Three-Set Grind Takes Juricova Into NCAA Singles Semifinal

May 29, 2010

ATHENS, Ga. - No. 2-ranked California women's tennis sophomore Jana Juricova started slow but finished in a flurry as she claimed a three-set victory over No. 20-ranked Nina Secerbegovic of Baylor, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2, in the NCAA singles quarterfinal. Juricova earned her 18th straight win to advance to the semifinal round of the 2010 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Singles Championship on Saturday (May 29) at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the campus of host University of Georgia.

Juricova is the first Cal player to advance as far as the NCAA singles semifinal since Susie Babos did in 2006. Babos went on to become the only Bear to win the NCAA singles championship. Juricova will face No. 7-ranked Laura Vallverdu of Miami in the next round. This will be the first meeting between Juricova and Vallverdu as singles players, but the two have met in doubles matches twice earlier this season.

The other semifinal features No. 4 Hilary Barte of Stanford and No. 12 Chelsey Gullickson of Georgia. Gullickson took out top-ranked and No. 1-seeded Irina Falconi of Georgia Tech in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4, in the quarterfinal.

Secerbegovic came out of the gate and stunned Juricova as she broke her first two serves to claim a 3-0 lead. Juricova got on the board by getting a break of her own in the fourth game but fell behind by three breaks after Secerbegovic capitalized on Juricova's errors for a 5-1 lead. Juricova held serve to come up with game seven but Secerbegovic sealed the deal with a win in the eighth game to take the first set, 6-2, and snap Juricova's 20-set winning streak.

After the slow start, Juricova came alive in the second set as she flipped the script on Secerbegovic to race out to a 5-2 lead of her own. In the eighth game, Juricova put Secerbegovic behind her own serve by a 15-40 count and laid claim to two set points. All she needed was one however as she forced Secerbegovic to go wide on one shot to even up the match at one set all.

Juricova got into a steady rhythm in the third set as she cruised out to a 3-0 lead. Secerbegovic fired back to claim her first game of the set without dropping a point in game four. It wasn't enough though as Juricova deciphered Secerbegovic to come up with the next game and take a 4-1 advantage. Secerbegovic held fast to come up with a second game, but Juricova didn't slow down as she took game seven without dropping a point. The momentum was too much for Secerbegovic as Juricova overcame her Bear opponent to clinch the victory in the eighth game.

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2010 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Singles ChampionshipDan Magill Tennis Complex | Athens, Ga.Saturday, May 29, 2010QuarterfinalNo. 2 Jana Juricova (CAL) def. No. 20 Nina Secerbegovic (BAY) 2-6, 6-2, 6-2

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