The ball hit the net at center court and fell back on the side of Miami’s Estela Perez-Somarriba. Emma Navarro, a first year from the University of Virginia, let out one subdued fist pump as she went to greet her coach at mid-court. With that failed volley, Navarro clinched the 2021 NCAA singles tournament in straight sets, taking down Perez-Somarriba, 6-3, 6-1.
Emma’s title is now the third individual singles championship for Virginia, and she is the second Wahoo to win a singles title. Danielle Collins won the NCAA singles tournament in both 2014 and 2016.
Navarro put off going pro to come play at Virginia, and it’s a decision that the South Carolina native is happy with. “I think this is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” Navarro said after her semifinal win. “I’ve had the most fun playing tennis this season at UVA, and I couldn’t have asked for a better coaching staff or a better team to have by my side. I’m sure you guys watching could hear them out there cheering for me. So I think it’s been really awesome. We have a great program in place on the court and off the court with fitness. And our team culture is awesome. So yeah, I’ve had a lot of fun.”
The No. 3 seed in the tournament, Navarro upset the top-seeded Sara Daavettila to make the title match. Only two matches went to three sets, and Navarro defeated two players from each of the Pac-12, SEC, and ACC.
In doubles, Navarro and her teammate Rosie Johanson had their season come to an end in the national semifinals on Thursday.
Here’s her complete singles tournament run:
Round of 64: Emma Navarro def. Hailey Giavara (Cal) 7-6 (3), 6-2
Round of 32: Emma Navarro def. Ilze Hattingh (ASU) 1-6, 7-5, 6-0
Round of 16: Emma Navarro def. Meg Kowalski (UGA) 6-1, 6-1
Quarterfinals: Emma Navarro def. Paris Corley (LSU) 6-2, 6-1
Semifinals: Emma Navarro def. Sara Daavettila (UNC) 6-4, 2-6, 6-2
Finals: Emma Navarro def. Estela Perez-Somarriba (MIA), 6-3, 6-1