In the news: Serbian native Katarina Jokic concentrating on doubles play for Georgia women's tennis 23 Sep 10:19
Katarina Jokic, one of the fresh faces for Georgia’s women’s tennis team, is concentrating on improving her play in doubles as she prepares for the upcoming Big 5 Tournament in Fort Worth, Texas.
Jokic, who is from Zrenjanin, Serbia, expressed that she didn’t play much doubles prior to playing for Georgia. This led to her feeling uncomfortable during last week’s Puerto Rico Fall Classic Tournament when her opponents put pressure on her by rushing the net.
“I’m used to playing slower tennis with ad,” Jokic said, “but here, there’s no ad in singles or doubles.”
Because players only play one set in doubles, the set goes by fast so it’s important that she is focused in every point.
In the week immediately after her first college tournament, Jokic practiced some exercises, such as ones to help improve her volleys, and feels more confident as she looks forward to the Big 5 Tournament.
“There’s this one drill where two people are at the net and two people are at the baseline and it’s like an open point,” Jokic said. “We have to play aggressive at the net, which is why I like it.”
Head coach Jeff Wallace has been focusing on helping her get more comfortable around the net and coming in on transition a little bit more through the drills he’s coached over the recent week.
Even though Jokic is more comfortable playing back on the baseline, she focused in practice on staying closer to the net to keep her opponents from gaining control of the game. She knows that having well placed volleys are one essential part of protecting the net in doubles.
“She came to the University of Georgia as an amazing singles player with a lot of doubles potential,” Wallace said.
Wallace thinks her confidence on the court is one of her strong-suits, which will stay with her as she develops her game to new elevations.
Going forward, she plans to improve her movement around the court and to stay true to her aggressive playing style.