Dec. 21, 2012
BERKELEY - Former California women's tennis stars Raquel Kops-Jones (2001-04) and Bojana Bobusic (2006-09) each produced some strong results on the pro circuit in 2012. Here's a rundown of their seasons:
Kops-Jones and Spears started the season fast, reaching the finals in two early season tournaments at Brisbane, Australia, and Doha. They had unfortunate results in the two big early season tournaments, not making it out of the first round at the Australian Open of Indian Wells. But after a rough stretch of tournament from March through May, the pair turned the tides with a great showing at Wimbledon, falling in the quarterfinals to eventual champions Serena and Venus Williams.
From there Kops-Jones and Spears made a tear through the WTA Doubles, winning tournaments in Carlsbad, Seoul, Tokyo and Osaka, without failing to make it to the Round of 16 once. This hot streak found them in a heated battle with superstars Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova for the final doubles spot at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships. It all came down to the final tournament, the Kremlin Cup, in which the team who advanced the farthest in the draw would receive the final bid; and in dramatic fashion it was Kops-Jones and Spears facing off against Kirilenko and Petrova in the semifinals for the final bid.
Kirilenko and Petrova lead early on, racing out to a 4-1 lead in the first set; however, Kops-Jones and Spears fought back, making it close, but ultimately losing the first set, 7-5. In the second set, it was the Americans jumping out to an early lead, 3-1; but they could not close it out, losing the second set, 6-4. It was a heartbreaking loss for Kops-Jones and Spears after coming so close to winning the final bid for the WTA Championships and falling just short.
Overall, it was a record-setting year for both players, reaching numerous finals and their four from California to South Korea to Japan along the way. Kops-Jones reached a career-high doubles ranking of 13 this year.
Back on the ITF Circuit, Bobusic continued her success, reaching the semifinals at Burnie, Australia, and reaching five quarterfinals - Evansville, Ind. and Lexington, Ky., and, in Australia, Rockhampton, Traralgon and Bendigo. Thanks to her sustained success this year, Bobusic's singles ranking reached a career high of 222 back on Sept. 17, and her doubles ranking reached a career high of 214 on July 9.