Nov. 15, 2015
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Freshman Francesca Di Lorenzo claimed the first national title in Ohio State women’s tennis history Sunday, winning the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship final at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. In the championship match, Di Lorenzo downed Clemson’s Joana Eidukonyte, the preseason No. 11 player, 6-3, 6-1.
“I think I played some pretty good tennis,” Di Lorenzo told ESPN3, which broadcast the match, after the win, her fifth of the tournament. “The first match was a little rusty but I got into it after that and just kept going from there, being aggressive and playing my game.”
Di Lorenzo, from New Albany, Ohio, received a wildcard spot from the USTA into the 32-player singles draw. She was rated the top freshman/newcomer in college tennis entering this season by the ITA and advanced to the US Open Juniors singles and doubles semifinals in September.
“I think (the match) went pretty well,” Di Lorenzo told ITATennis.com. “I wasn’t hitting my backhand as well as I would’ve liked or how I had in previous matches, but I think I kept the ball moving well with my forehand, moved her well and came in when I had my opportunities.”
In the championship match, Di Lorenzo won the first three games, including breaking at love in the third game. Each player was unable to hold serve the next three games before Eidukonyte held to make the score 4-3 in favor of Di Lorenzo. The Buckeye freshman answered with a hold of her own to go ahead 5-3 and then broke to claim the set, 6-3.
In the second set, Di Lorenzo won the first five games (part of a streak of seven consecutive games), holding at love three times and breaking at love in the fourth game. Eidukonyte held for a 5-1 match but Di Lorenzo closed out the championship on her next service game.
“It’s definitely an exciting way to finish out the fall; it could’ve have ended any better,” Di Lorenzo told ITATennis.com. “I’m just happy to represent my school and this was a really cool moment.”
In the tournament, Di Lorenzo downed three seeded players, beating No. 8 seed Stephanie Wagner of Miami, in the semifinals, the No. 3 seed in the Round of 16 and the No. 6 seed (the defending NIIC champion) in the quarterfinals. She dropped just one set in her five matches.
The Ohio State doubles team of junior Miho Kowase and sophomore Anna Sanford, the ITA Midwest Regional champion, fell in the doubles consolation final to Stanford’s Taylor Davidson and Caroline Doyle, 6-4, 6-2. In the first set, Stanford broke to even the score at four all and held to go ahead 5-4. The Cardinal tandem then broke to claim the set, 6-4. In the second set, the Buckeyes broke in the first game before Stanford went on a five-game run to go ahead, 5-1. Ohio State broke for a 5-2 set but Stanford’s duo broke in the next game to claim the set, 6-2, and the match, 6-4, 6-2.
The ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships closed out the Buckeyes’ fall schedule. The team will open its dual match slate Jan. 16 with a doubleheader vs. Xavier and Bowling Green in Columbus.
ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships
USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Ohio State results
Singles Round of 32
Francesca Di Lorenzo (OSU) def. Maiar Sherif Ahmed (Fresno State), 6-4, 6-1
Singles Round of 16
Francesca Di Lorenzo (OSU) def. No. 3 Hayley Carter (UNC), 6-2, 6-4
Francesca Di Lorenzo (OSU) def. No. 6 Julia Elbaba (UVA), 6-0, 4-6, 6-3
Francesca Di Lorenzo (OSU) def. No. 8 Stephanie Wagner (MIA), 6-4, 6-4
Francesca Di Lorenzo (OSU) def. Joana Eidukonyte (Clemson), 6-3, 6-1
Doubles Round of 32
Miho Kowase/Anna Sanford (OSU) def. Blaga Delic/Sheila Morales (Nevada), 6-1, 6-4
Doubles Round of 16
No. 3 Mami Adachi/Aldila Sutjiadi (Kentucky) def. Miho Kowase/Anna Sanford (OSU), 4-6, 6-3, 11-9
Doubles 2R Consolation
Miho Kowase/Anna Sanford (OSU) def. Julia Elbaba/Skylar Morton (UVA), 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (2)
Doubles 2R Consolation
Miho Kowase/Anna Sanford (OSU) def. Maria Alvarez/Kelsey Laurente (Oklahoma State), 6-4, 6-3
Doubles 2R Consolation Final
Taylor Davidson and Caroline Doyle (Stanford) def. Miho Kowase/Anna Sanford (OSU), 6-4, 6-2