Oct. 10, 2009
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – Sophomore Irina Falconi of the Georgia Tech Women’s Tennis team survived a three-hour match against Venise Chan of Washington Saturday to earn a spot in the finals of the 2009 Riviera/ITA All-American Championships main singles draw at the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Falconi, who teamed with senior Amanda McDowell to capture the 2008 ITA All-American doubles title, defeated Chan, 7-5, 7-6 (8-6) and will now compete for her first individual national title Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. The Yellow Jacket standout will face either Jana Juricova of California or Chelsey Gullickson of Georgia.
“Chan is an unbelievable player,” Falconi said. “She was grounded the whole time and didn’t give me anything. She made me work for every point. It was a really well-played match from both of us. It took a lot of fitness and mental toughness out there. The match could have gone either way and it was just staying in there and being completely focused.
“Today’s match was a good test for me to see if I could get it done,” Falconi said. “It feels great to be in my first All-American final. I am just excited to be in the position. I plan to take tomorrow’s match one point at a time.”
“Irina played another tough match today against a very good opponent,” assistant coach Anca Dumitrescu added. “She was able to up her level of intensity at key moments and get it done.”
Falconi is the first Yellow Jacket to reach the finals of the main singles draw at the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships, now in its 26th season. It also marks the third straight year Georgia Tech has individuals competing in the finals at the event – Falconi and McDowell in 2008 and Kristi Miller and Whitney McCray in the 2007 doubles final.
For more information on the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships, please click here.
– RamblinWreck.com –