Robin Anderson is on track to win her second straight women's title at the National Indoors. She faces North Carolina's Jamie Loeb in the final.
The finals are set at the 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and hosted by Columbia University.
The women's singles final will be a rematch off the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships final, as Jamie Loeb of North Carolina and Robin Anderson of UCLA both won their semifinals in straight sets on Saturday.
The two top seeds will contest the women's final for the first time since 2008, and Anderson will attempt to be the first repeat women's singles champion since Aurelia Miseviciute of Arkansas won back-to-back titles in 2007 and 2008.
Loeb, the Rivera champion and top seed, made quick work of No. 4 seed Sabrina Santamaria of USC. The match started with three straight breaks, but Loeb held for 3-1 and never looked back. The Tar Heel's powerful shots kept Santamaria under pressure. Loeb said after the match that she was happy with her play.
"I think I played very well," Loeb said. "I just kept my composure and stuck to my game plan and didn't adjust to what she was doing. I just dictated and made her change according to my shots."
Loeb is now 18-1 to start her freshman season, and she'll look to repeat her All-American success against Anderson in Sunday's final. Loeb won the All-American final over Anderson, 6-4, 6-0, in their first collegiate clash.
The Bruin found herself down 1-5 against Loeb's teammate Hayley Carter, but Anderson turned it around to win six straight games to take the opening set, 7-5. Anderson then kept the momentum to take the second set 6-3 to advance to her second-straight USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships final.
Despite getting herself into a big hole in the first set, the defending champion said she knew she could turn it around.
"I was being really aggressive and that was my game plan, but I was just making errors, and in those first six games she did not make a single error," she said. "I just needed to make more balls and just keep her out there, as I know she played a long match yesterday."
UCLA will have a chance to sweep both singles finals, as Clay Thompson won his semifinal match, 6-3, 7-5, over Axel Alvarez of Oklahoma. His opponent in the final will be Illinois' Jared Hiltzik, who ousted Ray Sarmiento of USC, 6-2, 7-5 (5).
Thompson, a senior, beat an Oklahoma Sooner for the second straight match. This one was extra sweet, as it was Alvarez who knocked Thompson out in the first round of the Saint Francis Health System ITA Men's All-American Championships in Tulsa. Since that loss, Thompson has been on a 14-match winning streak and has been playing more relaxed.
"I just went out here and played loose with nothing to lose," Thompson said. "That's been the game plan since I lost in the first round in Tulsa. I felt like in the first round there, I played so tentative and was scared if I was going to miss. I'm just treating it as a game [now] and am having fun" he said.
Hiltzik, who qualified for the Indoor Championships by making the quarterfinals in Tulsa, took a 4-0 lead in the first set over Sarmiento and held on to win it, 6-2. However, the Trojan went up 3-0 and then 5-2 as the threat of a third set loomed large. But the Illini fought off seven set points and forced a tiebreaker, which he won 7-5 to clinch a spot in his first major final.
Hiltzik said he's been steadily improving since his run at the All-Americans.
"I've taken what I did at All-Americans and how I was playing and improved it by about five or 10 percent; just a gradual climb of improving my game," he said. "I've just been really calm out there. I've been enjoying being out there and having fun."
Hiltzik's teammates Ross Guignon and Tim Kopinski of Illinois, the fourth-seeded doubles team, were also victorious Saturday and advanced to the men's doubles final, where they will face Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur of host-college Columbia.
In women's doubles, Georgia Tech's Kendal Woodard and Megan Kurey will face Julia Fellerhoff and Rebecca Shine of Louisville in Sunday's final.
In Sunday's consolation matches, the singles finals will be Marcos Giron of UCLA against Patrick Pradella of Baylor, and Beatrice Capra of Duke versus Abigail Tere-Apisah of Georgia State. In doubles, Brynn Boren and Zoe Katz of USC face Pleun Burgmans and Emily Flickinger of Auburn in the women's consolation final, while Marcos Giron and Mackenzie McDonald of UCLA play Peter Kobelt and Kevin Metka of Ohio State in the men's doubles consolation final.
Sunday's finals begin at 10 a.m. ET with main-draw and consolation doubles finals, and singles finals are all slated to begin at 11:30 a.m. ET.
Story published courtesy ITA