Sophomore knocks off ranked player en route to fifth straight win
WACO, Texas - Sophomore Ema Burgic continued her run through the singles draw at the USTA/ITA Regional Championships with a victory in the semifinal round on Monday at the Hurd Tennis Center.
To advance to the finals, the seventh-seeded Burgic took down 11th-seeded and 56th-ranked Stefanie Tan of TCU, 6-2, 6-3. To open the match, Tan held serve, but the Baylor sophomore then proceeded to win five straight games to take a 5-1 lead, before closing out the set. In the second set, the two players traded breaks to stand tied at three games apiece. Burgic once again closed strong by winning the final three games to take the match.
"Ema did what she needed to do to advance today," head coach Joey Scrivano said. "She is playing with a lot of confidence right now. It is really nice to see the way her game is coming together."
In Tuesday's singles final, Burgic will face the event's No. 1 seed and the country's fourth-ranked player in Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar of Texas A&M at 11 a.m.
"Sanchez is one of the best players in the country," Scrivano said. "Ema is in a great position where she can completely go for her shots. She needs to have a nothing-to-lose mentality."
Last season, Baylor senior Diana Nakic upset Sanchez-Quintanar in the event's final.
Burgic also played a pair of doubles matches with partner Jordaan Sanford around her singles match on Monday. To start the day, the second-seeded BU duo downed Texas' eighth-seeded Elizabeth Begley and Lina Padegimaite, 8-5, in the quarterfinals.
To close out the day in the semifinal round, Burgic and Sanford were beaten by Nikki Sanders and Rashmi Teltumbde of Texas Tech, 8-1. The BU tandem is now 4-3 on the season.
"We were two completely different teams today," Scrivano said. "This morning, we were executing at a very high level and this afternoon our execution could not have been worse. Give credit to Texas Tech on finishing the job, but we definitely cooperated. These matches tell us who we are and right now we are a team that needs a lot of practice."