SURPRISE, Ariz. – The Oracle ITA National Fall Championships suit Petros Chrysochos well.
The Wake Forest senior reached the singles final and won the doubles championship with Skander Mansouri in 2017. In 2018, Chrysochos entered the singles draw as the No. 1 seed, and following a dominant 6-1, 6-2 victory over No. 5 Thomas Laurent of Oregon in the semifinals at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex in Surprise, Arizona, he’s back in the championship match.
Chrysochos has a few reasons as to why he performs so well in the concluding event to the fall portion of the collegiate tennis season.
“I think the fact it’s at the end of the fall and you usually get the best players in college coming here and giving it their all,” said Chrysochos. “I always feel fresh coming into this tournament, because I’m ending my fall semester, and I always kind of peak at that time and it shows on the court. I feel great playing on these courts and these conditions; everything is perfect for me.”
Facing Chrysochos is No. 6 seed Daniel Cukierman of USC. Cukierman rallied from a set down on Saturday to defeat No. 8 Nicolas Moreno de Alboran 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals.
The women’s final features No. 9 Katarina Jokic of Georgia taking on No. 11 Kate Fahey of Michigan. Jokic earned a 6-1, 6-0 decision over Vanderbilt’s Christina Rosca, while Fahey upended No. 10 Makenna Jones of North Carolina 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
“This is a great tournament,” said Fahey. “This is my third year and I hadn’t had the best results here, but this year I was able to get to the finals with the help of my teammates and coaches.”
The women’s and men’s singles final will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the ESPN App, with the women’s final scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. MDT, and the men’s final at 1 p.m. MDT. Both finals will re-air on ESPNU on Tuesday, November 13th, starting at 1 p.m. MDT. In addition, men’s and women’s singles champions will receive a main draw wildcard into a 2019 Oracle Challenger Series tournament.
Texas Tech’s Bjorn Thomson and Parker Wynn continued their stellar play in Surprise, as they earned a spot in Sunday’s final with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Cal’s Yuta Kikuchi and Jacob Brumm in the semifinals.
“It feels great,” said Wynn of making the finals. “In this event last year, I was playing for the University of Louisville and we got to the semifinals, played a tough team and didn’t get the result we wanted there. To come back this year and reach the finals this time around is great. It feels great to be in the top-two, but at the end of the day, you want to be that national champion and that’s where our minds are at; today was a great win to get, but we’ve got to come back tomorrow and try to finish it off.”
While watching potential opponents from Old Dominion and UNC Asheville compete, Thomson said the Red Raiders’ focus was on how they executed on the court.
“It’s about what we do on the court. We have our game plans and we have to go out and execute,” said Thomson. “Make a lot of first serves, be solid returning, simple things like that.”
Both Thomson and Wynn credit their early bonding on – and off – the court, for the duo’s success this fall.
“With Bjorn, he’s probably the first true doubles player that I’ve played with,” said Wynn. “He knows where to be on the court and that’s big. I think our personalities work well and we get along and see eye to eye on a lot of things.”
Added Thomson: “Parker’s a great player and really good at the net, so we work really well and get along really well off the court, but have no problem telling the other person if something is wrong on the court, so it’s been working out really well.”
UNC Asheville advanced to Sunday’s final with a 6-1, 7-6 (5) victory over Old Dominion’s Aziz Kijametovic and Francois Musitelli in the semifinals. Oli Nolan and Henry Patten have won their last three matches at the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships in straight sets.
Clemson’s Marie-Alexandre Leduc and Fernanda Navarro bested in-state rival Mia Horvit and Ingrid Gamarra Martins of South Carolina 7-6 (8) 6-4 in their semifinal match-up to reach Sunday’s final. The Tigers will face Pepperdine’s duo Ashley Lahey and Evgeniya Levashova in the final. The Waves took down North Carolina’s second-seeded team of Jones and Cameron Morra 6-3, 6-0 in the semifinals.
Notre Dame’s Alex Lebedev won the men’s singles consolation title, defeating Stanford’s Sameer Kumar 6-4, 6-1 in the final.
Draws, schedule of play, daily recaps and a photo gallery can be found on the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships event page. Live scoring via Tennis Ticker will be available, while TempuZ will provide live streaming coverage from two courts at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex. Links to both live scoring and streaming are also available on the event page. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter by following @ITA_Tennis and @OracleTennis and using the hashtag #ITAFallNats.