CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Julia Elbaba is one of the greatest players in the history of the UVA women’s tennis program.
She’s the all-time leader in singles wins, with 133, and was a four-time All-American.
Elbaba turned pro after graduating from Virginia in 2016, but she’s been sidelined by a UCL ligament tear in her right elbow.
“So luckily I haven’t needed Tommy John surgery," says Elbaba. "That would have been a much longer healing. Right now I’ve been out for about a year, and now I’m starting to train a little bit.”
Elbaba was back in Charlottesville recently to rehab the injury, and the time away from the courts has allowed her to branch into other interests.
She did color commentary for a few matches on the Pro Challenger Tour, which gave her a chance to work on her all important ‘Tennis Announcer Whisper.’
Elbaba says, “Yeah, so that’s something I have to work on, keeping a low voice. I was doing some commentary on UVA players, so a part of me wanted to cheer, but actually you have to act like you don’t care who wins. You’re just giving your professional insight, so I had to really keep that poker face, and stay professional.”
Elbaba majored in “Media Studies” while at UVA, and did a lot of writing, but she’s caught the television bug.
“Really, I do enjoy the on-air work,” says Elbaba. “Especially after games, just interviewing coaches or players, I really enjoy hearing what they have to say about what I just watched.”
Elbaba says she’d like to move into media after her playing days are done, but she’s not ready to call it quits yet, and the Long Island-native is hoping the visit to Cville is the spark she needs to get back on the court.
“All my best tennis has come from being in Charlottesville," says Elbaba, "so I’m just trying to bring that back right now.”