TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Auburn women’s tennis doubles team of Pleun Burgmans and Emily Flickinger captured their second-straight USTA/ITA Southern Regional title with a thrilling 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-5) win over Alabama’s No. 1-ranked pair of Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe at the Alabama Tennis Stadium.
After dropping the first set, the Auburn duo battled back to the tie match by claiming the second set. In the third-set tiebrearker, Burgmans/Flickinger jumped out early and never looked back to upset the nation’s top-ranked tandem, handing the defending NCAA champions their second loss of the season.
“Both Pleun and Emily played fantastic doubles at this tournament,” head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. “Having to play the No. 1 team in the country on their home court is a tough task, but they were up to the challenge and I’m very proud of their effort to win this title for the second-straight year.”
The victory by Burgmans and Flickinger marked the highest-ranked win over an opponent by Auburn’s tandem this season and the win also marked the pair’s second win over a top-5 opponent in their last seven matches.
The win automatically qualifies Auburn's duo for the USTA/ITA National Indoors at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., for the second straight season. Last year, Auburn’s pair battled all the way to the consolation semifinals.
In singles final, Burgmans fell just short in defending her USTA/ITA Southern Regional singles title, dropping a tough third-set tiebreaker to lose the match 7-5, 4-6, 6-7 (4-7) on Monday afternoon.
“Pleun played amazing tennis this weekend. This was a tough draw and a great competiton and she fought until the very end,” Meisner said. “All credit goes to Julia Jones of Ole Miss, who played outstanding tennis.”
Facing a quick turnaround after her the doubles final, the junior outlasted Jones in the opening set and battled back-and-forth in the deciding third set, before dropping the breaker.
“I think in the end having played her third straight, third-set nail biter in arrow in both doubles and singles caught up to (Pleun),” Meisner said. “Altogether I’m so proud of what she did at this tournament and I fell she is really playing her best tennis.”
The run by Burgmans and Flickinger highlights a successful performance for the Tigers at the USTA/ITA Southern Regional. Overall, Auburn finished with 25 wins at the tournament and saw Reka Muller and Jen Pfeifler advance to the quarterfinals of the main doubles draw.
Auburn’s full team returns to action at the ESPN/Disney National Clay Courts in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 30-Nov. 2.
No. 72 Jones (OM) def. No. 44 Burgmans (AU) 7-5, 4-6, 6-7 (4-7)