Hell, yes, she is smiling brightly on that picture. And hell, yes, she nailed it. By winning the Australian Open Junior Title, Xhakalinda Ngotsatsauki Saikikimbondwe made herself the newest starlet of the FWT Junior Tour. However, her life wasn't always as amusing as it is today.
Pauline Saikikimbondwe had barely turned fifteen when she was raped by a 16-years old schoolmate of hers. She became pregnant and, since it's always the girl's fault when being raped, was kicked out from her, yet poor family. The rapist died two months later in a car crash but not without passing on a disease he had been carrying in his blood all his life: the HI-virus. To double the pain, Pauline's baby was blind when being born. Her mother still cared for her. Xhakalinda was her only reason to be alive... and the miracle happened: at the age of three, Xhaka started to see.
This happy moment was not of a long endurance. On the day Xhakalinda turned six years old, her mother passed away after suffering from AIDS for more than two years. The only people attending the funeral where Xhakalinda, a priest and a Swiss family. Hans and Sybille Jossi-Studer were spending three years in the North of Namibia and accepted Xhakalinda in their house alongside the three children they had already been caring for.
In 2005, when Xhakalinda just turned eight, the civil war in Angola, right across the river re-started. The Swiss organization InterTeam called home all the people working in Namibia and Zambia. Since Sybille and Hans had not been through with adoption papers, they had to leave poor Xhakalinda with a catholic sister who promised to take care of her.
The Swiss couple kept fighting for Xhakalinda hoping to take her to Switzerland but Namibian adoption rules are hard. Xhakalinda spent many nights crying in solace and praying by herself in church for a sign to make her find new hope. She was in contact with the Swiss family regularly, sending letters every week. The family Jossi-Studer came to Bunya to visit Saikikimbondwe every year for two weeks.
In January 2011, the Jossi-Studers came to visit and took Xhakalinda to Rundu, the capital city of the Kavango Region. All six together, they attended the event of the year: a show tennis match between Nthamangela Mbangu-Zeric, the most famous Kavango girl in the world, and Brenda Gaga-Maduga, a fellow African tennis player.
After this showmatch, a few local teenagers were chosen to hit a few balls with one of the players. One of those teenagers was Xhakalinda Saikikimbondwe and, despite it being the first time she held a racket in her hand, Xhaka just hit the bullet. Nthamangela Mbangu-Zeric talked to the Swiss family presenting the idea of including Xhakalinda in the Nyoteupesi Tennis Academy by Ruflina Taliamanosoko. Mbangu-Zeric has been the most successful player coming from that academy. The family agreed to take her there. Everything was better than Xhakalinda's past.
Four months later, Xhakalinda took out the Australian wild-card Zaelly Ircha in the first round of the junior tournament in Milan and went on to win the title in her maiden tournament. Just two weeks after Milan, Xhakalinda won the Roland Garros Junior Title in Paris. On the 28th of January 2012, Xhakalinda Ngotsatsauki Saikikimbondwe defeated Pippa Mydelton in the Australian Open final, making her the only junior player in history to win all four Junior Grand Slam title on the FWT Tour. In addition, Saikikimbondwe was voted junior player of the year 2011.
Hans and Sybille Jossi-Studer got the civil right for adoption for Xhakalinda Ngotsatsauki Saikikimbondwe in early January 2012. Ever since, Xhakalinda, who kept her original surname, has been representing Switzerland. Alongside Stefanie Di Francesca-Beck, she took the Swiss Fed Cup team to WGII play-offs.
Xhakalinda has two godmothers: Ruflina Taliamanosoko and Brenda Gaga-Maduga. Nthamangela Mbangu-Zeric calls her "my little sister". Ruflina Taliamanosoko stated she was "the brightest star that has ever risen from Nyoteupesi" and that she feared the day that Saikikimbondwe turned pro.
Xhakalinda herself is rather shy and quiet. Whenever she can, she visits her family and she still trains in Nyoteupesi Starlight Academy on a regular basis alongside future hopefuls like Kerstin Van Evangelizaan, Klentjie Jantjes or Mpule Kwaleglobe.
On the 2nd of January 2012, Xhakalinda Saikikimbondwe played a showmatch in Rundu, Namibia, with Nthamangela Mbangu-Zeric, Brenda Gaga-Maduga and Mpule Kwaleglobe. That was her wish for her birthday: "I want to give some girl the chance that I was given. I will be so thankful for this chance forever."
