Kononova Wins In Comeback Fashion
Maria Kononova Defeats 2016 First-Team All-C-USA Selectee
DALLAS — North Texas women’s tennis player Maria Kononova defeated Lindsey Hodge of Rice on Sunday at the Metroplex Mania at SMU.
The sophomore Kononova beat the Owls’ 2016 First-Team All-C-USA singles player (3-6, 7-6, 7-5) on day two of the three-day invite. The win is Kononova’s fifth straight singles win and her 10th win over her last 11 singles matches.
“Despite coming off the bad start and losing the first set, I knew I had a good chance to comeback,” Kononova said. “I played against her at the conference championships last year so I knew her strengths and weaknesses.”
Kononova ended her freshman season at the C-USA Championships with a 7-5, 6-3 loss to Hodge at No. 1 singles. Sunday, Kononova showed that improvement with the singles victory.
“This tournament is a great opportunity to show our improvements from the fall season to the spring season,” Kononova said. “And even today we already improved and had better matches.”
Also collecting wins in singles on Sunday were Mean Green freshmen Haruka Sasaki and Ivana Babić.
After having an excellent first day, Sasaki picked up day two right where she left off. Sasaki beat Rice’s Fernanda Astete (3-6, 6-2, 6-3) and now has won five of her last six singles matches. Babić beat SMU’s Sara Jamal in straight sets, 6-0, 7-6. Sophomore Minying Liang could not convert a match point and eventually lost a heart breaker 7-6 in the third set.
“We still have things to work on and a lot of potential, but it’s a great beginning,” Kononova said. “I can't wait to compete with the girls for the championships.”
North Texas returns to the SMU Tennis Complex, Turpin Stadium and Brookshire Family Pavillion on Monday at 11:00 a.m. for the final day of the Metroplex Mania.
SMU's Tennis Complex, Turpin Stadium and Brookshire Family Pavilion can be found at 5669 N Central Expy, Dallas, TX 75205.
DAY TWO RESULTS
Kononova beat Hodge (Rice), 3-6, 7-6, 7-5
Zhang (Rice) defeated Thoma, 0-6, 0-6
Ho (Rice) beat Arciniegas, 6-4, 2-6, 0-6
Sasaki defeated Astete (Rice), 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
Niezgoda beat Liang, 6-1, 4-6, 6-7
Durkin defeated Heczey, 3-6, 1-6
Babić beat Jamal (SMU), 6-0, 7-6
Jamal/Anselmo (SMU) defeated Liang/Babić, 2-6