PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – Blue Devils Hanna Mar and Beatrice Capra won their semifinal matchup on Saturday to advance to the championship match at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championship in Pacific Palisades, Calif. The 19th-ranked duo downed the 34th-ranked team of Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely from Tennessee in straight sets to advance.
“We played a tactically smart match today and in the end it really paid off,” said head coach Jamie Ashworth. “We were extremely disciplined with where we hit the ball and with our movement which enabled us to get some free points. Hopefully we can do the same tomorrow as we have gotten better and smarter with each match we have played.”
In the first round of the main draw on Thursday, Capra and Mar downed Ema Burgic and Jordaan Sanford of Baylor, 8-6 before edging third-ranked Annie Goransson and Anett Schutting, 8-5 in the second round. In the quarterfinals on Friday, Capra and Mar cruised past No. 21 Simona Synkova and Venoica Popovici of Wyoming, 8-2.
Entering their semifinal matchup, Mar and Capra maintained their aggressive style of play, and it proved successful as they edged Boren and Szekely, 6-4, 6-4. Despite playing only one match together last season, Capra and Mar are now 5-0 over their career as doubles partners, with wins over three ranked opponents.
Capra, a native of Ellicott City, Md., believes her success with Mar can be attributed to their similar competitive personalities.
“I was really excited when I heard that I got to play with Hanna because she is such an amazing player,” Capra said. “We have the same competitive personality so I knew we would do well here. Hanna and I get along really well off the court, and I think that helps when you are on the court because you feel comfortable with the person, and you trust them. I think our personalities just match.”
Mar and Capra are slated to face the top-ranked doubles team in the country in Sabrina Santamaria and Kaityn Christian of Southern California at 12:00 p.m. PST on Sunday.
“We play a team from USC tomorrow, and we know that they are going to come out really hard,” Mar said. “We need to stick to the things that we do well, and that we have been doing well, and that is going to give us our best shot for success tomorrow. We need to keep playing to our strengths, and we will see what happens.”
The 2012 Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships action continues from the Riviera Tennis Club on Sunday at 11 a.m. PST. RadioTennis.com will be on site providing a live broadcast of Sunday’s matches.
Main Draw - Doubles
No. 19 Capra/Mar (Duke) def. Burgic/Sanford (Baylor), 8-6
No. 19 Capra/Mar (Duke) def. No. 3 Goransson/Schutting (California), 8-5
No. 19 Capra/Mar (Duke) def. No. 21 Synkova/Popovici (Wyoming), 8-2
No. 19 Capra/Mar (Duke) def. No. 34 Boren/Szekely (Tennessee), 6-4, 6-4
No. 19 Capra/Mar (Duke) vs. No. 1 Santamaria/Christian (USC), 12:00 p.m. PST