May 27, 2010
ATHENS, Ga.- Auburn senior women's tennis player Fani Chifchieva concluded her stellar Auburn career Thursday afternoon, dropping a close 7-6, 7-5 decision to the third-ranked player in the nation, USC's Maria Sanchez in the round of 32 at the NCAA Singles Championships.
Sanchez, the First Team All-PAC 10 selection, took the first set of the match, 7-6, as the two exchanged games early on in the set. However, Sanchez earned the tiebreak to take the first set as well as the early advantage.
In the second-set, Chifchieva trailed 2-1 early on. She managed to knot the set at 2-2 before Sanchez won the next two games to take a 4-2 lead. Trailing 5-3 in the second set, Chifchieva won the next two games to knot the match at 5-5. However, Sanchez was too much for Chifchieva, who took the next two games to fall 7-5 in the second set and drop the final match of her Auburn career, 7-6, 7-5.
The only three-time ITA All-American in program history ends her time on The Plains with a 104-40 singles record, ranking her No. 2 in school history in singles victories. The 2010 ITA Southern Region Senior of the Year also garnered awards along the likes of the 2008 SEC Player of the Year, and the 2007 ITA Freshman of the Year, as well as being named to the All-SEC squad on four occasions.
For additional information on the NCAA Tennis Tournament, including match times, brackets and live stats, log on to NCAA.com.