BERKELEY – On the first day of competition since construction began on an upgrade to the Hellman Tennis Complex, eighth-ranked California won 11 of 12 matches at their annual Cal Winter Invitational on Friday. Cal won all four of its doubles matches against Cal Poly and took seven of eight singles matches against No. 56 Fresno State, with most of Friday’s action taking place at Hellman.
Saint Mary’s – ranked 37th nationally – is the fourth team taking part in the Cal Winter Invitational, a three-day tournament that ends on Sunday.
Cal’s 95th-ranked sophomore Lynn Chi collected the first singles win at Hellman, trouncing Sofya Malysheva, 6-0, 6-2, on court four, before 31st-ranked Cal senior Anett Schutting wrapped up a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Rana Sherif Ahmed on court two. On court three, freshman Denise Starr – Cal’s top ranked player at No. 15 – then defeated Aishwarya Agrawal, 6-2, 6-4, before freshman teammate Maegan Manasse beat Anne Susdorf, 6-3, 6-3 on court five.
In a battle of nationally ranked players on court one, Cal’s 16th-ranked junior Zsofi Susanyi fell to FSU’s 104th-ranked Sophie Watts in an upset, 6-4, 6-4. Cal senior Alice Duranteau rebounded to take down Anneka Watts on court six, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
Cal played four doubles matches against Cal Poly at Hellman. The duo of Schutting and Manasse topped the Mustangs’ Hannah Stone and Jennifer Cornea, 8-3, on court one, the 48th-ranked pair of Starr/Susanyi blanked Ane McPike/Mika Padmanabhan, 8-0, Chi and sophomore teammate Klara Fabikova prevailed 8-2 over Emily Gibbens and Zoe Oedekerk, and Chui/Estlander beat Bryn Bacharach/Kathryn Webb, 8-5.
“It’s good to get the first day under your belt,” Cal head coach Amanda Augustus said. “We’re fortunate to have this beautiful, 70-degree weather. It makes everything better. It was a good start today for sure – for them to get the nerves out and get on the court playing. As the weekend progresses I’ll know more about where they’re at. I’m pleased with what I saw today, and I’m looking forward to another day of tennis tomorrow. There are always things to improve on, but I’m definitely happy with what I saw today.”
Among the benefits of the Tennis Facility Upgrade Project are the addition of elevated seating on the north side of Hellman, men’s and women’s locker rooms and public restrooms.
“It’s just exciting,” Augustus said. “The campus and construction people have been working really hard to get this going, and with this weather cooperating, it really helps keep this construction on schedule.”
The Cal Winter Invitational continues on Saturday, beginning with Cal taking on Cal Poly in singles at 10 a.m. Six of those matches will take place at Hellman, while two of the matches are slated for Channing.