Strong Finish at Pac-10 Men's and Women's Tennis Championships
- Stanford's Kristie Ahn
- USC's Steve Johnson
OJAI, Calif. - The final day of action at the Pac-10 Men's and Women's Tennis Championships saw exciting championship tennis from top to bottom.
The men's singles championship final featured a rematch of the 2009 final, when USC's Steve Johnson and Stanford's Bradley Klahn were both freshman. That year, Klahn got the better of Johnson to win the title, but today the tides would be turned. The two are very familiar with each other, coming up through the junior ranks together and having already played four times this year, with Johnson winning the last three.
The first set today was tight, with Johnson and Klahn trading points. Both of their serves were working well and the level of play was high. Johnson was up 4-3 in the first set, but Klahn battled back to tie the set at 6-6. Johnson then got out to a lead in the tiebreaker, but again Klahn wouldn't let up. Steve finally pulled out the tiebreaker, 7-5 to win the set.
In the second set, Johnson's strength came through and Klahn's double fault handed Johnson the match point as he won the second set and the match, 6-3.
The win avenged Johnson's loss to Klahn in the 2009 finals and boosted his winning streak over the 2010 NCAA singles champion to four matches. USC has now won two-straight singles titles and three of the last four.
Johnson and the Trojans completed a sweep of the championships as the doubles duo of Johnson and Ray Sarmiento defeated UCLA's Warren Hardie and Amit Inbar, 6-1, 6-2. Hardie and Inbar advanced to the finals off an upset over the No. 2 ranked team of Stanford's Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thatcher in the semifinals. This is the third time in the last four years that a USC team has won the doubles title.
The women's final featured the No. 2 ranked player in the nation in USC senior Maria Sanchez and Stanford freshman Kristie Ahn. Ahn, the No. 25 ranked player nationally and Sanchez have never faced each other. The Cardinal freshman came out unafraid of Sanchez and fought through every point. She quickly put Sanchez in a 3-0 hole in the first set and finally pulled the set out, 7-5. Sanchez fought to catch up in the second, but Ahn held strong, winning the second set and the match, 6-1. Ahn became just the first freshman since USC's Nicole Leimbach won the title in 2005.
The women's doubles championship featured the No. 1 ranked doubles team in nation, California's Mari Andersson and Jana Juricova, against the No. 5 team of USC's Kaitlyn Christian and Maria Sanchez. Andersson/Juricova won the first set, 7-6, with a 10-8 tiebreak. Christian/Sanchez wouldn't give up, taking the second set, 6-4. Andersson/Juricova proved to be too much to handle, as they took the third set 6-1 to win the match.
In the men's singles invitational, UCLA sophomore Warren Hardie defeated Stanford's Walker Kehrer, 6-4, 6-2 to take the title. In the men's invitational doubles, California's Zach Gilbert and Sky Lovill defeated Washington's Marton Bots and Matt Stith to win the title, 9-8 (5).
On the women's side, California's Alice Duranteau beat Arizona's Susan McRann, 6-3, 7-5 to win the title. Stanford's Mallory Burdette and Natalie Dillon beat UCLA's Courtney Dolehide and Nina Pantic, 8-6 to become invitational doubles champions.