Katarina Jokic, a sophomore from Novi Grad, Bosnia, returns the ball during singles play against Wake Forest University on May 5, 2019 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia. Georgia defeated Wake Forest 4-0 to progress to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament. (Photo/Julian Alexander)

Georgia’s Katerina Jokic and Lea Ma had strong season debuts at the Puerto Rico Fall Classic in San Juan this weekend. 

The junior and freshman, respectively, led the Bulldogs to a 6-0 record in doubles play and 11-7 record in singles.

Jokic, who was named the 2019 ITA Division I National Player of the Year for her performance last season, finished 3-0 in singles play and 2-0 in doubles play with Vivian Wolff. Ma, a freshman from Dix Hills, New York, also finished 3-0 in singles and 2-0 in doubles play in her collegiate debut.

Head coach Jeff Wallace was happy to see his team face real competition.

"I think we’re further along at this point in the season in doubles than last year at this time,” Wallace said. “We’ve been practicing and playing against each other so today was nice to get out on the court and play somebody else.”

Georgia had five wins on Sept. 13, the the first day of the tournament. Wolff notched her 21st consecutive singles match win against Clemson’s Sidney Riley. Jokic, Ma, Marta Gonzalez and Morgan Coppoc also won their matches that day. 

In doubles, Jokic and Wolff defeated Wake Forest’s Chandler Carter and Carolyn Campana 8-0, Coppoc and Lea defeated Peyton Pesavento and Alexis Franco 8-2, and Clayton and Gonzalez edged Anna Brylin and Maddie Lynch 8-7(4).

Jokic, Ma, and Coppoc all got wins on the second day of the tournament against Vanderbilt’s Anna Ross, Christina Roca, and Emma Kurtz, respectively. Wolff’s 21-match win streak was snapped after a 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-4 loss to Vanderbilt’s Marcella Cruz.

Due to weather delays, the Bulldogs were limited to just one round of doubles play on Saturday. 

Georgia didn't have any doubles matches on the last day of the tournament. It went 3-3 in its singles matches on Sunday with wins from Jokic, Ma, and Gonzalez and losses from Wolff, Coppoc and Clayton.  

Wallace said he is eager for the team to improve before Georgia’s next set of matches.

“This was our first tournament, and we’ll be focused on getting better the remainder of the fall,” Wallace said.

The Bulldogs will return to action in two weeks with some players at the ITA Oracle Masters on Sept. 26-29 in Malibu, California, and the rest of the team competing at the TCU Fall Tournament on Sept. 27-29 in Fort Worth, Texas.

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