For some time, 16 yo Kaja (born Oct 4, 2000) from Prague was a bit on the shadow of Lucie Kaňková, but Lucie recently has gone MIA (she hasn't played any tournament since last November, no idea what's going on?) while Kaja has being doing well so far this year and should break into the Top 50 very soon!
She's had a pretty amazing run to the final of G1 Yeltsin Cup in Kazan this week: she was the 5th seed there, had a bye in R1, and she beat Ksenia Domnina 3 & 4 in R2, 9th seed Taisya Pachkaleva 2 & 1 in R3, 2nd seed Sofya Lansere (same exact age as hers, Top 40) 2 & 3 in QF and 14 yo 6th seed Alina Charaeva 7-6(7) 6-3 in SF, and then she had to retire at 3-6 2-4 against soon-to-turn-17 leftie Russian 7th seed Anastasia Kharitonova in the final.
Before Yeltsin Cup, she played 2 tournaments this year: G2 Slovak Junior Indoor, where she reached the semis (she was the 7th seed there, beat Andreea Velcea 3 & 1 in R1, talented 2002 born local WC Nina Stankovska 3 & 3 in R2, and 15 yo Anna Laguza (who thrashed 3rd seeds Nazarkina in R2) 5-7 6-3 6-1 in QF, before falling already to Anastasia Kharitonova 5-7 1-6 in SF
; and at G1 RPM Juniors in Prague, where she reached the semis as well (she was the 8th seed there, had a bye in R1, and beat Aleksandra Kuznetsova 7-6(3) 6-0 in R2, 15 yo qualifier Iva Zelic (who thrashed 9th seed Deminova in R2) 2 & 3 in R2, and she dismantled top seed Varvara Gracheva (same age, #26, CHR 19) 2 & 0 in QF, before she got routined by 5th seed and eventual champion Kamilla Rakhimova (15 yo, #51) 3 & 3 in SF.
Her last U18 title was a G4 she won in Abu Dhabi back in Jan 2015 so it must feel good to be so close to wins one of these far more prestigious G18s now... She'd probably beat almost all the girls she lost to last year atm. I wonder why she had to retire in the Kazan final, as she looked fine on the trophy pics, so hopefully she just was feeling sick and didn't any injury.
She's currently ranked #82 (very close to her CHR of 79), will reach a new CHR next week for sure!
Keep going Kaja3!