July 30, 2012
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Incoming first-year Virginia women's tennis player Julia Elbaba (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) won her first career singles title on the USTA Futures Tour by winning this week's event in New Orleans, La. She lost just one set en route to winning the title, defeating two 2012 NCAA All-Americans in the process.
Elbaba entered the main draw of the event after receiving a wild card. After a 7-5, 6-1 win over qualifier Alyssa Grace Smith in the first round, she downed the No. 4 seed, world No. 564 Miharu Imanishi of Japan, 6-2, 6-2 in the second round. In the quarterfinals, Elbaba topped the No. 8 seed Zoe Scandalis, a 2012 All-American at USC, 7-5, 6-4. She followed that with a 6-3, 7-5 semifinal win over No. 5 seed Jacqueline Cako, a two-time All-American at Arizona State. In the final, Elbaba defeated the No. 3 seed, world No. 532 Hua-Chen Lee of Taiwan, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
It was Elbaba's second consecutive strong performance on the USTA Futures Tour. The previous week she reached the semifinal of the event in Evansville, Ind. She defeated world No. 248 Xu Yi-Fan of China in the quarterfinals before falling to Stanford All-American and 2012 NCAA Singles Runner-Up Mallory Burdette in the semifinals.
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