Juricova, Andersson Prep For Championship Matches

Photo: Jana Juricova won the ITA National Singles Indoor Championship in 2009. She and Mari Andersson will play in this weekend's ITA All-American Women's Championships.
Kellen Freeman/File
Jana Juricova won the ITA National Singles Indoor Championship in 2009. She and Mari Andersson will play in this weekend's ITA All-American Women's Championships.

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Less than a week after taking a break and playing in low intensity charity matches, Cal's Jana Juricova will shift gears this week as she looks to become the first national champion of the 2010-11 season.

Along with Juricova, the Bears will send senior Mari Andersson to the Riviera ITA All American Women's Championships. Matches will be played at the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, CA. Qualifying rounds will run Tuesday and Wednesday, with the Main Draw held from Thursday to Sunday.

Juricova and Andersson are both automatic qualifiers for the event, and enter the tournament seeded third and 23rd, respectively. They will team up for the doubles competition, for which they are seeded fourth.

Juricova is currently the No. 1 ranked women's tennis player in the country, and will look to prove it as she faces some of the top players from around the country. Both she and Andersson appear to have the potential to make very deep runs into the tournament.

"Every player in the tournament is one of the top players in the nation. The key for us is to be aggressive in every match," said head coach Amanda Augustus.

Cal will look to improve on an overall disappointing performance in 2009's tournament. Andersson was defeated in the opening round, losing to Texas A&M's Elze Potgeiter (6-2, 6-3).

Juricova did manage to turn in a strong performance in last year's singles competition. After reaching the semifinals, she lost a hard fought match to Georgia's Chelsey Gullickson (7-6, 7-5).

However, the biggest let down for the Bears came in the doubles competition, as the heavily favored No. 1 doubles tandem of Andersson and Juricova were upset in the first round at the hands of the Bulldogs team of Irina Falconi and Amanda McDowell (8-6).

"They (Juricova and Andersson) both have plenty of experience at the top National level, and are familiar with the tournament and the players. It's just a matter of putting it all together," said Augustus.

Cal has played strong thus far, and will look to continue their strong play. This week should provide a solid indicator of where the Bears stand in preparation for the upcoming season. The first singles and doubles national titles for the 2010-11 season will be up for grabs, and Cal hopes to take home at least one of them, if not both.

"They'll definitely have to take it match by match, day by day. A major key for them will be to get through the first couple days without any overly long matches in order to have stamina by the end of the weekend," said Augustus.

The Bears also will need to play well this week for future purposes, as it will determine whether or not they get to participate in the ITA Indoor Championships in New Haven, CT. Automatic bids will be given to players reaching the quarterfinals.


Connor Byrne covers women's tennis. Contact him at [email protected]

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