Top seed Mosolova falls to Wild Card in the First Round of the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships
HAVEN, Conn.- For the second time in the
past month of the fall tennis season, top-seeded Maria Mosolova of
Northwestern, was issued an early first round exit at the hands of
the wild card selection at an ITA National Championship - only this
time it was to one of her best friends.
Fresno State's Anastasia Pethukova, the tournament's wild card
selection and close friend, upset top-seeded Mosolova in straight
sets, 6-4, 7-5 in today's first round action at the ITA National
Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, hosted by Yale University,
November 5-8 at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center in New Haven,
Even though Mosolova suffered another wild card upset to
Tennessee's Caitlin Whoriskey at the Riviera/ITA Women's
All-American Championships, the 2008 ITA National Women's Player to
Watch and two-time Big Ten Player of the Year has been the top
ranked women's singles player in the Campbell/ITA College Tennis
Preseason Rankings for the past two years, making her an obvious
favorite heading into this tournament.
Both Petukhova and Mosolova are from Moscow, Russia, and have known
each other for years and developed a close bond. In addition to
knowing Mosolova's tendencies, Petukhova utilized her trademark
footwork and athleticism in the victory. The victory over Mosolova
gives Petukhova four wins over ranked opponents this year, two of
which were against Top 15 players.
"She was playing a friend, so she was able to stay calm and focus,"
head coach Simon Thibodeau. "Anastasia played well against a solid
opponent and was moving well out there."
Another surprise upset in women's singles was UCLA senior Yasmin
Schnack's victory over third-seeded Chelsey Gullickson of Georgia
in straight sets. After the 11th ranked Schnack took the early lead
winning the first set tiebreaker, Gullickson incurred a knee injury
that slowed her down in the second set. She was able to finish the
match, falling 6-2 in the second set, but due to the injury will
not be able to continue playing in the consolation draw.
"Chelsey started out playing well and then Schnack raised her level
of play and took the first set and eventually won the match," said
Georgia assistant coach Frank Polito. "Chelsey wasn't able to run
down a lot of shots in the second set like she normally
On the men's side, not only did the top seed advance to the Round
of 16, but all of the top seeded players except the eighth seed
picked up first round victories.
The men's singles draw is highlighted by top-seeded J.P. Smith of
Tennessee, who recently achieved a feat that only two others have
accomplished in the history of the ITA Men's All-American
Championships, by capturing the singles and doubles titles in early
October. Smith cruised into the next round with a 6-4, 6-4 victory
over UCLA's Amit Inbar.
Joining Smith is the No. 2 seed as well as the 2009 Campbell/ITA
National Men's Player of the Year, Oleksandr Nedovyesov of Oklahoma
State. Nedovyesov is currently atop the Campbell/ITA College Tennis
Rankings but was ousted in the first round of the D'Novo/ITA Men's
All-American by eighth-seeded Eric Quigley of Kentucky. Nedovyesov
won in straight sets over conference rival Raony Carvalho of Texas
Tech, winning in a second set tiebreaker 7-6 (6).
In doubles action, two top-seeded men's teams and the third-seeded
women's squad were upset in round one. One of the better matchups
of the day also produced the biggest upset in the doubles draw.
Miami's Laura Vallverdu, the 2009 NCAA Women's Singles Finalist,
and her partner Gabriella Meija, defeated the 2009 NCAA Doubles
Champions, Mari Andersson and Jana Juricova of Cal, 9-7. This marks
the second straight ITA Championship that the champion duo has lost
in the first round.
the men's side, a hotly contested match between the No. 2 Oklahoma
State team of Nedovyesov and Bessonov and Alex Lacroix and Antoine
Benneteau went into a tiebreak where the Gator duo was able to
close out the upset 9-8 (2). The other upset of the day should
probably only be deemed an upset due to the loss of a seeded team.
USC's Robert Farah and Steve Johnson were the runner-ups at this
event last year, losing to Cory Parr and Steve Forman of Wake
Forest in the finals. In fact, Farah, with former teammate Kaes
Van't Hof reached the finals in 2007 as well. In today's match
versus Wisconsin's No. 4-seeded Moritz Baumann and Marek
Michalicka, the Trojan tandem breezed into the quarterfinals with
an 8-3 victory.
These championships feature a 32-player singles field and 16-team
doubles field for men and women, including: champions from
Wilson/ITA Regional Championships held across the country during
October, the ITA National Small College "Super Bowl" champions, the
singles semifinalists and doubles champions of the D'Novo/ITA Men's
All-American Tennis Championships and Riviera/ITA Women's
All-American Championships, and at-large and wild card selections
made by the ITA National Tournament Committee.
Play resumes Friday with women's quarterfinal doubles matches
beginning at 8 am ET.