Big Apple Will Feature Big Tests for Cal's Doubles Duo

Photo: Jana Juricova has defeated the Cardinal's Hilary Barte just once in five career match-ups. The junior standout may get another shot at Barte this weekend in New York.
Kellen Freeman/File
Jana Juricova has defeated the Cardinal's Hilary Barte just once in five career match-ups. The junior standout may get another shot at Barte this weekend in New York.

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Two weeks after winning her second doubles title of the season, Cal's Jana Juricova will look to capture her first singles championship of 2010.

She and senior Mari Anderrson travel to Flushing, New York this weekend to compete in the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The tournament features the NCAA's top 32 singles players and top 16 doubles teams.

It also marks Cal's last major competition before Pac-10 play in January.

"This weekend is obviously important for us. Right now we're looking at establishing our spring playing order, which we rely heavily on fall results to set up," coach Amanda Augustus said.

For the first time this season, Juricova will not be the tournament favorite. The Piestany, Slovakia native is seeded second behind Stanford's Hilary Barte, who defeated Juricova earlier this season and owns a career record of 4-1 over Juricova.

"They (Juricova and Andersson) walked away from the All-American Championships without all they wanted. They want a rematch, and they want to earn those spots back," Augustus said.

Juricova is ranked No. 1 in the nation for singles, and is the defending champion at this event. She defeated Georgia Tech's Irina Falconi (6-4, 7-6(4)) in last year's singles final, becoming the first ever Cal tennis player to do so. Juricova will need a strong showing this weekend to keep her ranking over No. 2 Barte.

Andersson will also be competing in the singles, but is not a top eight seed.

She and Juricova will team up for doubles, where they are also seeded second behind the Card's Barte and Mallory Burdette. This also marks the first time this year that Cal's top doubles team will not be the favorite to win a tournament.

The duo were defeated by Stanford (8-6) in the semifinals at the Riviera All-American Championships. Barte and Burdette haven't lost a match all season long, and are currently predicted to be ranked No. 1 when the first midseason rankings come out on January 4.

With four of the eight singles seeds and two of the four doubles seeds representing the Pac-10, this tournament could be yet another testament to the strength of the conference.

"On a national level, the Pac-10 is a powerhouse. We see these girls a lot. I want to see all of them do well. We're all great competitors, but we all have a lot of respect for each other," Augustus said.


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

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