Bears Finish Fall Season with ITA National Indoors & ASU Thunderbird Invitational
The Cal Women’s Team will be closing out the fall season this week with two great events. Junior All-American Anett Schutting and sophomore All-American Zsofi Susanyi will head to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York to compete at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships Thursday November 8 to Sunday November 11. Also in action at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational from Friday November 9 to Sunday November 11, will be seniors Tayler Davis and All-American Annie Goransson, as well as junior Alice Duranteau and Kelly Chui, sophomore Cecilia Estlander, and Freshmen Lynn Chi and Klara Fabikova. We will also recap a great tournament by the Bears at the ITA Northwest Regionals, and finally an update on an Alumni Bear in the Pros - Raquel Kops-Jones.
USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships
The only championship to showcase elite players from every level of collegiate sports, the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships serves as the culmination of the fall season. Hosted by Columbia University, this prestigious event features a 32-player singles draw and a 20-team doubles draw for men and women.
Gaining automatic entry into the tournament are champions from the USTA/ITA Division I Regional Championships held across the country in October, winners of the USTA/ITA National Small College Super Bowl, and the consolation champions, doubles finalists and singles quarterfinalists from the ITA Men's and ITA/Riviera Women's All-American Championships. Zsofi Susanyi (Nationally Ranked #5) and Anett Schutting (Natioanlly Ranked #22) both received at large bids to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.
Here is the link to the tournament page where you can find all the latest information and results:
ASU Thunderbird Invitational
Last year at the ASU Thunderbird Invitatioanl in Tempe, then Cal freshman Zsofi Susanyi defeated top-seeded and No. 41-ranked junior Tayler Davis to claim the 17th-annual Arizona State Thunderbird Invitational title at the Whiteman Tennis Center. Susanyi became the fifth Golden Bear to win the crown in eight years. In an all-Cal final, Susanyi posted her 13th victory of the fall - her sixth in a row - by stunning Davis with a 6-0, 6-2 result. After her elimination from the main draw, then freshman Cecilia Estlander responded to win her next eight consecutive sets and claimed the Sparky Draw consolation crown. Estlander became the sixth Bear to reach double-digit singles victories with a 6-3, 6-3, win over Laura Claus of San Diego in the consolation final.
ITA Northwest Regionals Recap
It was a historic showing for Cal Women’s Tennis at the 2012 ITA Northwest Regional Championships in Palo Alto. In a 128 person draw, eight of the ten Bears in the singles draw advanced into the Round of 32. Klara Fabikova, Anett Schutting, Tayler Davis, and Zsofi Susanyi all advanced to the Quarterfinals. It was a Cal vs Stanford dual match atmosphere in the Quarterfinals with Klara Fabikova beating Kristie Ahn 7-5, 7-6(4), Anett Schutting beating Ellen Tsay 6-3, 6-3, and Tayler Davis beating Stacey Tan 6-4, 6-4. In the semifinals, Anett Schutting prevailed against freshman Klara Fabikova, winning 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-0, while Tayler Davis lost a close match to Stanford standout freshman Krista Hardebeck, 6-4, 6-3. In the finals, Anett came within a couple of points of winning the match, but couldn’t take down Hardebeck, losing a high quality final 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4).
In the doubles draw four out of the five Bears teams made it out of the first round, with all four advancing to the Quartefinals and again three teams, Lynn Chi/Klara Fabikova, Tayler Davis/Annie Goransson, and Anett Schutting/Zsofi Susanyi, advancing to the semifinals. In the semis Lynn Chi and Klara Fabikova lost to the Stanford team of Stacey Tan and Ellen Tsay 8-4, while Tayler Davis and Annie Goransson beat Anett Schutting and Zsofi Susanyi 8-3, setting up another Cal-Stanford final. Unfortunately, the Cardinal claimed another finals victory by an 8-4 decision, earning them the automatic bid to New York for the National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.
Thank you to all of you who came out this past weekend and cheered us on down on the Farm!
In dramatic fashion, it came down to one match to decide who would be heading to Istanbul as the final team in the WTA Championships. In dramatic fashion, the two teams competing for the last spot were playing each other in that semifinal showdown. On one side of the net were the favorites, the household names, the second seeded Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova. On the other side of the net were the underdogs, the relatively unknown, the unseeded Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears. Neither team made it easy getting the semifinals, both playing close first and second round matches, both being stretched to 3rd set tie-breakers at least once. So why would either team make it easy in their decisive match?
Kirilenko and Petrova lead early on, racing out to a 4-1 lead; however, Raquel and Abigail fought back, making it close, but ultimately losing the first set 7-5. In the second set, it was the Americans jumping out to an early lead, 3-1; but could not close it out, losing the second set 6-4. It was a heartbreaking loss for Raquel and Abigail after coming so close to winning the final bid for the WTA Championships and falling just short.
Overall, it was a record-setting year for both players, reaching numerous finals and winning titles in Carlsbad, Seoul, Tokyo, and Osaka. Raquel reached a career high doubles ranking of number 13 in the world as of October 22. Congrats to Raquel on an amazing year, and lets hope her success continues.
Again, thank you for all your support. Follow the Bears in action online this weekend as they compete for championships in Tempe and New York. Follow the results live at the ITA Twitter page or the ITA Facebook page and the Arizona State Womens Tennis page.