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Aug. 18, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Rising junior Fidan Manashirova of the Ohio State women’s tennis team enjoyed a deep run at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Summer Circuit tournament hosted by Indiana University Aug. 13-17 in Bloomington, Ind. Manashirova posted three victories against seeded opponents to reach the semifinals.

“Playing a bunch of matches this summer helped me gain endurance and confidence in my game,” Manashirova said. “I was really able to play loose out there and facing top players helps me perform much better in pressure situations.”

Manashirova squared off against a familiar opponent in the first round of main draw singles in Allison Falkin of Illinois. Manashirova zoomed through the match in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0, before setting her sights on fifth-seeded Courtney McLane of Alabama. The two split the first two sets before Manashirova won the tiebreaker to advance with a score of 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (8).

In the third round, the rising junior Buckeye faced another conference foe in Purdue’s Mara Schmidt. Manashirova notched a second straight-set victory, taking down ninth-seeded Schmidt, 6-4, 7-6 (2), before upsetting her third-consecutive seeded opponent, No. 9 seed Hanna Mar of Duke, 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (4), to punch her ticket to the semifinals.

Manashirova couldn’t find the magic in the semifinal draw against Michigan’s Emina Bektas, however, and fell to the fifth-seeded Wolverine, 6-1, 6-1.

Incoming freshman Kelsey Dieters and rising senior Kelsey Haviland joined Manashirova as representatives of Ohio State at the tournament. Dieters earned a first-round victory over Boston College’s Kelly Barry, 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 (5), but couldn’t upend top-seeded Mallory Burdette of Stanford in the second round. Fifth-seeded Haviland enjoyed a first-round bye before falling to Indiana’s Alecia Knauss, 7-5, 3-6, 1-0 (6), in the second.

Last season, Manashirova led the Buckeyes in singles victories (27) while sharing leads in Big Ten singles wins (8) with Cami Hubbs and conference doubles victories with classmate Gabby Steele (7).