BERKELEY –Zsofi Susanyi won a pair of titles and California added a third on Sunday as the Cal Nike Invitational came to a close at the Hellman Tennis Complex and Channing Tennis Courts. A junior ranked fourth in the nation, Susanyi repeated as the tournament’s top singles player when she beat senior teammate and fifth-ranked Anett Schutting, 6-1, 6-1, in the top-flight final for the second straight year.
“I feel really happy,” Susanyi said of winning the singles title, “because I didn’t start off really well in the beginning, and I worked my way through it. I thought I played really well at the end.”
“It speaks to their consistency,” Cal head coach Amanda Augustus said of Schutting and Susanyi repeating as singles finalists. “Zsofi’s settling back in and got some good play over the summer at home. From where I sit today, I’m pleased with what I saw.”
On Sunday morning, Susanyi and sophomore Klara Fabikova – the ITA’s 25th-ranked team and the Blue Doubles flight’s No. 2 seed – beat top-seeded and 11th-ranked Schutting and Lynn Chi in the Blue final, 8-6. Cal captured its third championship when senior Alice Duranteau and junior Cecilia Estlander held off Armstrong Atlantic State’s Marlen Hacke/Olga Kalodzitsa, 8-6, in the Gold Doubles final.
“We’re trying to teach our doubles teams to be able to make adjustments during the match, depending on how it’s going,” Augustus said. “It was good, because I saw both teams make a couple different adjustments, so it shows that they’re really thinking out there.”
Susanyi, the top seed, got to the final after beating Chi, a sophomore seeded seventh and ranked 44th in singles, 6-4, 6-4, in the Blue semifinals. Schutting, ranked fifth and seeded second, triumphed over Santa Clara’s fourth-seeded and 20th-ranked Katie Le, 6-0, 6-3, in her semi.
Of playing against fellow Bears, Susanyi said, “When I’m playing my teammates, they are my teammates, but when it’s an individual tournament, I kind of have to close it out and focus on what I’m doing on the court.”
In Sunday morning’s Gold Singles semis, Duranteau saw a familiar face – Armstrong Atlantic State’s Hacke – and beat her again, 7-6(5), 6-1, to move on to face Hacke’s teammate, Barbara Krtickova, in the final. The latter Pirate got past the eighth-seeded Estlander, 6-3, 6-3, in the semis.
In the Gold final, Krtickova beat a Bear for the second consecutive match, as Duranteau fell, 6-0, 6-1.
Armstrong Atlantic State won the NCAA Division 2 championship last season and showed its worth in Berkeley, as it put multiple Pirates in Sunday finals and semifinals.
“The tournament was great,” Augustus said. “We had a couple new teams and new players, and it was good to mix it up. It was a really strong draw this year. Competition in all three flights (Blue, Gold and White) was definitely high. I was pretty happy with it.”
“I’m proud of that we’ve done this weekend,” Augustus added of the Bears. “It’s definitely a good start to the season. We’ve only been training for a few weeks, so it’s good to see them putting into their match play some of the things we’ve been working on.”
Cal returns to action when Susanyi, Schutting, Fabikova and Chi play in the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships this week in Los Angeles.
“I feel really confident,” Susanyi said. “I can build on the base that I just built this weekend and carry that into the All-American.”