Martinelli Wins Again in Straight Sets; Dhingra Wins Consolation Match
PHILADELPHIA, PA – Sophomore Opala Dhingra, first-year Samantha Martinelli and senior Valerie Shklover represented the Yale women's tennis team at the ITA Northeast Regionals on Saturday. Dhingra competed in the consolation draw, while Martinelli and Shklover took on highly seeded opponents in the singles main draw round of 16. The major storyline of the day was the success of Martinelli, who emerged victorious and preserved her unbeaten record in singles so far this season.
Saturday's play began quickly for the Elis, with Shklover falling in straight sets to the tournament No. 1 seed, Gabriela Knutson of Syracuse. This result concluded a fantastic run of form for Shklover, who had upset two seeded players prior to Saturday's match.
Martinelli's match was slightly closer, as she took on No. 3 seed Asiya Dair of Boston College. Despite the gap in experience between the Yale first-year and Boston College senior, Martinelli had the upper hand throughout and came away with a 7-5, 6-2 victory. Yale's first-year star has begun the season with a perfect 6-0 singles record, and will undoubtedly play a crucial role for the team going forward.
The most competitive match of the day for the Elis came in the consolation draw, where Dhingra faced Buffalo's Emel Abibula. After winning the first set 6-3, the Bulldog lost the second set by a lone service break; she showed exceptional mental strength to hold on in the third-set super tiebreak, however, taking it by a wide 10-4 margin.
Martinelli is set to play unseeded Lina Qostal of Penn in Sunday's quarterfinal, and would possibly face Knutson in the semifinals if she advances. Updated draws are available here.
Report by Cameron Ferguson '18, Yale Sports Publicity