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View Full Version : Player of the Week: Karolina Sprem


Seles_Beckham
May 11th, 2004, 01:23 AM
from WTAtour:

BERLIN - 19-year-old Croatian Karolina Sprem, one of the most touted young players on the WTA Tour, lived up to her promise this past week by reaching the semifinals at a Tier I event for the first time in her career, nearly outplaying Venus Williams, who was riding a 14-match winning streak, for a place in the final.

Sprem's successful week in Germany also landed her this week's WTATour.com Player of the Week honors.


Beginning the week with a routine 64 62 win over German wild card Anna-Lena Groenefeld, Sprem then survived a tough second set challenge from 42nd-ranked American Meghann Shaughnessy, winning 62 76, for a round of 16 match-up with top-seeded Kim Clijsters of Belgium. Citing a left-wrist injury, Clijsters withdrew from the tournament, landing Sprem a spot in the quarterfinals against Australian Open semifinalist Fabiola Zuluaga.

Although she had lost their only previous meeting, Sprem confidently dismantled her 23rd-ranked Columbian opponent 63 63, moving into the semifinals and getting an opportunity to play against arguably the hottest player on the tour at the moment, third-seeded American Venus Williams.

Sprem came onto the court poised and ready to play her best tennis, and it showed, as Williams witnessed, along with the rest of the centre court crowd, a stunning array of winners and controlled aggression from the Croatian. Sprem won the first four games of the match and held on to take the first set 62. Although Williams regrouped, cut down on her errors and took advantage of a lapse in focus from her younger opponent to take the second set 63, Sprem started the deciding set right where she left off in the first set, breaking the Williams serve and racing out to a 3-0 lead.

In a closely contested final set, Williams managed to play her way back and take the match 64, fighting off an ankle injury as well as a brave and fearless opponent. Though Sprem had ten more unforced errors than Williams, she had twice as many winners.

"I think she just came out there swinging," said Williams. "She started to hit winners, she was hitting and doing well... I guess it evened out in the end."

Describing herself as a disciplined person, Sprem's focus and persistence wavered as she became more and more tired after her exciting run and being pushed to the limits by Williams.

"At 3-0 I felt my legs start to get tired," she said. "It was a great experience for me because Venus is definitely one of the best players out there."

Though it is her first semifinal of a Tier I event, it is not the first time that Sprem has made it deep into a Tier I draw. Just over a month ago, she fought her way through to the quarterfinals of the NASDAQ-100 in Miami, with a win over Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova along the way before being stopped in straight sets by Eleni Daniilidou of Greece.

Beginning the year ranked 59th in the world, her solid performances so far this season propelled her to begin the German Open ranked 28th. Her strong performance in Berlin will move Sprem up to 25th on Monday's WTA Tour Rankings.

http://www.wtatour.com/global/photos_rx/sprem1_3203_rx.jpg

Eurotennisfan
May 11th, 2004, 01:26 AM
Great for her!

faboozadoo15
May 11th, 2004, 01:29 AM
awesome for klina!!!

BK4ever
May 11th, 2004, 01:31 AM
Go K-Lina :bounce: :bounce:

I hope this week of publicity will help her get a clothing contract.

croat123
May 11th, 2004, 01:47 AM
:yeah: :woohoo: that's our girl!

Topher950
May 11th, 2004, 03:20 AM
EXCELLENT!!! GO K-lina!!!

Sandstorm
May 11th, 2004, 06:06 AM
K-Lina:kiss:

LucasArg
May 11th, 2004, 06:34 AM
The player of the week? If she would ve beaten Clijsters ok? but ....

Knizzle
May 11th, 2004, 06:37 AM
The player of the week? If she would ve beaten Clijsters ok? but ....
Yeah, you would think Momo would get it for winning a Tier 1.

TeeRexx
May 11th, 2004, 06:47 AM
Let me see then, and to the player, who defeated Sprem, while injured no less, what award would they get?

LucasArg
May 11th, 2004, 06:49 AM
Yeah, you would think Momo would get it for winning a Tier 1.
Well yes!, I mean Momo win the tier I without playing the final, KLina reached the semis witouth playing the top seeded in 3rd round.

Momo or Venus deserve it more than K Lina, in my opinion.

tennnisfannn
May 11th, 2004, 09:16 AM
Venus is the standard, they probably figure Sprem giving Venus a tough match was better than Amelie going undefeated. Should Sharapova be awarded for her super effort against Jen or Poala against vee.
Personally I always though that the player of the week should be given for super effort like in Sprem's case, but now that it has happened, then I question if Amelie should feel slighted.
Anyway good run K-Lina.

ghosts
May 11th, 2004, 09:23 AM
K-Lina :kiss:

SilviaFan
May 11th, 2004, 09:31 AM
K-Lina is great !!!! :yeah:

Nikola
May 11th, 2004, 09:34 AM
bravo karolina :D

flyingmachine
May 11th, 2004, 09:57 AM
:banana:

faste5683
May 11th, 2004, 11:37 AM
Let me see then, and to the player, who defeated Sprem, while injured no less, what award would they get?

