ATHENS, Ga. -- Two competitors from the Duke women’s tennis team advanced to second round play of the 2014 NCAA Singles Championship following first round victories Wednesday, May 21, in Athens, Ga.
Junior Ester Goldfeld and sophomore Beatrice Capra each won in straight sets to advance to the second round which is scheduled for Thursday, May 22. Senior Hanna Mar put in a valiant effort, however the Burr Ridge, Ill., native suffered a loss in Duke’s final match of the day.
Goldfeld, ranked 27th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) singles poll, opened competition for the Blue Devils with a convincing 6-3, 6-1 victory over California’s 30th-ranked Denise Starr Wednesday morning. Tied with Starr at 2-2, Goldfeld settled in and won the first set, 6-2. Goldfeld continued her dominant play by opening with a break and a hold in the second set. After dropping a game to Starr, bringing the set to 2-1, Goldfeld once again won four straight games to close out the match. With the win, the Brooklyn, N.Y., native improved to 33-9, becoming the 32nd singles player in Duke history to win 33 or more matches in a season and the first since Reka Zsilinszka and Melissa Mang achieved the feat in 2009.
In Duke’s second match of the day, seventh-ranked Capra cruised to a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Pepperdine’s 26th-ranked Lorraine Guillermo. Capra never trailed in either set, setting the tone early with a break and a hold to take a 2-0 lead in the first set. Capra held at 5-2 to close out the opening set. In the second set, Capra did not drop a game, asserting herself en route to a 6-0 second set victory. Capra now owns a 28-9 overall singles record this season and moved to 17-7 against nationally ranked opponents.
The 36th-ranked Mar, facing 19th-ranked Zoë Scandalis of Southern California, fell, 4-6, 2-6, concluding the first day of competition for the Blue Devils. Mar led 3-1 in the first set following two holds and a break. Scandalis responded by winning three straight games to take a 3-4 advantage. Mar was unable to regain the lead, dropping the first set, 4-6. After opening the second set with a hold, tying Scandalis, 1-1, the Southern California junior won two games to take a 1-3 lead. Mar brought the set within a game at 2-3, but was unable to bridge the gap, dropping the second set, 2-6.
Mar concludes her singles career at Duke as the 48th Blue Devil to earn 31 or more singles wins in a season, and she became just the 23rd player in Duke history to reach or surpass the 100 career win barrier. Mar returns to competition tomorrow, pairing with Capra in doubles play.
Goldfeld is scheduled to face the 51st-ranked singles player in Krista Hardebeck of Stanford Thursday, while Capra is slated to compete against Miami’s 29th-ranked Stephanie Wagner. In addition to singles play, Goldfeld will pair with freshman Alyssa Smith to open doubles play against Georgia’s second-ranked duo of Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase. Capra and Mar look to post strong play in the first round of doubles while competing against South Carolina’s 26th-ranked team of Dominika Kanakova and Elixane Lechemia.