15 yo Anna (born June 5, 2001) from Kyiv was the best Ukrainian U14 girl, and one of the top U14 girls in Europe at the beginning of last year (she was a bagel and a break up against top seed & eventual champion Anastasia Potapova in QF of last year's Les Petits As), but she had to deal with injuries in the second part of last year and it derailed her fast progression...
Eventually, after countless disheartening close 3-set losses (almost all after winning the first set and losing like 5-7 or 6-7 in the 3rd
) this year, she'd been her breathrough with a couple of deep runs in Israel these last weeks!
Too weeks ago at the G2 in Raanana, she had a typical 7-5 4-6 2-6 loss to qualifier Gerda Zykute in R1; but the week after at the G2 in Haifa, she reached the SFs very convincingly: she beat Anna-Lena Neuwirth 6-1 4-6 6-3 in R1, 3rd seed Taisya Pachkaleva (#86) 6-7(4)6-2 6-4 in R2, 13th seed Loudmilla Bencheikh (#178) 6-2 6-7(4) 6-1 in R3, and 8th seed Kamilla Rakhimova (#88) 7-5 6-4 in QF (3 very good wins over fellow 2001 former top U14 European girls
), before losing a close fight to 14 yo Alina Charaeva (who was in peak form and eventually won the title) in SF, 7-5 3-6 5-7
; and this week at the G3 in Kiryat Shmona, she'd had a solid run to the title: she beat 7th seed Marta Oliveira (#209) 1 & 1 in R1, Manon Léonard 6-3 2-6 6-1 in R2, 3rd seed Valeriya Deminova (Top 150) 6-4 4-6 6-3 in QF, 8th seed Ekaterina Vishnevskaya (#195) 4-6 6-2 7-5 in SF, and Oana Smaranda Corneanu 3 & 4 in the final!
Really happy for her, it was high time she started winning some of those close matches, ffs!
This is her 2nd singles final this year, she reached the final of a G4 in Prague in July (lost 6-7(3) 4-6 to 2nd seed Tereza Prochazkova in the final). And she has 2 more SF appearances - at the G2 in Haifa last week, and at a G4 in Odense in June -, but apart these 4 deep runs where the only times she actually made it past the R2/3 of a tournament this year.
She's also played her first pro tournaments a few months ago: at 10K Kharkiv in August, she received a MDWC and beat 8th seed Marianna Zakarlyuk (WTA 597, CHR 416) 6-2 ret. in R1, lost 3-6 5-7 to eventual runner-up Anastasiya Fedoryshyn in R2; last September, she lost 3-6 6-7(5) to 7th seed Yana Morderger in R1 of 10K Bucha where she also took a MDWC, and then she qualified for the MD of 25K Bucha, beating Veronika Stotyka 6-4 2-0 ret. in Q1, 9th seed Ksenia Ulukna (WTA 880, but CHR 163) 4 & 3 in Q2, and 8th seed Kateryna Sliusar (WTA 771) 3-6 6-3 7-5 in Q3, fell to Alexandra Perper (WTA 428) in R1, 7-6(10) 1-6 2-6.
Last year, she won 2 singles titles: Cat. 2 G14 Milovice (she beat Marta Kostyuk 3 & 3 i the final), and Cat. 1 G14 Marnes-la-Coquette (she beat Mylčne Halemai 0-6 7-6(4) 7-6(5) in the final
Keep going Anka!