ATHENS, Ga. — The last two Big 12 women’s tennis Players of the Year met on Friday afternoon with a bid to the quarterfinals of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Singles Championships on the line at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
This year’s top Big 12 player and No. 7-ranked Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar defeated the 2011 Big 12 Player of the Year and No. 29-ranked Petra Niedermayerova of Kansas State, 6-4, 6-3.
With her Round of 16 appearance on Friday, Niedermayerova secured ITA All-American status and is the third ITA All-American in the program’s history. Niedermayerova joins Karina Kuregian (1994) and Yana Dorodnova (1998) as the only ITA All-Americans in K-State history.
Niedermayerova adds her ITA All-American honor to a number of honors this season, including All-Big 12 honors in both singles and doubles, Capital One Academic All-District VII At-Large Team honors and Academic All-Big 12 First Team honors.
Despite Friday’s result, K-State head coach Steve Bietau was pleased with the 2011-12 season by the sophomore.
“At the moment, she is disappointed about today,” he said. “When we get home we’ll talk about the season and what she needs to do for next year.
“Right now, I am really happy for what she has done this season and the improvements she has made and will look forward to her continued progress.”
For the 2011-12 season, Niedermayerova finishes with an overall record of 24-13 (.649) including a 9-12 mark against ranked opponents. The product of Brno, Czech Republic, tied her career high for wins in a season and is tied for fourth in school history for wins in a season.
For her career, Niedermayerova is 48-23 (.676), including a 16-14 mark against ITA ranked foes. Niedermayerova’s career singles winning percentage of .676 ranks third in school history. With 15 wins in the 2012-13 season, Niedermayerova will tie for sixth in school history for career victories.
Bietau knew that Friday’s match would be difficult for Niedermayerova, but also knew she had put in the work for a possible advancement to Saturday’s quarterfinals.
“We have talked about her improvement all year long,” he said. “It just continues. It speaks to what kind of person Petra is and how she is made up. It is a lot like the match today. It was a tough situation but she kept giving herself chances.”
In Friday’s match, Sanchez-Quintanar took control of the first set in the fifth game. With the opening frame tied at two apiece, Sanchez-Quintanar broke Niedermayerova’s serve for the first time and took a 3-2 lead. In the sixth game, Niedermayerova extended the game, but was unable to complete the comeback as Sanchez-Quintanar went up 4-2.
In the second set, neither player gained solid traction of the match until Sanchez-Quintanar broke Niedermayerova’s service in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. Sanchez-Quintanar served her way to a 5-3 advantage, then fended off Niedermayerova in the ninth game to advance to the quarterfinals. Niedermayerova was able to break the Aggies’ service just twice for the afternoon.
Niedermayerova and Sanchez-Quintanar were the final two players from the Big 12 in the singles championship field. This was the fourth meeting between the two players this season, with Sanchez-Quintanar winning all four. This was the sixth match this season for Niedermayerova against an opponent ranked among the top-10 in the Campbell/ITA national singles rankings.