Mean Green Begin 2018 With Six Wins
Kutubidze Defeats No. 108 Ranked Singles Player
DALLAS — The North Texas tennis team began the spring season with an excellent start on Friday.
Playing in the Metroplex Mania at SMU, the Mean Green captured five singles wins over Georgia State, including junior Tamuna Kutubidze defeating the No. 108 ranked Kristin Rehse.
“The team did really well overall,” said Kutubidze. “Everyone is looking really good. We had a really good first day of the 2018 season.”
Playing through an illness, Kutubiddze battled through it and overcame a slow start to win 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.
“I started playing smarter,” said Kutubidze. “I understood her tactics and it got a lot easier after that.”
Fellow junior Minying Liang also had to fight through adversity to pick up a win against Georgia State. After dropping the first set 3-6, Liang faced match point trailing 2-5 in the second set and came all the way back to win the set 7-6(3). She then used that momentum in the third set to win 6-2 and take the match, 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-2.
After a successful first semester, Surapaneni and Tranberg both picked up wins on Friday.
Surapaneni won in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4 and Tranberg defeated her Georgia State opponent 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.
“Nidhi and Sille played very well,” Kutubidze said. “They were concentrated, motivated and are in very good shape.”
Sophomore Haruka Sasaki was the fifth Mean Green tennis player to win Friday at SMU. Sasaki also won in straight sets, 6-0, 6-3.
In doubles, UNT went 1-2 with Kutubidze and Sasaki picking up the lone victory. The pair defeated SMU’s Anna Perez-Lopez and Sarai Monarrez Yesaki, 6-4. Kutubidze’s typical doubles partner, Maria Kononova, was forced to sit-out this weekend’s Metoplex Mania due to a heavy fall season schedule.
North Texas returns to SMU on Saturday for the second-day of the three-day event.
SMU’s Turpin Stadium and Brookshire Family Pavilion is located at 5669 N Central Expy, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75205