Friday, February 20, 2004
Vaidisova: Junior Spotlight of the Week
Birthdate: April 23, 1989
Birthplace: Nurnberg, Germany
Residence: Prague, Czech Republic
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 139 lbs.
Plays: Right-handed; two-handed backhand
It might be worth keeping an eye on Nicole Vaidisova. Currently ranked fifth on the ITF World Junior Rankings, the 14-year-old phenom from the Czech Republic has taken the junior tennis world by storm and is now beginning to make a name for herself at the professional level, as well.
Playing in only the second pro event of her career last week at the $75,000 Dow Corning Tennis Classic in Midland, Mich., Vaidisova advanced all the way to the final, where she lost to 29-year-old veteran and No. 2 seed Jill Craybas, 6-2, 6-4. The 6' 0" teenager knocked off two seeded players en route to the final, including top seed Martina Sucha of Slovakia, whom she crushed, 6-0, 6-2, in the quarterfinals, and No. 6 Gisela Dulko of Argentina, whom she beat, 6-4, 6-2, in the semis. She also was given the tournament?s Most Promising Newcomer Award during the week.
On the junior circuit, Vaidisova has started 2004 off strong, reaching the singles and doubles finals at last month?s Australian Open Junior Championships and winning the doubles title and advancing to the singles quarterfinals at the Uncle Toby's Australian Hardcourt Championships.
In 2003, she became the youngest girls' 18 Orange Bowl singles champion since Anna Kournikova won the title in 1995 at the age of 14 years, 6 months. She also captured the doubles title and reached the singles quarterfinals at the Eddie Herr International, finished runner-up in singles at the Kentucky International Junior Tennis Derby, and reached the semifinals of the BMW Junior Open, the LTA International Junior Tennis Championships - Roehampton, and the 39th Astrid Bowl Charleroi, Belgian International Junior Championships.