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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Schnur, Austin in Men's National Indoor Final; Manasse and Elbaba Play for Women's Title; Reese and Libietis Reach Knoxville Challenger Doubles Final; Brady Loses In Captiva

North Carolina's Brayden Schnur and Vanderbilt's Gonzales Austin will play for the men's title at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships Sunday, with Cal's Maegan Manasse and Virginia's Julia Elbaba meeting for the women's title at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.

Schnur, a sophomore from Canada, defeated Dominik Koepfer of Tulane 6-4, 7-6(4) in one Saturday semifinal, while senior Austin moved into the final with a 7-5, 2-3 def. win over Ryan Shane of Virginia.  Shane suffered a persistent nose bleed in the second set and after a medical timeout at 2-1, the bleeding continued at the next changeover resulting in the match being called in Austin's favor. This is similar to the circumstances at this year's NCAAs, when UCLA's Robin Anderson was defaulted from a first round doubles match for the same reason.

Regardless which one of the unseeded men claims tomorrow's final, the winner will be the first National Champion from his school. (Correction:  Current Florida women's head coach Roland Thornqvist won the Indoor for North Carolina in 1993).

The women's final features fifth-seeded sophomore Manasse, who played No. 6 for Cal last year, and sixth-seeded junior Elbaba, who will be playing in her second major final having reached the All-American final as a freshman.  Manasse, who has yet to lose a set in the tournament, defeated unseeded Stephanie Wagner of Miami 6-3, 7-6(4).  Elbaba suffered no letdown after her big win Friday over top seed Jamie Loeb, beating No. 4 seed Brooke Austin of Florida 6-2, 6-4 to avenge her first round loss to the freshman at the All-Americans.

The University of Southern California's Yannick Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz will take on the University of Illinois' Ross Guignon and Tim Kopinski in the men's doubles final.  Hanfmann and Quiroz, the top seeds, defeated No. 3 seeds Austin and Rhys Johnson 7-6, 6-3; Guignon and Kopinski outlasted Mackenzie McDonald and Martin Redlicki of UCLA 6-3, 3-6, 10-7 in a semifinal between unseeded teams.

In the women's doubles final, UCLA's Catherine Harrison and Kyle McPhillips will play Auburn's Pleun Burgmans and Emily Flickinger. The unseeded Harrison and McPhillips beat top seeds and All-American champions Beatrice Gumulya and Jossy Rompies of Clemson 5-7, 7-5, 11-9. Second seeds Burgmans and Flickinger topped unseeded Kelsey Laurente and Viktoriya Lushkova of Oklahoma State 6-3, 6-3.

For complete results, including consolation matches, see the ITA tournament page.

Hanfmann and Quiroz, the All-American finalists, were the top seeds in the Indoors due to the absence of champions Hunter Reese and Mikelis Libietis of Tennessee, who were given a wild card into the Knoxville Challenger this week. The NCAA champions, both seniors, defeated No. 2 seeds Kevin King and Juan Spir in the first round, then received a walkover in the quarterfinals.  In today's semifinals, Reese and Libietis defeated Alex Kuznetsov and former Texas Longhorn Ed Corrie of Great Britain 6-4, 6-2 and will play unseeded Sean Thornley of Great Britain and Gastao Elias of Portugal in Sunday's final.  All the buzz at the tournament today was about a fantastic point that ended in an jaw-dropping around-the-post winner from Hunter Reese.  See the video below:

The singles final will feature Australian Sam Groth, the No. 3 seed, against No. 2 seed Adrian Mannarino of France. Groth defeated No. 5 seed Tim Smyczek 6-3, 6-4 and Mannarino beat Liam Broady of Great Britain 6-0, 6-4.  Live streaming of the doubles can be found here beginning at 1 p.m Sunday.

At the $50,000 women's Pro Circuit tournament in Florida, Jennifer Brady lost to wild card Edina Gallovits-Hall of Romania 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals. Brady's loss means the USTA"s Australian Open wild card now goes to Irina Falconi.  Brady played well throughout the match, but failing to capitalize on a break point at 4-all in the second set was costly, with Brady committing a rare unforced forehand error at 30-40,  and she was broken in the next game.  Brady trailed 2-0 and 3-1 in the final set, but got the breaks back to make it 4-all. Gallovits-Hall held for 5-4, and Brady went down 15-40 in the final game. Gallovits-Hall, who will be 30 next month, hit a gorgeous lob on her first match point to claim the victory, and she will play Croatian Petra Martic in Sunday's final.