Saturday, 2 August 2008

Spotlight On ... Alisa Kleybanova

Alisa Kleybanova has been making steady progress up the rankings this year and is currently sitting at number. The Russian is currently ranked at a career high ranking of 34 in the world, having ended her 2007 season outside of the top 150.

In January, she qualified for the Australian Open to reach her first Grand Slam main draw. Although she lost to 6th seeded compatriot Anna Chakvetadze, it was the start of a successful season. In Antwerp, she reached her first quarter-final on the WTA tour, having beaten 6th seed Agnes Szavay and Kateryna Bondarenko en route. The win over Szavay was her first top 20 scalp. This result pushed her into the top 100 for the first time in her career. In March, she reached the third round of WTA Miami as a qualifier, beating 12th seed Nicole Vaidisova to notch her second top 20 scalp in as many months. In May, she reached the quarter-finals of WTA Fes, and was a finalist in the doubles there alongside fellow Russian Etakerina Makarova. She also reached the second round of WTA Berlin (again, as a qualifier) and Roland Garros. This moved her into the top 50 for the first time.

In Eastbourne, she reached the quarter-finals as a qualifier and backed that up with a fourth round showing at Wimbledon (her best Grand Slam result to date). She defeated 10th seed Daniela Hantuchova en route for her third top 20 scalp). She entered the top 40 shortly afterwards.

Her hard court season never really got going, with first round losses in WTA Los Angeles and WTA New Haven, and second round losses in WTA Stanford, WTA Montreal and the US Open. Stepping down to the ITF circuit, Alisa won titles in Podolsk (Russia) and Minsk (Belarus) but suffered early defeats in Bratislava (Slovakia) and Krakow (Poland).

No comments:

Post a Comment