Born on the 7th of June 1997, Fernanda already would never have to worry about money again. She is the youngest child and only daughter of Brazilian businesstycoon Guillermo de Melo and his Belgian wife Valerie d'Udekem d'Acoz (with direct ties to the Belgian royal family). Guillermo is the big boss of Embraer, and is one of the biggest shareholders of amongst others Petrobras and Ambev, apart from many other smaller international companies. Guillermo was all over the news in 2008 with a trial against him for taxevasion by the Brazilian tax authorities. The trial however was settles when Guillermo paid a settlement with an undisclosed (but generally assumed very low) amount. Reportedly there was much political pressure on the tax authorities to settle the case, and several high ranking officials from within the Tax authority quit shortly after the case.
Fernanda has two (much) older brothers who both are working their way up through their fathers holding to one day take over the business completely. Since Guillermo was still building his businessempire when the boys were little he wasn't much around for them. But when Fernanda was born, he decided to take things more slowly and not miss out on the youth and raising of his youngest child like he had missed from his two boys. This caused great animosity from the general public towards the De Melo family.
Fernanda had a careless youth, especially since she learned quickly how to get whatever she wanted from her daddy. One sad or angry look from Fernanda in a store was enough for daddy to pull out the credit card. The same thing happened when Fernanda discovered tennis. Three weeks after she had to have her own gravel tennis court at their Recife estate. Guillermo hesitated a little on this one since Fernanda was notorious of loosing interest in all her hobbies pretty quickly, but Fernanda got the backing from her mother (who played lower league tennis herself when she was younger) on this one and so Guillermo caved in once again.
Much to the surprise of Guillermo however, Fernanda didn't loose interest in tennis quickly. Au contraire even, she spend much more hours on the court then might have been expected as she had finally found something she truly enjoyed. For her next birthday she got her daddy to give her an indoor HC court and a second outdoor court, this time on grass.
A few months later, Fernanda decided to play a local tournament in Recife for the first time. Despite Fernanda playing very well and being uninjured, Fernanda retired from the tournament because of constant booing and harrassments from the gathered crowd. Fernanda was devastated and decided that she would only play tennis purely for fun from now on.
She wouldn't play competitevely until she was spotted by a coach while playing tennis on vacation at het mother's family.
The coach, who was also working with upcoming Greek starlet Alexa Anastidis, convinced Fernanda to participate in a local tournament. Fernanda won the tournament with ease especially since nobody in the crowd knew her background or simply didn't care.
Fernanda agreed to remain in Belgium to work with her new coach. Father Guillermo was very anxious to let his youngest daughter leave permanently to Belgium, but he finally agreed that Fernanda could stay on condition that his family-in-law would supervise his daughter well-being. Little did he know that the trainings would take place in the northeastern province of Limburg while the d'Udekem d'Acoz family resides in the southwestern province of Hainaut. But every agreed it was best not to explicitly tell Guillermo that his daughter wouldn't be staying to live with the family-in-law.
Fernandas coach (through his connections from working with Alexa) managed to get her a place in the Wimbledon draws shortly after and even had her team up with FWT junior Tour superstar Xhakakalinda Saikimbondwe. The tournament went unexpectatly well and Fernanda won her maiden tournament in doubles right away.
From that moment on the rather shy Fernanda has been part of the FWT Junior Tour full time and has grasped some single titles, but especially many doubles titles among which her second Grand Slam title with the Australian Open doubles. Some Junior tour insiders say that the still mentally fragile Fernanda still often is insecure on the court and that she therefor performs better when she has a player aside her who can encourage her on the more difficult moments, because nobody disagrees that technically and physically she's one of the biggest talents out there.
Early season 2012, Fernanda is doing very well in doubles (despite being abandoned by her intentioned doubles partner Ljungljung) but she anticipates playing with a fixed partner (Lithuanian Davae Bothavska) as soon as their schedules match up. Rumor on the tour has, that Fernanda is still in doubt on playing for her native country Brazil (with which she has love-hate relationship) or for ehr mother's country Belgium. Fernanda missing out on the first round of the Fed Cup in February sure did get the rumour mill going, but only the future will tell.
