Hinton and Khmelnitckaia Advance at Oklahoma Invitational
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Sophomore Smith Hinton and freshman Nina Khmelnitckaia bounced back from a tough morning in doubles play to advance in the singles draw at the 2015 Oklahoma Invitational Friday at the Headington Family Tennis Center located on the University of Oklahoma campus.
“We really rebounded in singles and played really composed in the big points,” said Kansas head coach Todd Chapman.
Hinton struggled in her opening set, falling 2-6 to Wichita State’s Rebacca Pedrazzi. She battled back in the second set, outlasting Pedrazzi, 7-6, before completing the come-from-behind win with a 6-4 tally in the third set.
“Smith was down 6-2, 5-2 and really gutted out a tough second set to come back and win 7-6,” said Chapman. “She played really well in the third set to get the win.”
Khmelnitckaia had an easier go in her first singles match as a Jayhawk. The Moscow, Russia, native defeated Saana Saarteinen of Tulsa in straight-sets, 6-4, 6-1.
“Nina did well for her first collegiate action,” said Chapman. “I was pleased with how she handled things and look forward to seeing her play again tomorrow.”
Hinton and Khmelnitckaia opened the day on the doubles courts, falling in a back and forth first-round match to Wichita State’s Pedrazzi and Aleksandra Trifunovic, 7-5. The loss put the KU duo in the consolation bracket where they fell, 6-4, to Anastasiya Shestakova and Agustina Valenzuela of North Texas.
“We had our ups and downs today in doubles,” said Chapman. “We played well in spurts, but just got off to poor starts in both matches.”
Hinton and Khmelnitckaia will return to singles action at the Headington Family Tennis Center Saturday morning. Action begins at 9 a.m.
Smith Hinton (KU) def. Rebacca Pedrazzi (WSU), 2-6, 7-6, 6-4
Nina Khmelnitckaia (KU) def. Saana Saarteinen (TU), 6-4, 6-1
Pedrazzi/Trifunovic (WSU) def. Hinton/Khmelnitckaia (KU), 7-5
Shestakova/Valenzuela (UNT) def. Hinton/Khmelnitckaia (KU), 6-4