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Chifchieva Wins First ITA South Regional Singles Championship in Auburn History, Earns Automatic Bid to Nationals

Oct. 26, 2009

AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn women's tennis player Fani Chifcieva's run through the ITA Southern Regional Singles bracket concluded Monday on a high note. The senior captured her first ITA South Region Championship of her career after defeating Kristi Boxx of Ole Miss 4-6, 6-1, 6-1.

Much like Chifchieva's quarterfinal match on Sunday, she dropped the first set. However, she rallied back winning the next two sets 6-1, 6-1 and captured the tournament championship and earned the automatic berth to the ITA National Indoor Tournament Nov. 5-8 in New Haven, Conn.

"Fani did a great job rebounding from a slow start in the first set," said head coach Tim Gray of his star player's performance. "She played solid tennis in both the second and third sets. This is a great win for Fani as well as the Auburn women's tennis program."

Chifchieva's path to the final ran through UAB's Evelien Strijker in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4 in the first round. In her second match of the tournament, she defeated Karoline Grymel of Troy 6-0, 6-2 to advance to the round of 16, and downed Ole Miss' Abigail Guthrie in the round of eight. The senior All-American dropped the first set in a 6-7 (5) tie-break, but rallied in the final two sets 6-4, 6-4 to take the match and advance to the tournament semi-finals. In the semi-final match against Karen Njissen of Ole Miss, Chifchieva took home a straight-set victory 6-2, 6-3.

In the doubles finals, Boxx and Karen Njissen of Ole Miss defeated Alexa Guarachi and Courtney McLane 8-6 to advance to the doubles portion of the ITA Indoor National Tournament.

Singles: Finals Chifchieva (AU) def. Boxx (UM) 4-6, 6-1, 6-1

Doubles: Finals Boxx/Njissen (UM) def. McLane/Guarachi 8-6



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