Mean Green Raise Level Of Play In ITA Texas Regional Second Day
Kononova/Kutubidze Reach Quarterfinals
FORT WORTH — Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze saved a match point at 7-6 down to win 8-7(5) and advance to the quarterfinals of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Texas Regional doubles draw Saturday afternoon at TCU.
The tournament’s No. 1 seeded doubles team’s come-from-behind victory was against Houston’s Tsveta Dimitrova and Sveva Mazzari.
“Maria and Tamuna continue to do amazing things together,” said head coach Sujay Lama. “Their backs were against the wall the whole time but found a way to win. That’s what champions do.”
Kononova and Kutubidze will face Baylor’s Angie Shakhraichuk and Theresa Van Zyi who already upset the No. 5-seeded team from Texas.
The North Texas tennis team won five singles matches Saturday.
Kononova advanced to the round of 16 in the singles main draw after she beat the Horned Frogs’ Alexis Pereira 7-5, 6-3. The No. 3 seeded singles player will face Texas’ Bojana Markovic, the No. 14 seeded player.
Also collecting singles wins Saturday in the consolation bracket were Haruka Sasaki, Nidhi Surapaneni and Alexandra Heczey. Surapaneni won her second and third round match both coming against power-five opponents.
“Nidhi continues to impress and grow with each match,” Lama said. “She has tremendous poise as a freshman and had two excellent wins.”
Saturday began with all three of the Mean Green doubles teams reaching the round of 16 of the main draw, Kononova and Kutubidze were the only to reach the quarterfinals.
Heczey and Sasaki defeated a Texas State doubles team 8-4 in the round of 32 but lost to Rice’s Lindsey Hodge and Wendy Zhang in the round of 16. Hodge and Zhang are the No. 4 seed.
Surapaneni and junior Minying Liang beat University of Texas Arlington’s team 8-5 to start the day tor each the round of 16. They fell 8-4 to the No. 8 seeded team from Texas.
In total, North Texas won nine matches Saturday.
“Overall a great day for our team,” Lama said. “We competed hard and raised our level of play.”