Juricova Wins 2011 NCAA Singles Championship
The third-year Golden Bear becomes California’s second NCAA singles champion
Courtesy: Cal Athletics
STANFORD, Calif. – Top-seeded and No. 1-ranked California women’s tennis junior Jana Juricova captured her second singles national title as the winner of the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championships at the Taube Family Tennis Center on Mon., May 30. The third-year Golden Bear delivered a little bit of history repeating as she became the second player from Cal to win an NCAA singles crown, and did so at the same site as the last champion; Susie Babos in 2006.
As the winner of the 2009 ITA National Indoor singles championship, Juricova finished as the runner up for the 2010 NCAA crown, the 2010 All-American Championship title, and the 2010 ITA National Indoor singles championship. In her fifth consecutive national singles finals appearance, she broke through in a 6-0, 7-6 victory over No. 43-ranked Stacey Tan of Stanford to claim her crown.
Juricova completes her season with a 36-4 overall singles record, with a 20-1 mark in duals. In doubles, she took home the 2010 USTA/ITA Northwest Regional Championship, and the 2011 Pac-10 title with senior Mari Andersson. Andersson and Juricova finished the season with a 41-7 record, together, with a 23-3 record in duals, and advanced to the NCAA doubles semifinal.
Though Tan served to open the match, Juricova’s returns forced each of Tan’s rallies to end in the net to take a 1-0 lead. Juricova promptly served an ace down the inside seam to cruise to a 2-0 advantage. Tan couldn’t hold serve in the third game, as Juricova picked her apart to go up, three games to love. Tan pushed Juricova to a break point with a 30-40 lead, but couldn’t hold on as Juricova served another ace to save the game, and take a 4-0 lead in the first set.
Tan’s serve helped her take a 30-love lead in the fifth game, but Juricova battled back to take break point. Tan earned deuce, but Juricova put a forehand shot out of Tan’s reach to take the advantage, before she closed out the game for a 5-0 lead on a cross-court backhand. Up three breaks, Juricova let loose her serve to finish off a 6-0 first-set win with two consecutive service aces.
After fighting off a couple of break points, Tan stepped in to close out the first game of the second set, and take a 1-0 lead, but Juricova replied to hold and tie the set, one-all. Tan built a 40-love lead in the third game, and held off a comeback by Juricova to go up, 2-1. Juricova didn’t waste any time as she went up, 40-love, in game four, but Tan fired back to force deuce. Refocused, Juricova overpowered Tan with a pair of serves to tie the set at two.
In a pivotal fifth game, Tan served six faults, including four straight to break her own serve and surrender a 3-2 lead to Juricova. Unfortunately, Juricova’s serve gave the game back before Tan held to take a 4-3 lead. Juricova used her serve to push the set back into a tie at four all, but Tan controlled things in a baseline rally to go up, 5-4. Juricova overcame the deficit, once more, to tie the set at five all when Tan put a ball into the net.
Tan came up with a 30-15 lead in the 11th game, but a pair of errors allowed Juricova to earn break point. A long rally gave way to a long ball by Tan to seal a 6-5 lead in the set for Juricova. Tan would not go quietly as she stood her ground to break back against Juricova and force a tiebreaker. In the extra stanza, Juricova came alive as she raced out to a 5-0 lead. Tan won the next two points, but Juricova put a stop to things when Tan wasn’t able to return one of Juricova’s baseline backhand shots.
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2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championships
Taube Family Tennis Center | Stanford, Calif.
Monday, May 30, 2011
Singles Final | May 30
 No. 1 Jana Juricova (CAL) def. No. 43 Stacey Tan (STAN) 6-0, 7-6(2)
Head coach Amanda Augustus
“Our game-plan, today, was to have [Jana] come out strong, and aggressive. In her other finals, she’s come out a bit tentative, so we’ve really been working on that, and I think she was really focusing on playing point to point and not thinking about the score and not worrying about what her opponent was doing. Then she got on a bit of a roll. To be honest, even thought the first set score was six to love, in every game, she was pushed. Tan was making errors, but just barely, so we knew the tide was going to turn. Sure enough, in the second set, Tan started to go for it, and relaxed a little bit. That’s when she plays her best. But I think the big key was for Jana to hold her ground and not give up too much of the court to Stacey [Tan], as well as varying her serve. That was big in our game plan, today. I had a feeling given all of the tiebreakers she had, yesterday, and she just kicked it up a notch in that last tiebreak and really tried not to think about it. I’m just really, really happy for Jana.”
On what Juricova’s NCAA title means for the Cal tennis program
“It just shows that Cal is a place where we can have the top player in the country and the top doubles team in the country. We know what it takes to get it done at this level in the tournament. It’s just great to be able to bring this home to Cal and to have so many Cal fans here to celebrate with us. There’s a lot of people at Cal who go into helping Jana achieve something like this so we’re so grateful and so excited to be able to go back and celebrate this with everyone. This is a well-deserved win for Jana.”
Junior Jana Juricova
On her victory over Stacey Tan in the NCAA singles championship
“I think the big difference [between this final and her last three appearances] was that I was mentally ready to play a final and really play my game and I just get it done. We’ve been working on visualization of the final and finishing the match and really being aggressive. I think I was really mentally tough and was taking my time after every point. She came out really slow, and I think I took advantage of it in the first set. I knew she was a great player because she made it to the final so I was really ready for her to bring her level up. I think she did and I just stuck to my game plan and I knew I could beat her even though she was playing her best. I just kept pressing myself to be aggressive and I’m just glad it worked out real well in that tiebreaker.