Katarina Jokic concluded her fall season in the second round of the Oracle Challenger Series, a professional Women’s Tennis Association tournament held in Houston. She was defeated by Luxembourg native Mandy Minella, who is ranked No. 137 in the world.
The Georgia women’s tennis player from Novi Grad, Bosnia, didn’t go down without a fight, though, as she won the first set 6-1 before falling in the remaining two sets, 6-3 and 6-4, respectively.
Jokic had played in a few professional tournaments up to this point, but the Oracle Challenger Series was the toughest competition she has faced in her young career. Her performance didn’t reflect her youth, though. In her first match, she defeated Kayla Day, a WTA professional ranked No. 434 in the world. Jokic defeated her in straight sets, 6-4 and 6-2.
While Minella managed to best Jokic in the second round, it was a close match. Jokic took the first set in dominant fashion, winning 6-1. Minella then came from behind to win the two remaining sets, 6-3 and 6-4.
Minella's service game gave her the needed push, as she had one more ace than Jokic and won 6% more of her service points. Minella also won 67% of her break points as opposed to Jokic’s 36%.
Jokic and the rest of the Georgia women’s tennis team will be spending the next couple months training and preparing for the spring campaign.
The Bulldogs will open with an Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-Off event beginning on Jan. 25 in Athens. The Bulldogs, the No. 1 seed, will face Michigan State, the No. 4 seed.