Whoriskey teams with Molnar for doubles title, advances to singles final at Van Der Meer

ksalter@islandpacket.comMay 31, 2014 

It's safe to say that Saturday was a very good day for Caitlin Whoriskey.

Whoriskey, 26, a Cape Cod-based tennis player, won both of her matches at the Van Der Meer Tennis Center, earning her one championship and putting her in position to claim a second on Sunday.

She teamed up with Canadian Sonja Molnar, 24, to claim the doubles title at the ITF Head/First Federal $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit event on Hilton Head Island with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Americans Lauren Albanese and Macall Harkins. The contest was closer than the score indicated, as Molnar and Whoriskey were twice forced to come from behind to win a set. In the first set, the pair fell behind 3-1 before an emphatic rally saw them claim the final five games. The second set started off even worse for the No. 2 seed. Both Molnar and Whoriskey had trouble placing the ball on their serves and subsequently faced a quick 3-0 deficit.

But according to Molnar, remaining calm was important in the comeback. She and her playing partner were competing together for just the second time.

"We just relaxed a little bit," Molnar said. "We went back to the basics, tried to keep it a little bit more simple and that seemed to do it."

The pair have found success quickly. At last week's tournament in Sumter, they finished second. That tough defeat was hard on Whoriskey and Molnar, but it is clear they carried over some of their good play to Saturday, when they found themselves on the winning side.

"I think we just didn't take it too seriously," Whoriskey said. 'We just played relaxed and had fun out there."

Whoriskey was playing her second match of the day after advancing in the semifinal of the singles bracket. She fell a set down to Ukraine's Elizaveta Ianchuk and had to sit through a weather delay of over an hour but took the second set before Ianchuk was forced to retire with an injury.

On Sunday, she'll face off against Belgium's Elise Martens, the No. 1 seed, who overcame a first set defeat in her own match. Martens defeated American Carolina Dolehide, 3-6, 6-0, 6-4.

"I felt ready, but she was playing really great," Martens said of her preparation after the rain delay. "I was just thinking, don't get nervous. Just play your game and be positive."

Whoriskey and Martens face off at 10 a.m.

USTA Pro Circuit ITF Head/First Federal $10,000

Saturday at Van Der Meer Tennis Center

Singles -- Semifinals

Elise Mertens (BEL) [1] def. Caroline Dolehide (USA) 3-6, 6-0, 6-4

Caitlin Whoriskey (USA) [7] def. Elizaveta Ianchuk (UKR) 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 Ret.

Doubles -- Championship

Sonja Molnar (CAN) [2] / Caitlin Whoriskey (USA) def. Lauren Albanese (USA) / Macall Harkins (USA) 6-3, 6-4

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