FLUSHING, N.Y. -- Another day of high-quality tennis came to a close at the 2012 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, hosted by Columbia University at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY.
It was a great day to be a seeded player on the men's side, as six of the final eight spots in the main draw of doubles and singles were claimed by seeded players. However, the seeded players and teams on the women's side did not see the same success, as only two remain in both draws.
After missing most of the fall season due to injury, Pepperdine's Sebastian Fanselow has made great use of his ITA wild card by reaching the men's singles semifinals.
"It definitely wasn't what I expected after the injury, but I feel like [the tournament] is going pretty well," raved Fanselow, who after surviving a tight three-set battle in the round of 16 against Baylor's Julian Lenz, made quick work of Ray Sarmiento of USC in the quarterfinals, winning 6-1, 6-2. "I feel like he didn't play his best, obviously, and I thought I played one of my best matches. I just kept trying to be solid throughout the match."
Joining Fanselow in the semifinals are Alex Domijan and Jarmere Jenkins of Virginia. Both players have been phenomenal on their way to the semifinals, refusing to drop a single set, making them the only players on the men's side to do so. With both players in the semifinals, Virginia becomes just the second men's team in the last five years to have two players represented in the men's singles semifinals of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.
The fourth and final semifinal participant is the Campbell/ITA Men's Preseason No. 1-ranked player and ITA wild card Henrique Cunha of Duke. Cunha won two very competitive three-set matches en route to his second consecutive USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships semifinal appearance. After defeating Tyler Junior College's Adrien Berkowicz 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the round of 16, Cunha rallied in the quarterfinals for a 6-7(3), 7-5, 6-3 win over fifth-seeded Marcos Giron of UCLA for an opportunity to take on ACC rival Jarmere Jenkins in the semifinals.
The Pac-12 took over the women's singles draw, as three of the four semifinalists hail from the Conference of Champions. The top half of the draw features a showdown between No. 5 seed Robin Anderson of UCLA and unseeded Zsofi Susanyi from Cal. Susanyi took down Anderson twice last season, so Anderson will be looking for revenge in this meeting.
The Bruin sophomore recorded a pair of straight-set victories, defeating Kate Turvy of Northwestern and Brynn Boren from Tennessee. In her opening match of the day, Anderson made quick work of the first set against Turvy, but the Wildcat senior began to mix up her play to throw Anderson out of rhythm. Turvy hung in the set for most of the way, but Anderson put her away late for a 6-2, 6-4 triumph.
"She started hitting slices, hitting high balls, and it kind of threw me off," Anderson explained. "I was able to stay focused and battle back, and I pulled it out in the end."
In the quarterfinals, Boren was simply no match for the Bruin, with Anderson taking the match 6-1, 6-1. "I thought I played pretty well," Anderson said. "Brynn was playing really well. She hits the ball so hard and serves really well. I just tried to make as many balls as I could and tried to make a lot of first serves."
Susanyi started off the day with an impressive victory over the top-seeded Lauren Embree of Florida, taking down the veteran Gator 6-1, 6-1. Susanyi raced out to a quick lead, dictating play in almost every point, and never let Embree battle her way into the match.
"I just wanted to go out there today, play my game, and have fun," Susanyi stated. "My coach and I were able to find a game plan that worked well. I wanted to get one more ball back to her, but I was also looking for short balls to move in. "
The Golden Bear sophomore found herself in a battle in the quarterfinals against USC's Sabrina Santamaria. Susanyi breezed through the first set 6-1, but the gritty Santamaria dug in and pulled out the second set 6-4 with a late break of serve. In the final set, Susanyi was able to gain control of most of the rallies again, while Santamaria began misfiring from the baseline regularly.
In the other semifinal, Florida's Sofie Oyen is set to face another Cal player, Anett Schutting. Oyen upset a pair of seeds on the day, beating fourth-seeded Krista Hardebeck from Stanford 6-3, 6-4 before fighting her way past Georgia's eighth-seeded Lauren Herring 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 to move into the semifinals. Oyen and Herring traded breaks midway through the final set before the Gator pulled away late for the victory. Schutting did not drop a set in either of her matches, but her victory over USC's Danielle Lao was anything but easy. Schutting toughed out a first-set tiebreak eight points to six before winning the second set 7-5, despite faltering on serve late in the set. She went on to handle No. 6 seed Hanna Mar of Duke 6-2, 6-1 in quick fashion.
The men's doubles semifinals will be a good one, as all three seeded teams advanced. Auburn's top-seeded pair of Dan Cochrane and Andreas Mies had to fight from behind in their quarterfinal match against Mississippi State's Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp to reach the semifinals.
"We didn't get off to a good start today," said Mies. "We got broken at one-all and then tried to get that break back at the end and eventually got it back 5-5. From that point we started playing really well."
The duo took advantage of several Mississippi State unforced errors at 8-7 to break at love, giving Auburn a 9-7 win.
Cochrane and Mies will face 2012 ITA Men's All-American consolation doubles champions Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland of Georgia. Like Auburn, the doubles tandem from Georgia battled their way into the semifinals after a very close match in the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinal match, Pieters and Wagland went up 6-3 in a tiebreaker to give themselves three match points against Mississippi's Jonas Lutjen and Nik Scholtz. However, Lutjen and Scholtz fought off three straight match points to even things up in the breaker at 6-all. From there, the pair from Georgia held serve and eventually took the match after a Mississippi double fault on match point, giving Pieters and Wagland a 9-8 (6) win.
The other semifinal doubles match will feature Duke's second-seeded team of Henrique Cunha and Raphael Hemmeler against Virginia's third-seeded team of Jarmere Jenkins and Mac Styslinger. Both teams rolled in their quarterfinal matches, winning by identical scores of 8-4.
On the women's side, only one of the four seeds remain in contention for the women's doubles title: top seeds and defending champions Kaitlyn Christian and Santamaria of USC. The duo was not challenged in the quarterfinals against Ashley Dai and Whitney Kay of North Carolina, recording the win 8-3. The Women of Troy will take on Alabama's Alexa Guarachi and Mary Anne Macfarlane, as the Crimson Tide tandem upset third-seeded Maria Belaya and Jeltje Loomans from William & Mary 8-3.
The other semifinal pits Stephanie Nauta and Li Xi of Virginia against Pepperdine's Lorraine Guillermo and Khunpak Issara. Both teams pulled out close victories on the day. Nauta and Xi were able to get past Isaura Enrique and Samantha Vickers from Tulsa 8-6. Guillermo and Issara pulled a major upset with their 9-7 defeat of Lady Vol duo Boren and Szekely, claiming the final three games of the match.
Ken Thomas of RadioTennis.com will continue to provide a live broadcast throughout the tournament, beginning at 10:15 a.m. ET each day.
For complete coverage of the 2012 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, including access to draws, live scores and more, please visit the official ITA event page. Follow the ITA on Twitter, @ITAtennis, for updates and news from Flushing. Use the hashtag #NationalIndoors for all tweets in regards to the event, or search the term "NationalIndoors" to find others who are tweeting from the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, Nov. 8-11.