Texas' Addison becomes first Longhorn to reach NCAA semifinals since 1995
URBANA, Ill. -- Texas freshman Breaunna Addison rallied for a lengthy, three-set victory against North Carolina’s seventh-seeded Gina Suarez-Malaguti to reach the singles semifinals Saturday at the NCAA championships. The first-semester freshman from Boca Raton, Fla., became the third Longhorn to reach the NCAA singles semifinals and the first to get there since Kelly Pace in 1995.
No. 31 Addison defeated Suarez-Malaguti by a 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 count to set up a singles semifinal meeting on Sunday against Stanford’s Nicole Gibbs, the defending singles champion. No. 13 Gibbs has yet to lose a set through the first four rounds of the singles draw. Nebraska’s 11th-ranked Mary Weatherholt will meet Alabama’s 36th-ranked Alexa Guarachi in the other semifinal.
“It’s a blessing,” Addison said. “I’m honored to be here and make it this far. I just want to take it one match at a time and try not to be satisfied with what I’ve accomplished so far and just keep going.”
Suarez-Malaguti broke Addison’s serve to open the match, but Addison returned the favor and held serve for a 2-1 lead just before the match relocated indoors due to rain. The two exchanged service breaks and each held serve once before Addison broke for a 5-3 lead. Suarez-Malaguti, however, broke Addison and held serve to even the set at five. Suarez-Malaguti broke Addison once more and held serve to close out the first set 7-5.
Addison took control in the second set after breaking Suarez-Malaguti for a 3-1 lead. Addison broke Suarez-Malaguti’s serve again and held serve for a 6-1 second-set victory.
“Bree made adjustments,” UT head coach Patty Fendick-McCain said. “Every point was another adjustment. I thought she really played the flow of the game well. She stepped up when she needed to, and she defended when she needed to. Bree really toughed out all the big points and came up with some good shots.”
Addison opened the third set by breaking Suarez-Malaguti’s serve and holding serve for a 2-0 lead. Both players held serve until Suarez-Malaguti registered a service break to tie the set at three.
“I was up 3-1 in the third set and got a little passive,” Addison said. “I was not moving my feet, so I started to press a little. I really needed to change something up. I stayed really aggressive with my feet, started going for my shots, and it paid off.”
Addison and Suarez-Malaguti held serve in their ensuing service games until Addison broke for a 5-4 lead. Addison fought off break points and cashed in the third match point to close out the 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 win.
“Gina [Suarez-Malaguti] had a couple of [break point] opportunities, but I think the situation got to her, as well,” Addison said. “I just had to remember that she was under the same pressure I was. I was confident and going for my shots and trying to put pressure on her, and it went in my favor the rest of the match.”
The win was Addison’s second of the tournament against a seeded opponent. Addison defeated USC’s ninth-ranked Danielle Lao in the opening round. Addison’s 30th win of the season made her the first Texas freshman to post 30 or more singles wins since Aeriel Ellis in 2010.