Schedule a training visit to the prestigious Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, MD by clicking on the banner above

Saturday, February 10, 2024

NC State Ends North Carolina's Four-Year Reign at Women's Team Indoor, Saving Match Points in Final Set Tiebreaker; Joint Wins W75 in Australia; Giron, Paul Reach ATP Dallas Open Final; Rybakov and Chang Seek USTA Pro Circuit Titles in Florida Sunday

North Carolina State was a huge underdog in their quarterfinal match with No. 1 seed and four-time defending champion North Carolina Saturday night at the ITA Women's Team Indoor Championships. The eighth-seeded Wolfpack, who had lost their top two players from the team that had fallen to North Carolina in last year's NCAA final, were facing a team that had all seven starters from that championship returning and reached the final of the last nine Team Indoor Championships, an almost unfathomable streak of excellence. 

North Carolina was without their No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles player Reese Brantmeier, who was reportedly wearing a knee brace onsite today, after suffering the injury in doubles on Friday  against USC. Elizabeth Scotty, who played doubles but not singles Friday, also wasn't in the singles lineup Saturday, but such was the depth of the Tar Heels that they remained the heavy favorite to advance.

The doubles point did nothing to counteract that expectation, with North Carolina getting routine wins at lines 2 and 3 to take a 1-0 lead. But NC State came alive in singles, winning the four first sets they needed, if they could hold on. They did, getting straight-sets wins on 1 (Amelia Rajecki over Fiona Crawley), 2 (Abigail Rencheli over Carson Tanguilig), and 4 (Sophie Abrams over Abbey Forbes) to take a 3-1 lead, but the other three matches were either in or headed to third sets. NC State needed just one of the three, while North Carolina had to have all three, so the Wolfpack still looked poised to finish the upset, especially when Gina Dittman took a 5-3 lead in the third set over UNC freshman Thea Rabman. Reilly Tran had narrowed the gap to 3-2 with a win over NC State freshman Maddy Zampardo, but Rabman was on the precipice serving at 3-5, 30-40. She kept the faint hopes for UNC alive by saving those two match points, then breaking Dittman serving for the match and went on to take the next two games as well to make it 3-3.

Meanwhile, UNC's Anika Yarlagadda and NC State sophomore Anna Zyryanova had gone to a third set tiebreaker on Court 3. Yarlagadda had a minibreak lead at 4-2 and 5-3, and eventually went up 6-4, giving the Tar Heels two chances for a miracle victory, she won neither, with a netcord falling back on her side on the first. Zyryanova, who did not play regularly for NC State as a freshman, continued to go for her shots, as did Yarlagadda, back in Chapel Hill for a fifth year, but it was Zyryanova's backhand winner on her first match point that ended the North Carolina Team Indoor win streak at 17 matches.

On Sunday, NC State will face No. 4 Michigan, who defeated unseeded Virginia 4-1 to reach the first Team Indoor semifinal in program history. That semifinal is scheduled for noon Pacific.

No. 2 seed Stanford defeated Ohio State 4-1, and will play No. 3 seed Oklahoma State who also needed to win a third set tiebreaker to beat No. 6 Texas 4-3. Charlotte Chavatipon of Texas served for the match at both 5-4, and 6-5, but Sofiya Carrington ran away with the final tiebreaker, in the only match of the six that went to three sets. Oklahoma State is scheduled to play Stanford at 3:30 p.m. Pacific.

Links to live scoring, live streaming and Cracked Racquets coverage is here.

Women's Team Indoor Quarterfinals February 10, 2024

NC State[8] 4, North Carolina[1] 3

1. Fiona Crawley and Carson Tanguilig(UNC) v Sophie Abrams and Anna Zyryanova(NCST) 5-5, unfinished
2. Elizabeth Scotty and Anika Yarlagadda(UNC) v Amelia Rajecki and Maddy Zampardon(NCST) 6-4
3. Abbey Forbes and Reilly Tran(UNC) d. Gabriella Broadfoot and Abigail Rencheli(NCST) 6-3

Order of finish: 3, 2

1. Amelia Rajecki(NCST) d. Fiona Crawley(UNC) 6-3, 7-5
2. Abigail Rencheli(NCST) d. Carson Tanguilig(UNC) 6-4, 6-3
3. Anna Zyryanova(NCST) d. Anika Yarlagadda(UNC) 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(6)
4. Sophie Abrams(NCST) d. Abbey Forbes(UNC) 7-6(8), 6-4
5. Theadora Rabman(UNC) d. Gina Dittman(NCST) 7-5, 3-6, 7-5
6. Reilly Tran(UNC) d. Maddy Zampardo(NCST) 6-2, 2-6, 6-2

Order of finish: 1, 4, 2, 6, 5, 3

Michigan[4] v Virginia 1

1. Jaedan Brown and Kari Miller(MICH) d. Melodie Collard and Elaine Chervinsky(UVA) 6-2
2. Natasha Subhash and Hibah Shaikh(UVA) v Lily Jones and Anna Ross(MICH) 5-3, unfinished
3. Reese Miller and Piper Charney(MICH) d. Sara Ziodato and Annabelle Xu(UVA) 6-3

Order of finish: 1, 3

1. Hibah Shaikh(UVA) d. Kari Miller(MICH) 6-3, 6-4
2. Annabelle Xu(UVA) v Julie Fliegner(MICH) 7-6(5), 4-4, unfinished
3. Jaedan Brown(MICH) d. Sara Ziodato(UVA) 1-6, 6-2, 6-2
4. Gala Mesochoritou(MICH) d. Natasha Subhash(UVA) 6-4, 6-1
5. Lily Jones(MICH) d. Elaine Chervinsky(UVA) 7-6(2), 6-2
6. Piper Charney(MICH) v Melodie Collard(UVA) 7-6(4), 4-6, unfinished

