Graham Advances to ITA Southern Regional Singles Final; Graham and Sahdiieva Advance to Doubles Final
BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU women’s tennis team had one singles player and one doubles duo punch their tickets into the finals of the 2023 ITA Women’s Southern Regional on Monday inside the LSU Tennis Complex. Kinaa Graham advanced in singles while Graham and partner Anita Sahdiieva advanced in doubles, giving the Tigers representation in both regional finals.
ITA Southern Regional – Singles Semifinals
The day opened with two semifinal matches at 10 a.m. CT. Aran Teixidó Garcia took on Alabama’s Petra Sedlackova in the first match of the morning. Sedlackova jumped out to an early lead in the first set, holding off charges from Garcia to win 6-2 and take the lead in the match. The second set saw the Crimson Tide player blank the Tiger, 6-0, to book her spot in the final round.
In a rare LSU vs. LSU matchup, Graham faced Sahdiieva in the second semifinal matchup of the day. The two Tigers battled it out in the first set, with neither player able to break away from the other. Graham won the final two games of the set to claim a 6-4 set win. The second set was another back and forth affair, with Sahdiieva battling to tie the match up. The two split 12 games at 6-6, requiring a tiebreaker to decide it. Sahdiieva took an early lead in the tiebreaker and held off a charge from Graham to narrowly win 7-5 and extend the match. In the final set, Graham bounced back from her second set defeat and dropped only one game on her way to a 6-1 win to advance to Tuesday’s final round.
Graham’s advancement to the final continues a strong trend for LSU at the ITA Southern Regional. It marks the fourth consecutive regional that an LSU Tiger will compete in the singles final, with Taylor Bridges (2019) and Anastasiya Komar (2022) winning the draw outright. Paris Corley (2019) and Safiya Carrington (2021) were also in the finals and finished as runner up . The 2020 ITA Southern Regional was cancelled due to COVID-19.
ITA Southern Regional – Doubles Semifinals
An hour after their three set singles semifinal match, Graham and Sahdiieva were back on the court as teammates taking on Alabama’s Sedlackova and Margaux Maquet. The Tiger duo’s high level of play from singles carried over to doubles as the pair opened the match with a 6-2 win. The second set was an even more dominant display from the LSU pair, dropping only one game in a 6-1 win to advance to the doubles final.
Garcia and Florentine Dekkers were in action in the other doubles semifinal as they took on Alexandra Mikhailuk and Athina Pitta of Mississippi State. The LSU dominated the first set and claimed a 6-2 win in the set to take the lead. The Bulldog duo battled back in the second set with a 6-3 win to force a ten-point tiebreaker to decide the match. The tiebreaker was back and forth, with the two splitting 14 games at 7-7 and needing to go beyond. After trading points, the Bulldog pair won back to back points to get an 11-9 win to secure their spot in the final round on Tuesday.
Graham opens the day at 10 a.m. CT when she takes on Sedlackova in the singles final. Following that match, Graham is back on the court with Sahdiieva as they face Mikhailuk and Pitta in the doubles final at 2 p.m. CT.
For more information on the LSU women’s tennis program follow the Tigers on Twitter @lsuwten , on Instagram @LSUWTen , and on www.Facebook.com/lsuwten.
ITA Southern Regional – Day 5
Oct. 9, 2023
Baton Rouge, La. (LSU Tennis Complex)
Petra Sedlackova (ALA) def. Aran Teixido Garcia (LSU), 6-2, 6-0
Kinaa Graham (LSU) def. Anita Sahdiieva (LSU), 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1
Anita Sahdiieva/Kinaa Graham (LSU) def. Petra Sedlackova/Margaux Maquet (ALA), 6-2, 6-1
Alexandra Mikhailuk/Athina Pitta (MSU) def. Aran Teixido Garcia/Florentine Dekkkers (LSU), 2-6, 6-3, 11-9
SCHEDULE OF PLAY
ITA Southern Regional – Day 6
Tuesday, Oct. 10
All Times Central
Kinaa Graham (LSU) vs. Petra Sedlackova (ALA), 10 a.m.
Graham/Sahdiieva (LSU) vs. Mikhailuk/Pitta (MSU), 2 p.m.