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Nicolás89
Oct 24th, 2006, 01:56 PM
American teenager Vania King is a pro on and off the court
By Susan Seemiller
October 24, 2006

A week ago American Vania King won her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title at the Bangkok Open, defeating Thailand's Tamarine Tanasugarn. She also captured the doubles crown with her partner, Croatian Jelena Kostanic.

None of this was expected, at least not so soon. The 17-year-old Southern California native turned pro in July, bypassed Stanford and was hoping to improve her ranking enough to gain automatic entry into next year’s big tournaments. Instead, she became the second American this year to win a WTA Tour title, and also the first American since Serena Williams to win a WTA title at age 17. Her ranking rose from 80 to 54 overnight. She also became the first American player in four years to win a singles and doubles title in the same event.

The international press, as arranged by the WTA, caught up with King by telephone after her win. Back home in California, King admitted she is bemused this early success. “I wasn’t expecting anything this wonderful,” she said. “It is finally sinking in.”

Notwithstanding this success, she is reluctant to put pressure on herself, and when pressed by the press, she says she is hoping for the Top 20 within the next couple years.

At her age, King knows she is still growing. She is about the same height as World No. 2 Justine Henin-Hardenne, and takes comfort in that. “My game is based around my fitness and foot work,” she said. “I just need to continue to be aggressive and to focus on being more of an all-court player."

King doesn’t have a current idol, although she admires Pete Sampras and Roger Federer. She especially admires the Swiss for his all-court game. “I would like to emulate my game after his,” she says.

King is a bit overwhelmed to be considered a potential American tennis great. “For me to be even compared to other greats is a great honor, “ she said. She was particularly honored to represent the United States Fed Cup team earlier this year, and believes that experience helped her game improve. She added, “I think the Fed Cup is such a unique experience, with more pressure than if you play for yourself.”

King left public school in ninth grade, and has been home-schooled since then. The decision to leave high school was not easy, and it was due to her tennis travel schedule. She could not do both, and she recently had to decide between Stanford and the WTA Tour. She chose the WTA, but was emphatic, “Yes, I do plan to go to college.”

That's not all. She sings -- about an hour or so a day. She sung our National Anthem at the US Open last summer.

The only tentativeness King displayed during the interview was when she asked, “Can I hang up?”

Yes, she can, but can we?

the cat
Oct 24th, 2006, 01:58 PM
Good luck to Vania in her career. She will be under the microscope to be Ameerica's next top female tennis player. I hope she can handle the pressure.

Nicolás89
Oct 24th, 2006, 01:59 PM
and she can sing what a tallented girl :lol:

Ballbasher
Oct 24th, 2006, 02:16 PM
Vania must handle much pressure

-sugi-
Oct 24th, 2006, 02:21 PM
Vania :worship:

RND
Oct 24th, 2006, 02:31 PM
:D Good luck in the future.

Jakeev
Oct 24th, 2006, 05:05 PM
I think she can handle the pressure. She has a rather close family and I am sure they will be there to keep her grounded.

Slumpsova
Oct 24th, 2006, 05:59 PM
yes ! finally she chose WTA :wooohoo:

drake3781
Oct 24th, 2006, 07:00 PM
I didn't realize Vania had won Bangkok.... congrats!!

Where was this article published? The title doesn't make sense to me. I kept reading for the description of the "pro off the court" part and never found it.