Graham Earns Singles Win on Day One of ITA All-American Championships
Kinaa Graham returns a shot on day one of the ITA All-American Championships. Photo credit to the ITA.
CARY, N.C. – Freshman Kinaa Graham advanced to the second round of pre-qualifying of the ITA All-American Championships with a 7-5, 7-6(6) straight set win over UCLA’s Anne-Christine Lutkemeyer on Saturday at Cary Tennis Park.
ITA All-American Championships – Singles Pre-Qualifying
The first round of pre-qualifying was on the schedule to start Saturday. Aran Texidó Garcia opened the day by facing Kristina Novak of Oklahoma State in the morning. Garcia opened the match in strong form as she claimed a 6-3 first set win. The second set saw Garcia fall behind, but she battled back to force a tiebreaker at 6-6. In the tiebreaker, Novak narrowly edged Garcia by a score of 9-7 and tie the match up. The third set went to Novak, who narrowly claimed a 6-4 win to advance to the next round.
The next Tiger in action was Florentine Dekkers, who took on San Diego’s Claudia De Las Heras. The two players battled in a tight first set, but the San Diego Torero edged it out by a score of 6-4. The second set saw De Las Heras claim a 6-0 win and book her spot in the next round.
Graham was the final Tiger in singles action as she faced Anne-Christine Lutkemeyer of UCLA. The two players battled it out in an even first set, splitting the first ten games 5-5. Graham finished the set strong with two straight wins to claim a 7-5 win and take the lead in the match. The second set was even closer between the two players, requiring a tiebreaker after splitting the first 12 games at 6-6. In the tiebreaker, the two players traded points and sat tied at 6-6. Graham won the following point and then saw her opponent overhit a return that clinched an 8-6 tiebreaker win for the Tiger.
ITA All-American Championships – Doubles Pre-Qualifying
Dekkers and Garcia were back on the courts in the afternoon as they competed in the doubles bracket by taking on East Tennessee State’s Fernanda Carvajal and Daniela Rivera. Not much separated the two duos as they traded games back and forth. The match was split after 14 games at 7-7, requiring a tiebreaker to decide who advanced to the next round. The tiebreaker went to the pair of Carvajal and Rivera, who won by a score of 7-1.
Graham will take on Metka Komac of Texas Tech at 10 a.m. CT on Sunday with the winner moving on to a Sunday afternoon match that offers a chance to advance to the qualifying stages of singles. In the consolation singles draw, Garcia will face Guillerma Grant of Georgia at 11:30 a.m. CT and Dekkers will take on Memphis’ Alice Amendola at noon CT.