Florida’s Olivia Janowicz (Palm Bay, Fla.) won the consolation singles title at the ITA Southeast Regional Championships while teammate Sofie Oyen (Leopoldsburg, Belgium) fell agonizingly close to winning the main draw singles crown held at the USF Varsity Courts on Monday.
After being tripped up in the first round, Janowicz quickly recovered and dominated her five-match run in the backdraw, capped by Monday’s 6-1, 6-0 victory against Georgia State’s Linn Timmermann in the final. The Gator junior lost just three total games combined in her final three matches en route to the title.
“Olivia had a bad first round and lost to a player from Florida State who played really well,” UF head coach Roland Thornqvist shared. “After that, Olivia really found her rhythm and played at a really high level. She was never threatened in the backdraw. She played some good players and just rolled over them. I was very pleased that one – she was able to play at such a high level; and two – that she had the attitude to play at that level after a devastating first round loss. She had the appetite and the will to do that and I was very impressed.”
Oyen had a great run to reach the final of the main draw, where she dropped a hard-fought 7-6, 7-6 decision to Georgia’s Lauren Herring. The Gator junior had her chances in the match when she held a 5-3 lead in the first set and leads of 5-4 and 6-5 with the serve in the second but wasn’t able to close out either frame.
“We certainly had our chances but we played a little loose in those games when we were trying to serve it out,” Thornqvist said. “Lauren did an excellent job of making us pay for it. Sofie played at a really high level, too. It was the highest level I’ve seen her play over the course of a full tournament in her two-and-a-half year career at Florida.”
Florida men’s tennis player Florent Diep also claimed the first singles title of his Gators career on Monday, defeating Georgia State’s Victor Valente, 6-0, 6-3, in the finals of the 2012 USTA/ITA Southeast Regional Championships in Tallahassee.
Diep, a junior from Paris, France, beat teammate Bob van Overbeek on Sunday to advance to the finals of the Singles Main Draw. In the semifinal between the two Gators, Diep jumped on top first, taking the first set 6-1. Van Overbeek took the second set, 4-6, but Diep earned the deciding set, 6-4.
With their victories, both Janowicz and Diep earned an automatic berth into the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, held Nov. 8-11 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., home of the U.S. Open Championships
The singles and doubles champions from each of the 12 regionals earn a spot in the main draw of the tournament.
As winner of the 2012 Riviera/ITA All-American Championships, Gators senior Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) received an automatic berth into the 32-player singles main draw of the collegiate grand slam event and is not competing at this weekend’s ITA Regional.
Courtesy of UF Communications