Colorado tennis player Nuria Ormeño Ruiz breezed past her third top-100 opponent in the past two days to advance to the main draw of the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Ormeño Ruiz swept 59th-ranked Gabriela Knutson from Syracuse, 6-1, 6-2. She upset the 74th and 33rd-ranekd players in the country on Tuesday.
Ormeño Ruiz never trailed in either set on Wednesday. She won the final five games of the first set and pulled away from a 2-2 tie in the second set to win the final four games.
“I came here just to have fun with no pressure. I wasn’t one of the favorites so I came here just to have fun. I’ve been playing awesome. I love this place; it’s [not high altitude] so it’s a little bit easier to play. It’s been awesome being out here,” Ormeno Ruiz said. “Of course I miss being with the team since it’s only me by myself; it’s individual. I miss having them behind me from fence and on the other courts, but it’s been great. Especially with what happened this morning [on campus] with the alerts that were coming through, Coach and I were pretty scared and I went out there and said, ‘I’m going to do it for the Buffs today,’ since they’re having a rough day over there.”
She is the first Buff to defeat top-100 opponents in three consecutive matches since Kathleen Cummings in 1982. She will also be just the eighth player in school history to compete in the Main Draw of the All-American Championships.
“Nuria has done all of the preparation, done everything right. She had a great warmup this morning, came out and just played very high percentage, aggressive tennis from the get-go,” coach Nicole Kenneally said. “She got on top of her opponent early and just kept chipping away at her. [Her opponent] has a big game; we knew what her strengths were and I think we did a good job of making those a non-factor.”