Juricova Finishes as Runner-Up for NCAA Singles Title
May 31, 2010
ATHENS, Ga. - No. 2-ranked California women's tennis sophomore Jana Juricova completed the 2009-10 season as the runner-up for the 2010 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Singles Championship. The second-seeded Golden Bear fell to No. 12 Chelsey Gullickson of Georgia, 6-3, 7-6(7), in the championship match on the courts of the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the campus of host University of Georgia, on Monday, May 31.
While the loss snaps Juricova's phenomenal 19-match winning streak, she completes her sophomore season with a team-best 44-7 record including a 23-3 mark in duals. Juricova had not lost a singles match since suffering a 6-3, 6-3 defeat against Stanford's Hilary Barte on March 6. She was the first Golden Bear to advance to the NCAA championship match since 2006 when Susie Babos took home the title. Juricova is the owner of the 2009 ITA National Indoor Championship singles crown as well as a co-champion with junior Mari Andersson for the 2009 NCAA doubles championship.
Gullickson claimed her third win over Juricova in as many matches. She became the first Georgia player to win the NCAA singles title since Angela Lettiere won the crown in 1994. Gullickson now joins Lettiere and Lisa Spain (1983) as Georgia players with NCAA singles titles. She is the seventh sophomore to win the NCAA singles championship in its 29-year history.
Facing break point in the fourth game of the first set, Juricova fought back to force deuce and then secure a two-all tie. Unforced errors by Gullickson gave Juricova two break points in the fifth game, but Gullickson fought back to earn game-point with a service ace before taking the 3-2 lead. The players traded breaks in games six and seven before Gullickson broke Juricova once more in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead. Gullickson then held her serve to complete a 6-3 win in the first set.
Juricova came out on fire in the second set as she went up, 3-0, by breaking the Georgia serve in game two. Gullickson got on the board in game four, however, as Juricova's service return went into the net. With serve in hand in game five, Juricova surrendered three quick points to go down, love-40, before Gullickson sealed the win to come within one game at 3-2. Juricova continued to press as the set wore on as she found Gullickson out of position to earn the winning shot for a 4-2 lead. Gullickson responded by breaking the Cal serve before holding serve without dropping a point in the eighth game to even the set at four-all.
In the ninth game, Juricova held serve to get a 40-15 lead, but Gullickson made Juricova work for every point as she forced deuce. Juricova stayed the course and registered the final point on a slam to take a 5-4 lead in the set. Although Juricova came up with the love-30 lead against Gullickson's serve, the Bulldog replied with three straight points before evening the set once more at five-all. With the match on the line, down love-30, Juricova put together four straight points to take a 6-5 lead. Holding a 40-love lead in the 12th game, Gullickson stumbled as Juricova came up with deuce, but the Georgia sophomore regained her composure to secure the final two points of the game and force a second-set tiebreaker.
The first point of the tiebreaker was claimed by Juricova as she rendered her serve un-returnable. However, Gullickson stormed back to take a 3-1 lead as she sent a forehand shot straight down the line. Juricova did her best to stay close as she claimed the next three points for a 4-3 advantage but Gullickson pulled into a four-all tie as Juricova's backhand went into the net and the Cal sophomore never led again. The two faced ties at six and seven points but even as Juricova fought off two championship points, Gullickson blasted a shot cross-court to take an 8-7 lead before Juricova's last attempt went wide of the court.
For complete results and information from the 2010 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Tennis Championships, please visit www.ncaa.com.
2010 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Singles ChampionshipDan Magill Tennis Complex | Athens, Ga.Monday, May 31, 2010FinalNo. 12 Chelsey Gullickson (UGA) def. No. 2 Jana Juricova (CAL) 6-3, 7-6(7)