Top Seed Juricova Stunned by Pac-12 Rival Cako; Will Only Seed to Advance to Semifinals
Top three seeds remain alive in the doubles main draw
A full day of action at the 2011 ITA/Riviera Women’s All-American Championships provided several entertaining matches. Four of the main draw singles round of 16 matches went to three sets, with two being decided in a final set tiebreak. All four quarterfinal matches were won in straight sets, highlighted by Arizona State’s Jacqueline Cako toppling No. 1 seed Jana Juricova 7-6 (6), 7-6 (1). In doubles action, half of the eight seeds were defeated, but the top three duos cruised through to the quarterfinals.
Main draw singles action is down to four players: Cako, Petra Niedermayerova (Kansas State), qualifier Robin Anderson (UCLA), and No. 2 seed Allie Will (Florida). Niedermayerova and Will have yet to drop a set. These four players, along with Juricova, Mary Anne Macfarlane (Alabama), Beatrice Capra (Duke), and Marta Lesniak (SMU) have all earned direct entry into the National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships by virtue of reaching the quarterfinals. The National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships will be held Nov. 3-6 in Flushing, N.Y., at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Juricova, the No. 1 player in the country, started off the day against freshman qualifier Zoe Scandalis of USC. She seemed to be in cruise control after winning the opening set 6-2, but Scandalis hung tough to win the second set 7-5. Each player continued to battle through the lengthy final set, which Juricova finally claimed in a tiebreak eight points to six. Juricova returned to the court later in the day to take on Cako, who swept aside Aeriel Ellis of Texas 6-3, 7-5 in the round of 16. Juricova refused to give in to any fatigue she might have been feeling, but it was Cako who played the important points better to pull off the major upset.
Macfarlane and Baylor’s Sona Novakova played the other marathon match of the day. Novakova claimed the first set 6-4, but Macfarlane forced the match to a decisive third set by taking the second 7-5. Again, the match came down to a tiebreak, with Macfarlane clawing her way to victory eight points to six. Niedermayerova was too much for Macfarlane to overcome in the next round, as the Wildcat sophomore won in straight sets 6-3, 6-4. Niedermayerova has dropped a mere 15 games en route to the semifinals.
Doubles play provided far less drama on the day, as only two matches were closer than 8-5. Last year’s finalists and top seeds Josipa Bek and Keri Wong of Clemson were dominate in an 8-2 victory, while Northwestern’s Nida Hamilton and Linda Abu Mushrefova were hardly troubled in advancing 8-4. The one dramatic match of the day featured the Georgia duo of Chelsey Gullickson and Nadja Gilchrist taking on the No. 7 duo Emily Fraser and Hanna Tomljanovic of Virgina. The match was forced into a tiebreak with the score tied at eight games each, and it was the Bulldog tandem advancing with a seven points to four triumph.
Check the ITA website for updated draws and schedule of play for Saturday, Oct. 8.