May 24, 2005
ATHENS, Ga. -
Battling blustery weather conditions in second-round action at the 2005 NCAA Singles Championships, freshman Audra Cohen (Plantation, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) fought her way into the Round of 16 by defeating Baylor's Carolin Walter 6-1, 7-5.
"It was really, really windy, and on a day like this, if you compete well
you can get into a rhythm," Cohen said. "Today was all about how well you competed, and I competed pretty well. Winning the way I did makes me know I can compete well the rest of this tournament."
In the first set, Cohen dominated by holding four service games and breaking Walter two times. With the serve in the seventh game, Cohen fought off double-break point and landed four-straight first serves to take the set 6-1.
The second set provided those in attendance at Georgia's Dan Magill Complex with a bit more drama. Cohen began by breaking Walter, but the Bear responded by breaking Cohen for the first of what would be two times during the match. Walter then held serve in the third game, taking her first lead of the match 2-1.
Cohen returned to form in the next game by holding serve and later edged the score back into her favor, 3-2, by breaking Walter for the third time. Then in the sixth game, she again relied on her power serve to inch ahead 4-2.
At that point, Cohen noticeably began to hang out around the baseline, probably playing a bit too conservatively. Walter took advantage. The Baylor player claimed the next three games, winning a number of close volleys in the process, to take a 5-4 lead.
In the 10th game, Cohen took the serve and ripped an ace that sliced out of Walter's reach for a 30-15 lead. But Walter won the next two points, putting her squarely in position to take the set. Cohen wasn't about to concede, though. She fought off four break points, eventually taking the game to tie the set at 5-5.
The turning point of the match came in the 11th game, during which the duo treated the fans at center court to some unbelievable tennis. 25 minutes and 10 deuce points later, Cohen emerged with a crucial 6-5 lead heading into the 12th game.
There, Walter tried her best to push the second set to a tiebreak, as she fended off three match points. But on her fourth match point, Cohen destroyed a forehand down the line to assure herself a spot in the Round of 16.
Cohen will face Georgia Tech's Kristi Miller in the Round of 16 at 9 a.m. CT Wednesday, May 25.
Today, Cohen will get a brief rest before picking back up with doubles competition alongside Cristelle Grier (Epsom, England/Putney) at 2 p.m. CT.
Live scoring and daily results are available at UGA's tournament website and the NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship page .
2005 NCAA Singles Championships Second Round Results
#3 Audra Cohen (NU) def. Carolin Walter (BAYLOR), 6-1, 7-5
Cohen's Third Round Match
vs. Kristi Miller (GEORGIA TECH) @ 9 a.m. CT Wednesday, May 25
** NCAA SINGLES NOTES **
Top-seeded Megan Bradley of Miami (Fla.) was knocked out in the second round by Marianna Yuferova of Virginia Commonwealth University -- the same person who defeated Cristelle Grier yesterday.
Two-time defending NCAA Singles Champion Amber Liu of Stanford withdrew from the tournament in the first round yesterday (shoulder injury).
Of the 16 players remaining in the tournament, Audra Cohen is the only one who hails from the Big Ten. Cynthia Goulet of Illinois was eliminated in the first round.
Audra Cohen is one of four seeded players who remain in the tournament: #2 Julie Coin (CLEMSON), #3 Cohen, #4, Aibika Kalsarieva (KENTUCKY), and #5 Jennifer Magley (FLORIDA)
#1 Bradley, #6 Robin Stephenson (ALABAMA), #7 Amber Liu (STANFORD) and #8 Suzi Babos (CALIFORNIA) have all been eliminated.
Of the 16 players remaining in the singles draw, seven are seniors. One
junior remains in the tournament, two sophomores and six freshmen.