ATHENS, Ga. * The University of Florida’s Megan Alexander, Csilla Borsanyi and Diana Srebrovic won their respective first-round matches at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Championships on Wednesday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Alexander upset North Carolina’s 10th-ranked Jenna Long, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (3), Borsanyi toppled Arizona’s Danielle Steinberg, 6-1, 6-1, and Srebrovic cruised past North Carolina’s 50th-ranked Sanaz Marand, 6-1, 6-0.
The first-round victories by Alexander and Borsanyi marked just the third time in history that two Gator freshmen won their respective opening-round matches. In 1997, Amanda Basica and M.C. White won first-round matches in their debut season, with White reaching the final. In 1988, Nicole Arendt and Halle Cioffi both won their first two rounds, with Cioffi eventually falling in the final match to Gator sophomore teammate Shaun Stafford.
Srebrovic’s victory, which was the 75th of her career, sets up a showdown against top-seeded and No. 1-ranked Audra Cohen from Miami. Cohen won all three previous meetings this season against Srebrovic, a junior who is ranked 23rd in the country.
Borsanyi was able to put her most recent match behind her in Wednesday’s convincing win over the 42nd-ranked Steinberg. Borsanyi entered the NCAA Singles Championships off a heartbreaking 6-4, 7-6 (4) clinching loss to UCLA’s Alex McCoodwin in the quarterfinal of the team event, where the Gators fell, 4-3. Borsanyi second-round foe is Auburn’s 16th-ranked Fani Chifchieva, the highest-ranked opponent the Gator rookie has faced in her career.
Alexander was the first Gator to post her result, turning in the three-set thriller over Long, seeded 9-16. Long, ranked No. 10 in the country, is the highest-ranked opponent Alexander has defeated in her young collegiate career. Her path doesn’t get any easier, as the Gator rookie takes on Stanford’s 20th-ranked Jessica Nguyen in the second round.
Alexander staved off one match point in the 12th game of the third set to force a deciding tiebreaker, which was on-serve until the Tar Heel senior sailed a backhand long that gave Alexander a 4-2 lead. After another mini-break, she held to take a 6-2 lead and setup triple-match point in her favor, capitalizing on her second chance when Long double-faulted.
Alexander found herself in an early hole in the final set, when Long broke the Gator at love and held for a 2-0 lead. In the next game, Alexander the fought off three break points and held to get on the board. She then broke Long and held at love to get the match back on-serve. Alexander lost just one point in the ensuing game, earning another break for a 4-2 lead. But Long stormed back and broke Alexander at love and held, evening the frame at 4-all. After both held their respective serves, Long stole Alexander’s serve in the 11th game and took a 6-5 lead to the baseline where she was serving for the match. Alexander jumped out and held double-break point before Long battled back to force duce and later match-point. Alexander dug deep and avoided elimination by winning three straight points to setup the tiebreak.
NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Championships, Round of 64
Dan Magill Tennis Complex
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
UF results only
NCAA First Round (Round of 64)
Diana Srebrovic (23), UF def. Sanaz Marand (50), North Carolina, 6-1, 6-0
Csilla Borsanyi (58), UF def. Danielle Steinberg (42), Arizona, 6-1, 6-1
Megan Alexander (39), UF def. [seed 9-16] Jenna Long (10), North Carolina, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (3)
Pairing for Thursday’s NCAA Second Round (Round of 32)
Diana Srebrovic (23), UF vs.  Audra Cohen (1), Miami
Csilla Borsanyi (58), UF vs. [9-16] Fani Chifchieva (16), Auburn
Megan Alexander (39), UF vs. Jessica Nguyen (20), Stanford