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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Falconi, Weinhold Reach Pro Circuit Finals; Florida Women Beat North Carolina; Georgia Men Dealt First Loss to Georgia Tech in 23 Years

The USTA's resident blogger Irina Falconi continued to impress at the $100,000 Dow Corning Tennis Classic, defeating No. 2 seed Rebecca Marino of Canada 6-2, 6-3 this afternoon to reach the final of the $100,000 Pro Circuit event in Midland, Michigan. The 20-year-old former Georgia Tech All-American will play three-time Dow Corning finalist Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic, who beat No. 7 seed Ksenia Pervak of Russia 6-4, 6-4 this evening. Falconi also reached the doubles final with Alison Riske, recording a 7-5, 7-5 victory over Gabriela Dabrowski and Whitney Jones.

Falconi is still finding time to write her blog, and she answered my question about her comedic inspirations in the latest post.

In Rancho Mirage, California, Ashley Weinhold reached the final of the $25,000 women's Pro Circuit tournament with a 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 4 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic. The unseeded Weinhold has yet to lose a set in her four victories. She prevented an all-Pliskova final with the win, as Karolina's twin sister Kristyna advanced with a 7-5, 1-6, 7-6(3) victory over Lauren Albanese. The Pliskova won the doubles title today over lucky losers Nadejda Guskova of Russia and Sandra Zaniewska of Poland 6-7(6), 6-1, 10-5.

For complete draws, see the Pro Circuit results page at usta.com.

At the WTA Cellular South Cup in Memphis, future Duke Blue Devil Trice Capra will play her only her fourth main draw WTA match, the first three having been at the 2010 U.S. Open. Capra, a wild card, faces Alexa Glatch, who won two matches in qualifying to earn a main draw spot.

The draws and order of play for the WTA and ATP combined event in Memphis can be found at the tournament website.

There were a lot of close matches today in among Top 20 teams in Division I tennis, with the No. 2 Florida women traveling to No. 4 North Carolina the most attention grabbing. Florida took a 5-2 victory from the Tar Heels and with the win have certainly cemented their position as one of the top two seeds heading into next weekend's National Team Indoor Championships. The Georgia women also posted a road win over a perennial ACC contender today, defeating No. 9 Clemson 5-2. Since losing a heartbreaker to North Carolina two weeks ago, the Georgia women have beaten Georgia Tech and Clemson, and in a testament to their depth, have done it without getting a victory from Chelsey Gullickson at the top of the lineup.

The big surprise of the day came out of Atlanta when Georgia Tech, ranked No. 21, posted a 4-3 win over No. 11 Georgia. It was the first time since 1988 that the Yellowjackets had beaten the Bulldogs, a streak that spanned 24 matches. Tech's Dean O'Brien saved two match points at No. 6 singles in the deciding match, beating Ignacio Taboada 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 to deliver the win in front of a big Alumni weekend crowd.

The fifth-ranked Texas men traveled to Tallahassee to play No. 26 Florida State and escaped with a 4-3 victory. Other big matches still underway are No. 3 Tennessee vs. No. 14 Duke, and No. 7 Florida vs. No. 16 Illinois.

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