They get zip, apparently.

:wavey:

Jakeev
May 11th, 2004, 02:21 PM
Let me see then, and to the player, who defeated Sprem, while injured no less, what award would they get?
Awwww typical tee rex baby upset? Give me a break. Is it so hard for you to have just come in here and said, "Good job K-lina for giving my girl nightmares to the end. Congrats on the award?"

Quit the friggen sour grapes riot act would ya, it has played out as much as a friggen desert full of overgrown Tumbleweeds.

fammmmedspin
May 11th, 2004, 03:13 PM
Looks like the award that changes its criteria according to the week. They usually give it to who ever wins the biggest tournament which makes sense but is pointlessly obvious. Now they have given it to the most impressive performance of the week which Sprem richly deserves even if she lost the last match of her run - but most impressive is a very arbitary choice. It looks like the player of the week is the one who produces the best story for the WTA. Sprem was an excellent story last week - just not sure that in the short term Venus winning through to the final or Momo actually winning might not be as significant if not more so? Momo seems to get ignored by a US deominated WTA? Sprem certainly opened up the most improved player competition though so getting her performance on the list of achievements of 2004 is a well deserved step in her career.

TeeRexx
May 11th, 2004, 03:24 PM
Awwww typical tee rex baby upset? Give me a break. Is it so hard for you to have just come in here and said, "Good job K-lina for giving my girl nightmares to the end. Congrats on the award?"

Quit the friggen sour grapes riot act would ya, it has played out as much as a friggen desert full of overgrown Tumbleweeds.
What's your friggen problem? Can't friggen anyone voice their friggen opinion, but friggen you? I friggen thought that I lived in a friggen democracy?

And what's so friggen wrong with friggen tumbleweeds and friggen sour grapes any friggen way? :p :lol:

bandabou
May 11th, 2004, 03:29 PM
Congrats to Karolina.....guess pushing Venus to three is a bigger achievement than actually winning the tournament.

Jakeev
May 11th, 2004, 03:49 PM
What's your friggen problem? Can't friggen anyone voice their friggen opinion, but friggen you? I friggen thought that I lived in a friggen democracy?

And what's so friggen wrong with friggen tumbleweeds and friggen sour grapes any friggen way? :p :lol:

(sour grapes are awful blecch and try driving in the desert with tumbleweeds flying at ya on a windy day)

Not saying not to voice your opinion dum dum, I'm saying stop fucking pissing and moaning everytime you think Venus is being slighted over trivial crap like not being named FRIGGEN player-of-the-week.

It just gets old with you after awhile. (ok I was cranky too :kiss: )

faste5683
May 11th, 2004, 09:32 PM
What's your friggen problem? Can't friggen anyone voice their friggen opinion, but friggen you? I friggen thought that I lived in a friggen democracy?


You live in a republic. A nation ruled by law, not by the masses.

:wavey:

croat123
May 11th, 2004, 09:36 PM
You live in a republic. A nation ruled by law, not by the masses.

:wavey:
so true...

anyways, k-lina deserved it because she had the most unexpected run of the week and was the player that played far better than she was expected.

faste5683
May 11th, 2004, 09:43 PM
so true...

anyways, k-lina deserved it because she had the most unexpected run of the week and was the player that played far better than she was expected.

I can't wait to see her play. Can anybody describe her service game? Does she have a big kicker on the second? Slice? How much pace does she normally hit it with?

:wavey:

croat123
May 11th, 2004, 09:46 PM
go to karolina-sprem.com

scroll down and there should be a clip from her match vs. venus :)

Tennisfan-Mtl
May 11th, 2004, 09:52 PM
Karolina :hearts:

Spunky83
May 11th, 2004, 11:42 PM
Sprem really has the guts to be a top player in the near future. To be honest I havenīt followed her career so far. I was in Berlin watching the semi between Venus and her, expecting an easy win for Venus, but soon after the first points I was really surprised by her shots, her returns were amazingly fast, her serve was nearly perfect and Venus was standing far behind the baseline all the time due to all the pressure she got.

The crowd was going for her, in fact we even cheered for her when she was hitting serves during Venusī medical time-out;) Sprem was really amazing. The best Iīve seen over the past days in Berlin. Good luck to her in Rome!

