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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Chirico Through to Midland Final; Mmoh Wins Qualifying Match in Memphis ATP Tournament; Georgia Tops No. 1 UCLA to Reach Women's Team Indoor Semifinal

Two years ago, the then 16-year-old Louisa Chirico lost to Katerina Vankova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-0 in the first round of a $25,000 Pro Circuit event in California. In their second meeting, in the semifinals of the $100,000 Dow Corning Tennis Classic in Midland Saturday night, Chirico turned the tables on Vankova, breezing to a 6-2, 6-1 victory.

There was almost no drama in the match, with No. 8 seed Chirico playing well, and the unseeded 25-year-old lefthander unable to find the court.  Chirico did not face a break point until the final game, when she was serving for the match barely 50 minutes after it had started. Up 40-15, Chirico played tentatively and lost both those match points as well as the next point, to give Vankova her first break point of the match, but Vankova missed a forehand wide.  Chirico double faulted on her next match point, and although she hit an ace on the next point, in general she had difficulty getting her first serve in throughout the game.  Chirico saved two more break points before a couple of forehand winners gave her a fifth match point, and this time she got a first serve in. Vankova sent the forehand return just wide, and Chirico was into her first final above the $25,000 level.

She will play No. 6 seed Tatjana Maria of Germany, who ended the run of qualifier Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 7-5.  Vaidisova was up two breaks, serving at 4-1 in the second set, but Maria fought back, eliminated any errors from her own game and watched an exasperated Vaidisova become increasingly unable to sustain a rally.

The 27-year-old Maria, who returned to the tour in April of last year after giving birth to her one-year-old daughter, who is with her in Midland, has been ranked as high as 64, back in 2009. She and Chirico have not played before.  The final, at 1 p.m. Sunday, will be live streamed here.

The doubles final, between the unseeded team of Julie Coin of France and Emily Webley-Smith of Great Britain and the unseeded American team of Sachia Vickery and Jacqueline Cako, will follow the singles final.

The qualifying for next week's ATP tournament in Memphis began today, with Michael Mmoh and Francis Tiafoe receiving wild cards. Tiafoe drew top seed Filip Krajinovic of Serbia and lost 2-6, 6-1, 6-4. Mmoh drew former Texas Longhorn Dimitar Kutrovsky, who he had played twice last fall in Futures events, losing to him in the Mansfiled semifinals before beating him in the Brownsville first round the following week.  Mmoh came out the winner today too, 6-4, 6-4, and will play No. 4 seed and ATP 140 Victor Hanescu of Romania in the second round Sunday.

Stefan Kozlov and Jared Donaldson received main draw wild cards and will play each other in the first round.

At the Women's ITA Team Indoor in Charlottesville, there were more surprises and more drama in Saturday's quarterfinal round.  No. 8 seed Georgia beat the defending finalists and reigning NCAA champions 4-2. Georgia won the doubles point, but UCLA came back to take four first sets in singles, only to see Georgia close out one match in straight sets and rally for three-set wins in two others, with freshman Hannah King clinching for the Bulldogs.  They will play No. 5 seed Cal in the semifinals, after the Bears knocked off TCU 4-1. See the Georgia recap here and the Cal recap here.

#9 Georgia 4, #1 UCLA 2
Feb 07, 2015
1. #2 Robin Anderson (UCLA) vs. #19 Lauren Herring (UGA) 1-6, 7-6(3), 3-4, unfinished
2. Ellen Perez (UGA) def.#3 Chanelle Van Nguyen (UCLA) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
3. Kyle McPhillips (UCLA) def. Kennedy Shaffer (UGA) 6-3, 7-6(2)
4. #79 Kaitlin Ray (UCLA) def. #83 Silvia Garcia (UGA) 7-5, 6-2
5. #91 Hannah King (UGA) def. Terri Fleming (UCLA) 1-6, 6-4, 6-4
6. Caroline Brinson (UGA) def. Kristin Wiley (UCLA) 6-0, 6-2

1. #1 Catherine Harrison/Kyle McPhillips (UCLA) def. Lauren Herring/Ellen Perez (UGA) 6-1
2. Silvia Garcia/Kennedy Shaffer (UGA) def. Robin Anderson/Terri Fleming (UCLA) 6-3
3. Caroline Brinson/Hannah King (UGA) def. Chanelle Van Nguyen/Kristin Wiley (UCLA) 6-2

Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (6,4,2,3,5)
#5 Cal 4, #20 TCU 1
Feb 07, 2015
1. #5 Maegen Manasse (CAL) def. Stefanie Tan (TCU) 6-3, 6-3
2. Simona Parajova (TCU) def. #78 Klara Fabikova (CAL) 6-3, 6-1
3. #14 Zsofi Susanyi (CAL) def. Sofiko Kadzhaya (TCU) 6-3, 6-4
4. #64 Denise Starr (CAL) vs. Palina Dubavets (TCU) 4-6, 6-2, 3-0, unfinished
5. #30 Karla Popovic (CAL) def. Alexis Pereira (TCU) 7-5, 6-3
6. Cecilia Estlander (CAL) vs. Seda Arantekin (TCU) 4-6, 3-4, unfinished

1. #4 Maegen Manasse/Denise Starr (CAL) def. Stefanie Tan/Seda Arantekin (TCU) 7-5
2. #9 Klara Fabikova/Zsofi Susanyi (CAL) def. Simona Parajova/Sofiko Kadzhaya (TCU) 6-4
3. Palina Dubavets/Alexis Pereira (TCU) def. Karla Popovic/Cecilia Estlander (CAL) 6-3

Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (2,1,5,3)

No. 3 North Carolina has had the most comfortable trip to the semifinals. After defeating Oklahoma State in less than two hours on Friday, the Tar Heels cruised past Miami 4-0. The recap is here. The 2013 Team Indoor champions will take on No. 2 seed Florida in Sunday's semifinals, after the Gators, again appearing down and out, came back to defeat No. 7 seed and host Virginia 4-1.  After beating Clemson 4-3 by taking a third set tiebreaker Friday, Florida at least won the doubles point on Saturday, but they lost five of the six first sets in singles.  Every match went to a third set, however, and Florida's Josie Kuhlman at 2, Belinda Woolcock at 4 and Brianna Morgan at 3 all came back from a set down to win, with Morgan getting the clinching point.  
#2 Florida 4, #10 Virginia 1
Feb 07, 2015 
1. #1 Julia Elbaba (VA) vs. #6 Brooke Austin (UF) 6-7(6), 6-4, 1-3, unfinished
2. #9 Josie Kuhlman (UF) def. #42 Danielle Collins (VA) 2-6, 6-2, 6-3
3. #11 Brianna Morgan (UF) def. #16 Stephanie Nauta (VA) 3-6, 6-3, 7-5
4. #43 Belinda Woolcock (UF) def. Skylar Morton (VA) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
5. Maci Epstein (VA) def. #40 Peggy Porter (UF) 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
6. Cassie Mercer (VA) vs. #26 Kourtney Keegan (UF) 7-5, 6-7(6), 0-0, unfinished

1. #7 Brooke Austin/Kourtney Keegan (UF) def. #22 Julia Elbaba/Stephanie Nauta (VA) 7-6(3)
2. #17 Josie Kuhlman/Peggy Porter (UF) def. #11 Cassie Mercer/Skylar Morton (VA) 6-4
3. Belinda Woolcock/Spencer Liang (UF) def. Danielle Collins/Maci Epstein (VA) 7-6(6)

Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (5,2,4,3)
#3 North Carolina 4, #12 Miami 0
Feb 07, 2015  
1. #8 Jamie Loeb (NC) vs. #7 Stephanie Wagner (UM) 4-6, 6-2, 0-0, unfinished
2. #31 Hayley Carter (NC) vs. #39 Sinead Lohan (UM) 7-5, 5-5, unfinished
3. #22 Caroline Price (NC) def. #94 Lina Lileikite (UM) 6-3, 6-0
4. Whitney Kay (NC) def. #88 Clementina Riobueno (UM) 6-4, 6-4
5. Ashley Dai (NC) vs. #58 Wendy Zhang (UM) 7-6, 2-2, unfinished
6. Kate Vialle (NC) def. Monique Albuquerque (UM) 6-3, 7-5

1. #15 Monique Albuquerque/Clementina Riobueno (UM) def. #13 Ashley Dai/Kate Vialle (NC) 6-4
2. Jamie Loeb/Caroline Price (NC) def. #8 Stephanie Wagner/Lina Lileikite (UM) 6-0
3. Hayley Carter/Whitney Kay (NC) def. #37 Sinead Lohan/Wendy Zhang (UM) 7-6

Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (3,4,6)