Christian & Santamaria Win ITA Indoors Doubles Crown
Nov. 6, 2011
FLUSHING, N.Y. -- USC's doubles duo of Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria topped off their historic run at the ITA National Indoor Championships by etching their names as champions today with a comeback win in the doubles title match. The two Women of Troy were the first to reach a doubles final, and now stand as the first USC doubles team -- female or male -- to win the doubles crown at the tourney.
Kelly Henry and Sue Pendo were the only other USC women's doubles team to reach the final back in 1984. The Trojans' resurgence to the title match saw sophomore Kaitlyn Christian and freshman Sabrina Santamaria serve upsets of the No. 2, No. 4 and finally the No. 3 seeded teams in the draw. In today's championship clash with No. 3 seeded Frilling/Mathews of Notre Dame, the Women of Troy fell behind in the first set before rallying back to take the match and the title with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH RECAP FROM itatennis.com:
"We went to Times Square, saw the Statue of Liberty and rode on the subway," said Santamaria. "It was my first time on the subway and I have many pictures. It felt like I was on a rollercoaster (laughs)."
Throughout the tournament, Santamaria had credited Christian for carrying her en route to the final. Playing Notre Dame's Kristy Frilling and Shannon Mathews for the title, it was Santamaria who did the heavy lifting, holding in each of her service games to overcome five breaks of Christian's serve.
"I was really focused," said Santamaria. "I knew that I had to hold my serve every single time, and if I didn't we probably would not have won."
After splitting the first two sets, Christian resorted to serving underhand, and was broken to bring the Fighting Irish within 3-4 in the third. But on break point in the following game, Santamaria retrieved two shots in the alley to set Christian up for a put-away volley.
Santamaria served out a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory immediately thereafter, clinching the biggest win of her partnership with Christian, which began in the Girls' 14s division of USTA junior tournaments.
"It's so nice to have her at USC," said the sophomore Christian. "We played many tournaments in the juniors and did well. She's a banger at the baseline and I like to be all over the net. That can't complement any better."
Complete USC results at the ITA National Indoor Championships are below. Full draws and live results can be found HERE.
ITA National Indoor Championships (Flushing, N.Y.)
Round of 16 - Nov. 3
Quarterfinals - Nov. 4
Semifinals - Nov. 5
Championship - Nov. 6