Kansas tennis duo sophomore Malkia Ngounoue and senior Maria Toran Ribes served their way to the Jayhawk 15k doubles championship at Rock Chalk Park.
The professional International Tennis Federation tournament gave athletes an opportunity to earn $15,000 in prize money and receive Women’s Tennis Association ranking points.
“It’s a great event and allows our tennis community to see some up-and-coming professionals players as they work their way up the pro ladder,” coach Todd Chapman said.
And this is exactly what Kansas tennis fans received, with Ngounoue and Toran Ribes' impressive 4-6, 6-2, 10-6 win over Oklahoma State duo Ayumi Miyamoto and Bunyawi Thamchaiwat.
“Winning our first pro tournament means a lot,” Ngounoue said. “We all practice really hard, and it’s really special to get that first win.”
In the first set, Kansas started out strong, sweeping all points in the first game and winning the second. However, behind impressive serving from Miyamoto, the Oklahoma State duo was able to come from behind and win the first set 6-4.
Kansas quickly bounced back, once again taking the first two games of the set. This time, the Jayhawks were able to close the set out 6-2 with electrifying play from Ngounoue, including a short tip over the net just out of reach of the opponent to end the eighth game and the set.
Then, in the final first-to-10-points set, the Jayhawks dominated and won five points in a row to solidify the tournament victory.
“They played great tennis. Malkia and Maria did a great job last year playing No. 3 doubles, and now they're one of the best No. 3 doubles teams in the country,” Chapman said. “They drastically raised their level of play in a professional event and came out on top.”