ATHENS, Ga. – Florida freshman Csilla Borsanyi defeated Iva Mihaylova in a three-set thriller to provide the clinching dual match point in a 4-2 victory over No. 13 Baylor and help the Gators advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships Friday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Borsanyi overcame a rowdy Bear’s contingency and steadied her nerves to outlast Mihaylova, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in two hours and 24 minutes to secure Florida’s 22nd trip to the quarterfinal round. The Gators (24-2) play No. 12 UCLA on Sunday beginning at 9 a.m. The Bruins (19-7) upset No. 5 Northwestern, 4-0, in their Round of 16 match.
“We knew today would be an absolute dogfight. Baylor’s got a great team and we knew it was going to be a tough match. We were prepared for this match taking four hours and being 4-3 either way,” Florida head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “We got the doubles point fairly easily and that gave us a lot of confidence. Our players were ready for the battle mentally and that was the difference from our end. I thought we handled ourselves very well under pressure.”
Florida took a 3-2 lead after taking the doubles point and singles victories from Megan Alexander and Nina Suvak, leaving play on courts number five and six to determine the dual match.
Borsanyi won the opening set of her No. 5 match, 6-3, fighting off three break-points to hold for the first frame. She found herself down an early break in the second and almost got the set back on-serve, but Mihaylova earned a break in the eighth game and served out to force a deciding third.
Borsanyi held at love to begin the third and followed with a break to take a quick 2-0 lead. After winning the first two point on her serve in the next game, Borsanyi shanked what seemed to be a sure open-court winner that would have given her three game-points. Mihaylova seized the momentum and ripped off the next seven points en route to evening the set at 2-all.
The Gator rookie finally regrouped and held in the fifth game. Mihaylova also held her next trip to the baseline after Borsanyi held one break point but missed on a passing shot that gave Mihaylova new life. The Bear took advantage by holding and then breaking Borsanyi at love to take a 4-3 lead with the serve. Borsanyi again dug deep and broke right back, winning eight of the next nine points to take a 5-4 lead and put the pressure back on Mihaylova. Borsanyi came out of the change-over focused and held a 15-40 lead, eventually taking the victory on her second match-point after Mihaylova swung an overhead long.
“Iva Mihaylova is one of the toughest outs in college tennis and our freshman got the job done,” Thornqvist praised. “Csilla did a good job of learning and harnessing her game late in the third set. She managed her tennis and that was the difference for her.”
“This was an amazing match because it helped my team win,” said Borsanyi, who improved to 4-2 in clinching dual-matches contests this season. “It was hard, but I trusted in myself that I could win this match. I kept doing what (head coach Roland Thornqvist) told me to do and it worked. I just tried to keep my focus.”
The Gators won the doubles point in less than an hour, earning victories on courts number two and three. Whitney Benik and Nina Suvak topped Klara Zrustova and Zuzana Chmelarova, 8-1, as the Gator pair dominated the No. 2 court.
Florida’s freshman pair of Megan Alexander and Anastasia Revzina then earned their first win over a ranked team, downing 49th-ranked Zuzana Zemenova and Iva Mihaylova, 8-4, to capture the doubles point and hand the Bear doubles team their first loss of the season in 18 matches.
“Anastasia and I really enjoy playing with each other and started cheering right from the start,” Alexander said. “I think that was our best doubles match we’ve played together this year. To be able to clinch the doubles point was huge.”
Baylor then jumped out on the singles court and evened the match at
1- all after Zuzana Zemenova downed Diana Srebrovic, 6-2, 6-2.
Alexander swung the momentum back in Florida’s favor after earning a
6- 4, 6-1 victory over Zuzana Cerna at the No. 2 spot.
“The first set was really tough and she seemed to get down after losing it,” Alexander said. “I had to work for the win, but it gave me a boost during the long rallies. I felt like I played well.”
Baylor earned the next win of the match, though, when Lenka Broosova halted Anastasia Revzina’s 14-match win streak with a 6-2, 6-3 decision, evening the team score at 2-all.
