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Jill Craybas

tennis player
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Bio From the 2000 US Open to the 2011 US Open, Craybas competed in 45 consecutive Grand Slam main draws; her best result coming in the 2005 Wimbledon Championships where she reached the fourth round, which included wins over Marion Bartoli and Serena Williams. By the time she retired in 2013, she was one of the oldest players on the WTA Tour at 39 years of age, as well as the longest serving, having turned pro in 1996.

Craybas received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where she played for coach Andy Brandi's Florida Gators women's tennis team in National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and Southeastern Conference (SEC) competition from 1993 to 1996. As a senior in 1996, she won the NCAA women's singles tennis championship. She was the 1995–96 recipient of the Honda Sports Award for Tennis, recognizing her as the outstanding collegiate female tennis player of the year.

Craybas graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications in 1996, and has said in interviews that she hopes to enter film or television production when her playing career ends. She was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 2008.

Craybas credits her achievements to her long-time coach, Raja Chaudhuri. Chaudhuri has worked with her from the start of her tennis career.

Craybas turned professional in 1996. She has won one WTA title at the Tokyo Japan Open. She beat Silvija Talaja in the final after trailing 4–0 in the third set. In the 2006 season, Craybas reached one quarterfinal at Hobart as the eighth seed, losing to unseeded Italian Mara Santangelo in three sets. She has also reached the semifinals of a Tier III event in Memphis, a fourth-round showing at the Tier I event in Key Biscayne, Florida and a further quarterfinal appearance at Stanford in late July.

Craybas is best known for her 2005 defeat of Serena Williams in the 3rd round of Wimbledon. She beat Williams 6–3, 7–6, then lost to Serena's older sister, and eventual champion, Venus Williams 6–0, 6–2.

On March 25, 2006, Craybas once again served up an early round defeat of a top seeded player. This time it was second-seeded Kim Clijsters in the second round of the NASDAQ-100 Open tournament. After having led in both the first and third sets, Clijsters eventually lost by a score of 7–5, 3–6, 7–5. It was Clijsters earliest ever exit from the NASDAQ-100, and Clijsters was the defending champion.

By that time Craybas, then a veteran on the tour, was thought to be playing the best tennis of her life. However, after having a successful start to 2006, she fell short of what was expected of her from her dramatically impressive start, losing to lower-ranked opponents in first rounds or having difficult first round draws against the top players in the world.

She began 2007 by reaching the semifinals of a Tier IV event in Auckland, New Zealand. She beat all of her opponents in straight sets before bowing out to Russian Vera Zvonareva 6–3, 7–5. She next took part in the Tier II event in Sydney, where she lost in the last round of qualifying to Russian Vera Dushevina 6–1, 3–6, 6–1. At the first Grand Slam tournament of the year at the Australian Open, she suffered a first-round loss to the tenth-seeded Nicole Vaidišová 6–4, 5–7, 6–1. Craybas bounced back into winning form at her next tournament in the U.S., at an ITF tournament in Midland, Michigan. As the top-seeded, she beat all of her opponents in straight sets until a hard-fought 2–6, 6–3, 6–3 victory over second-seeded and fellow American Laura Granville. Because of her lower ranking, she suffered in tough draws, not going further than the second round of any tournament since.

At the start of 2008, Craybas entered the Pattaya Women's Open in Pattaya, Thailand, where, as the seventh-seed, she played some of the best tennis of her career and beat Olga Savchuk 6–1, 6–1 in the first round, Renata Voráčová 2–6, 6–1, 6–3 in the second round and Andreja Klepač 6–4, 6–4 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals she beat Akgul Amanmuradova 6–4, 6–0 and lost to the top seed Agnieszka Radwańska in a tie-break in the third set, 6–2, 1–6, 7–6. Craybas's ranking improved from World No. 77 to World No. 60 because of these results.

Craybas won the 2008 Istanbul Cup in doubles.

Craybas represented the United States at the 2008 Summer Olympics in the tennis singles event. She became the last qualifier for the event, replacing Tamira Paszek of Austria. The opening came available when fellow American Ashley Harkleroad elected to skip the games after she became pregnant. At the US Open 2013, Craybas announced her retirement from tennis. AS of 2017, she is working with the WTA Tour as a commentator.
Tournament AO RG W US Win-Loss
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