Koroleva on to Round of 16 After Comeback Victory
URBANA, IL - Sophomore Yana Koroleva defeated North Carolina’s Zoe De Bruycker, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, in the second round of the NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Championship on Thursday at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in Urbana, IL. Koroleva becomes the first Clemson player to advance to the Round of 16 since 2009, when Josipa Bek accomplished the feat.
In doing so, Koroleva earns her first All-America honor. She’ll play Zsofi Susanyi of Cal on Friday for a shot at the quarterfinals. Susanyi is the No. 5 overall seed in the tournament, while Koroleva is a 9-16 seed.
Also on Friday, fellow sophomore Beatrice Gumulya fell short in her upset bid of No. 7 Gina Suarez-Malaguti of North Carolina. Gumulya won the first set, 6-2, reeling off the final five games, but Suarez surrendered just two games the rest of the way en route to the 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 victory.
Gumulya’s breakout season ends with a sparkling 26-6 overall record, an All-ACC honor, and one win shy of All-America honors.
Koroleva, meanwhile, is one of the hottest players in the nation, winning her 11th match in a row. She is now 27-7 overall, and has won 18 of her matches against ranked opponents.
After dropping the first set and then winning in her opener on Wednesday against No. 23 Jenny Jullien of St. Mary’s, she started out much the same against the Tar Heel senior.
De Bruycker broke Koroleva four times in the first set en route to the 6-3 win, but would not break again. In the second set, Koroleva opened with a break en route to taking a 4-0 lead. The two would hold serve for the final five games as Koroleva forced a third set.
Koroleva held eight straight games in the final two sets, and added two breaks in the final for good measure. The two had met in the fall, a match in which Koroleva took the first set and De Bruycker took the final two sets.
The turning point of Gumulya’s match came in the third set on Suarez’s serve. The ACC Player of the Year was in a battle to hold on after Gumulya earned an early break to go up, 2-1. Suarez earned the break, and then held in a 20-minute fifth game, which gave the Tar Heel the momentum she needed to close.
Gumulya had defeated Suarez in 2012 during a dual match in three sets.
If Koroleva is able to advance to the quarterfinals, she will be the first person since Julie Coin to advance that far, and just the fourth player in school history to make the claim.
Rd. of 64: #40 Beatrice Gumulya (CU) def. Dominique Harmath (RICE), 6-3, 7-5
Rd. of 64: #16 Yana Koroleva (CU) def. #23 Jenny Jullien (SMC), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
Rd. of 64: #76 Cindy Chala (VCU) def. #33 Liz Jeukeng (CU), 6-0, 5-7, 7-6(2)
Rd. of 32: #7 Gina Suarez-Malaguti (UNC) def. #40 Beatrice Gumulya (CU), 2-6, 6-0, 6-2
Rd. of 32: #16 Yana Koroleva (CU) def. #49 Zoe De Bruycker (UNC), 3-6, 6-2, 6-2
Rd. of 16 (Fri.): #16 Yana Koroleva (CU) v. #5 Zsofi Susanyi (CAL)