North Texas Daily

Kononova, Kutubidze lead tennis to strong weekend showing

Kononova, Kutubidze lead tennis to strong weekend showing

Members of the North Texas tennis team celebrate Mingying Liang's singles match win that advanced North Texas to the next round of the championship. Sara Carpenter

Kononova, Kutubidze lead tennis to strong weekend showing
September 25
10:00 2017

Ranked No. 41 in the country in singles, junior Maria Kononova won the Althea Gibson singles tournament on Sunday, Sept. 17. In the final match, she defeated Louisiana State University 4-6, 6-2, 12-10 on the grass courts in Newport, Rhode Island.

It was her first time playing on grass, but the surface did not change her dominance. Kononova went 3-0 and brought home the first trophy for the Mean Green of the year. She defeated Princeton and North Carolina in her first two matches.

That was the first glimpse into what Kononova brings to the table for the tennis team this season.

This past weekend, the No. 22 ranked doubles team in the nation teamed up to proved itself as a duo in their first tournament of the year.

Kononova and junior Tamuna Kutubidze represented North Texas in the Milwaukee Classic and won the championship Sunday afternoon as the No. 1 seeded doubles team in the tournament.

They met Arkansas in the finals and defeated the Razorbacks 8-2. In the semifinals, Kononova and Kutbidze defeated the University of Iowa 8-4.

While one of the top doubles teams in the country competed in a national tournament, the rest of the team traveled to Houston to play in the Rice Invitational over the weekend.

There, freshman Nidhi Surapaneni won the singles draw, defeating Sam Houston State in the finals 6-2, 6-0. Also on Saturday, Surapaneni and sophomore Minying Liang won their doubles match as they defeated Southern Methodist University 7-5.

Sophomore Ivana Babic reached the finals of her singles’ tournament, where she was defeated by University of Texas at Arlington 6-4, 6-1.

Last season, Kononova and Kutubidze put up dazzling records and proved themselves amongst the best in the country. Now, the rest of the team appears to be following suit with its performance early on.

The success in the two tournaments begins to confirm the high expectations coach Sujay Lama had about the strength of his team this season.

Next up: The tennis team will head to the All-American PQ tournament in California Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

Featured Image: Members of the North Texas tennis team celebrate Mingying Liang’s singles match win that advanced North Texas to the next round of a tournament championship in April. Sara Carpenter

About Author

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune is the Senior Sports Writer for the North Texas Daily, covering football and men's basketball.

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