Surapaneni Goes Undefeated In Collegiate Debut
Kononova, Kutubidze Reach Semifinals Of Milwaukee Classic
DENTON — The North Texas tennis team began its fall season with a strong first day in two separate tournaments.
Mean Green freshman Nidhi Surapaneni went 2-0 in her collegiate debut at the Rice Invitational while in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, juniors Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze have reached the semifinals of the Milwaukee Tennis Classic women’s doubles draw.
“I was nervous and excited to play my first tournament,” said Surapaneni. “I’m very happy and confident now. I got along well with Minying (Liang) in our doubles match. I love playing with her.”
Surapaneni and North Texas junior Minying Liang were paired together in their flight’s first round doubles match. The duo made quick work of their first round competitors from Texas State and won 6-0.
In singles, Surapaneni won 7-5, 6-2 over Flavia Gutierrez of Texas State.
"I got off to a slow start but towards the end of the first set I knew I had it," Surapaneni said.
Also winning two matches Friday was sophomore Haruka Sasaki. She won her singles match 6-3, 6-0 over Texas State’s Rishona Lewis. She won her doubles match despite being in a mix pair with a Kansas player she’d never played with before. The doubles team defeated a UT-San Antonio team.
In Milwaukee, Kononova and Kutubidze played in the invite only Milwaukee Classic. The No. 22 nationally ranked doubles team was given a first round bye in their draw. The Mean Green defeated Drake 8-0 in a match that took 31 total minutes in the second round.
They are the 2-seed in the tournament and will play the 3-seed Iowa in the semifinals on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. central time.
Kononova and Kutubidze also competed in the singles event at the Milwaukee Classic where they each won their first round match.
Kononova defeated Marquette’s Natalija Popovic 6-3, 7-5 while Kutubidze defeated Wisconsin’s Michelle Linden 6-1, 6-3.
In the second round, also held on Friday, Kononova fell to Wisconsin’s Alexis Kerbele 6-4, 6-4 and Kutubidze lost to Iowa’s Yufei Long 2-6, 7-6, 6-4.
MILWAUKEE CLASSIC RESULTS
Kononova/Kutubidze def. Harder/Brills, 8-0
Kononova def. Popovic, 6-3, 7-5
Kutubidze def. Linden, 6-1, 6-3
Kerbele def. Kononova, 6-4, 6-4
Long def. Kutubidze, 2-6, 7-6, 6-4
Niezgoda def. Liang, 6-2, 6-4
Brigante def. Heczey, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
Babic def. Chobanyan, 2-6, 6-0, 6-2
Sasaki def. Lewis, 6-3, 6-0
Surapeneni def. Gutierrez, 7-5, 6-2
Ibrahimovic/Kato def. Babic/Heczey, 6-2
Liang/ Surapaneni def. Navajo/Fuchs, 6-0
Sasaki/Martorell def. Menon/Cabrera