March 9, 2004
Berkeley - Cal senior Raquel Kops-Jones was rewarded for her stellar play Tuesday, becoming the newly crowned No. 1 player in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Kops-Jones, who has been ranked No. 2 since the first poll of the year was unveiled Jan.13, moved to the top this week, after defeating three ranked opponents over the last 10 days, including then-No. 7 Daria Panova of Oregon and current No. 34 Amber Lui of Stanford.
The native of Fresno, Calif., is 18-2 on the season, with five of those victories coming against athletes currently ranked in the ITA's Top 12. Her 18 wins in just 20 matches places her ahead of the pace she set in 2003, when she finished 44-15, good for a No. 4 national ranking.
Kops-Jones became the first African-American woman to win a major ITA singles title in the fall by defeating current No. 12 Erin Burdette of Stanford in the finals of the ITA All-American tournament Oct. 12. The senior also teamed with Christina Fusano last spring to capture the NCAA Doubles title.