May 25, 2012
By Matthew Pearce
ATHENS, Ga. --- The 2012 NCAA men’s and women’s singles tournaments saw most of the top seeds ease in the quarterfinals while the doubles tournaments continued to provide plenty of surprises in the round of 16.
Unseeded Bradley Klahn of Stanford, the 2010 NCAA men’s singles champion, continued his run in the tournament with the elimination of Ohio State’s 9-16 seed Chase Buchanan. After Klahn won the first set Buchanan fought back to win the second and force the match to a decisive third. Klahn would, however, comfortably close out the final set for a 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 win and a place in the quarterfinals.
Buchanan became the second seed to fall to Klahn after he defeated fourth seed Jarmere Jenkins in the first round.
“I think I am feeling very confident in my game right now. Coming back from injury has taken me a little bit of time to build up my fitness and get that confidence in my game,” Klahn said. “I’ve been putting in the work, certainly coming back requires more to get back to where you were and I just try to stay really engaged in all my practices.”
Alex Domijan of Virginia was the other unseeded player to advance to the quarterfinals, defeating 9-16 seeded Alex Musialek of Kentucky. The match also needed three sets to reach a conclusion after the players split the first two before Domijan eased into the next round with a 6-0, 3-6, 6-2 victory.
Illinois’ Daniel Nevelo became the highest seed to fall on the third day of men’s singles play as the seventh seed was eliminated in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 by the 9-16 seeded Blaz Rola of Ohio State.
Top seed and defending champion Steve Johnson of Southern California advanced to the quarterfinals after his opponent, Neal Skupski of LSU, retired with a sprained ankle. Johnson was leading at the time of Skupski’s retirement 6-3, 6-5.
“That’s never the way you want to win. It’s really just bad luck,” Johnson said. “I was here two years ago watching one of my best friends and teammates Rob Farah who badly sprained his ankle on these same courts. It’s never fun to deal with. But it happens and you have to deal with it.”
Also advancing to the quarterfinals are second seed Mitchell Frank, third seed Eric Quigley, fifth seed Henrique Cunha and 9-16 seed Nik Scholtz.
The women’s quarterfinals will feature only one unseeded player as the tournament continued to go to form. The single woman without a seeding is Sabrina Santamaria of Southern California who advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-4 straight sets victory over Baylor’s Nina Secerbegovic. Santamaria defeated eighth seed Chelsey Gullickson in the first round.
Florida’s Allie Will, the women’s top seed, advanced to the quarterfinals with a comfortable 6-1, 6-4 victory over Abigail Tere-Apisah of Georgia State.
“I’m just really happy I was able to close it out in two sets today,” Will said. “This is a big tournament and everybody wants it just as much as I do. She made me earn it and made me work for every point.”
Joining Santamaria and Will in the quarterfinals will be second seed Beatrice Capra, third seed Nicole Gibbs, fifth seed Mallory Burdette, sixth seed Jana Juricova, seventh seed Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and 9-16 seed Zsofi Susanyi.
After several seeds fell on the first day of doubles play, even more were eliminated in a round of 16 that continued to surprise.
Third seeded Georgia Tech duo Kevin King and Juan Spir were eliminated by Mississippi’s unseeded duo of Chris and Marcel Thiemann in three sets. The Thiemann’s won the match 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-4.
Steve Johnson advanced to the quarterfinals in the doubles as well as he and partner Roberto Quiroz defeated Alabama’s Jarryd Botha and Ricky Doverspike 6-3, 7-5.
The Southern California duo will be one of only four seeded teams in the quarterfinals along with top seeded Ohio State duo Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola, fourth seeds Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher of Stanford and the 5-8 seeded Panav Jha and Eric Quigley of Kentucky.
The biggest casualty in the women’s draw was 5-8 seeded duo of Kristy Frilling and Shannon Matthews of Notre Dame. They were defeated in three sets by UCLA’s Courtney Dolehide and Pamela Montez 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
The other 5-8 seed eliminated on Friday was the California team of Annie Goransson and Anett Schutting who were defeated 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 by Florida’s Lauren Embree and Joanna Mather.
The highest, and only, seed remaining in the women’s tournament is the second seeded Stanford team of Mallory Burdette and Nicole Gibbs. They advanced courtesy of a 6-2, 6-2 win over Natalie Beazant and Dominique Harmath of Rice.
Also advancing to the quarterfinals is Baylor’s unseeded team of Ema Burgic and Nina Secerbegovic. After eliminating top seeded Florida duo of Sofie Oyen and Allie Will in the first round, Burgic and Secerbegovic advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Alexa Guarachi and Courtney McLane of Alabama.