Amber Liu Advances To NCAA Singles Semifinals

May 22, 2003

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Stanford freshman Amber Liu (La Mesa, CA) advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Women's Singles Championship with a three-set victory on Thursday morning at the University of Florida.

Liu, who is the fifth seed in the 64-player draw outlasted unseeded Alice Pirsu of Pennsylvania 1-6, 6-1, 6-1. Liu, who improved to 31-10 on the season, is the second Stanford freshman to advance to the NCAA Semifinals in as many years, as Erin Burdette (Jackson, GA) accomplished the feat in 2002.

'I just kind of started out slow, and (Pirsu's) a really good player,' Liu said. 'She gets a lot of shots, and I just didn't put a lot of balls away. But in the second and third sets I tried to be more aggressive and move in more and it worked.'

In the semifinals, Liu will face eighth-seeded Jewel Peterson of Southern California at 9:00 a.m. (Eastern Time). Peterson upset second-seeded Cristelle Grier of Northwestern 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 on Thursday. Liu is 2-0 against Peterson this season, winning 6-2, 6-2 on April 4 in Los Angeles and 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 on April 19 at Stanford.

'I've played Jewel twice this year,' Liu said. 'I won both times, but you know what? It's a new tournament and there are new conditions, so I'm just going to try to take it one match at a time and see how it goes.'

In the quarterfinals of the NCAA Doubles Championship, Stanford's top-seeded team of junior Lauren Barnikow (Woodbridge, NJ) and Burdette dropped a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 decision to No. 5 seeds Amy Trefethen and Sarah Witten of Kentucky in a match that lasted 2 hours, 41 minutes.

'It was tough match,' Burdette said. 'Each set was close. We just couldn't come up with the big shots when we needed them.'

2003 NCAA Women's Singles Championship

At Gainesville, Florida (University of Florida)

Quarterfinals

#1 Vilmarie Castellvi (Tennessee) d. #9-16 Mira Radu (Mississippi), 6-4, 6-1

#4 Agata Cioroch (Georgia) d. #6 Raquel Kops-Jones (California), 6-7 (2), 6-2, 6-2

#5 Amber Liu (Stanford) d. Alice Pirsu (Pennsylvania), 1-6, 6-1, 6-1

#8 seed Jewel Peterson (Southern California) d. #2 seed Cristelle Grier (Northwestern), 6-2, 4-6, 6-3

2003 NCAA Women's Doubles Championship

At Gainesville, Florida (University of Florida)

Quarterfinals

#5-8 Amy Trefethen/Sarah Witten (Kentucky) d. #1 Lauren Barnikow/Erin Burdette (Stanford), 4-6, 6-3, 7-5

#5-8 Jennifer Magley/Zerene Reyes (Florida) d. No. 3 Sarah Riske/Aleke Tsoubanos (Vanderbilt), 6-3, 6-2

Silvia Urickova/Barbara Zahnova (Va. Commonwealth) d. Courtney Nagle/Diana Panova (Oregon), 6-2, 6-2

#5-8 Christina Fusano/Raquel Kops-Jones (California) d. #2 Agata Cioroch/Lori Grey (Georgia), 6-4, 6-2

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