Another freshman records a tennis upset in NCAA action


Freshman Carol Zhao became the latest Stanford player to knock off a seeded player at the NCAA women's tennis singles championships in Athens, GA. She downed sixth-seeded Lauren Hemming of Georgia, 7-6, 7-5, in a competitive, spirited match Thursday.

Cardinal senior Kristie Ahn also reached the Round of 16, beating UCLA's Kyle McPhillips, 6-4, 6-2.

Krista Hardebeck and Taylor Davidson, meanwhile, suffered three-set losses and Caroline Doyle fell to UCLA's second-seeded Robin Anderson, 6-2, 6-3.

"Caroline is really good," Anderson said. "She's a lefty and I haven't played a lefty in a really long time. She swung really, really heavy. She has this massive kick serve. So, it was a bit tougher for me today and it was really hard for me to get break against her."

Zhao handled the pressure of playing against the local favorite on her home court, delivering winners in a first set tiebreaker and outlasting Hemming in the second set.

Ahn, the No. 3 seed in the tournament, has won two straight matches since dropping her final dual meet match on Monday.

Ahn meets Georgia State's unseeded Abigail Tere-Apisah, who beat Cal's unseeded Zsofi Susanyi.

The unseeded Zhao plays UCLA's 9-16 seed Chanelle Van Nguyen on Friday.

Hardebeck, who upset fourth-seeded Julia Elbaba of Virginia on Wednesday, won a tough first set from Duke's unseeded Ester Goldfield, only to fall, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

Davidson recovered from a whitewash in the first set to force a competitive third set in a 6-0, 6-7, 7-5 loss to 9-16 seed Silvia Garcia of Georgia.

"I started playing really, really well, just played my game and didn't miss a lot of balls," Garcia said. "I think she was missing more early than she did later, and she came back in the second set. I knew it was going to be a hard match. I just hung in and was able to win."

In doubles, No. 10 Ahn and Zhao dropped their first set, 6-4, to Julia Fellerhoff and Rebecca Shine of Louisville but came back to win the match, 6-3, 6-2.

Next up is Miami's 5-8 seeded Monique Albuquerque and Clementina Riobueno in the second round.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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