KU duo ready for NCAA Doubles Championship

LAWRENCE, Kan. – After earning an at-large big in early May, the Kansas doubles team of juniors Nina Khmelnitckaia and Anastasia Rychagova is headed to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to compete at the Division I Women’s Tennis Doubles Championship. Hosted at Wake Forest, bracket play begins Thursday at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.
Khmelnitckaia and Rychagova are currently ranked as the No. 20 tandem in the nation. This season they climbed as high as No. 12 in the April 10 poll, resulting in a career-high ranking for both Moscow, Russia natives. The pair owns a 15-4 overall record, including 8-2 in duals at the No. 1 position. The pair is 4-1 against nationally ranked opponents and will be picking back up a six-match win streak.
“The girls have been working hard,” said head coach Todd Chapman. “They are excited about their opportunity to compete on the highest stage of collegiate tennis.”
The Jayhawks duo will face No. 61-ranked Ksenia Kuznetsova and Maria Martinez of Central Florida Thursday at 12 p.m., CT. Competing at the top of the lineup for the Knights, Kuznetsova and Martinez sit at 16-3, and 1-0 on court two, for a 17-3 dual mark. The tandem has won nine-consecutive matches and is 9-1 in their last 10.
Khmelnitckaia and Rychagova have not competed together since defeating Texas’ No. 44-ranked team of Petra Granic and Bojana Markovic, 6-1, on March 16. After the match, Rychagova was sidelined due to injury.
“Injury has kept Nas (Rychagova) out of play since March 16 and she is now excited that she will get the opportunity to compete again this season,” said Chapman. “While she would have loved the opportunity to compete in both the singles and doubles championships, a determination has been made by all those involved that it is best that she continues to come back in a measured timeline.”
The coaching staff made the decision to withdraw Rychagova, who earned an at-large selection as the No. 8 seed, from the singles field. Senior and No. 63-ranked Despoina Vogasari was selected as the fifth alternate and moved to the first position before the tournament started. 
All matches shall be the best-of-three sets. No-ad scoring and a seven-point tiebreaker (first to seven points, must win by two points) at six-games-all will be used for all matches. In doubles, a 10-point match tiebreaker will be played in lieu of a third set.
Live scoring will be available for the tournament. Visit the KU tennis schedule page on KUAthletics.com for more information.  

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