Jan. 21, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The No. 31 South Carolina women's tennis team opened the 2013 season with a 6-1 victory against Winthrop on Monday at the USC Field House in Columbia, S.C. Carolina faces USC Upstate at 3 p.m. today in the second match of a doubleheader.
In doubles, South Carolina dominated on both courts one and two with a pair of 8-1 victories. At one, No. 46-ranked Jaklin Alawi and Dominika Kanakova raced out to a 5-0 lead on Yasmine Alkema and Andressa Garcia before the Eagles registered their first and only game. Josefin Andersson and Katerina Popova provided the clinching win for doubles, winning seven straight games on court two after a 1-all tie versus Alice Garcia and Giovanna Portioli.
The No. 3 doubles match between South Carolina's Adriana Pereira and Ximena Siles Luna, and Winthrop's Caitlin Cridland and Ekin Gunaysu was suspended following Andersson and Popova's triumph. The match was on serve with the Gamecocks leading 5-4.
The Gamecocks pushed ahead 2-0 thanks to Kanakova's straight set 6-3, 6-3 victory against Alice Garcia at the No. 3 spot. Kanakova improved to 4-1 on the season with the win.
Carolina had to wait a considerable amount of time to score its next point with matches on courts five and six going three sets. At five, Pereira won easily in the first set 6-1 versus Cridland but faltered 6-2 in the second. With the score tied 1-all in the third, Pereira managed to grab a 3-1 lead and held on for a 6-4 victory to put her team on top 3-0.
The next two matches finished within minutes of each other. Portioli won a hotly contested match at the No. 4 singles position against Siles Luna to make it 3-1. Portioli sprinted to a 3-0 advantage in the first set before Siles Luna cut the gap to 4-3. Siles Luna came back to make it 5-all and eventually forced a tiebreaker, but Portioli dominated in the breaker for a 7-1 win. In the second, Portioli recorded a 6-2 victory to seal the victory and snap Siles Luna's seven-match unbeaten streak.
Andersson provided the Gamecocks with the clinching point at the No. 6 spot. After blanking Gunaysu 6-0 in the first set, Gunaysu recovered to take the second 6-4. Andersson claimed the first three games in the third, however, Gunaysu fought back to make the score 3-2. Andersson then won two straight and survived a late push by Gunaysu to take the match 6-4.
Popova wasted no time making the score 5-1 for the Gamecocks with a 6-0, 6-0 triumph over Andressa Garcia on court two. Alawi closed out the day for South Carolina by earning a 6-2, 6-3 win against Alkema at the top singles position. It marked Alawi's 10th win of the 2012-13 season.
Order of Finish: 3, 5, 4, 6, 2, 1
Order of Finish: 1, 2
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