Oct. 4, 2005
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – Notre Dame junior tennis player Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) continued her hot singles play with two more straight-set victories on Tuesday at the Riviera Tennis Club in qualifying action for the season’s first grand slam, the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships. She now has won five consecutive matches – all against nationally-ranked players (listed as high as 37th) – without dropping a set and stands just one win away from reaching the 32-player main draw.
Thompson first defeated #102 Kelly Anderson of Georgia Tech 6-4, 6-2 and then went on to take down 37th-ranked Sabrina Cappannolo of Arizona State by the same scores. The Irish junior will next take on a familiar rival, Northwestern junior Alexis Prousis, who is ranked 50th. Prousis has not lost a set in four career singles matches against Notre Dame players, having beaten Thompson twice in dual action at No. 3 last spring after winning two times against her twin sister – current junior Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) – in dual play at No. 3 in 2003-04.
The winner of Wednesday’s match will earn one of the eight qualifying spots into the main draw, which features the top players in college tennis. Of the 16 players remaining the qualifying, Thompson is one of just four that do not currently carry national rankings, along with Nebraska’s Kim Hartman, Ashley Joelson of UCLA, and Amanda Fink from USC.
Thompson began last weekend in the prequalifying draw and dropped just 14 total games in six sets en route to moving through to qualifying. After beating #120 Emily Kirchem of Colorado State and #125 Natalie Braverman from Pepperdine, she defeated Anderson 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday to earn a spot in the qualifying draw. Anderson ended up also getting in as a lucky loser when Nika Koukhartchouk of Mississippi – Thompson’s first-round opponent – withdrew due to injury. So Thompson and Anderson faced each other again, but the result was unchanged.
The current five-match winning streak for Thompson is her longest since winning her final three matches of 2003-04 and then opening her sophomore campaign with three straight victories. She is now 20-7 in her career in fall singles action and has improved her record against higher-ranked players to 7-8. Heading into this tournament, Thompson had just two career wins over nationally-ranked players to her credit, but she has quickly added five more to that, including Cappannolo – a fellow Las Vegas native – who is the highest-ranked player ever to fall victim to the ND junior. That distinction was previously held by then-#67 Lynzee Kever of Colorado in a match on Sept. 17, 2004, in the Colorado Invitational.
Also on Tuesday, Catrina Thompson was upset in a tight three-setter in the opening round of qualifying. Ranked 27th nationally, she lost to #53 Boglarka Berecz of Florida 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5. Thompson, playing her first match of the season, had won 25 consecutive matches when taking the opening set, a streak dating back to March 27, 2004.
The Thompson twins – the #2-ranked team in the nation – will be in the 16-team doubles main draw, which gets underway on Thursday.
Riviera/ITA All-American Championships (October 4)Singles QualifyingChristian Thompson (ND) d. #102 Kelly Anderson (Georgia Tech) 6-4, 6-2 - first round#53 Boglarka Berecz (Florida) d. #27 Catrina Thompson (ND) 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 - first roundChristian Thompson (ND) d. #37 Sabrina Cappannolo (Arizona State) 6-4, 6-2 - second round