by Dave Loveton, Santa Barbara City College Sports Information
Mayra Jovic went where few women have gone before on Sunday as she captured the singles and doubles titles in the CCCAA Women's Tennis State individual tournament on a hot day at Libbey Park in Ojai.
The freshman from Santa Monica College swept past Chieko Yamada of Shasta 6-1, 6-2 in a battle of No. 1 seeds. Jovic is 19-0 in singles this year and hasn't dropped a set. She's also unbeaten in doubles without a single set lost after she and Izabel Nazdracheva topped third-seeded Polina Gorshinina and Van Nguyen of De Anza 6-2, 7-5.
It marked the seventh time that a female player has won the Community College singles and doubles State titles and the first since Michelle Esquivel of Orange Coast in 2005.
"I knew as long as I went for my shots and took control of the point that I would win," said Jovic, who grew up in Argentina. "I knew that she would try and push me back with a lot of spin but as long as I controlled the point, I knew I would be OK."
Jovic broke Yamada's serve in the opening game and went on to break her serve six times in the match, including the final game. On the third match point, Jovic drilled a forehand winner down the line for the victory.
Jovic showed a dominating serve in the first set and did a good job of moving her opponent from side-to-side throughout the match. She's the second Corsair player to win a State singles crown, joining Katerina Mozolyuk from 2011.
"I think it was just as important to win my serve as to break hers," Jovic noted. "It feels great to be the State champ. I've been talking about this since Day 1."
Jovic lost her serve just once and fell behind 2-0 in the second set. She promptly won her serve, then broke Yamada at 40-15 to tie it at 2-2. She captured the next four games to win the title.
"That was an amazing effort against a pretty tough opponent," said Santa Monica coach Richard Goldenson. "She was a tiger out there, ripping her forehand to the forehand court."
Jovic started her day at 8 a.m. with a win in the doubles semifinals. She and Nazdracheva were the top seed from the South and they swept No. 3 Laura Arruda and Leticia Dos Santos of Desert 6-2, 6-1. Meanwhile, Gorshinina-Nguyen needed a tiebreaker to beat Olessa Besprozvannykh-Kyssia Mendoza of Foothill 4-6, 1-6; 10-8 super tiebreaker.
Jovic didn't lose a set in singles or doubles this year. Her singles' game record in the 115th Ojai Tournament and State Tournament was 72-10. In doubles, the Corsair duo won 72 of 88 games on the way to the title.
photos by Dave Loveton