Elbaba Falls In Finals Action At US Open National Playoffs
Aug. 24, 2015
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After a surge through the first three rounds of action that included wins over two of the top three seeds, senior Julia Elbaba (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) fell to Jennifer Elie in the finals of the US Open National Playoffs on Monday 4-6, 6-4, 5-7.
“What a tremendous, tremendous effort from Julia throughout this entire US Open Playoff process.,” said Virginia head coach Mark Guilbeau. “On top of playing some great tennis this weekend and battling through two 3-hour matches back to back, we are most proud of her desire to lay it on the line and compete in the sectional and national playoff in the first place. Congrats to Jennifer Elie on such a strong effort. The match could not have been much tougher or closer, and both players battled so hard.
“This is such a good opportunity provided by the USTA and the US Open, and is truly special for those that want to earn their way in. Julia’s willingness to earn it and compete to the end will carry her very far as she continues her tennis process. There is no doubt she will be competing at the US Open and in other great WTA tournaments in the near future. Julia continues to grow and improve and has always shown the greatest desire to play the game. We are all extremely proud of her.”
Elbaba defeated top-seeded Ayaka Okuno (6-2, 6-1) in the opening round. She rattled off 12 straight games to defeat Alexis Nelson (6-3, 6-0) in the second round. Elbaba then advanced to Monday’s final with a three-set win over third-seeded Ashley Weinhold (4-6, 7-5, 6-2).
Elbaba earned ITA All-America honors last season after posting a 30-7 mark on the season, including a 17-4 mark in dual play. She earned the No. 6 seed at the NCAA Championships last season, marking the second consecutive season to earn a national seed in the event and finished ranked fifth in the final ITA rankings of the season. Elbaba was ranked as high as No. 1 nationally in the ITA rankings during the course of the season.
She was also named a first team All-ACC selection for the third consecutive season last year.