Learn more about Gabbi's journey
from Romanian prodigy to NCAA star and beyond
Gabriela Talaba (Gabbi) was born on August 23, 1995 in Galati, Romania. She started playing tennis at age 7-8 and her passion for the sport has continued to grow ever since. Gabbi grew up playing tennis and studying in Galati and with the help and mentorship of her coach she was able to start participating in national and international tournaments where she quickly started to climb in the rankings.
Gabbi has always dreamed of becoming one of the best tennis players in the world, but due to limited economic resources and funding at the start of her journey, that dream seemed very far fetched. However, in January 2015, She was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to play at Texas Tech University on a full scholarship. Under the mentorship of Todd Petty, Ric Mortera, and all of the staff at Texas Tech, Gabbi’s skills improved immensely and she rose to become one of the top NCAA women’s tennis players and is a current nominee for the Big XII Conference Female Athlete of the Year for the 2017-18 season.
In addition to playing the highest level of tennis in her career, Gabriela’s time at Texas Tech helped her to grow and develop as a person. Through the support of her coaches, teammates, and friends, she learned to appreicate all of the hard work that she had to put in to get to where she was and just how much more would be needed as she begins her journey to transition from a student athlete to a ranked professional tennis player.
- ITA Scholar-Athlete 2017-18 Season
- Nominee: Big XII Female Athlete of the Year 2017-18 Season
- 2X ITA All-American
- 1 NCAA Singles Sweet 16
- 2X NCAA Singles Championships Qualifier
- 5X All-Big 12
- 3X Academic All-Big 12
- 2018 ITA Texas Region Senior Player of the Year
- 2017 Big 12 Player of the Year
- 2015 Big 12 Freshman of the Year