TUSCALOOSA, AL – The Alabama women's tennis team opened the 2010 Roberta Alison on Friday in successful fashion, collecting nine wins on the day. The Crimson Tide advanced one doubles pair to the championship round, while five of the six singles players won their opening round match.
"Overall, I thought we had a good day one," Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz said. "It was a good learning opportunity for us. We need to learn from the situations we were in today and make adjustments tomorrow. This is why we play fall tennis."
Doubles started off well for Alabama, as all three duos advanced out of the opening round. In the Wimbledon draw, the top seeds freshman Alex Clay and junior Taylor Lindsey cruised past sophomores Anna Winkelmann and Anna Marie Herbold of the University of Tennessee at Martin. Freshman Mary Anne Macfarlane and sophomore Antonia Foehse found themselves in a battle in their first match in the US Open draw, but managed to escape with an 8-6 victory over Samford senior Andrie Meiring and junior Rebecca Kirven. Redshirt junior Tiffany Welcher and senior Meritt Emery made quick work of their opening match in the Australian Open draw, taking down junior Lindsay Dvorak and freshman Katie Cecil of Tulane 8-3.
The semifinal round of doubles was more of a struggle for the Alabama pairs. Clay and Lindsey battled their way back from a 7-4 deficit against junior Miriam Kurdadze and sophomore Emma Levy, but the Green Wave duo held on for the 8-6 win. Macfarlane and Foehse also were defeated in the semifinals, falling to junior Kir Kemp and sophomore Tereza Lerova of Georgia State 8-4. Welcher and Emery were the only team to advance to the finals, breezing past UT Martin freshman Ivon Simic and sophomore Johanie Van Zyl 8-2.
"In doubles, overall I thought we had too many unforced errors," Mainz said. "We need to execute more effectively tomorrow."
Singles, likewise, got off to a hot start, with Macfarlane defeating senior Karolina Filipiak of Baylor 6-3, 6-4. Also in the Serena Williams draw, Clay fell to sophomore Courtney Collins of Memphis 6-2, 6-3. In the Venus Williams draw, Foehse held off a late rally by Meiring to win 6-3, 7-6(5). Lindsey didn't break a sweat against Herbold, posting a 6-0, 6-1 victory in the Caroline Wozniacki draw. Facing freshman Caroline Faught of UAB, second-seed Welcher won in straight sets in the Maria Sharapova draw 6-3, 6-3. Also a second seed, Emery breezed through the second set against sophomore Kelly Gray of Memphis in the Lindsay Davenport draw 6-3, 6-0.
"I thought Taylor had a solid match, and Mary Anne really made an effort to make adjustments in her match as she went along," Mainz added. "She came out ready to play and did not give her opponent much. As a team tomorrow, we want to see more consistency across the board with the effort and intensity."
Play resumes Saturday at 9 a.m. CT with the final round of doubles followed by the second round of singles.
Clay/Lindsey (UA) def. Winkelmann/Herbold (UTM) 8-2
Kurdadze/Levy (TUL) def. Clay/Lindsey (UA) 8-6
Macfarlane/Foehse (UA) def. Meiring/Kirven (SAM) 8-6
Kemp/Lerova (GSU) def. Macfarlane/Foehse (UA) 8-4
Welcher/Emery (UA) def. Dvorak/Cecil (TUL) 8-3
Welcher/Emery (UA) Simc/Van Zyl (UTM) 8-2
Mary Anne Macfarlane (UA) def. Karolina Filipiak (BU) 6-3, 6-4
Courtney Collins (MEM) def. Alex Clay (UA) 6-2, 6-3
Antonia Foehse (UA) def. Andrie Meiring (SAM) 6-3, 7-6(5)
Taylor Lindsey (UA) def. Anna Marie Herbold (UTM) 6-0, 6-1
Tiffany Welcher (UA) def. Carolina Faught (UAB) 6-3, 6-3
Meritt Emery (UA) def. Kelly Gray (MEM) 6-3, 6-0