Georgia’s Marta Gonzalez, Katarina Jokic and Mariana Gould combined to go 5-0 Tuesday during qualifying for the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships.
Jokic, a freshman, knocked out the top seed in singles and paired with the senior Gould to eliminate the top seed in doubles. Gonzalez, a sophomore, and Jokic garnered two impressive wins apiece on the day to improve to 12-1 this fall. Tuesday’s action began with the Gould/Jokic duo defeating the top-seeded and 20th-ranked UCLA tandem of Gabby Andrews and Ayan Broomfield 8-4. The Georgia team remains perfect on the year at 7-0. They will need to win two more matches Wednesday to advance to the main draw of the collegiate grand slam event.
“It was an outstanding day for the Bulldogs,” said Georgia coach Jeff Wallace. “Our doubles team of Mariana and Katarina got us off to a great start by beating the number one seed from UCLA. Then, Marta won two big singles matches. She is playing at a really high level. Katarina was amazing Tuesday too with a solid win over a newcomer from North Carolina who already has several wins over ranked players, and then she follows that up by taking down the number one seed from Duke.”
This past weekend in Malibu, Gonzalez, and Jokic won three singles matches to advance out of the prequalifying draw. Now, they are looking to do the same in qualifying. They are one victory away following their performance Tuesday.
Jokic’s first singles opponent was Alle Sanford (UNC), who came in with a 10-1 record including winning the Oracle/ITA Masters in September when she beat top-ranked Ena Shibahara (UCLA). The ITA ranks Sanford No. 6 among freshmen/newcomers. Jokic dispatched Sanford 6-1,6-2. Then, she faced the top seed and 20th-ranked Melible Chi (Duke), and Jokic beat her 6-3,6-2.
In her first round match, Gonzalez, who is ranked 105, drew 44th-ranked Emma Higuchi. She went 33-4 as a freshman last year at Stanford. Gonzalez posted a 6-4,6-4 decision and then advanced with a 6-4,6-4 win over Sabina Machalova (Ole Miss). The Lady Rebel is ranked fifth in the ITA among freshmen/newcomers.
“We are excited about the results today and eager to get back out on the courts Wednesday,” Wallace added.