It was 0:07 on 1st January 1996, one of these cold winter nights in the deepest Swedish winter, when the girl of Emma and Olle Frost saw the light of the day. They named her Miranda which means the Wonderful in Latin. The mother was a famous Swedish figure skater before a stress fracture ended her career at the young age of 23 and the father is still active as a lawyer.
The young Miranda started playing tennis at the age of 7 but it was only in 2008 at the age of 12, when her father took her to the Wimbledon final between Cornetsson and Whitten, that she dreamed of becoming a professional tennis player. She joined a local tennis school in Stockholm and her promising talent was quickly discovered.
Despite only being 16 years old Miranda Frost is quickly turning into a glamour star. The teenager who is interested in fashion and design has been described as the best dressed junior player by the medias. The green eyed girl with the curly blonde hair has been entitled "Fairy Miranda" by Svenska Sportsblad in one of there December editions. Recently she made a photoshooting which was entitled "A winter fairytale" and shot in studios in Malmö.
"It was great fun doing that photo shooting and it was also a good distraction from the every day tennis business. I am aware of how hard the model business can be and that's why I will just stay a part time model with a photoshoot from time to time. I am very interested in fashion and design too and it's one of my dreams to study it on a University."
Miranda Frost is following her high school courses in correspondance and is a very ambitious student.
"I know that it is very important to have a good education. My mother is a former figure skater and she chose to break up with school at the age of 16. When her career ended because of a stress fracture she didn't have a graduation. I don't want to be in the same situation one day."
Miranda Frost has developped into one the most promising juniors behind Xhaka Saikikimbondwe and Zaelly Ircha. She is currently ranked number 3 and has reached her 10th singles final last week in Monastir. However her mental toughness in these finals is far from good as she has only won 3 of them. She scored her biggest success by winning the Junior Championships last December.
"I definitely had the chances to win more titles, that's true. I am very consistent in making finals but then don't have the needed luck on my side. My coach still has to work on my stamina in these crucial matches. The Junior Championships were a big step forward for me and it helped me getting new sponsors."
The Swedish junior is also known for critizing the tough schedule: "The road map is really insane. You are supposed to play week in week out and often the big junior events are placed rather badly. I am injury prone and don't want to risk a major injury. That's why I need a break from time to time."
Miranda Frost's biggest weapon is her first serve which also gave senior players some trouble as recently to Cornelia Du Preez at the Australian Open where she didn't face any break points in her two tiebreak loss. At the doubles competition she and Xhaka caused the upset of the strong Fellivitch/Mesane and were 2 tiny points away from making the doubles quarterfinals.
"That was some amazing showdown from both of us. It's really unfortunate that we couldn't score the second win. I really hope that the offer from Xhaka of becoming a permanent doubles team on the juniors tour still stands."
In Doha Miranda Frost is using one of her six senior exempts to breath again a bit of the senior air. She seems to take these senior events really seriously and it does look like she wants to start on the senior tour one day.
"I don't need to hide the fact that I got some serious offers to play as a senior tour in one or two years. However for that to happen Siri needs to retire from the tour and only two weeks ago at the Fed Cup she revealed to me that she won't retire until she has won a singles Grand Slam and completed the doubles Grand Slam with partner Harper. I am respecting her decision but of course I can't await the day when I finally can compete on the senior tour."
In the meantime Miranda Frost is trying to win her first junior Grand Slam and work on her all around game. Her backhand is still a bit too error prone and she looks insecure at the net. She plans on playing doubles regularly from now on as her singles game will profit from it too. The season 2012 has started promising as she has reached 3 finals already.
The winter is Miranda's favourite season and she loves Christmas: "I am a typical Nordic girl, you know, who loves Christmas and snow. I don't like scorching heat at all as it gives me headaches quickly. When playing in hotter regions I also have to protect my skin from the sun."
Full Name : Nikita Sylvia Nantusiova, known as Nikita Nantusiova.
Nickname(s) : NiNa, Nikki.
Age & D.O.B : 5 December 1995 (age 16).
Origin : Moscow, Russia.
Country : Belarus.
Height : 1.83m (6'0).
Plays : Right-handed. 2-H BH.
Nikita Nantusiova is a junior tennis player that was born in Moscow, Russia on December 5th, 1995. When she was about to turn 4, Nikita and her family moved from Moscow to Belarus, where they established themselves in Orsha, Belarus (population of about 130,000), close to the Russian border. She has been told that they moved because of the risks of electronical failures in cities caused by the Y2K bug.
