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Tournament Summary
Virginia's Collins and Kwiatkowski Earn Titles at American Collegiate Invitational

The University of Virginia picked up where UCLA left off last year at the third annual American Collegiate Invitational, played at the end of the second week of the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. After Bruins Mackenzie McDonald and Robin Anderson had swept the titles in 2015, the Cavaliers dominated the proceedings this year, with recent graduate Danielle Collins taking the women's title and senior Thai Kwiatkowski capturing the men's championship.

Women's Champion Danielle Collins of Virginia
© Zoo Tennis
The competition, introduced in 2014 to provide Division I college tennis with more exposure at the US Open, features top American men and women, each competing in an eight-player draw for a chance at a US Open wild card. If the winner is ranked 120 by the cutoff for the following year, the wild card is into the main draw; if not, the winner is guaranteed a wild card into the qualifying draw in New York.

Both Kwiatkowski and Collins were impressive in their quarterfinal and semifinal matches, neither dropping a set in the unseasonably hot and humid conditions. Collins, the No. 2 seed, defeated Georgia's Kennedy Shaffer 6-1, 6-2 and No. 4 seed Breaunna Addison of Texas 6-2, 6-2, while Kwiatkowski, the No. 1 seed, topped Arkansas's Michael Redlicki 6-4, 3-0, ret. and No. 3 seed Tom Fawcett of Stanford 6-2, 6-0.

In the final, Collins made sure she started quickly against recent University of Michigan graduate Ronit Yurovsky, who earned her place in the championship match with wins over top seed Francesca Di Lorenzo of Ohio State and Julia Elbaba of Virginia.

"I got off to a really hot start," said Collins, who was up 5-0 in the opening set. "It's something I've been working on, trying not to give too many opportunities to my opponent early on. I want to get the momentum early so I'm not having to fight back. But she has a tendency to get off to a slow start and I was kind of aware of that."

Yurovsky acknowledged that falling behind is a pattern for her.

"I'm known to have slow starts," said Yurovsky, who graduated from Michigan in May. "It usually takes a couple of games to get into it, which I've been working on. It was a little bit of nerves, but I didn't feel I could get into the points; she definitely took me out of rhythm really fast."

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Page updated on Monday, November 02, 2020
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