May 25, 2007
ATHENS, Ga. — Notre Dame’s senior All-American twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, NV) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, NV), ranked 12th in the ITA, advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Doubles Championship following a thrilling, come from behind 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 victory over the fifth-ranked tandem of Susie Babos and Zsuzsanna Fodor from California Friday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
“They were very good again today,” said Irish head coach Jay Louderback. “They were down a break late in the third set, but were able to climb out of that hole and played really great tennis with the match on the line. They have another tough test in the quarterfinals.”
With the victory, the twins ensure their third consecutive All-American honor in doubles — a feat unequalled in Notre Dame women’s tennis history.
The match did not start quite as well as the Thompsons may have hoped. They dropped the opening set, 7-5, but found their stride in the second set. The Thompsons cruised to a 6-2 triumph, setting the stage for a third and deciding set.
The Irish duo held serve to open the final set, 1-0, and had a break point, but Babos and Fodor took two straight points to grab the advantage and ultimately held serve to tie the set, 1-1.
Notre Dame quickly raced out to a game point, 40-0, in the third service game, but Cal answered back with three straight points of its own. The Irish took an advantage following Christian Thompson’s overhead winner and grabbed a 2-1 advantage when Catrina Thompson split Fodor and Babos with a forehand down the middle of the court.
The counterparts remained on serve until the seventh game, when California broke following Catrina Thompson’s double fault and took a 4-3 lead. The Irish were in desperate need of a break and did just that to tie the match, 4-4, before quickly holding serve to take a 5-4 lead.
With the match back on serve, Christian Thompson hit a great backhand that Babos was unable to handle and hit into the net to give the Irish a 15-0 lead. After a Babos double fault made it 30-0 in favor of Notre Dame, Catrina Thompson smashed a powerful forehand down the middle of the court and Babos’ ensuing forehand was wide. With a triple break, match point, the Irish closed out the match on Catrina Thompson’s slicing backhand winner between the two Cal players.
The Thompson twins improve to 30-9 on the season and 102-39 for their career. They next face a familiar foe in second-ranked Jenna Long and Sara Anundsen of North Carolina for a spot into the semifinals. The two just faced off in the round of 16 meeting between the Irish and Tar Heels. Long and Anundsen led the match, 6-4, when it was abandoned.