I have heard these names a few times before but do not know anything about them. They seem to be doing very well at the Open but I have not been able to see them play. Can anyone tell me about their backgrounds and results etc???????
Claudine is only 20, she did very well in junior ITF events, reaching a world junior ranking of #10, then she turned pro in 2000 and has been mainly playing challenger events and slowly rising up through the 200s and 100s of the rankings these past couple of years. She won two $25k events last year and has started to play in the qualifiers of several WTA tournaments this year. Her best results this year have been qualifying for and reaching the second round of Indian Wells and Key Biscayne in March, both Tier I events. This is her first time in a Grand Slam main draw (she has always lost in qualifying in the past). Hopefully she will continue to improve and fulfill the potential she has already shown in juniors.
It's nice to see that her success here has already got people taking an interest and asking "who is this girl?" :yeah:
As for Maria Kirilenko, she's the most talented of these three players. She won the U.S. Open Juniors last year and I believe was ranked year end # 3 in the junior rankings. She's a very small girl but hits a hard, solid ball. She reached the quarters at Hyderabad this year beating Widjaja and recently reached the finals of a rather large challenger event in the Bronx. So, she's on her way up and is one to look out for.