Elbaba Advances to Final at American Collegiate Invitational
Sept. 5, 2014
FLUSHING, N.Y. – Virginia All-American Julia Elbaba (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) advanced to the singles final at the inaugural American Collegiate Invitational at the US Open Friday (Sept. 5) at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
Elbaba defeated former Stanford star Kristie Ahn 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 to advance to Saturday’s final against North Carolina sophomore Jamie Loeb, who defeated Virginia’s Danielle Collins (St. Petersburg, Fla.) 6-3, 6-1 in the other semifinal.
“I’m feeling really good and this was the biggest crowd I’ve ever played in front of,” Elbaba said. “It felt really good to play well. Kristie [Ahn] is an amazing player who is from the area. We were both representing the Eastern section and college tennis pretty well. I’m just excited to get through with the win.”
The women’s singles winner of the American Collegiate Invitational will be guaranteed a wild card into the qualifying draw of the 2015 US Open. Wild card entry into the main draw will be awarded to the women’s champion if she’s ranked No. 150 or better.
“I’ve always wanted to play in the real US Open,” Elbaba added. “I’m just really excited and going to embrace the experience. It’s going to be a really tough match.”
Elbaba has earned three ITA All-America honors at Virginia, including a pair of singles honors. In 2013-14, Elbaba posted a 31-6 singles record and finished the season ranked sixth in the final ITA rankings.
Collins, the reigning NCAA singles champion, went 1-1 in the American Collegiate Invitational. Collins also made her US Open debut this year, extending No. 2-seed Simona Halep to three sets before losing 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-2 in the opening round.
“Obviously, I was really happy to be back here and get to have the experience of playing against the best collegiate players in the country,” Collins said.
Fans can follow tomorrow’s Elbaba-Loeb final online at USOpen.org. First serve is set for approximately 12:30 p.m. ET.