NCAA Womens Tennis

Tian to Play for NCAA Singles Championship Saturday

Tian to Play for NCAA Singles Championship Saturday

ORLANDO, Fla. – The UCLA women’s tennis program will be represented in the final round of an NCAA Championships singles tournament for the first time since 1995, as Fangran Tian earned a spot through her straight-set win versus fellow freshman Maddy Sieg of USC Friday.

In a match delayed by rain, No. 9-16-seed Tian came out on top of a 6-3, 6-2 result at the USTA National Campus. The final three games were completed indoors. Also victorious was Oklahoma’s Layne Sleeth, who joined Tian in the final by way of a three-set decision over Amelia Rajecki of NC State. Tian and Sleeth meet Saturday at 7 a.m. PT.

Sieg broke the serve of Tian to begin Friday’s match. Tian countered by breaking Sieg each of the first three times she served and winning five consecutive games. Sieg fought back to take the next two, but Tian held to strike the first blow.

Tian posted a break to start the second and was able to consolidate it for a 2-0 advantage. Tian extended her lead even further when she broke Sieg again for 3-0. That set off a run of five straight breaks, which surrounded the delay of nearly two hours. Leading the sixth game 30-0 when the rain arrived, Sieg broke Tian to make the score 2-4 soon after their return to action. Tian answered with a break of her own and followed that with a hold to seal the win.

Tian won five of seven deuce points in the contest. The victory against No. 9-16-seed and 11th-ranked Sieg marked Tian’s third of the campaign. Tian follows in the footsteps of UCLA Athletic Hall of Famer Keri Phebus, who reached the championship match in 1995. Phebus went on to defeat top-seeded Kelly Pace of Texas for the title.

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