Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Spotlight On... Coco Vandeweghe

Coco Vandeweghe was a relatively unknown entity to many tennis fans until the 2008 US Open. The American teenager was given a wildcard into the women's singles draw and was unlucky enough to draw world number two Jelena Jankovic (who went on to lose to Serena Williams in the final) in the first round. She gave a solid account of herself in a 6-3 6-1 defeat, and turned her attention to the junior tournament. She had good success there, winning the title with scalps such as Tamaryn Hendler and Elena Chernyakova.

Most of her time up until that US Open was spent on the ITF circuit, but she did have a taste of the elite level. She made her WTA tour level debut back in 2006 as a wildcard entry in WTA San Diego (l. to qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko). She was given another wildcard in San Diego the following year (l. to Elena Bovina), and was given qualifying wildcards into WTA Indian Wells and the US Open. This year, she has had qualifying wildcards in Indian Wells, and main draw wildcards in WTA Miami (l. to fellow wildcard Sabine Lisicki) and WTA Los Angeles (l. to Marta Domachowska).

Her best results of the 2008 season included a semi-final in San Luis Potosi (Mexico) and a quarter-final in $50K Las Vegas (USA), in which she stunned top seed Aravane Rezai (who was ranked 53 in the world) in the first round before losing to 6th seed Meng Yuan in the last eight.

In 2009, Coco has gone under the radar for the most part. She has played predominantly on the ITF circuit, but ventured onto the WTA Tour to play Indian Wells (l. to Severine Bremond in the first qualifying round) and Miami (l. to Nuria Llagostera Vives in the first round). Her best results on the ITF circuit have been second rounds in Jackson (USA) (l. to 4th seed Maria Fernandez Alvarez after d. top seed Agustina Lapore in qualifying), Dothan (USA) (l. to top seed and # 72 Patricia Mayr) and St Joseph (USA) (l. to compatriot Irina Falconi). Based on this, it was something of a surprise when she took advantage of a wildcard entry into Los Angeles to dispatch # 58 Tathiana Garbin in straigh sets in round one.

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