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Gantcheva Gets Golden Invite

Feb. 15, 2006

LAS VEGAS - UNLV super sophomore Elena Gantcheva has been awarded a wild-card entry into the Mirage Cup professional women's tennis tournament, organizers announced Wednesday.

Gantcheva is currently ranked eighth in the nation among college players and boasts a 20-7 singles record.

The 32-player main draw of the tournament will begin February 27 and run through March 5. All matches will take place at the new Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas. The International Tennis Federation-sanctioned event will coincide with the ATP's Tennis Channel Open men's tournament also being staged at the Darling Tennis Center.

Gantcheva, who was the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year in 2005, will compete as an amateur and, in full accordance with NCAA guidelines, is not eligible for any of the $75,000 in prize money available at the Mirage Cup.

"This is a great opportunity for Elena but also for the Las Vegas tennis community to get behind someone with a local following that's playing in the Mirage Cup," UNLV head coach Kevin Cory said. "One of Elena's goals is to play professional tennis after her college career comes to an end so this will give her a great chance to see where she stands now and where she needs to be."

Tickets for the Mirage Cup and Tennis Channel Open are available through, at the Thomas & Mack Center and Stations Casinos or at



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