Nina Suvak, UF’s lone senior, answered with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Zuzana Chmelarova on court No. 4, placing the Gators one win from the team victory. With the second set on-serve, Suvak earned the first break of the frame in the seventh game before fighting off three break points to take a 5-3 lead. She then held one match point in the next game, but Chmelarova held, sending Suvak to the baseline to serve for the match. She converted on her third match-point opportunity of the final game to take the win.
“We looked really good out of the gate. Megan’s quick win took some of the pressure off us at number five and six,” Thornqvist said. Csilla and Whitney helped each other playing next to each other on the court, especially during the tight moments.”
Whitney Benik took a 3-0 lead in the third set of her No. 6 match against Klara Zrustova when play was halted.
The Gators are 18-3 in NCAA Quarterfinal round matches, with their last loss at this stage of the event a 6-0 defeat to Texas in 1994. Florida sports a 12-6 all-time record versus UCLA, including a 6-3 ledger in NCAA action. The Gators and Bruins met in last year’s NCAA Round of 16, with Florida earning a thrilling 4-3 victory. The match-up prior to that postseason affair also was a thriller, with the Gators earning a 4-3 win in the quarterfinals of the 2003 National Team Indoor Championship.
Florida Round of 16 Match Notes
* UF improves to 22-2 all-time in NCAA Round of 16 matches
* This was the third consecutive year Florida eliminated Baylor in the NCAA Championships
* The 4-2 victory was the 775th win in the 35-year history of Florida tennis (overall record: 775-110)
* Today’s victory was head coach Roland Thornqvist’s 149th win in his six years with the Gators
* UF’s No. 3 doubles team of Megan Alexander and Anastasia Revzina defeated Baylor’s 49th-ranked Zuzana Zemenova and Iva Mihaylova 8-4 to snap the Bear’s 17-match win streak
* Nina Suvak’s win at the No. 2 doubles position marked the 114th doubles win in her career, tying her for fourth place all-time in Gator history (tied with Jessica Lehnhoff, 1999-2002)
* Anastasia Revzina had her 14-match singles winning streak snapped
NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships
Dan Magill Tennis Complex
Friday, May 18, 2007
NCAA Round of 16 Team Results
Stanford (1) def. Vanderbilt (16), 4-0
Southern California (8) vs. Miami (9) – in progress
Florida (4) def. Baylor (13), 4-2
UCLA (12) def. Northwestern (5), 4-0
Notre Dame (6) vs. North Carolina (11), 3 p.m.
Georgia Tech (3) vs. Fresno State (14), 3 p.m.
Clemson (7) vs. California (10), 6 p.m.
Georgia (2) vs. William & Mary (15), 6 p.m.
Florida’s Individual Dual Match Results
Final Score: Florida 4, Baylor 2
No. 1 Csilla Borsanyi/Diana Srebrovic (15), UF tied Lenka
Broosova/Zuzana Cerna, BU 6-6 – DNF
No. 2 Whitney Benik/Nina Suvak, UF def. Klara Zrustova/Zuzana
Chmelarova, BU 8-1
No. 3 Megan Alexander/Anastasia Revzina, UF def. Zuzana Zemenova/Iva
Mihaylova (49), BU 8-4*
No. 1 Zuzana Zemenova (18), BU def. Diana Srebrovic (23), UF 6-2, 6-2
No. 2 Megan Alexander (39), UF def. Zuzana Cerna (49), BU 6-4, 6-1
No. 3 Lenka Broosova (74), BU def. Anastasia Revzina (92), UF 6-2, 6-3
No. 4 Nina Suvak (122), UF def. Zuzana Chmelarova, BU 6-2, 6-4
No. 5 Csilla Borsanyi (58), UF def. Iva Mihaylova, BU 6-3, 3-6, 6-4*
No. 6 Whitney Benik, UF led Klara Zrustova, BU 3-6, 6-4, 3-0 – DNF
Order of Finish: Doubles 2, 3; Singles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5