For the first time in TCU women’s tennis history, a player has won a grand slam event in collegiate tennis. Sophomore Nicole Leimbach won the Riviera/ITA All-American Championship on Sunday in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
“It makes you feel good when you are the record setter or whatever you want to call it, but I really don’t think about it that much.” Leimbach said. “It makes you feel good knowing you are setting goals so someone else can break them.”
Leimbach beat No. 29 Carolin Walter of Baylor 6-3, 6-3 and No. 8 Kristi Miller of Georgia Tech in straight sets, 7-5, 7-5.
In the semifinals, Leimbech defeated Southern California’s Amanda Fink in straight sets 6-4, 7-5.
To close the tournament, the third-ranked Leimbach swept No. 5 Daniela Bercek of Duke in the championship match, 6-3, 6-4.
Leimbach said she was glad her day had come at last.
“When I played her last year, it really wasn’t my day. I finally went out on Sunday with a different game plan,” Leimbach said.
Leimbach said she loved coming out victorious.
“Winning is always good.” Leimbach said. “Itt is one of the three largest tournaments in college. It is a good accomplishment, and I am happy I won.”
She said she has high hopes individually and for her team the rest of this season.
“Personally, I think I will try to win indoors, and I think as a team we have a really good chance overall to do really well.” Leimbach said. “We can win it individually and as a team.”
Leimbach said she had an adventurous weekend.
“It was a little weird going to (Los Angeles) again since I came from the University of Southern California, and I had to take it one match at a time since I played quite a few good players.” Leimbach said. “It really was a matter of focusing and getting it done.”
Junior Ana Cetnik and senior Helena Besovic also represented the Frogs in the tournament.
Cetnik said she had limited playing time due to her hurt shoulder.
“I could not play singles, as I had to withdrawal with my shoulder problems, so I only played doubles in (Los Angeles) with Nicole and we were No. 3-seeded.” Cetnik said. “Unfortunately, my shoulder hurt and even though we were highly ranked, we lost in the first round.”
Besovic said she was impressed with how she did, though she felt she could have gone deeper into the tournament.
“I think it was a hard tournament, and this year I got into the main draw, and last year I had to play (in a prequalifying round), so this year was better even though I had the feeling that I could do much greater,” Besovic said.
Leimbach played in a tournament consisting of two brackets. Leimbach was seeded in the main draw, which was for the highest-ranked players in the tournament.
Leimbach will have another tournament appearance in the ITA National Indoors on Nov. 3-6 in Columbus, Ohio.