Sunday, 28 September 2008

Spotlight On ... Urszula Radwanska

A former junior world number one, Urzsula Radwanska is the younger of the two Radwanska sisters. The Polish teenager won the 2007 junior Wimbledon tournament, which has resulted in her receiving wildcards into WTA main draws and qualifying tournaments.

She is currently on the cusp of the top 100. She has only played in one Grand Slam main draw but that was a success. She lost in the second round of Wimbledon this year to eventual finalist Serena Williams, but the scoreline was fairly competitive, especially given the ranking difference between them.

This year has seen Urszula win an ITF tournament in Vancouver. Much of the 2008 season has been spent playing WTA qualifying tournaments and ITF events. Notable scalps this year include Julia Goerges (who was in the top 100 recently), Klara Zakopalova and Elena Vesnina. In October, she reached the quarter-finals of WTA Tashkent, beating 7th seed Akgul Amanmuradova in the first round, before eventually losing out to 4th seed Sabine Lisicki. Back on the ITF circuit, she reached the semi-finals inKrakow (Poland), knocking out 8th seed (and top 100 player) Elena Vesnina in the second round.

Last year, she reached the quarter-finals of WTA Beijing, and won a WTA doubles title in Istanbul with older sister Agnieszka. She also claimed doubles titles at ITF level in Germany, America and China.

Despite having a solid game, Urszula is often hampered by her ability to get down on herself during a match, which can affect her results.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Spotlight On ... Grigor Dimitrov

Grigor Dimitrov has been one of the standout players on the junior circuit this year after claiming Grand Slam singles titles at Wimbledon and the US Open. The Bulgarian teenager is now ranked number one in the juniors, and has already started making an impact on the Futures circuit.

He is currently ranked just inside the ATP top 500, around twenty places below the career high ranking of # 477 that he achieved in September 2008. So far this year, he has won three Futures singles titles in Spain, as well as one Futures doubles title (also in Spain, but at a different tournament) and reached the semi-finals of a Challenger doubles tournament, and the semi-finals and final of two other Spanish Futures doubles tournament.

He was given a singles wildcard at ATP s’Hertogenbosch, and was unlucky enough to draw Russian top 40 player Igor Andreev in the first round. Andreev was a comfortable 6-1 6-3 winner on the day, but playing a match at ATP level was a huge step up from Dimitrov’s usual opponents on the Futures (and sometimes Challenger) circuit.