Bielik Turns Pro

Aug. 23, 2002

FLUSHING, N.Y. - Wake Forest women's tennis player, Bea Bielik, has elected to forgo her senior season and turn professional. The Valley Stream, N.Y. product is coming off a very successful junior campaign with the Demon Deacons, winning two of the three national events last season and being named the ITA National Player of the Year. As the NCAA National Champion, Bielik earned a wild card to play in the U.S. Open, which starts August 26 in Flushing, N.Y. Concerning prize money, contestants had to declare amateur or professional status by today.

"It was a difficult decision," said Bielik, "but I feel like I am ready to take the next step and take my game to the next level. I am motivated and dedicated to this decision. The experience and success at Wake Forest was very positive. I am taking lots of great memories with me. I am glad to have helped bring some titles and championships to Wake Forest and hopefully the success will continue at Wake Forest in the future."

On her way to the NCAA title this past May, Bielik set an NCAA Championship record for fewest games lost (21). In November she won the Omni Hotels National Indoor title (which is the second of three national events during the season). A three-time All-American, Bielik finished the 2001-2002 season ranked No. 1 in the Omni Hotels national singles rankings with a 35-2 singles record - giving her 100 career singles victories. The winner of the Honda Award, given annually to the top collegiate women's tennis player, Bielik was also the recipient of the Mary Garber Award, given annually to the ACC Female Athlete of the Year. She was named the ACC Women's Tennis Player of the Year and received the Marge Crisp Award, given annually to the Wake Forest Female Athlete of the Year.

"When I am out recruiting and I am talking to recruits about their futures, I always tell them that if they win the NCAA Championship then they've beaten everybody at the college level and they should go pro. Bea actually went out and did it," said Wake Forest head coach Brian Fleishman. "It's time to take the Bea Bielik show on the road. If she continues to work hard and treats tennis like a full time job then I definitely think that she can be successful at that level. We all wish she could come back, but she's accomplished all she could here. She can come back any time and get her degree."



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