Saturday, 21 June 2008

Spotlight On ... Marina Erakovic

Marina Erakovic has been steadily rising up the rankings so far this year, and broke into the world’s top 50 (#49) in July 2008. She has slipped beneath that slightly since then but is still a solid top 70 player.

Born in Croatia, but living in New Zealand, the 19-year-old has won two ITF singles events this year (in Surbiton and Mildura, Australia), and reached the final in another ($25K Berri, Australia). On the WTA tour, she reached the semi-finals in Auckland (beating Ashley Harkleroad and top seed Vera Zvonareva but losing to Aravane Rezai) and Memphis (l. to 4th seed Lindsay Davenport), the third round of Miami (beating 30th seed Michaella Krajicek, before losing to 6th seed Serena Williams) and the second round of Roland Garros (beating Tathiana Garbin, before losing to 3rd seed Jelena Jankovic).

That was followed by a semi-final appearance at the DFS Classic in Birmingham (beating 6th seed Sania Mirza and 5th seed Alona Bondarenko, but losing to 12th seed and eventual champion Kateryna Bondarenko) and a second round showing at the Ordina Open in Rosmalen as a qualifier (beating Aleksandra Wozniak, before losing to 8th seed Alona Bondarenko). She also won the doubles title at the Ordina Open, partnering Holland’s Michaella Krajicek. She made her Wimbledon singles debut in 2008, and faced Krajicek in her opening match. She reached the third round before losing to Tamarine Tanasugarn, who went on to be a surprise quarter-finalist.

After a successful first half to the 2008 season, Marina’s form dipped. She suffered early exits in WTA Portoroz (l. to Camille Pin), WTA Stockholm (l. to qualifier Maria Elena Camerin), the Beijing Olympics (l. to wildcard Ayumi Morita), WTA Forest Hills (l. to Jamea Jackson), the US Open (l. to Pauline Parmentier), WTA Seoul (l. to Samantha Stosur), WTA Japan Open (l. to wildcard Ayumi Morita) and WTA Luxembourg (l. to Sara Errani).

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