Nov. 1, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Seven members of the University of South Carolina women's tennis team will compete at the University of New Mexico Fall Invitational beginning Friday in Albuquerque, N.M., at the Linda Estes Tennis Complex.
Teams competing at the UNM Fall Invitational in addition to South Carolina and New Mexico include UTEP, Western New Mexico, Northern Arizona, Utah and Texas Tech. The event consists of four singles draws with eight players in each along with one round-robin singles draw and two doubles draws with eight teams. Consolation matches will be played in each draw.
Jaklin Alawi headlines the seven Gamecocks traveling west with a No. 63 national singles ranking this fall. The senior from Bulgaria is coming off her best tournament of the season at the USTA/ITA Carolina Regional Championships from Oct. 18-22 where she advanced to the quarterfinals in singles and reached the championship match of doubles with Dominika Kanakova. Alawi is 7-6 in singles matches this fall and has the most doubles wins with a 9-5 mark. She is slated to play in the Cherry Singles flight.
Kanakova played her first singles matches of the year at the regional and posted a 1-1 record in the main draw. She is 7-4 in doubles with all of her matches coming with Alawi as her partner. The two will team up at the UNM Fall Invitational as well in the Cherry Doubles flight. Kanakova is scheduled to compete in the Silver Singles draw as well.
Like Alawi, Katerina Popova had her best showing of the fall at the ITA Carolina Regional by advancing to the quarterfinals in singles. After cruising through her first two matches in the main draw, she upset No. 68 Esther Goldfeld of Duke in three sets in the round of 16. Popova is 5-3 in singles play this fall and owns a 4-3 doubles record playing with Josefin Andersson. They will compete together in the same draw as Alawi and Kanakova, and Popova will play in the Cherry Singles flight.
Andersson will be looking to improve upon her 4-6 singles record this weekend. She posted two victories in the qualifying portion of the regional to reach the main draw but then lost a tight decision to Tessa Lyons of North Carolina in the opening round. Andersson will be playing in the Silver Singles draw with Kanakova.
Adriana Pereira is looking to get some more matches under her belt this weekend after missing most of the fall with injuries. Her first appearance came at the regional where she went 1-1 in the singles tournament. Pereira has not played any doubles matches to this point, but she is paired with Ximena Siles Luna for the Silver Doubles flight. For singles, she is the lone Gamecock appearing in the Turquoise draw.
Siles Luna leads the team in singles victories this fall with a 9-2 record. She played the most matches of any Gamecocks at the ITA Carolina Regional with six and posted a 5-1 record in them. Siles Luna lost in the second round of qualifying but rallied to win four straight matches in two days of consolation play. She will look to reach double figures in singles victories when she competes in the Black draw this weekend.
Alex Martin rounds out the Gamecocks' list of competitors for the UNM Fall Invitational. Martin responded well to a first-round loss in the regional qualifying tournament with consecutive wins in consolation play. She brings a record of 4-6 to Albuquerque and will look to add more triumphs to her résumé in the Black draw of singles. With an odd number of players appearing for South Carolina at the tournament, Martin will team with Katie Wookey of New Mexico in doubles.
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