Chan Scores Huge Upset But UW Falls 5-2

Feb. 23, 2008

SEATTLE - Freshman Venise Chan got the biggest win of her young career, dominating No. 7 Susie Babos of California today, 6-0, 6-1 at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. Despite Chan's fantastic performance, the 11th-ranked Bears beat the 43rd-ranked Huskies 5-2, dropping Washington to 8-3 and 0-2 in Pac-10 play.

The match with Babos was a much anticipated challenge for Chan (Hong Kong, China) but turned into a rout. The first set was over in the blink of an eye, as Chan won 6-0, with winner after winner against a visibly frustrated Babos. The Cal senior, the 2006 NCAA Champion, never found her rhythm, and nearly every point ended in a Chan winner or Babos error. Chan was up 6-0, 5-0 before Babos got a game, but it would be her only one as Chan completed a 6-0, 6-1 victory. It is Chan's third win over a ranked opponent, and first against a Top-10 player.

After Cal had clinched the victory, senior Tara Simpson ended things on an uplifting note, fighting back from a set down to upset 41st-ranked Cristina Visico in a heart-stopping third-set super-tiebreak at No. 3 singles. Simpson won the second set, 7-5, after Visico had taken the first, 6-2, so the two played a tiebreak to 10 points rather than a full third set. Simpson won three straight points to take a 9-7 lead, but Visico would save both match points. Cal had a match point at 12-11, but Simpson staved it off as well. Finally, on her sixth match point, Simpson finished off her opponent when a Visico groundstroke landed long. The final tiebreak count was 16-14.

However the Bears were just too strong throughout the rest of the singles lineup. Five of their six players are currently ranked in the Top-100, with three in the Top-50. Cal got a straight set win from No. 52 Marina Cossou at No. 2 singles over Aleksandra Malovic, and a 6-4, 6-3 win at the four spot from 83rd-ranked Claire Ilcinkas over Joyce Ardies.

Husky freshman Kelsey Anonsen moved up to No. 5 singles for the first time but fell, 6-2, 6-1 to Stephanie Kusano. Junior Melinda Wong, in just her second dual match this season, was defeated, 6-3, 6-0 at sixth singles by 87th-ranked Bojana Bobusic.

'I was telling the girls that they all fought hard today,' said head coach Jill Hultquist. 'We had some great results from Venise and Tara. I think the girls can see now we can compete with the top teams. We weren't quite there this weekend, yet I think they're seeing a lot of improvement. It's huge for Venise to handle someone, 6-0, 6-1 like that. Hopefully it will give her a lot of confidence going into the next couple weeks, because she'll have a lot of opponents in the Top-20 now.'

The Huskies were on the verge of getting a huge doubles win, but couldn't quite come through in the end. Vanja Radunovic and Malovic led early in their No. 3 doubles match with Rachael Dillon and Bobusic, but the Cal pair fought back for a 7-5 lead. UW broke serve to get within 6-7, but Cal broke again to win the match. Shortly thereafter, Chan and Anonsen closed out an impressive 8-6 win at No. 2 doubles over Cossou and Ilcinkas, where they pulled away after the match was knotted at 5-5. However, the same situation went in Cal's favor at the No. 1 spot. Babos and Kusano broke open a 5-5 tie with Ardies and Simpson, winning 8-5 and clinching the point.

UW's next match-up will be against the Oregon Ducks in the first of their two encounters this season. The Ducks will visit Seattle on Saturday, March 1 at 12 p.m. for a match played at the Nordstrom Tennis Center.

Washington Women's Tennis
2/23/08 - Nordstrom Tennis Center

No. 11 California 5, No. 43 Washington 2

1. (53) Babos/Kusano (Cal) def. Ardies/Simpson (UW), 8-5*
2. Chan/Anonsen (UW) def. Cossou/Ilcinkas (Cal), 8-6
3. Rachael Dilon/Bobusic (Cal) def. Malovic/Radunovic (UW), 8-6
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1

1. Venise Chan (UW) def. (7) Susie Babos (Cal), 6-0, 6-1
2. (52) Marina Cossou (Cal) def. Aleksandra Malovic (UW), 6-2, 6-2
3. Tara Simpson (UW) def. (41) Cristina Visico (Cal), 2-6, 7-5, (16-14)
4. (83) Claire Ilcinkas (Cal) def. Joyce Ardies (UW), 6-4, 6-3
5. Stephanie Kusano (Cal) def. Kelsey Anonsen (UW), 6-2, 6-1*
6. (87) Bojana Bobusic (Cal) def. Melinda Wong (UW), 6-3, 6-0
Order of finish: 1, 2, 6, 5, 4, 3
* Clinching match

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