Spunky83
May 11th, 2004, 11:45 PM
I can't wait to see her play. Can anybody describe her service game? Does she have a big kicker on the second? Slice? How much pace does she normally hit it with?

:wavey:

She has a great serve, mostly with a lots of power, very precise, hard to get. Even Venus wasnīt able to return those. Interesting thing is that her second serveīs amazing as the first one. Her second looks liker her first one, very risky, but effective.

bandabou
May 12th, 2004, 12:02 AM
Sprem really has the guts to be a top player in the near future. To be honest I havenīt followed her career so far. I was in Berlin watching the semi between Venus and her, expecting an easy win for Venus, but soon after the first points I was really surprised by her shots, her returns were amazingly fast, her serve was nearly perfect and Venus was standing far behind the baseline all the time due to all the pressure she got.

The crowd was going for her, in fact we even cheered for her when she was hitting serves during Venusī medical time-out;) Sprem was really amazing. The best Iīve seen over the past days in Berlin. Good luck to her in Rome!


Yeah....and then I guess you were soo impressed you even forgot to cheer for Venus. Venus was barely getting any applause whatsoever. In the end it didnīt matter though...just a note.

faste5683
May 12th, 2004, 02:15 AM
Yeah....and then I guess you were soo impressed you even forgot to cheer for Venus. Venus was barely getting any applause whatsoever. In the end it didnīt matter though...just a note.

God forbid that someone didn't cheer for Venus...

:wavey:

croat123
May 12th, 2004, 02:22 AM
Yeah....and then I guess you were soo impressed you even forgot to cheer for Venus. Venus was barely getting any applause whatsoever. In the end it didnīt matter though...just a note.
because venus is a fighter and that's what fighters do...

no reason not to give any lime-light to k-lina who was able to outplay venus for a set and a half

Joseosu19
May 12th, 2004, 03:17 AM
Isn't it a compliment to Venus that Karolina was chosen player of the week? Think about it---they are saying because she pushed Venus, that's a huge acomplishment.

WhatTheDeuce
May 12th, 2004, 03:33 AM
Of course K-Lina should get it over Venus and Amelie.

Yes, Amelie won, but she was a heavy favorite to begin with, and she didn't even have to play the final.

And yes, Venus beat Sprem, but she was expected to, and the fact that Sprem played as well as she did even though she lost warrants her this week's honor. She got to her first of many Tier 1 semifinals and made a huge splash. I'd have been very disappointed had it been anyone else.

Knizzle
May 12th, 2004, 03:36 AM
Of course K-Lina should get it over Venus and Amelie.

Yes, Amelie won, but she was a heavy favorite to begin with, and she didn't even have to play the final.

And yes, Venus beat Sprem, but she was expected to, and the fact that Sprem played as well as she did even though she lost warrants her this week's honor. She got to her first of many Tier 1 semifinals and made a huge splash. I'd have been very disappointed had it been anyone else.
You say Momo didn't have to play the final, but Sprem didn't have to play her QF.

WhatTheDeuce
May 12th, 2004, 03:40 AM
You say Momo didn't have to play the final, but Sprem didn't have to play her QF.
Even so... I'm just pointing out that K-Lina deserved the honor. And besides, this would be a boring honor to give to the player who wins the title every single week. Amelie may have won, and Venus may have beaten Sprem, but K-Lina was by far the most impressive player in Rome, IMO.

Knizzle
May 12th, 2004, 03:42 AM
Even so... I'm just pointing out that K-Lina deserved the honor. And besides, this would be a boring honor to give to the player who wins the title every single week. Amelie may have won, and Venus may have beaten Sprem, but K-Lina was by far the most impressive player in Rome, IMO.
I could see K-Lina maybe getting it over Venus, but Momo hadn't exactly been lighting it up this year. It was her first title and a big one.

WhatTheDeuce
May 12th, 2004, 03:46 AM
I could see K-Lina maybe getting it over Venus, but Momo hadn't exactly been lighting it up this year. It was her first title and a big one.
I can see your point, and I give major props to Amelie for winning the event, but I just firmly beleive it would have been a big mistake not to give it to K-Lina. She's been the most impressive new-comer this year, and she beat an Aussie open semifinalist, and though she got a walkover over Kim, she played unbelievable tennis against Venus and nearly doubled her winner total (and Venus also called her an unbeleivable player ;)). :eek:

And again, if the winner of the event gets the award every single week, you might as well call it the 'Tournament Winner of the Week'.

Yes, Amelie had an impressive week, but K-Lina impressed me a lot more. Clearly the expectations on her were a lot less than they were for Momo.

Anyway... Great week for both ladies.