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Saturday, February 19, 2011

North Carolina Ends Northwestern's Reign at Women's Team Indoor; Duke Rolls on in Men's Indoor; Sock Wins in ATP Qualifying; Rain in Surprise 25K

Shinann Featherston needed to win a third set tiebreaker against Georgia to put the North Carolina Tar Heels in the field at the ITA Women's Indoor three weeks ago. Tonight in Charlottesville, Featherston clinched her team's 4-3 win over two-time defending champion Northwestern to earn a spot in Sunday's semifinal. It was a rematch of last year's Team Indoor final, which Northwestern won 4-2.

This year however, it was North Carolina who came into the tournament as the No. 4 seed, while Northwestern was the underdog, a reversal of their roles in 2010. North Carolina has always had a reputation for outstanding doubles play, however so it was a bit of a shock when they dropped a very long doubles point to the 20th-ranked Wildcats.

The score was tied at 2-2, with the top three positions still undecided, but Northwestern's Maria Mosolova completed her 6-1, 7-6 win over Zoe De Bruycker at No. 1 to give her team the 3-2 lead. Needing to win at both No. 2 and No. 3 singles, North Carolina did just that, with Jelena Durisic finishing a comeback win over Kate Turvy of Northwestern 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 and Featherston, a junior, quickly following with a 7-6, 7-5 decision over freshman Belinda Niu.

North Carolina will play No. 1 seed Stanford in Sunday's semifinals, after Stanford lost the doubles point, but had no trouble with No. 8 seed Michigan in singles, beating the Wolverines 4-1.

In the other semifinal, No. 6 Duke will take on No. 2 Florida, in a rematch of a meeting that took place just last weekend, won by the Gators 4-2 in Durham. Duke has lost the doubles point in both of its wins; today against host Virginia, the Blue Devils got victories at 3, 4, 5 and 6 singles to earn a 4-2 win.

Florida beat Clemson 4-0, but it wasn't an easy victory for the favored Gators, with four of the six singles matches going into three sets.

The ITA tournament page can be found here.

In the men's Indoor championships in Seattle, three of the four semifinalists are known, but the fourth quarterfinal between Illinois and Virginia does not begin until midnight Eastern time.

No. 3 Tennessee reached the Team Indoor semifinals for the third straight year, taking out No. 6 UCLA 4-1 in the first quarterfinal to be decided. They will play No. 15 Duke, who pulled their second straight upset Saturday afternoon. After beating No. 2 USC on Friday, Duke got by No. 10 Florida 4-1. In a match last week, Tennessee, who did not have Tennys Sandgren in the lineup today, beat Duke 7-0.

In a match that finished less than a hour ago, No. 4 Ohio State lost the doubles point to another Big 12 foe for the second night in a row, but came back to beat No. 5 Texas 4-1, getting singles wins from Buchanan, Allare, Novak and newcomer Van Engelen.

The ITA men's indoor tournament page is here.

Today in Delray Beach, wild card Jack Sock won his opening match in qualifying 6-4, 6-4 over Austria's Alexander Peya. Sock plays Ryan Sweeting on Sunday. Bjorn Fratangelo lost his match to Matthew Ebden of Australia 6-2, 6-3. Sock and Donald Young have received a doubles wild card into the main draw. Ryan Harrison received a wild card into the main draw in singles when Juan Martin Del Potro did not need his wild card, instead receiving a special exemption entry for reaching the semifinals in Memphis. For the results and draws, see the tournament website.

In Acapulco, both Julia Cohen and Irina Falconi lost their opening matches in qualifying for the WTA event there. For complete results, see the tournament website.

Rain interrupted the semifinals at the $25,000 Pro Circuit tournament in Surprise, Arizona. Monica Puig and Chichi Scholl had not yet completed the first set of their match when play was postponed until Sunday. For the draw and order of play, see the Pro Circuit page at usta.com.


jobaholic said...

It is North Carolina's time to shine! We'll see if they will be able it make it to the finals! www.tennisround.com

love-tennis said...

So many of UNC's kids have stepped up. Zoe DeBruycker only played partially last spring. Now she is playing that tough #1 position. Shinann F. played #6. Haley Hemm hardly played singles at all.

Yet look at them going now!

Go UNC!!!