PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – Arizona State’s Kelcy McKenna and Auburn’s Fani Chifchieva notched semifinal victories Saturday at the Riviera/ITA Women's All- American Championships at the Riviera Tennis Club. This event is the first of three national championship events during the 2008-09 collegiate tennis season. Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships pres. by Fila
McKenna, who is ranked 20th in the 2008-09 ITA Preseason Rankings, continued her remarkable run through the All-American tournament with her second three-set comeback victory. After dropping the first set 0-6, McKenna fought back to win the second set 7-5 before outdueling sixth-seeded Maria Mosolova in a tiebreak third set 7-6 (4).
McKenna defeated Catherine Newman of Vanderbilt 6-5, 7-5 in the first round, followed by a huge upset in the second round by taking out top-seeded Auralija Miseviciute of Arkansas, 4-6 7-6(5) 6-4. Her quarterfinals victory came at the hands of Laura Vallverdu of Miami (FL), a doubles semifinalist, by a score of 6-2, 7-5 (5).
Chifchieva, the nation’s ninth-ranked singles player just missed being selected as one of the tournament’s top eight seeds, picked up an opening round win against doubles finalist Anastasia Petukhova, 1-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3, her first of three comeback three-set victories. In round two, she moved past Furman’s Laura Gioia, 5-7 7-5 7-6 (2). Perhaps her biggest upset of the tournament came in the quarterfinals, as she beat the No. 2 seed Ani Mijacika of Clemson, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (3).
Tomorrow's doubles final will feature Georgia Tech’s Irina Falconi and Amanda McDowell against Renata Kucerkova and Anastasia Petukhov of Fresno State. McDowell, the 2008 ITA National Player of the Year and her partner Falconi came into the championships ranked No. 30 in the preseason ITA Preseason Rankings but have steamrolled through the doubles draw that includes an 8-3 victory over top-seeded Melanie Gloria and Tinesta Rowe of Fresno State in the quarterfinals before defeating the No. 3 seed team of Melissa Mang and Amanda Granson of Duke, 6-2, 7-5. They will face another Fresno State doubles team in Kucerkova and Petukhov who have looked very impressive with a tournament resume that includes an 8-0 shutout of the second-seeded team of Amanda Fink and Gabriela Niculescu in the quarterfinals.
Sunday's singles final starts at 11 am PT and the doubles final will follow.
Singles - Semifinals
Kelcy McKenna, Arizona State, def. Marina Mosolova, Northwestern, 0-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4)
Fani Chifchieva, Auburn, def. Marina Cossou, California, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
Doubles - Semifinals
Falconi/McDowell, Georgia Tech (3), def. Mang/Granson, Duke, 6-2, 7-5
Kucerkova/Petukhova, def. Vallverdu/Kissell, 6-3, 6-2
Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships pres. by Fila