Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: in Cloud Cuckoo Land
Fifteen-Year-Old Captures Vancouver Title
VANCOUVER, Canada - In just her third WTA Tour main draw event, 15-year-old Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic has captured her first WTA Tour singles title - accomplishing the rare feat on Sunday at the Odlum Brown Vancouver Women's Open.
Vaidisova, playing the Canadian event as a qualifier, conquered the Tier V event in Vancouver in impressive fashion and finished off her week with a 26 64 62 victory against No.4 seed Laura Granville in the championship match.
"I feel great," Vaidisova said. "It was my goal coming from qualies to try to win this tournament. It just really feels great because I did my best."
Vaidisova, who made her debut on the WTA Tour back in February where she reached the quarterfinals, had a breakout performance this week in Vancouver. This week, she survived three qualifying matches to reach the main draw and won her main draw opener against Abigail Spears.
From there, Vaidisova faced three seeded players to reach the final - winning in three sets against No.5 Marissa Irvin, in straight sets against No.2 Milagros Sequera and in three against No.3 Alina Jidkova.
At just 15, Vaidisova is the youngest player to win a title on Tour this year. She is also just the second qualifier to win a title this year, joining Iveta Benesova, who won Acapulco as a qualifier earlier this year.
And with a ranking of No.174, Vaidisova is also the lowest ranked player to win a singles title in 2004.
"My rank is going to jump a lot and I'll be able to get into higher events so I'm happy about that," Vaidisova said.
Since turning pro in October of last year, Vaidisova has accumulated a solid 24-5 record, which now includes a WTA Tour title, another Tour quarterfinal and two other ITF titles.
Competing in her first WTA Tour final on the day when the competition at the Olympic Games in Athens is taking off, Vaidisova has already set a goal for a few years from now - to play for the Czech Republic at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
"I don't know how our players did today, but I want to be on the 2008 team that goes to China, that's for sure," Vaidisova said.
Vaidisova was one of two 15-year-olds that had impressive play in Vancouver. Bulgaria's Sesil Karatantcheva, also a qualifier, made it through to the quarterfinals before falling to Pin.
The trip to the Canada final ended a miserable stretch of tennis for Granville. Before stepping foot in Vancouver, the American had dropped 11 of her last 12 matches including six straight. Her record had slumped to 9-16 and Granville's confidence on court was clearing lacking that which helped her earlier in the year to a semifinal at Memphis and fourth round at Indian Wells.
But this week, Granville appeared to be a completely different player. She surged past Samantha Reeves in the first round and Bethanie Mattek in the second. She overcame a one set deficit to defeat No.8 seed Lindsay Lee-Waters and held her ground in a three-set victory against Camille Pin.
A title in Vancouver would have been the biggest win for the Chicago native since she turned pro back in 2001. Prior to turning pro, Granville won back-to-back NCAA singles titles for Stanford University.