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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pegula Wins Costa Rica Grade 3, Stanford Women Beat Cal; Ole Miss Men Beat Georgia, Tennessee

It's been rather quiet on the junior front lately, but the ITF Grade 3 in Costa Rica has been a favorite of U.S. players for quite a few years, and this past week, a large group competed there. Unseeded Mitchell Krueger made the quarterfinals and No. 11 seed Dennis Novikov reached the final before bowing out to No. 2 seed Tigre Hank of Mexico. U.S. girls claimed three of the four semifinals berths, with No. 6 seed Shelby Rogers falling to unseeded Jessie Pegula, while No. 5 seed Kate Fuller reached the finals with a win over Christina Mathias of Austria. Pegula, who turned 15 last month, rolled past Fuller in the final 6-0, 6-1, and also took the doubles title with Elisabeth Abanda of Canada. For complete draws, see the ITF junior site.

After several years of clear favorites for the NCAAs, this year there is no such thing. In a non-conference match against No. 7 Cal yesterday, the 13th-ranked Stanford women extended their home match winning streak to 142 with a 4-3 victory. Cardinal senior Jessica Nguyen came from 5-3 down in the third set against Cal's Claire Ilcinkas at No. 3, winning the last four games to earn the dramatic win. Cal is still without Marina Cossou, who was injured at the Team Indoor last month. For more on the match see the Stanford website. With the USC, UCLA and the Cal conference matches on the road, only No. 16 Arizona State stands a realistic chance of ending Stanford's streak this year, which dates back to 1999.

In other women's action, No. 6 Miami lost to No. 8 Georgia Tech 5-2 on Saturday in Atlanta, then went to Clemson and beat the Tigers by the same score today. Clemson had beaten Georgia Tech late last month. Miami's Julia Cohen has been playing some outstanding tennis of late; since her loss to Stanford's Hilary Barte at the Team Indoor, she has won six straight, including an impressive 6-4, 6-1 result today over the nation's top-ranked player, Ani Mijacika.

Men's tennis has been no more predictable. No. 10 Ole Miss kicked off their SEC conference schedule with a bang, defeating No. 4 Georgia 4-3 on Friday night, and No. 5 Tennessee 6-1 today, with both matches played in Oxford. No. 31 South Carolina is also now 2-0 in SEC play, having upended No. 11 Kentucky today 5-2 in Columbia. No. 32 Virginia Tech beat No. 16 Louisville 5-2 on Friday, just one more indication that the competition for those last 16 spots in the NCAA is going to be fierce in the next two months.

In the Pro Circuit events completed today, Gabriela Paz of Venezuela won the $25,000 Fort Walton Beach Challenger, the second $25,000 tournament she has won this year as an unseeded qualifier. Lester Cook won the $15,000 McAllen Texas Futures event. For complete results, visit the usta.com Pro Circuit results page.

And Andy Roddick kept his streak intact, closing out the Davis Cup tie against Switzerland with a convincing 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over Stanislas Wawrinka. After Roddick's eleventh victory against no losses when in that position, the U.S. will travel to Croatia for the quarterfinals in July.


bigjoeyfrank said...

yay jessie! go ita! i love taylor

Marcia Frost said...

Here's another one I have to point out (since it's where I grew up)... The Stony Brook men beat Princeton (4-3)for the first time ever.

Austin said...

luckily for us Croatia doesnt have a surface they are clearly more dominant on than we are. if they choose clay i think we should start Querrey over Blake.