Nantusiova decided to start tennis at 14, by playing in small clubs of her hometown. She made clay surface her speciality, as her father and coach, Aleksei Nantusioff, built a clay court behind their house to counter the lack of facilities. She then decided to take on matches, but had to wait until she was 16 to be able to join the FWTT Junior Tour. She was eligible to start the 2012 season in January, but decided to wait to push through her studies, and make a winter-spring session. She has now finished her 4-month session, and can now begin her career, in May 2012.
She has received much comparison to Victoria Azarenka, fellow countrywoman and top player, because of their origin and link to Belarus, but also because they both stand at 6'. Her father said of her that they "shared the same overall playing style, and hopefully, the same promising young and bright career."
"I'm really looking forward to play my very first match on the Tour," Nantusiova commented. "It is a bit later than planned, but it's better not to rush things, and education is really important. Now that I finished my school year, I thought of doing as Vika did when she had my age, and leave for US to train. But I finally chose to stay close of my family, my parents, Danyka and Aleksei, and my younger brother Vitaly. I just don't want feel like I need to rush my career, and think for long-term. I'm not even a Junior player yet! I got a lot of time before me, but of course I want to make an impact soon too. All I'm focusing on now is my first tournament, to get an indicator about where I'm starting, in order to know where I want to go."
Apr 28th, 2012, 12:24 PM
Welcome Nikki :)
Nov 11th, 2012, 02:35 PM
So she starts off at the age of 16 only :eek:
She will only be allowed to play juniors for two years :sad: :hug:
Feb 19th, 2013, 01:56 PM
I have come to the conclusion to create a different player with a bitchier personality. Her name will be Mira Hellström and she will be born on 7th July 1998. Will write an article about her today.
Public appearance is Katerina Siniakova
Feb 19th, 2013, 02:44 PM
People called Mira do tend to be bitches indeed...
Feb 19th, 2013, 04:23 PM
Getting to know... Mira Hellström
The one who will succeed Miranda Frost in 2014
Mira Hellström - the dirt specialist from Gotland
In 2014 FWTT junior tour will learn a new name - Mira Hellström. She will throw a birthday party on 7th July. Her father is a famous archaeologist but left the family early so that Mira only has little memory of him. She grew up by her mother who is a sport psychologist. In an interview with the Swedish press Mira explains the reasons why she wants to debut on FWTT tour.
"You know as a teenager you want to have parties, go out and have fun but this isn't possible when you live on a random Swedish island. My mother wasn't happy of my choice to become a tennis player but when she saw that I was really serious about it she helped me find a good sports school where I can study and train. 3 years ago I finally could leave that shithole which was the happiest day of my life."
Mira Hellström is coming from Sweden's legendary island Gotland which has 1155 miles square and barely 57000 inhabitants. However she isn't interested in it's history at all and even describes her home town the picturesque city Visby as boring.
"I much prefer the noise of the big cities than looking sentimentally at some ancient stones but that's just how I am."
Mira Hellström is feeling most comfortable on clay and prefers slower surfaces. Her best asset is her forehand while her second serve still needs improvement. She loves Roland Garros because Paris is the place where she can do the best shopping.
"I am a naughty girl who likes digging in the dirt and that's probably the reason why clay is my favourite surface. Can't stand grass though as it is for cows and Wimbledon is just something for old snobs or girls like Miranda Frost."
Despite being currently 14 years old she is already full of ambitions:
"I want to become number 1 and win many Grand Slams. I know that I have the talent and game to achieve that. I have followed the tour for 2 years now and already discussed some strategies with my coach to beat these girls. I am getting all excited about 2014 already!"
Extroverted Mira Hellström who is screaming Kmaaan on court will probably start under Swedish flag but has hopes to play for another nationality as her mother currently has a new lover from France.
"I hope to be a Frenchie soon. There are so many cool people in France like Elise Mésane for instance. You know real people who say what they think. These are people I admire. Unfortunately Swedes are so reserved it's boring as hell. I also don't want to be compared to Miranda Frost too, a part time model who looks like 30 and behaves like that."
Mira Hellström will start causing some noise in January 2014 on the juniors tour.