Edina Gallovits is our featured player this month. Gallovits, who represented Romania in Fed Cup in 2001 and 2003, competed in two $50,000 hard court tournaments on the ITF Women’s Circuit during the month, both in USA.
The first tournament took place in Auburn, Alabama, which was hosting its first ever tournament on the ITF Women’s Circuit. Seeded one, Gallovits almost made an early exit as Russia’s Alina Jidkova stunned her by taking the opening set 62 of their first round encounter. Gallovits recovered from this initial set back to level the match, winning the second set 64. Now back on level terms, Gallovits stepped up a gear or two and dominated the deciding set to win the match 26 64 60. America’s Madison Brengle was forced to retire from their second round clash with Gallovits leading 51 in the first set. Her next opponent was fellow Romanian, Irina-Camelia Begu. Begu, who came through the qualifying event, put up a fight but was unable to prevent Gallovits progressing to the semi final with Gallovits emerging a 64 64 winner.
The semi final saw her take on another American player, fifth seed Varvara Lepchenko. With a place in the final at stake, it was a closely contested match with Gallovits edging it, winning 64 36 64. Victory took her into her first singles final on the ITF Women’s Circuit since May 2007. The final, featuring the tournaments two top seeds, Gallovits (1) and American, Julie Ditty (2), proved to be another closely fought match but not before Gallovits made the perfect start by taking the opening set to love. Ditty made sure the final would go to a third set by winning 9-7 in a tiebreak to take the second set. The players continued to match each other in the final set but Gallovits eventually triumphed, taking the match and title with a 60 67(7) 75 score line.
For the doubles event, Gallovits teamed up with Betina Jozami from Argentina. This was the third time they had joined forced in their career with the previous two occasions coming in Canada in October. Seeded three, they made it to the quarterfinal stage where they were defeated, by the eventual runners-up, 63 64.
San Diego is a large coastal city in southern California and was the venue for Gallovits’ second tournament of the month. A regular port of call on the WTA Tour since 1979, this was only the second time an ITF Women’s Circuit tournament had been held here, the first being in 2006. Gallovits started this $50,000 tournament with a 61 63 win over Agustina Lepore from Argentina, followed by a second three set victory over Alina Jidkova in as many weeks, although the score line here was slightly closer than their first round match in Auburn. In the quarterfinal, Christina McHale, an American qualifier, was unable to contend with the high level of tennis being played by Gallovits and was quickly defeated 60 61.
Gallovits carried her current form into her semi final match with American seventh seed, Alexa Glatch, dropping just five games as she raced into the final with a 64 61 victory. Gallovits’ semi final success marked the first time she had made it through to back-to-back singles finals on the ITF Women’s Circuit since 2003. As in the Auburn final, her opponent was Julie Ditty, again named second seed and also Gallovits’ doubles partner for the week. Ditty took a close first set, but, for the second week running, it was to be Gallovits who was celebrating at the end. Gallovits lost a total of five games in the next two sets to wrap up a 46 63 62 victory and claim a second title of the month. This was also the first time in her career that she had won back-to-back singles titles on the ITF Women’s Circuit.
Prior to this tournament, Gallovits had partnered Ditty on two occasions, once in 2004 and again in 2007, winning the title each time. Unfortunately for them, they were unable to repeat their previous successes and made an exit from the event in a 75 60 semi final loss to the eventual tournament champions.
Following her efforts this month, Edina Gallovits’ ITF Women’s Circuit statistics now show her with fourteen singles titles from nineteen finals. Her two final appearances this month were also her first in 2008. Her failure to reach the final in her doubles events this month mean her record remains at eight titles from eighteen finals.
At the time of writing, her WTA rankings are 78 in singles and 92 in doubles, both very close to her career highs of 52 (April 2008) and 80 (June 2008) respectively. In singles, Gallovits has now been ranked in the top 100 every week since June 2007.