Bernarda Pera, the lucky loser who was parachuted into her first Grand Slam draw at the last minute, is making the very most of her reprieve.

The 23-year-old, who took injured Russian Margerita Gasparyan’s spot in the draw late on Sunday, is through to the third round of the Australian Open after ousting an out-of-sorts Johanna Konta 6-4 7-5 for the biggest win of her career.”

Bernarda’s next opponent is Barbora Strýcová from the Czech Republic.

Barbora Strýcová, reached her highest WTA singles ranking at the world’s No. 16, which she achieved on January 16, 2017.

Should be a great match. By the time you read this you’ll be able to check the results.

Another tennis beauty who secured a purse full of WTA points at this Year’s Australian Open is Ms. Ana Bogdan who made a great run but finally succumbed to the American super star Madison Keys.

fciwomenswrestling.com, femcompetitor.com article, Ralf Reinecke photo credit via Flickr

Ana Bogdan is a Romanian professional tennis player.

She enjoys skiing, horseback riding and interior design.

Sounds balanced and intriguing.

Ms. Bogdan was born in Sinaia and had a successful junior career, reaching junior world no. 2 on 5 January 2009. She is not related to fellow Romanian tennis player, Elena Bogdan.

In May of 2016 she won her first ITF tournament of the year in Grado by defeating Susanne Celik in the final. In July, she successfully qualified for the Bank of the West Classic.

As you might guess, with a current ranking of 415 in the world, in terms of her chances to make a run at the 2018 Australian Open, not many were betting on her and yet she did.

She defeated Yulia Putintseva and Kristina Mladenovic to place her in position to gain global recognition since her next opponent would be Madison Keys.

fciwomenswrestling.com, femcompetitor.com article, photo credit by David Rawcliffe /Propaganda)

Here is the match summations found at vavel.com, “After a rampant performance in the last round against Ekaterina Alexandrova in sweltering conditions, Keys was looking to keep this form going against Romanian Ana Bogdan. Bogdan herself had a tough three-set win in the last round against Yulia Putintseva and was looking to potentially cause an upset in the Melbourne heat.”

Our beauty had great intentions but eventually did succumb to Madison 3-6, 4-6 in two grueling sets.

Still, give her credit and don’t just give her brownie points. Give her some much welcomed WTA Points.

This is why you play the games.

We loved visiting the performances of Bernarda Pera and Ana Bogdan, two players trying to make their mark and a name for themselves.

Given their performances, as they successfully chase WTA points, we will be rooting for them and chasing their careers.

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OPENING PHOTO fciwomenswrestling.com, femcompetitor.com article, sportshots81@yahoo.com photo credit

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ralfreinecke/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbora_Str%C3%BDcov%C3%A1

http://www.wtatennis.com/players/player/315427/title/Ana-BOGDAN

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ana_Bogdan

https://www.vavel.com/en-us/tennis-usa/869988-australian-open-madison-keys-powers-past-ana-bogdan.html

http://www.itftennis.com/procircuit/players/player/profile.aspx?playerid=100098465

https://twitter.com/ana_bogdan?lang=en

https://www.newsday.com/sports/madison-keys-advances-to-4th-round-at-australian-open-1.16263494

http://www.wtatennis.com/players/player/317708/title/Bernarda-Pera

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernarda_Pera

https://ausopen.com/match/Johanna-Konta-vs-Bernarda-Pera-WS205

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/jan/18/womens-draw-maria-sharapova-johanna-konta-australian-open

https://www.express.co.uk/sport/tennis/906750/Australian-Open-Johanna-Konta-Bernarda-Pera-tennis

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Australian_Open

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Australian_Open#/media/File:Rod_Laver_Arena_(8984015851).jpg