Petra Melounova is the University of Hawaii’s best tennis player and she has made history at UH – becoming the first player to attend the NCAA Tournament three times.
Petra has accomplished the feat in her first three years at UH. She’s just a junior. She earned her third straight automatic berth into the national singles tournament and also recently wrapped up a hat trick of Big West Player of the Year awards.
Melounova is from the Czech Republic and had a 13-2 duel match record this year. Because of an injury, she has served underhand, this season, and still found success.
As a freshman at the NCAA’s she pulled off an upset in the first round before falling in the second. Last year she was defeated in round number one. So she hopes the third time is the charm.
“I know what to expect,” said Melounova. I know it’s going to be a lot of pressure. But I think I’m getting more comfortable. Realizing more and more what I want to do better than I did the previous years. I’m definitely going there with the idea in my mind that I want to win. Coming into this semester I really wanted to just take one day at a time. One day at a time in practices and see how it works out in matches. Especially with my kind of disadvantage serving underhand I would not even hope to do as well as I did. But I guess I put the work in and the results came and I tried to compete as best as what’s in my abilities.”
“When I first saw her I knew that she’s capable of doing a lot of special things,” said University of Hawaii women’s tennis coach Jun Hernandez. “She’s a very gifted, talented player. She can do a lot of things on the court that a lot of coaches would be really jealous to have that kind of player. She’s beating players number one from Stanford, number one from UC Berkeley. To be able to do those things day in and day out as far as the pressure and the limelight too, playing number one, that’s remarkable.”
The NCAA tennis singles tournament is in Orlando, Florida. It goes Monday-Saturday next week. The matchups for round one will be announced on Sunday.