PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. - After day one saw only one seeded player fail to advance out of the first round of singles at the 2010 Riviera/ITA All-American Championships, the trend continued to stay true to form as the bracket's No. 1 and No. 2 seeds meet in tomorrow's singles finals.
Riviera is in close proximity to some of the nation's better tennis programs, including the perennial top-ranked clubs of California and Stanford, which just so happen to be home to the top two ranked players in the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings. Top-ranked Jana Juricova and No. 2 Hilary Barte are no strangers to one another as Pac-10 conference foes and may have a chance to meet once again in tomorrow's finals.
The matchup is the fifth time the two will face each other on the court as singles players. Barte owns a 3-1 record in head-to-head matches against Juricova, but the two split meetings last year, with the victor prevailing with a 6-3, 6-3 result.
Jana Juricova arguably entered the tournament as a slight favorite after becoming Cal's first ITA National Indoor Champion and Runner-Up in the NCAA Women's Singles Championship last spring but Barte is no doubt a top candidate to be this year's top collegiate women's player.
"Hilary established herself as one of the top players in college tennis during her freshman year with a long, impressive win streak at the No. 1 position", said Head Coach Lele Forood. "Her game is a combination of exquisite shot-making and much more power and penetration to her strokes."
Juricova got her first true test by facing sixth-seeded Kristy Frilling of Notre Dame but the match would not live up to its billing as as the third-year Golden Bear won her sixth consecutive set 6-4, 6-4.
The win matched her up against No. Denise Dy a conference foe who actually beat the Cal heavy hitter in last year's ITA Regional Singles final. However, Juricova dispatched the Husky in what was probably her best match of the tournament with a 6-1, 6-2 victory.
Juricova and Frilling would once again meet in doubles play, as the top seeded team in the tournament, No. 1-ranked Juricova and teammate Mari Andersson moved smoothly through the round of 16 as the Bears defeated Notre Dame's 10th-ranked duo of Frilling and Shannon Matthews, 8-6.
After the defeat of the Irish twosome, the pair drew familiar faces in third-seeded Barte and Mallory Burdette of Stanford. Barte and Burdette, the sister of her former doubles partner, Lindsey, who captured the NCAA Doubles and USTA/ITA Intercollegiate Indoor titles together last season. The Cardinal tandem stayed the pace with Cal's duo, and eventually pulled away to earn an 8-6 victory for a berth in the championship match.
The match would not be the last time that Pac-10's finest would meet as Barte also easily rolled into tomorrow's singles final. The ITA National Player To Watch advanced with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over the Big Ten's lone Main Draw entry, Denise Muresan, ranked No. 12 in the nation.
The fifth-ranked Clemson team of Josipa Bek and Keri Wong were able to edge out the newly formed Duke team of Nadine Fahoum and EllahNze by a score of 9-8 (3). The Dukies were a bit of a semifinal surprise by knocking out the second-seeded pair of Alexa Guarachi and Courtney McLane from Alabama by a score of 8-5 in the quarterfinals.
Both championship matches will be played tomorrow at 11 a.m. (PT).
The tournament, hosted by the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. for the 26thconsecutive year kicked off on Saturday, October 2 with six rounds of prequalifying and qualifying singles and doubles leading up to today's main draw competition.
For complete results and event information, visit www.itatennis.com.