Tide rolls Duke in NCAA semis

May. 25, 2014 @ 08:50 PM

The Duke women’s tennis season came to a disappointing end in the NCAA championships singles and doubles semifinals Sunday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

Virginia’s Danielle Collins knocked off Duke’s Ester Goldfeld, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3), in singles, part of an all unseeded women’s semis. In doubles, the No. 4-ranked duo of Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe of Alabama beat Duke’s fifth-ranked team of Beatrice Capra and Hanna Mar, 6-0, 4-6, 6-2.

It was a tough ending to a season with many high points, Duke coach Jamie Ashworth said.

“We won (national team indoors), we were ranked No. 1 for a lot of the year and lost to the team that won it here,” said Ashworth, whose team lost in the quarterfinals of the team event to eventual champion UCLA. “We accomplished a lot as a group.”

The Goldfeld-Collins match started out like a clash of players very familiar with one another — they met last month in the finals of the ACC tournament, with Collins winning 6-3, 6-1. Collins served first and the opening game went to deuce five times before she held.

Serving at 3-4, Goldfeld fought off one break point but lost the game on a missed backhand. Collins served out the set and then broke Goldfeld to open the second.

Matters looked grim for Goldfeld when she was down 5-2 in the second, but the match was far from finished. Goldfeld denied the serving Collins on two match points at 5-2 and got the break with a delicate drop volley. Goldfeld held for 5-4 and then broke Collins with a big backhand.

Collins regrouped quickly and broke Goldfeld at 5-all. Again, Goldfeld wouldn’t go down, breaking serve and forcing a tiebreaker. But that was the end of the good for Goldfeld.

While Collins won the first point with a powerful return winner, Goldfeld missed fairly routine shots on the next four points to put herself down 5-0. Collins closed out the match soon after.

“It was definitely nice to come back and just prove to myself that I can come back,” Goldfeld said.

She said her brain got in the way in the tiebreaker, which led to some tight shots.

“I think I started really thinking about the match again,” Goldfeld said.

Duke got off to a horrific start in doubles, winning only a handful of points in the opening set. The Blue Devils were a different team in the second, getting a couple of breaks of serve to send the match to a third.

In the third set, the ’Bama duo jumped out to a 3-0 lead, Duke responded with two straight games and then the Tide won four straight to advance to today’s final.