©Colette Lewis 2007--
UCLA’S Ben Kohlloeffel withdrew before the individual tournament started, meaning the men were assured of a new champion before competition began. The 2006 women’s champion, Susie Babos of Cal-Berkeley, joins him on the sidelines after Stanford freshman Lindsay Burdette rolled past the left-hander from Hungary 6-4, 6-4 on another day of perfect weather in Athens.
“It feels amazing,” said Burdette, who played in the No. 6 position for the Cardinal. “Not just because she’s the defending champion, but I’ve seen her play multiple times with both of us being in the Pac-10, and she’s just a really good player.”
Babos didn’t play her best Thursday morning, but Burdette had something to do with that. She came in when given the opportunity, and finished with crisp volleys, a skill that has helped her move up to the No. 1 doubles position for the Cardinal.
As for playing low in the lineup , Burdette, who is from Jackson, Georgia, appreciates coach Lele Forood’s reasons for putting her in that slot.
“I think it was a really, really smart move on her part,” said Burdette, whose sister Erin won a NCAA doubles title for Stanford in Athens two years ago. “I got a lot of confidence this year, got a lot of ‘Ws’ under my belt, and I think that’s a great way to establish yourself in college tennis.”
At No. 5, Babos was the highest seed to fall in the second round, but No. 8 Megan Moulton-Levy of William and Mary, a semifinalist at last year’s NCAAs, also was upset, losing to UCLA’s Tracy Lin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. Auburn freshman Fani Chifchieva, a No. 9 seed, lost to alternate Csilla Borsanyi of Florida 2-6, 7-5, 6-3. Stanford’s Theresa Logar (9), also a semifinalist in 2006, advanced with a 6-7, 6-2, 7-6 (2) victory over Catherine Newman of Vanderbilt, in a match that took over three and a half hours to complete.
The men also lost a top eight seed, with No. 7 Notre Dame’s Stephen Bass falling to sixth alternate Alex Slovic of Washington 6-3, 6-4. Erling Tveit of Ole Miss (9) was the victim of Ohio State’s Bryan Koniecko’s 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 comeback. Luke Shields of Boise State (9) went down, literally, rolling an ankle in the middle of the first set and was eventually forced to retire to Robbye Poole of Ole Miss, trailing 6-4, 2-0.
All the surprises in the opening round of doubles came on the women's side, with three of the eight seeded teams losing. Yvette Hyndman and Darya Ivanov of Georgia (5) were taken down by Bianca Kulgheru and Sylvia Kosakowski of Pepperdine 6-4, 6-4 and Whitney McCray and Kristi Miller of Georgia Tech, the third seeds, were bounced by Elena Gantcheva and Kristina Nedeltcheva of UNLV 6-2, 6-2. Yasmin Schnack and Riza Zalameda of UCLA, All-Tournament at No. 1 doubles, weren't seeded, but their 4-6, 6-2, 62 victory over a fifth-seeded team of Kim Coventry and Joelle Schwenk from Kentucky wasn't unexpected, given their play in the team event.
For complete results, see georgiadogs.com.