Jovana’s 14th title
Jovana saved 14 match points on her way to winning the 14th title of her career in a titanic battle with Tamira Paszek at the $25k ITF Pro Circuit event in Surprise, Arizona.
In a final that lasted more than three and a half hours, Jovana sealed her first tournament victory of 2014 with a 4-6 7-6 (13) 7-5 triumph.
The Serbian was trailing by a set and 3-0 to a resurgent Paszek and the match looked to be slipping from her grasp, when slowly Jovana managed to find her rhythm and apply some pressure of her own.
Paszek, a two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist, served for the match at 5-4 and 6-5 in the second set, wasting 6 match points, before Jovana saved another 8 match points in the crucial second set tie-break – which finished 15-13 – to force a third set.
Jovana stuck to her aggressive gameplan, firing winners off the forehand wing, and eventually clinched one of the most satisfying victories of her career on her first match point.
“I still can’t believe I saved 14 match points,” Jovana said afterwards. “I have no idea how I did it. I have to say that each time I faced a match point, I played an amazing shot and managed to hit winners on most of them. And I was thinking ‘if I can save one, I can save the second and the third’…but I stopped counting after the sixth match point! I didn’t even know the score in the tie-break until the end of the match, I was just fighting and fighting.
“I’m just so happy because it’s my first title of the season and I beat two players who were both top 30 (Arvidsson and Paszek) and these kind of matches are a huge experience for me. I definitely learned that I should never give up because anything is possible!”
Jovana’s next tournament will be an ITF $25k event in Mexico the week commencing March 3.