Sports

Gordon wins battle of Stanford tennis teammates in ITA final

 

Freshman Michaela Gordon is no stranger to Taube Family Tennis Center. She played in the qualifying draw of the Bank of the West Classic over the summer and has played and practiced on the courts while growing up in Los Altos Hills and Saratoga.

Gordon defeated sophomore Emily Arbuthnott, 7-5, 6-2, in an all-Stanford singles final on Monday afternoon at the ITA Northwest Regional Championships at Taube Family Tennis Stadium.


Michaela Gordon
"I felt like I got better as the week went on," Gordon said. "I felt my level was good. It was definitely friendly. We practice together all the time and it just felt normal."

Gordon was dominant in her collegiate debut, winning all six of her matches in straight sets while surrendering more than three games in any set only twice.

Gordon, who narrowly missed qualifying for the main draw at this summer's Bank of the West Classic, became the first freshman to win the event since Stanford's Krista Hardebeck in 2012.

It was also the first all-Stanford singles final at the event since 2014, when Carol Zhao defeated Taylor Davidson 7-6 (4), 6-1 in a battle of sophomore teammates.

Stanford has produced the tournament singles champion in seven of the last eight years, with Gordon following previous champions Davidson (2015), Zhao (2014), Kristie Ahn (2013, 2010), Hardebeck (2012) and Nicole Gibbs (2011).

Arbuthnott, coming off a 28-4 rookie season, in which she clinched a team-best 10 matches, also enjoyed an impressive tournament run. Three of Arbuthnott's wins came against nationally-ranked opponents, including a 7-6 (6), 6-4 victory over junior teammate Melissa Lord in the semifinals.

Monday's first set represented the only time Gordon was actually tested over the five-day tournament. Gordon trailed 3-1 and 4-3 before securing the final two games of the frame.

Both Gordon and Arbuthnott earned bids to the inaugural Oracle ITA National Fall Championships, slated for Nov. 1-5 in Indian Wells, California. Gordon received automatic qualification as a result of her victory, while Arbuthnott secured a spot as an at-large.

Stanford's Melissa Lord also qualified to advance though she choose not to participate, citing a tough school schedule.

Stanford's superior depth was on display throughout the weekend, highlighted by four Cardinal players reaching the semifinals.

"I like our team," Cardinal coach Lele Forood said. "We have a lot of talented players. Michaela is very receptive in working on her game. She was talented coming in obviously. Competition is always good."

Gordon said her serve was a big focus leading up to the tournament.

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