UH’s Petra Melounova advances through first round of NCAA singles tournament

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ORLANDO, Fla.—University of Hawai’i women’s tennis player Petra Melounova battled back to defeat LSU’s Jessica Golovin in the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships’ first round, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. Golovin, who was ranked at No. 60 entering the tournament is the fourth ITA ranked player that Melounova has upset this season. This is the second time that Melounova has won her NCAA first round match. She advances to the second round and will take on No. 47 Chiara Lommer (Michigan) on Tuesday at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla.
 
In an evenly matched first round game between 60th-ranked Golovin and 61st-ranked Melounova, the match turned out to be a marathon, three-set battle of wills. But Melounova with her arsenal of heavy groundstrokes, solid net play, and pinpoint accuracy was able to outlast Golovin down the stretch.
 
Early on, the first set was on serve and tied at 2-2 before Golovin pulled away to capture the frame, 6-3 for a 1-0 lead in sets.
 
The second and third sets saw both players struggle to hold their serve. But it was Melounova who battled back, breaking Golovin twice in the second set to take a 4-2. Melounova eventually broke Golovin a third time to take a 5-3 lead. Melounova then held her serve to even the match at 1-1 with a 6-3 win in Set 2.
 
In Set 3, Melounova broke Golovin’s serve twice early to take a 4-1 lead. But Golovin battled back, breaking Melounova twice while holding serve twice to even the score at 4-4. Both players broke each others serve to remain tied at 5-5. Then Melounova broke Golovin for one final time to take a slim 6-5 lead. She then held her serve to win the match with a 7-5 win in the third set.
 
Melounova is the only Rainbow Wahine to ever win a match at the NCAA Singles Champoionship. As a freshman, she knocked off No. 16 Texas A&M’s Rachel Pierson in straight sets, 7-6 (5), 6-3.
 
This marked the fourth win by Melounova over a higher-ranked player this season—No. 34 Salma Ewing (#32 USC), No. 30 Julia Rosenqvist (#15 California), No. 86 Maddie Pothoff (Santa Clara), and No. 60 Jessica Golovin (LSU). It is Melounova’s eighth-straight singles win.
 
Melounova advances to the NCAA Second Round where she will take on 47th-ranked Chiara Lommer (Michigan) who upset fourth-seeded Ingrid Martins of South Carolina. Lomma knocked off Martins in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. Time and court are to be determined.

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