Here are some of the tennis players to watch out for in the near future
New names. Four tennis players born in 1997 or later reached the 1/8 finals of a major tournament in Indian Wells. We are talking about 20-year-old Naomi Osaka and Daria Kasatkina, 18-year-old Market Vondrousova and 16-year-old Amanda Anisimova. The most successful among them was Osaka, who reached the semifinals – for the first time in a competition of this level. It is also necessary to note Sophia Zhuk, who made her way to the third round and beat two girls in the top 40 along the way. If we take the list of the best tennis players under 19, then the first place in it is occupied by Catherine Bellis – in the general world ranking she is the 44th racket in the world and is already quite well known. Specifically at this tournament, she lost in the second round to the reigning champion Elena Vesnina, but in general, in terms of play, she rightfully takes the highest place among teenagers.
Then there are three girls, whom we have already mentioned – Vondrousova, Zhuk and Anisimova. And the fifth and sixth places were occupied by two Ukrainian women who did not play in Indian Wells – Martha Kostyuk and Dayana Yastremskaya. They, in fact, could not play in California due to their low rating. So far low. Kostyuk, who was not even in the top 500 before the Australian Open, is now a top 200 tennis player! Marta has played 20 matches since mid-January and won 17 of them – an incredible figure for a 15-year-old athlete. Martha received excellent points for reaching the third round in Melbourne, where she beat five tennis players, taking into account qualifications, as well as for the title and final in two consecutive ITF competitions. This week she again plays at the ITF tournament and has already reached the quarterfinals. This season Kostyuk played eight three-set matches and won all of them. The ability to win in difficult and stubborn matches, in which, perhaps, not everything works out and fails to show your best tennis, is one of the most important in modern sports, and it seems that Martha has developed this skill perfectly.
Kostyuk is now the seventh racket of Ukraine, and Dayana Yastremska is a little higher in the table of ranks. They talk less about her this season than about Kostyuk – she just hasn’t yet had such a breakthrough on the Helmet as Martha. Dayana also participated in the qualification of the Australian Open, but, unlike her compatriot, she lost in the second round. But she loudly declared herself last year, when, at the age of 16, she made it to the quarterfinals in Istanbul, where her main training base KOZA WOS ISTANBUL is located. Thus, she became the first girl born in 2000 and reached the WTA quarterfinals. Then Yastremskaya was only 420th in the ranking, and this week she repeated her personal best and climbed to 164th.
One of Dayana’s favorite tennis players is Justine Henin. Before the American series of tournaments, the Ukrainian held a series of trainings at the academy of this particular famous Belgian! Former Yastremskaya mentor Marco Girardini, whose cooperation began exactly a year ago and ended immediately after the Australian Open, believes that Dayana has great potential. “In March, when I started working with her, she was 420th in the world and finished the season in the Top 200, and believe me, there is still a lot of room for progress. I am very glad that I have a player like Dayana. She is a diamond that needs to be cut and, from a trainer’s point of view, this is the most beautiful thing that can be. Working with a Top 50 player, already mature, is completely different, but having a young one with such potential is really wonderful and very inspiring “, – said the specialist in an interview with the Italian edition of OkTennis during the Australian” Slam “.
If Kostyuk and Yastremskaya are still the future of world tennis, then Bellis, and especially Kasatkina and Osaka, are the present. But Daria and Naomi are still older, and about those who are under 20, I would like to talk in more detail. For example, about Catherine Bellis or as she is called on the CC Tour. She was born in California and showed herself very brightly during her junior career. The American finished the 2014 season in first place and was named ITF World Champion. She has already managed to win one title at the senior level, and in August 2017 she climbed to 35th position in the ranking, she lacked only one place to get into the seed at the US Open. This season Bellis made a quarterfinal at a major tournament in Qatar, where she lost only to Simone Halep.
Much more modest are the successes of Vondrousova, Zhuk and Anisimova. Amanda is generally only 16 years old and has played less than 10 WTA events so far. She achieved her best result this week in Indian Wells, where she first won her first victory over a top 25 player (Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova), and then her first victory over a top 10 tennis player (Petra Kvitova). Perhaps this tournament will be the starting point for Amanda. No wonder the Florida native was given a wild card for a major tournament in Miami that kicks off in a week – straight into the main draw.
Beetle was given a wild card in Indian Wells, and she thanked the organizers with two good wins. Moreover, Sophia won matches at the WTA level for the first time. Like Yastremskaya now, Zhuk trained at the Justine Henin academy from 12 to 14 years old, and after winning the junior Wimbledon (in 2015) she left for the USA, or rather, Florida, at the Nick Bollettieri Academy. In addition to tennis, she loves golf, track and field athletics and basketball, and among her favorite athletes she names Usain Bolt, Daria Klishina and Michael Jordan.
Market Vondrowshov has advanced a circle further than Zhuk and will debut in the top rankings in the new ranking. 50. She was, in principle, lucky with the grid in Indian Wells: three of the four opponents were not included in the first fifty dollars. True, the fourth of them was quite strong – Johanna Konta, and Marketa defeated her, but did not cope with Petra Martic. Her tennis path was greatly complicated by an elbow injury, which forced her to miss about six months.
The tennis player returned to the tour in 2017. And how she returned! She has won 20 consecutive ITF victories and won four tournaments. Then Vondrousova, who was born in the Karlovy Vary region, switched to the WTA and in her only fourth start at this level won her first title. In Biel, she won eight qualifying matches! Soon she got into the top 100, and now she can already get into the foundations of almost all competitions. We wish young tennis players to continue to progress and conquer new peaks.