- Jill Craybas defeated a pair of opponents half her age Monday at the qualifying tournament for The Oaks Club $50,000 Women's Pro Circuit Event.
At 38, the resident of Huntington Beach, Calif., who was born in Rhode Island, has been grinding away on the professional tour for 16 years now after playing her college tennis at the University of Texas and the University of Florida.
“I still love the game a lot,” said Craybas, after coming from behind to beat Israel's Julia Glushko 7-5, 7-5
in the 12th and final qualifying match of the day.
“I want to work my way back up in the rankings. I don't have that many years of playing left in me.”
That didn't seem to be the case when Craybas whipped Arina Rodionova 6-4, 6-4 of Russia Monday morning before her victory over Glushko Monday afternoon.
Craybas was one of four qualifiers who were forced to play two matches Monday after four matches were postponed Sunday due to rain.
Besides her obvious stamina, Craybas also revealed a flair for the dramatic in her win over Glushko, coming back from being down 5-1 in the first set and 5-2 in the second.
“I was making unforced errors early on. But I became more comfortable as the match went on and I started hitting over balls. I had to fight for every point,” Craybas said.