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Guthrie Back At It

Former Rebel All-American Abby Guthrie didn't waste any time making headlines in her first tournament of the 2014 professional tennis season, and she did so in her hometown of Auckland, New Zealand.

Guthrie_Jones.jpgGuthrie and fellow Kiwi, Sacha Jones, received a wildcard into the main draw of doubles at the WTA ASB Classic this week, and the pair gave the hometown crowd something to cheer about in their first match.  Guthrie and Jones closed out the opening day of the ASB Classic by toppling the No. 2 seeds and veteran duo, Cara Black and Marina Erakovic.  Black came into the tournament ranked No. 13 in the world in doubles, while Erakovic entered ranked No. 28.  Here is a recap of the exciting match in which the Kiwi duo came back to win 3-6, 6-4, 13-11.

Unfortunately, Guthrie and Jones weren't able to continue their run, falling in the quarterfinals, but still not a bad way to begin the New Year for Guthrie.

She plans to reunite with her college teammate and doubles partner last year, Kristi Boxx, later this year.  The tandem paired together to win two titles in 2013.

The Comeback Team

Boxx_Guthrie_n.jpgFormer Ole Miss women's tennis All-Americans Kristi Boxx and Abby Guthrie won their second doubles title together Sunday, and they gave the patrons their money's worth, winning a third-set supertiebreaker to clinch the inaugural ButlerCars.com Tennis Classic in Macon, Ga. They defeated Emily Harman and Elizabeth Lumpkin of the United States for the win. 

Boxx and Guthrie almost didn't make it to the final.  They were down a set and 5-1 in the semifinals, but rallied to win that match 13-11 in the third set supertiebreaker.  Falling behind on Sunday was no big deal.

After Harman and Lumpkin won the first set 6-3, they broke right away in the second to go up 2-0, but Boxx and Guthrie fought back.  Both Harman and Lumpkin served for the title, but each time, Boxx and Guthrie broke to extend the match to a tiebreaker.  They won the second set breaker 7-6(4) and then jumped out to an early lead in the third set breaker going on to win it 10-4 for their second victory.

"We had a great tournament, it feels awesome to get a title after a couple of finals," Boxx said. "Abby and I played tough throughout the week, when we got down in matches we fought our way back and didn't give up." 

Doubles is all about chemistry and familiarity, and Boxx and Guthrie have both, after playing together for two years at Ole Miss before taking their game to the pro circuit.

"When we got down, we just kept telling each other to have fun and keep battling, and that seemed to work for us," Guthrie said. "I think it probably helps us that we played a lot of doubles together at Ole Miss, and many of the teams we play against don't have a regular partner. We both feel like we know each other's every move."

Sunday's win marked their second title of the year and first stateside.  Back in July, the duo captured their first pro doubles title in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt. 

At Ole Miss, Boxx and Guthrie teamed up for a top-10 ranking and led the Rebels to an SEC West title and four NCAA appearances, including the Sweet Sixteen in 2010.  

Next up for the duo is another $25,000 tournament, the Rocks Open in Rock Hills, S.C.  "We're playing well, and we are both looking forward to this upcoming week," Boxx said.

Follow me on Twitter, @krebel

A Winning Combination

Thumbnail image for Boxx_Guthrie_Egypt.jpgA little over a year since they teamed up to post a final collegiate tennis ranking of No.6 in the nation, Rebel alums Kristi Boxx and Abby Guthrie secured their first pro title as a duo, winning the F26 Futures title in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt Saturday at the Jolie Ville Golf Resort on the coast.  The All-American duo entered the field as the No. 2 seed, and defeated the top seeded team of Anna Morgina (Russia) and Naomi Totka (Hungary) 6-1, 6-2, for the title.  Boxx and Guthrie were quite familiar with one half of their opponent, as Morgina played collegiate tennis at the University of South Carolina.

Boxx and Guthrie advanced to the final with a come from behind win in the semifinals.  After dropping the first set 7-5, to the unseeded pair from Greece and France, respectively, Boxx and Guthrie won a second set tiebreak 7-6(5) before wrapping up the match 10-3 in the final set.  That would be the only trouble the Reb duo faced the entire week, as they only dropped 12 games total in winning the other matches in straight sets.

Boxx and Guthrie will continue their stay in Egypt, playing another Futures event at the same site next week.  Current Rebel Mai El Kamash, who hails from Cairo, watched her fellow Rebels from the stands this week.  She has competed in singles and doubles of several prior Futures at this resort, but took the week off. 

A two-time All American in both singles and doubles for the Rebels, Boxx became the second player in Ole Miss history to achieve 200 wins combined in singles and doubles and became the second player in program history to earn All-SEC first team honors all four years.  

Guthrie also helped lead the Rebels to four straight NCAA tournament appearances.  She finished her senior year ranked No. 15 in the Southern Region in singles, while earning All-SEC honors.

Boxx graduated from Ole Miss in 2012, and Guthrie finished up her degree this past spring while also serving as a student assistant for the Rebels.


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