Senior Lady Bear Blair Shankle split in singles action and posted two wins in mixed doubles to advance to the final on day two of the Oracle/ITA Masters in Malibu, California.
The No. 9 seed in the event, Shankle played to a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 upset victory over No. 8 seed and Big 12 Conference foe Viktoriya Lushkova of Oklahoma State to advance to the quarterfinal where she put in a strong effort against the top seed from Pepperdine, Luisa Stefani. Shankle notching the tie-breaker in set one, 7-6, before dropping the next two, 6-3, 6-1, to take the loss.
“This event has given me a lot of confidence,” Shankle said. “I’m obviously upset that I didn’t win my second round against Stefani, but it gives me confidence moving forward that I’m doing the right things and I’m working the right things. At this point, it’s a good indicator of where I’m at. I can play with the top players in the country and that’s a good thing, I just need to keep working to get even better to eventually be able to overcome in that third set and win those matches.”
Shankle, paired with Baylor men’s tennis player Max Tchoutakian, continued their mixed doubles success with a 6-2 win over Ena Shibahara and Martin Redlicki of UCLA. The BU duo secured a spot in the finals, registering their fourth victory of the tournament, 6-4, against Meible Chi of Duke and William Bushamuka of Kentucky.
“I’m having so much fun playing with Max,” Shankle said. “He really stepped it up because I just came off of a three-setter and did great supporting me. We played well and it’s been a ton of fun experiencing this with him. We’re proud to represent Baylor in the finals.”
Baylor duo Blair Shankle and Max Tchoutakian will challenge Hayley Carter of North Carolina and Christopher Eubanks of Georgia Tech in the Oracle/ITA Masters mixed doubles final on Saturday at 9 p.m. (CT) at the Malibu Racquet Club.