Florida’s Will Takes Singles Title in Three Sets; Cardinal Duo Burdette and Gibbs Win Doubles Crown
Burdette caps off tremendous day after winning consolation singles title
Play wrapped up on Sunday at the ITA/Riviera Women’s All-American Championships, as Florida and Stanford took one singles and one doubles title each. The singles and consolation doubles championships went to the Gators, while the Cardinal emerged victorious in the doubles and consolation singles draws.
Florida junior Allie Will had not been tested in reaching the championship match of the singles draw, surrendering a total of 24 games. She had not been involved in a set that was closer than 6-4, so it was already uncharted territory when she found herself in a tiebreak in the opening set. Her opponent, Arizona State’s Jacqueline Cako, was anything but intimidated, as she had taken down the No. 1 ranked player and tournament’s top seed Jana Juricova in straight sets in the quarterfinals. Even with Will taking the first set seven points to four in the tiebreak, Cako did not give in. Before Will could even blink, Cako won the second set 6-1, forcing a decisive third set. The final set was tight early before Will took her game to another level to win the championship.
“It was a fantastic match, just a few inches here and there were the difference,” Florida head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “Allie won because she competed so well and was so composed. She handled the flows of ups and downs perfectly. That allowed her to play consistently at a high level throughout the third set. She’s such a good athlete that when she competes well and keeps her composure it makes her so difficult to beat. I’m so proud of her. She’s come a long way from her freshman year, maturity-wise, and today was a culmination of all her hard work.
With a quick turnaround after winning the singles title and an imposing duo waiting in the finals, Will and doubles partner Sofie Oyen faced a stiff challenge. Stanford junior Mallory Burdette, the 2010 doubles champion of this event, and sophomore Nicole Gibbs barely survived the opening round in the doubles main draw. The Cardinal pair just edged past Sona Novakova and Nina Secerbegovic of Baylor 9-7, breezing past all other challengers to make the title match. Will and Oyen were perhaps victimized by a sluggish start, dropping the opening set 6-2. The second set was another story, as neither team could manage to take a significant lead. The set would eventually go into a tiebreak, with Burdette and Gibbs winning by a commanding seven points to two score for the title. Burdette is just the third player in event history to win the doubles championship multiple times.
The day started off well for the Gators, as junior Lauren Embree and senior Joanna Mather swept aside Virginia duo Lindsey Hardenbergh and Erin Vierra 8-0 for the doubles consolation crown. The Florida tandem was simply unstoppable en route winning the title, dropping five games in three matches. Mather had a chance to grab the consolation singles title as well, but she ran into the heavy-hitting Burdette in the finals. The Cardinal standout won her first title of the day, cruising past Mather 6-1, 6-2.
The consolation singles and doubles winners receive automatic entry into the National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. The National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships will be held Nov. 3-6 in Flushing, N.Y., at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Championship Sunday Scores
Singles Final: Allie Will (Florida) def. Jacqueline Cako (Arizona State) 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-3
Doubles Final: Mallory Burdette/Nicole Gibbs (Stanford) def. Sofie Oyen/Allie Will 6-2, 7-6(2)
Consolation Singles Final: Mallory Burdette (Stanford) def. Joanna Mather (Florida) 6-1, 6-2
Consolation Doubles Final: Lauren Embree/Joanna Mather (Florida) def. Lindsey Hardenbergh/Erin Vierra (Virginia) 8-0