Women's Tennis Signee Impressive at U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying Tournament
HOUSTON - Elena Kordolaimi, the newest Houston women's tennis signee, claimed four wins to advance to the finals at the U.S. Open Women's Sectional Qualifier last week in Arlington, Texas. Kordolaimi eventually fell in three sets to one of the nation's top-five juniors.
Thirteen USTA sections run a Sectional Qualifying Tournament with the winner advancing to the US Open National Playoffs Championships in New Haven, Conn. There, the winner of each Singles Championship receives a wild card entry to the 2012 U.S. Open Qualifying Tournament.
Kordolaimi opened play in dominant fashion, dropping only one game in three combined matches, beginning with a 6-1, 6-0 rout of a junior from Corpus Christi, Texas, in the round of 32.
Kordolaimi then posted back-to-back shutouts over Breanne Hesseltine of St. Edward's and a Canadian junior, who has been ranked as high as No. 9 among all North American juniors in the class of 2013.
The Lamia, Greece, native punched her ticket to the finals with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Texas Tech's Samantha Adams, who ended the season ranked No. 112 nationally in singles and No. 15 in doubles for the 22nd-ranked Red Raiders.
Kordolaimi's run ended in the finals with a 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 loss to the top junior in Texas.
"Playing to the level of her opponents has been a struggle for Elena and before the tournament we talked about taking care of business in the early rounds and saving the legs for the big matches," head coach Patrick Sullivan said. "With the extreme heat, this became even more important, and I was really proud of her focus in the first few rounds. Her last two wins were outstanding, especially over one of the top players in our region in Samantha Adams.
"Unfortunately after getting up a set in the final, she ran out of gas a little bit after a tough week of matches in the Texas heat," Sullivan continued. "She is obviously very disappointed to have been just one set away from heading to New Haven, but it was a very good showing and there are a lot of positives she can take away from it. With Elena, talent will never be an issue, and as her discipline and effort continue to improve, so will her results in big matches."
Kordolaimi will join the Cougars for the 2012-13 season after a standout freshman campaign at Stephen F. Austin that saw her post a combined singles and doubles record of 44-15 to help lead the Lady `Jacks to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.