Bears Advance in First Round of NCAA Singles Championship

May 23, 2007

ATHENS, Ga. - Fourth-ranked Susie Babos passed the first test in her quest to defend her NCAA singles title Wednesday. The first team All-Pac-10 selection was victorious in the opening round of the 2007 NCAA Singles Tournament Wednesday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. No. 12 Zsuzsanna Fodor and No. 22 Nina Henkel also recorded wins in the first round of the tournament.

The victory for Babos did not come easy, winning in three sets over No. 25 Anna Lubinsky, 7-5, 6-7, 6-2. After taking the first set, Babos led 4-0 in the second when Lubinksy rallied to win the next five games in a row. Babos rebounded to take a 6-5 lead, but Lubinsky pulled out the 7-6 win to send the match to a third set. In the deciding set, Babos once again jumped out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back this time, as she took the 6-2 victory.

Fodor was the first Cal player to compete and also won her match in three sets. The All-Pac-10 first-team selection defeated Northwestern's Samantha Murray, 2-6, 6-3, 6-1. Fodor came back after dropping the first set and convincingly took the next two sets to advance to the second round.

Henkel, who made the All-Pac-10 second team, was third to take the court and turned in a dominating performance. The freshman defeated Ela Kaluder of Arkansas in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3. Henkel lost the first game in both sets but still won in commanding fashion.

'Fodor was still sleeping in her first set, but she played brilliantly after that,' Cal head coach Jan Brogan said. 'Babos played well, cruising in her third set, and Nina was just awesome today.'

In the second round tomorrow, Babos will tangle with Stanford's Lindsay Burdette. Burdette primarily played on the fifth court for the Cardinal this season. Fodor will meet Mississippi State's Martina Banikova. Henkel will face the winner of the match between UCLA's Riza Zalameda and Ana Cetnik from TCU.

In addition to the second round of the singles draw tomorrow, the fifth-ranked tandem of Babos and Fodor will participate in the first round of the doubles tournament. The Pac-10 Doubles Team of the Year squares off against Ashlee Davis and Alexandra Hirsch from Wake Forest.

Singles First Round Results:
(4) Susie Babos (Cal) def. Anna Lubinsky (Texas A&M) 7-5, 6-7, 6-2
(12) Zsuzsanna Fodor (Cal) def. Samantha Murray (Northwestern) 2-6, 6-3, 6-1
(22) Nina Henkel (Cal) def Ela Kaluder (Arkansas) 6-1, 6-3

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