ORLANDO, Fla. - Furman's Katarina Kozarov fell to second-ranked Katarina Jokic of Georgia, 7-5, 7-5, Monday in the opening round of the 2019 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Singles Championship at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla.
A junior from Novi Sad, Serbia, Kozarov, who ranks 67th nationally, built a 3-1 lead in each set versus Jokic, a sophomore from Novi Grad, Bosnia. In the opening set, Kozarov extended the lead to 4-2 before Jokic went on a 5-1 run to end the set. After Kozarov took an early lead in the second set, Jokic won four-straight games to hold a 5-3 advantage. Kozarov won the next two games to tie the match at 5-all, then Jokic claimed the final two games for the victory.
"Katarina has had a fantastic season and just continues to improve," said Furman head coach Adam Herendeen. "This development just shows how invested she, and our entire team, are to improving every day. Today was a valuable experience, and we are excited to have a lot more opportunities like this next year."
The two-time reigning Southern Conference Player of the Year, Kozarov was the first Paladin to compete at the singles championship since Monica Arguello in 2011. She earned the Southern Conference's automatic bid as the highest ranked singles player in the league. A first team all-conference selection for both singles and doubles, Kozarov put together a 21-3 record at flight one singles and was a perfect 7-0 in league play. during the 2019 spring season
Jokic won the 2018 Oracle/ITA National Fall Singles tournament and has been ranked among the nation's top players throughout the season. She is competing in the singles championship for the second-consecutive season after posting a 21-5 dual record this spring.