Golovin the next big thing?
BY JOSEPH GOODMAN AND MICHELLE KAUFMAN
Seventeen-year-old Tatiana Golovin
is the latest European women's tennis player to win over fans with her looks and win respect with her game.
She made her splash last year with a quick rise up the world rankings and short-shorts that would make a hand towel blush. Her game is only improving. Saturday, she advanced to the third round of the NASDAQ-100 Open with a 6-0, 6-7 (8-10), 6-3 victory against 20-year-old American Angela Haynes
As of last week, she is the girl next door. Golovin just purchased a residence on Brickell Key.
''It's my home when I'm in the U.S.,'' Golovin said. ``I love Florida. My friends are here and I know the places to go.''
Golovin is very familiar with Florida. A French national who was born in Russia, Golovin moved to Bradenton as a 7-year-old and trained at the Nick Bollettieri Academy until she was 14.
Golovin is a 5-9 blonde who speaks three languages and loves the spotlight. Like Anna Kournikova
and Maria Sharapova
before her, Golovin is a marketing firm's dream. She plans to debut her new line of sportswear at Roland Garros in May. ''It's a secret,'' she said.
''She has the blonde hair, and the attitude and the potential,'' said Alain Deflassieux
, a sports writer for the French sports daily newspaper L'Equipe. ``Mix it all together, and she is someone young who could be a very big star.''
Golovin began her tennis career in 2002 but didn't turn heads until the 2004 season. She jumped from a ranking of 358 to 27 in one year with fourth-round efforts at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. She advanced to the round of 16 in the 2004 NASDAQ-100 Open.
''She's proving already that she is a very good player,'' Amelie Mauresmo
said. ``She's hitting the ball hard and she's going to improve a lot, but maybe she needs to be a little more focused.''
hasn't won a Grand Slam since his 2003 U.S. Open. He lost in the quarters at the U.S. Open and Australian Open last year, and the second round of the French Open. His only Grand Slam final in 2004 was Wimbledon, which he lost to Roger Federer
This year, he lost in the semis of the Australian Open, and injuries have forced him to retire from two tournaments. He retired from the semifinals at Memphis with an ankle sprain, and the second round of the NASDAQ-100 Open with a sprained wrist.
But Roddick's colleagues say he has nothing to worry about.
''Everybody has a little slump every so often,'' Taylor Dent
said. ``This may be Andy's, this may not be Andy's; I don't know. . . . It's nothing to even, you know, nod your head about.''
opponent today is 17-year-old Israeli Shahar Peer
, playing in her first WTA main draw. Williams was asked about the fact that both players grew up in dangerous places -- Williams in Compton, Calif., and Peer in a West Bank settlement.
Williams' response: ``You know what, I'm ignorant to the whole West Bank settlement of Israel. I'm American. Can you elaborate on that, please?''