Saturday, March 30, 2013

Virginia Women Upset No. 1 North Carolina; Gordon, Griffiths Take Claremont Titles; Kosakowski Reaches Challenger Final

The top-ranked North Carolina women fell to No. 27 Virginia 4-3 today in Chapel Hill, the latest upset in a dual match season full of them.  The Tar Heels played without their usual No. 4 or 5 Lauren McHale, while Virginia has been playing for sometime without their No. 4 Maci Epstein.

The Cavaliers took the doubles point, then North Carolina tied it with Whitney Kay's win at No. 3. Caryssa Peretz at 6 and Julia Elbaba at 2 gave Virginia a 3-1 lead, but North Carolina tied it with wins by Gina Suarez-Malaguti at 1 and Caroline Price at 4. The match came down to No. 5 singles, and it was Virginia's senior Erin Vierra coming from behind to beat freshman Kate Vialle 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. Vialle had played only four matches in the dual season. It is Virginia's first win over a top-ranked opponent in program history.

For the complete results, see the North Carolina website.

Last night, No. 14 Stanford beat No. 4 UCLA 4-3 in women's Pac-12 action, but lost to No. 6 USC 6-1 today. Stanford's NCAA champion Nicole Gibbs lost to both Robin Anderson at UCLA and Sabrina Santamaria at USC at No. 1. USC had beaten No. 13 Cal 6-1 on Friday, while Cal defeated UCLA 4-3 today, without the services of their No. 1 Zsofia Susanyi.  UCLA is without the No. 4, Chanelle Van Nguyen, who was injured in the Stanford loss. So it is USC that posts a 2-0 record in the weekend's round robin of NCAA contenders, with Cal and Stanford 1-1 and UCLA 0-2.

At the ITF Grade 4 in Claremont, 13-year-old Michaela Gordon, seeded No. 11, won the girls title, beating No. 8 seed Peggy Porter 6-4, 6-3. It was Gordon's 12th straight win in ITF junior competition, following her title at a Grade 4 in Mexico last month.  

Qualifier William Griffiths, playing in his first ITF tournament, won nine matches during the week to take the boys title, beating unseeded Gage Brymer 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(5), in what sounds like a terrific match. The 17-year-old Griffith had beaten top seed Henrik Wiersholm 7-5, 7-6(2) in Friday's semifinals.

No. 3 seeds Basil Khuma of India and Anudeep Kodali won the boys doubles championship, defeating unseeded Justin Byrd and Stephen Watson 6-1, 6-0 in the final. Unseeded Erin Larner and Monica Robinson won the girls doubles title, beating No. 6 seeds Mayci Jones and Alyssa Smith 1-6, 7-6(5), 10-7.

Complete results can be found at the tournament website.

In Trinidad and Tobago, unseeded Helen Altick picked up the Grade 4 ITF title, defeating No. 8 seed Caroline Turner, also of the US, 6-3, 7-5. Americans Sofia Kenin and Jenna Freidl won the doubles title with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Stephanie Nemtsova of the US and Jeung Won Yang of Korea. Both teams were unseeded.  The boys singles title went to top seed Robbie Ridout of Great Britain, who defeated unseeded American Tillman Haynes 6-0, 6-2.

Former UCLA Bruin Daniel Kosakowski hadn't won a match all year until this week at the $35,000 challenger in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, where he has reached the final.  The 21-year-old Kosakowski, who was 0-7 in 2013 until this week, took out top seed John Millman of Australia in the second round, got a walkover into the semifinals, and today beat No. 4 seed Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland 6-3, 6-4. Kosakowski will play unseeded qualifier Alessio Di Mauro of Italy, who defeated Tennys Sandgren 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.  Draws are available at the ATP website.

The qualifying is underway at the WTA Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, and at the WTA in Monterrey, Mexico.  Louisa Chirico and Mallory Burdette will face off for a place in the main draw in Charleston after both picked up wins today.  Grace Min, Jessica Pegula and Vania King are the other Americans to reach the final round of qualifying.

In Monterrey, it will take three victories to make the main draw, not the two necessary at both the Sony Open and Family Circle Cup. Americans through to the second round are Samantha Crawford, Alexandra Stevenson, Nicole Melichar and Allie Will.