MALIBU, Calif. – A wild second day of competition at the 2017 Oracle ITA Masters was filled with many surprises. ECU’s Celia Ruiz nabbed the day’s biggest upset, as she battled past No. 2 seed Lauren Proctor of Winthrop 6-4, 7-6 (3) in Friday morning’s Round of 16 matchup at Pepperdine University.
“It’s a big deal, and more for my university,” said Ruiz on what her victory. “I really wanted to win this match for them.”
Jessica Livianu (St. John’s), Lily Miyazaki (Oklahoma), and Mayar Ahmed (Pepperdine) followed Ruiz’s lead in taking down higher seeded opponents.
Livianu dispatched No. 4 seed Kaitlyn McCarthy on court six of Malibu Racquet Club. Livianu rolled through the first set after serving two aces and 3-of-5 break points, winning 6-1. McCarthy showed life in the second set, but Livianu went on to prevail 7-5 to win the match.
Miyazaki, just one day removed from cruising through the first round at Malibu Racquet Club, fought her way back to take down No. 5 seed, Jessica Failla of Pepperdine. After dropping the first set 3-6, Miyazaki rallied to take the match, 3-6, 6-4, 3-0, after Failla retired from the competition.
Ahmed won in straight sets against Loyola Marymount’s Veronica Miroshnichenko, the No. 7 seed. Ahmed won 7-of-9 break points in the match to cruise to a 6-2, 6-1 victory. She then punched her ticket to the semifinals in her quarterfinal match against Ruiz, taking the match, 6-2, 6-3.
“It feels great, just being at home in the first tournament of the fall,” said Ahmed. “I’m very excited to play tomorrow as well, but it’s awesome to have everyone supporting. The whole staff is supporting me and watching me. It feels like I’m really at home.”
Saturday’s semifinal contests were solidified at the tail end of day two. Top-seeded Ena Shibahara of UCLA defeated UNC’s Sara Daavettila, though Daavettila did her best to ruin Shibahara’s attempt at defending her title. Shibahara played her first three-set match of the tournament, winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. Shibahara will play Miyazaki, who took care of Livianu in the quarters, winning 6-4, 6-1.
An all-ACC matchup between Duke’s Samantha Harris and UNC’s Alexandra Sanford saw the Tar Heel roll to a 6-3, 6-3 victory. Sanford will play Ahmed in the semifinals.
The men’s singles draw faced the potential for upsets, and while top seeds were certainly challenged, tomorrow’s semifinals at Malibu Racquet Club will nevertheless feature three of the four top seeds.
Wake Forest’s Petros Chrysochos, the top seed, faced considerable pressure in his second round match against Old Dominion’s Adam Moundir, but rebounded from the tough three-set match to cleanly defeat Billy Griffith of California, 6-4, 6-2.
Both USC’s Brandon Holt and Baylor’s Johnannes Schretter, the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds, respectively, controlled their quarterfinal matches. Holt faced a lot of adversity in the form of Dennis Uspensky of Pepperdine in the second round, but much like Chrysochos, rebounded for a straight-set win over Portland’s Michail Pervolarkais, 6-4, 6-0.
“I think the biggest thing is good match play,” said Holt on facing collegiate competition again. “It’s been a good amount of time since I’ve played in college tournaments. This shows that it’s very deep, so everyone’s good. I went three sets against Dennis [Uspensky] who’s a good player.”
Schretter faced Harrison Scott of Texas in a Big 12 matchup. Schretter blazed through the match, winning 6-1, 6-2. Schretter will face Columbia’s Victor Pham, who fought his way past Arizona State’s Michael Geerts, the No. 4 seed, in the lone upset of the quarterfinals. Geerts had played well up to this point but Pham proved to be too much, securing the victory, 7-6 (8), 6-4.
The mixed doubles concluded on Friday with the semifinals at Malibu Racquet Club. MRC’s court 7 featured the power tandem of Shibahara and Holt against the duo of McCarthy and USC’s Tanner Smith. The Pac-12 squad came away victorious by a score of 8-5. On court 6, Duke’s Samantha Harris and Baylor’s Johannes Schretter took on Kristina Mathis of Dartmouth and Victor Pham of Columbia. The Ivy League pair took Harris and Schretter to a tie break in the eight-game set, but fell 8-7 (3).
Shibahara and Holt will battle Harris and Schretter at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Malibu Racquet Club.
Head to the Oracle ITA Masters event page for draws, schedule of events, daily recaps, video highlights, photo gallery links and other information. Live scoring will be available for all matches, while TempuZ will provide live streaming coverage all tournament long from Malibu Racquet Club.