By Steve Pratt
FORT WORTH, Texas – North Carolina State senior Anna Rogers was able to hold off a late-charging Taylor Melville from the University of Denver to capture the women’s singles title at the Oracle ITA Summer Circuit National Summer Championships, 6-4, 7-6 (7), on Tuesday at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center on the campus of TCU.
Rogers, who was taken to the limit winning 10-7 super tiebreakers after splitting sets in both her quarterfinal and semifinal victories, was able to fight off several second-set set points against the sophomore Melville in the tight match.
The Stamford, Conn., resident pocketed the $3,000 first-place prize money as this year marked the second consecutive year that Oracle and the ITA have distributed prize money for top finishers at the Summer Nationals. Melville, originally from Duluth, Ga., earned $1,500 for her runner-up finish.
In the women’s doubles final, Elise Van Heuvelen and Yun Chen Hsieh defeated the team of Tatiana Makarova and Jayci Goldsmith, 8-7 (8). The champions split$1,250 between team while the finalists will split $625.
“I played solid from the start and had a chance to pull out the first set, but she kept coming back,” said Rogers, who reached a program-high No. 8 Oracle/ITA Division I singles ranking last season. “She started playing really well in the second set and I started to get a little tired. I was able to fight off some set points.”
With the win, Rogers also receives an automatic berth into the ITA All-American Tournament taking place for the first time in Tulsa, Oka., Oct. 5-13.
“I played All-Americans last year so it will be nice to go back, and the little extra money is great too,” said Rogers, who finished the season at No. 4 in the doubles rankings, the highest doubles ranking in N.C. State program history. “I just want people to know about our program and how far we’ve come from where we were before. I’m just really proud to be a part of the Wolf Pack.”
She added: “I’m a little bit tired right now and I haven’t had to play two matches a day for a long time. I’m glad I got some matches in before our fall season starts and I’m just really excited for our season and what’s to come.”
Melville played her freshman year at Furman University. She upset No. 2 seed and UC-Berkeley junior Anna Bright in the second round in a super tiebreaker after splitting sets, 10-3.
The University of Iowa senior Van Heuvelen and Hsieh (Chinese Taipei) were playing together for the first time. “We had a really good time, and didn’t expect much,” said Van Heuvelen, who hails from Seaford, East Sussex in England. “The tournament put us together. We are both pretty aggressive and came to the net and served big. We couldn’t be happier. It’s one of the biggest tournaments of the summer.”
Makarova, from Moscow, Russia, is a junior at Texas A&M who was named an ITA Scholar Athlete in 2017-18. Goldsmith is also an Aggie from Dripping Springs, Texas, and will be a sophomore once school begins. In the semifinals, Makarova and Goldsmith beat the top-seeded pairing of Rogers-Bright, 8-7 (4).
To view all the draws go to the tournament page HERE.
By Steve Pratt