Photos by Casey Brooke Lawson
The University of Florida’s Anastasia Revzina fell just short of capturing the 2008 Gator Fall Classic Flight A singles title, dropping a hard-fought three-setter to Notre Dame’s Kristy Frilling in the final at the Ring Tennis Complex on Sunday.
In the sweltering heat, the Gator junior dug deep and almost rallied from a 4-0 deficit in the third-set 10-point super-tiebreaker, but the Irish freshman kept her cool and captured the first singles title of her collegiate career with a 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (10-8) victory in the final.
“It thought it was good tennis,” UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “We have to return better than we did this weekend, but that’s one of the things that comes with not playing a lot of matches. Frilling’s lefty serve gave us some trouble and we were not were we wanted to be at the start of points. You have to tip your hat to Frilling, though, she won three matches today in this temperature.”
The match concluded the season-opening three-day tournament, where the Gators were able to face quality competition and learn about their respective games.
“Overall, I thought we played pretty well,” Thornqivst said. “We need work on our serves and returns this week. This was a great tournament for us to have to prepare us for practice and the rest of the fall season.”
UF’s Megan Alexander, who advanced to semifinals of the Gator Fall Classic Flight A Singles draw after her upset of Notre Dame’s top-seeded and 43rd-ranked Kelcy Tefft, lost on Sunday to Revzina, 6-4, 7-6 (3).
“It’s kind of a bummer because you want to win, but then you don’t want to beat your teammate,” Alexander said of facing her fellow Gator junior. “I love playing Anastasia because she’s really fair and is still encouraging and complimentary. I just tried to think of it as practice.
“I was very happy with my overall play during the weekend,” Alexander continued. “This was a good opening tournament for us and it was great to get some matches in before the Riviera All-American next week. This weekend helped show me areas of my game that I need to work on so it was great.”
UF sophomore Marrit Boonstra was trying to make the Flight A final an all-Gator affair, but couldn’t fend off the efficient play of Frilling and ended her tournament run with a 6-2, 6-3 loss in the semifinals.
The three-day event also was a chance for freshman Jo Mather to get her first taste of collegiate competition. On Sunday, she dropped her final singles match of the tournament 0-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-6), falling in a third-set 10-point super-tiebreaker for the second consecutive day.
“I was a little nervous, but I’m happy I got the chance to play here at home for my first tournament,” Mather shared. “I need to build up my confidence in college tennis, I haven’t quite got that yet.”
The Gators next travel to Pacific Palisades, Calif., to compete in the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships. Four members of the squad will participate, with Mather beginning her singles experience in the 64-player prequalifying draw, where eight advance to the qualifying competition. She also pairs with Revzina in the 32-team doubles draw, aiming to be one of the four tandems that advance to the qualifying draw. Prequalifying is held September 27-28 and takes place at Pepperdine University, with the rest of the tournament moving to the Riviera Tennis Club.
Qualifying competition for the prestigious national event considered the first leg of the collegiate Grand Slam begins September 30, with the main draw getting underway on October 2nd.
Revzina, Alexander and Boonstra earned a spot in the 64-player singles qualifying draw, where eight advance to the main draw. On the strength of their regional and national ranking, sixth-ranked Alexander and Boonstra received an automatic spot in the 16-team doubles main draw.