Sunday, May 25, 2014

Cal's Chi rallies to reach NCAA singles final

   Cal's Lynn Chi either is destined to win the NCAA women's singles title or is living on borrowed time.
   The unseeded Chi, ranked 24th in the nation, rallied for the third time in the tournament today to reach Monday's final against unseeded Danielle Collins of Virginia in Athens, Ga.
   Chi, a sophomore from Weston, Fla., edged unseeded Abigail Tere-Apisah, ranked 22nd, of Georgia State 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2). Tere-Apisah -- a senior from Papua New Guinea, off the northern coast of Australia -- served for the match at 5-4 and 6-5 in the third set.
   "(Tere-Apisah) was hitting some really nice shots, and I was just trying to stay in the match," Chi, a sophomore from Weston, Fla., said on "I was just trying to calm myself down. A few points in the 5-6 game went my way, and in the tiebreak I just went for it. And then I broke, and most of the balls went my way, so I'm glad about that."
   Second-seeded Marcos Giron of UCLA and unseeded Alex Sarkissian of Pepperdine will meet in an all-Los Angeles area men's final. USC and cross-town rival UCLA swept the men's and women's team titles, respectively, for the first time on Tuesday.
   Chi saved a match point in her first-round victory over No. 9-16 seed Emina Bektas of Michigan and knocked off top-seeded and top-ranked Jamie Loeb of North Carolina in the quarterfinals after losing the first set.
   "I was glad to just get into the tournament," Chi confessed. "I did not even imagine me being in the finals. I just figured there are so many great players in the tournament. It really is about just a few points. Look at my first-round match. I had to save match point, so if that one didn't go my way, then it could be a different story."
   Chi became the first Bear to reach the singles final since 2011, when Jana Juricova became Cal’s second NCAA singles champion. Suzi Babos won the title in 2006.
   Chi and Collins, a sophomore transfer from Florida and resident of St. Petersburg, Fla., will meet on Monday at 9 a.m. PDT (live streaming and scoring at Collins topped unseeded Ester Goldfeld of Duke 6-3, 7-6 (3).
   "I actually grew up with her, so I know her pretty well," Chi said. "It should be a good match. We'll see how it goes tomorrow."​
   Collins defeated No. 9-16 seed Anett Schutting of Cal 6-3, 6-3 in the second round, No. 2 seed Robin Anderson of UCLA 6-1, 6-4 in the third round and No. 7 seed Hayley Carter of North Carolina 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in the quarterfinals.
   Giron beat No. 9-16 seed Soren Hess-Olesen of Texas 7-5, 6-3, and Sarkissian downed unseeded Denis Nguyen of Harvard 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.

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