Panova Defeats Highly Ranked Player at All-American Championships
Oct. 8, 2002
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. - Daria Panova, the No. 44-ranked player in the preseason rankings, lost to No. 99 Julia Smith of Duke in three sets, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, in the first round of the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships. Panova came back strong to defeat Georgia's Anne Nguyen, the No. 32 player in the nation, in three sets in a consolation backdraw match, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0.
Panova's first match of the season was a back-and-forth battle, but she came up just short. After splitting the first two sets, Panova took a 2-0 lead in the third set. Unfortunately, she could not hold on for the victory.
'She was very focused,' assistant coach Kathy Sell said. 'She just battled it out. It was fun to watch.'
In her second match of the day, Panova overcame a close second-set loss to shut Nguyen out in the third set. Panova will continue play in the consolation backdraw of the tournament, matching up with Jackie Carleton of UCLA Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.