Katarina Jokic Advances in NCAA Singles, Doubles Paired with Lourdes Carle

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Katarina Jokic Advances in NCAA Singles, Doubles Paired with Lourdes Carle

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 Sophomore Katarina Jokic advanced in the 2019 NCAA Singles Championships, and then paired with freshman Lourdes Carle to move on in the NCAA Doubles Championship Wednesday evening at the USTA National Campus.

Sophomore Katarina Jokic, the No. 2-seed in the 64-player singles competition, defeated No. 28-ranked Bianca Turati of Texas, 7-6(3), 6-2, in the round of 32. After a 45-minute break, Jokic was back on the court with Carle in the 32-team doubles bracket. The No. 28-ranked duo that occupied court one for the Bulldogs defeated Washington’s No. 23-ranked Stacey Fung and Nika Zupancic, 6-4, 6-1 in the first round.

In the round of 16, Jokic will face No. 13 Anastasia Rychagova, a senior from Kansas, Wednesday with time to be annouced. Jokic and Carle will advance to play the No. 2-seed Jessie Anney and Alexa Graham of North Carolina Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.

“The turning point was winning the first set,” Jokic said about her singles match. “The first time we played, we didn’t finish, but it was close, so I was ready for the battle. I just played my game. [When asked about Sunday’s team loss] Well when you step onto the court it is the same sport. It definitely hurt on Sunday, but I just have to keep going.”

View the gallery HERE. Fullscreen slideshow is HERE.

Jokic and Turati was a matchup of previous No. 1-ranked collegiate players. Jokic occupied the No. 1 ITA singles ranking for much of this season, while Turati, spent some time in the top spot in 2018. The two squared off when Turati was No. 1 in the 2018 ITA National Team Indoors, but it went unfinished with Jokic leading in the third set when Georgia clinched the team victory.

With this being a tournament and not a dual match, there was going to be a victor. The three-time Big-12 First Teamer jumped out to a 3-1 lead, before Jokic gained a break back to tie it at 3-all. Jokic thwarted off set point on deuce to tie it at 5-all and then after getting broken, the Bulldog broke Turati’s serve back to force a first-set tiebreaker. Jokic grabbed the early reins of the tiebreaker at 3-0 and did not let the Longhorn come within one point until clinching the first set at 7-6 (3).

Lourdes Carle (L) and Katarina Jokic
Lourdes Carle (L) and Katarina Jokic

The second set started with three service breaks before Jokic held her second serve to go up 3-1. Jokic went on to win the next two games and hold serve throughout for the 6-2 second set. The advancement for Jokic marks the first Bulldog to reach the round of 16 since Ellen Perez in 2017.

Later, Jokic and Carle continued their hot play in doubles, notching their seventh ranked win in the past 10 matches. The Bulldog twosome trailed 1-3 against the Husky duo before tying it at 3-all. Georgia got the key break to go up 5-4 and held for set one. In the second set, Georgia held serve throughout and broke three serves for the 6-4, 6-1 final.  

Also in competition Tuesday was junior Marta Gonzalez who lost her second round match in the singles competition. Gonzalez, ranked No. 19, fell 7-6(5), 6-2, to No. 46 Cameron Morra of North Carolina, the Atlantic Coast Conference’s freshman of the year recipient. Gonzalez concluded her junior season with a 24-14 overall record, setting a new career high in wins.

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.