Finals Field Ready to Battle for Pac-10 Tennis Championships
- Championship Central
- Stanford's Bradley Klahn
OJAI, Calif. - Day three of the Pac-10 Men's and Women's Tennis Championships at The Ojai Tournament in Ojai, Calif., provided some very entertaining semifinal tennis on all fronts, from singles to doubles.
In the men's singles semifinals, the No. 1 seed, USC junior Steve Johnson faced UCLA freshman Adrien Puget. Puget played Johnson strong at first, holding the standout at 2-2 in the first set, but the Trojan's play was just too much, as Johnson defeated Puget, 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the Pac-10 final.
Johnson will face a familiar foe in the final, Stanford junior Bradley Klahn. Klahn dropped the first set to California's Nick Andrews, but rebounded quickly in the second set with a 6-2 win and finished off the third set, 6-1, to take the match. The finals is set to be a repeat of the 2009 finals, when both Johnson and Klahn were freshmen. Klahn got the better of Johnson, winning the title. Steve will be looking to avenge that loss at Libbey Park on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. PT.
"He and I have played many times, but I definitely remember the 2009 final. You always think about how you could have played a situation differently," Johnson explained.
The two have faced each other already four times this season, with Johnson winning three of the last four, including the last three straight.
On the women's side, USC senior Maria Sanchez, defeated Stanford's Stacey Tan, 6-2, 6-1 to advance to the finals. The other side of the bracket featured an all Stanford semifinal between freshmen doubles partners Nicole Gibbs and Kristie Ahn. Ahn took the first set, 6-2, but Gibbs wasn't going to go down easily, as she took the second set, 6-4. Ahn then came back to take the third set, 6-4.
On playing her doubles partner in the semifinals, Ahn said, "It definitely is harder to play someone that you are so familiar with. I think we both played extremely hard today."
Sanchez and Ahn will meet for the first time in the finals on Sunday at 11 a.m. PT.
The semifinals for doubles play on both the men's and women's side took place today at Libbey Park. In a tough match, Stanford's Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thatcher lost to UCLA's Warren Hardie and Amit Inbar, 9-7.
On the other side of the bracket, USC's Johnson and Sarmiento, the No. 2 seed, took care of UCLA's Alex Brigham and Adrien Puget, 8-3. Hardie/Inbar will face Johnson/Sarmiento on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. PT in the finals at Libbey Park.
The women's semifinals featured two strong matches. The No. 1 seed, Mari Andersson and Jana Juricova looked to be taking care of Stanford's Kristie Ahn and Nicole Gibbs, getting out to an early lead. However, Ahn/Gibbs continued to fight and took a few sets. However, Andersson/Juricova settled down and pulled out the win.
On the bottom half of the bracket, USC's combination of Kailtlyn Christian and Maria Sanchez defeated Arizona State's Micaela Hein and Kelcy McKenna, 8-3.
The finals will take place at 2:00 p.m. PT at Libbey Park, with Andersson/Juicova facing Christian/Sanchez.
Along with the championships draws, the invitational finals will also be happening on Sunday. To view the full brackets, please visit, http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/Draws/TournamentDraws.aspx?T=99869
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