RCW: Sport Spotlight 4.12 (Tennis)
Kansas junior Anastasia Rychagova posted a 10-2 fall singles record, including an 8-1 mark against ranked opponents. Her two losses have one thing in common – both were to eventual champions.
At the Riviera ITA Women’s All-American in early October, No. 35-ranked Rychagova played Vanderbilt’s No. 63-ranked Fernanda Contreras in the first round of main draw singles. Rychagova took Contreras to three sets, but ultimately fell 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.
“I had a really good fall and it’s frustrating that my luck wasn’t always with me when playing people who ended up being winners of the tournaments,” said Rychagova. “I got a lot of experience this fall and now I feel that I not only can play at such big tournaments, but I can actually do very well at these competitive tournaments.”
Her second loss of the season came against a familiar opponent, Andrea Lazaro of Florida International. Rychagova first defeated the Panther at the All-American, 6-1, 6-2, to move on to the main draw. Coming back with a vengeance at the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships, Lazaro came out on top with an identical score 6-1, 6-2.
“To beat a player like Nas (Rychagova), you’re going to have to work,” said assistant coach Caroline Lilley. “She doesn’t give anything free and she makes her opponents work to beat her. When you earn a victory over a great competitor like Nas is, you’re playing great tennis. There’s no surprise in my mind that both of her losses are to the two people who won the biggest tournaments of the fall in college tennis.”
Rychagova and her teammates will begin spring play at the Florida Gulf Coast Invitational January 13 – 15 in Fort Myers, Florida.