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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Daavettila's Golden Season; US Open National Playoff Update; Day Defeats Top Seed in Charlotte $10K

When I interviewed Sara Daavettila back in February for this article on her commitment to North Carolina, she told me she wanted to play another year of high school tennis, although she had already won a singles title as a sophomore at Williamston High School.
Daavettila's decision to play again led to an unimaginable accomplishment.  She went through the entire high school season without losing a game.

A golden set, extremely rare in tennis at any level, is one player winning every point, 24 in a row. When the player wins 15 or 16 points to start, I'm sure the pressure mounts, but that suspense is over in a matter of minutes.  Daavettila dealt with it for weeks and weeks, and then came into the state high school championships, not only to defend her title, but to try to achieve a form of tennis perfection.

Although this Mlive.com article about Daavettila and the Division III tournament displays a maddening lack of tennis knowledge, I think any credibility it may lack is counterbalanced by Daavettila's high school coach, who is obviously in a position to know.

"I've never been nervous in a 6-0, 5-0 match before, but I was nervous," coach Nate Schwarzbek is quoted as saying in the article. "But other than that, she plays well -- her opponents play her well too, but she just wins the crucial points."
Daavettila is in action this weekend in Midland, where the Midwest section's US Open National Playoffs are being held.  She is the No. 1 seed.

Four of the USTA sections have completed their USO National Playoff tournaments.  This year there is a main draw wild card in both men's and women's doubles up for grabs for the first time.  The singles wild cards are for qualifying, the mixed doubles wild card is for the main draw.

Women’s Singles: Jacqueline Cako
Men’s Singles: Joel Kielbowicz
Mixed Doubles: Cako and Kielbowicz
Women’s Doubles: Savannah Slaysman and Allie Sanford
Men’s Doubles: Ben Newell and Zachary Newell

Women’s Singles: Gail Brodsky
Men’s Singles: Chris Wettengel
Mixed Doubles: Brodsky and Brian Wilson
Women’s Doubles: Jacqueline Cako and Keri Wong
Men’s Doubles: Jordan Kerr and Travis Parrott

Missouri Valley:
Women’s Singles: Sophie Chang
Men’s Singles: Dusty Boyer
Mixed Doubles: Boyer and Julia Schiller
Women’s Doubles: Katherine Cao and Jaci Cochrane
Men’s Doubles: Julio Peralta and Matt Seeberger

Women’s Singles: Nika Kukharchuk
Men’s Singles: Mikelis Libietis
Mixed Doubles: Sydney Rider and Matt Stillwagon
Women’s Doubles: Lizzie Baker and Mackenzie Clark
Men’s Doubles: Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese

Articles on each section's tournament can be found at the US Open website.

Qualifying was completed today and first round action began at the $10,000 Charlotte, North Carolina women's Pro Circuit event.  Four seeds were in main draw action today and three of them lost.  Fifteen-year-old wild card Kayla Day defeated top seed Ana Neffa de los Rios of Paraguay, who is only 18 herself, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2.  Day has played only four Pro Circuit tournaments over the past two years prior to this week, advancing out of qualifying once and winning a round, but she doesn't yet have a WTA ranking.  Caroline Price, a recent UNC graduate, defeated No. 3 seed Rianna Valdes, the USC incoming freshman 6-0, 6-4.  Andie Daniell, the incoming Alabama freshman, defeated No. 6 seed Maria-Fernanda Alves of Brazil 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.