July 15, 2013
HOUSTON - Maria Andrea Cardenas is the latest University of Houston women's tennis signee to post an impressive showing this summer, as she recently reached the quarterfinal round in doubles play at the GDF Suez Biarritz Open in Biarritz, France, where she competed as an amateur.
"The $100k ITF level is the tennis equivalent of AAA baseball with the next step being the major leagues, so for Maria to win a main draw match at this level is an outstanding accomplishment," head coach Patrick Sullivan said. "This was a draw that included several women I watched compete at the French Open just weeks ago, so for Maria to hold her own should give her a lot of confidence heading into the upcoming season. I'm very proud of her and excited to begin coaching her in August."
Playing at the highest level on the ITF circuit, directly under WTA events, Cardenas teamed up with her partner from Japan to post a straight-sets victory over a French duo to advance to the quarterfinal round. Cardenas, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, was also impressive in singles play, dropping a tightly-contested 6-4, 7-6 match to her opponent from Finland.
The GDF Suez Biarritz Open has been held on clay courts in Biarritz, France, since 2003 and has a history of successful alumni, as Julia Görges and Urszula Radwańska, the 2010 and 2011 doubles champions, are currently ranked inside the top 50 of the WTA Tour.
Cardenas will suit up in the Scarlet and White for the upcoming season after transferring from Auburn, where she made the most of her limited playing time, combining for a 20-8 record as a freshman.
Cardenas has competed in over 30 countries and boasts over 100 international victories, including her first professional doubles title last April while playing as an amateur in her hometown.
Cardenas joins Greece product Despoina Vogasari as newcomers to the program for the upcoming 2013-14 season. Houston's 2013 signing class, which includes Vogasari and current Cougar Rocio Martin Fernandez was ranked as the nation's No. 6 recruiting haul and tops among mid-major programs by TennisRecruiting.net.