Order of finish: 4, 5, 1, 3

1. Sydni Ratiliff and Luciana Perry(Ohio ST) v Angelica Blake and Alexis Blokhina(STAN) 5-4, unfinished
2. Connie Ma and Alexandra Yepifanova(STAN) d. Irina Cantos Siemers and Audrey Spencer(Ohio ST) 6-1
3. Katherine Hui and Valencia Xu(STAN) d. Madeline Atway and Teah Chavez(Ohio ST) 6-3

Order of finish: 2, 3

1. Irina Cantos Siemers(Ohio ST) d. Angelica Blake(STAN) 6-1, 6-2
2. Connie Ma(STAN) d. Sydni Ratliff(Ohio ST) 6-2, 6-0
3. Alexandra Yepifanova(STAN) d. Luciana Perry(Ohio ST) 7-6(3), 6-3 
4. Alexis Blokhina(STAN) d. Teah Chavez(Ohio ST) 7-6(5), 7-5
5. Katherine Hui(STAN) v Shelly Bereznyak(Ohio ST) 6-3, 6-6, unfinished
6. Valencia Xu(STAN) v Audrey Spencer(Ohio ST) 6-1, 5-7, 3-0, unfinished

Order of finish: 2, 1, 3, 4

1. Anastasiya Komar and Ange Oby Kajuru(Okla ST) d. Taisiya Pachkaleva and Sabina Zeynalova(TEX) 6-3
2. Ayumi Miyamoto and Racquel Gonzalez(Okla ST) d. Tanya Sasnouskaya and Malaika Rapolu(TEX) 6-2
3. Charlotte Chavatipon and Vivian Ovrootsky(TEX) d. Safiya Carrington and Kristina Novak(Okla ST) 6-2

Order of finish: 3, 1, 2

1. Sabina Zeynalova(TEX) d. Anastasiya Komar(Okla ST) 6-3, 6-4
2. Ange Oby Kajuru(Okla ST) d. Sabina Zeynalova(TEX) 6-2. 6-2
3. Malaika Rapolu(TEX) d. Lucia Peyre(Okla ST) 6-1, 6-4
4. Safiya Carrington(Okla ST) d. Charlotte Chavatipon(TEX) 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(2) 
5. Vivian Ovrootsky(TEX) d. Ayumi Miyamoto(Okla ST) 6-1, 7-6(3)
6. Kristina Novak(Okla ST) d. Taisiya Pachkaleva(TEX) 6-1, 6-3

Order of finish:  6, 2, 3, 1, 5, 4

Consolation matches:
Georgia[7] 4, Florida 1
Pepperdine[5] 4, Cal 2
Texas A&M 4, Auburn 1
Southern California 4, Washington 3 

Seventeen-year-old Maya Joint, who switched from representing the United States to Australia last year and has since moved to her father's country, has won the W75 in Burnie Australia as an unseeded wild card. Joint defeated unseeded 19-yo Aoi Ito of Japan 1-6, 6-1, 7-5 Sunday. Joint, who has signed with the University of Texas for the fall of this year, is now at 333 in the WTA live rankings, the sixth highest ranked player in the world under the age of 18. After reaching the final round of women's qualifying at the Australian Open, losing in three sets to eventual semifinalist Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine, Joint has continued to play at that level, advancing to the quarterfinals of the W75 in Burnie two weeks ago and now winning this week. When she moved to Australia last fall, her WTA ranking was 1377; it's been a remarkable series of results for her in the past four months.

In USTA Pro Circuit action today, former TCU All-American Alex Rybakov reached his first final since November 2020 with the 27-year-old left-hander defeating No. 3 seed Nicolas Mejia of Colombia 7-5, 6-3 in the semifinals of the $15,000 tournament in Sunrise Florida.  Rybakov, a wild card recipient seeded No. 6, will face No. 2 seed Dmitry Popko of Kazakhstan, who defeated unseeded Peter Bertran(Georgia/South Florida) of the Dominican Republic 6-2, 6-2 in the other semifinal.

Rybakov, who had already won a doubles title earlier this year with TCU senior Jake Fearnley, claimed another one today, with Andres Andrade(Florida) of Ecuador. Rybakova and Andrade, the No. 1 seeds, defeated No. 4 seeds Harrison Adams(Texas A&M) and Alexander Merino of Peru 6-3, 6-3 in afternoon's final. 

At the W35 in Wesley Chapel, No. 7 seed Sophie Chang has reached the sixth Pro Circuit final of her career, with the 26-year-old cruising past unseeded Lia Karatancheva of Bulgaria 6-1, 6-0 in the semifinals today. Chang will face No. 6 seed Leonie Kung of Switzerland in Sunday's final, after Kung defeated No. 5 seed Madison Sieg(USC) 6-3, 6-3.  

The doubles title in Wesley Chapel went to top seeds Maria Kononova(North Texas) and Maria Kozyreva(St. Mary's) of Russia, who defeated No. 2 seed Kung and Weronika Falkowska of Poland 7-5, 6-1 for their first Pro Circuit title as a team.

Marcos Giron(UCLA) is through to his second ATP final at the Dallas Open, beating No. 4 seed Adrian Mannarino of France 6-1, 6-3 tonight. He will play No. 2 seed Tommy Paul, who beat No. 3 seed Ben Shelton(Florida) 6-2, 6-4 this afternoon. The 30-year-old Giron, who lost to Brandon Nakashima in the San Diego 250 final in 2022, is playing some of the best tennis of his career in the past few months, with four wins in his last five matches against Top 20 opponents.