Sunday, 19 April 2009

Spotlight On ... Roberta Vinci

Technically speaking, Roberta Vinci isn't a rising star on the WTA Tour. Back in March 2006, the Italian was ranked at a career-high # 37 but injuries saw her slip out of the world's top 100. Since then, she hasn't been able to match her best performance at a major (a third round showing at the 2006 Australian Open and 2005 Wimbledon), but has clawed her way back to the outskirts of the top 50.

Roberta has a game that many people have described as old-school. By that, I am referring to the fact that she isn't a big hitter and likes to come forward to the net frequently. Serve-and-volley players are few and far between on the WTA Tour these days, but she is one of the few who still does.

Despite only really coming to the fore in 2005, she has suffered from her fair share of injuries. In 2006, she missed six weeks during the summer after injuring her wrist. On her return, she won one WTA doubles title (w/ Flavia Pennetta) and two ITF singles titles. In 2008, she withdrew from numerous WTA events with shoulder problems. The 2009 season has seen her withdrew Bogota with a left foot injury, although she has since returned to action.

Her best result so far this season has been a quarter-final in Malaga (d. 8th seed Tsvetana Pironkova, l. to top seed and eventual champion Jelena Jankovic) but she has reached second rounds in Brisbane, Acapulco and Monterrey. She won a WTA event in Barcelona in April, beating 2nd seed Flavia Pennetta in the second round and 6th seed Maria Kirilenko for the loss of just four games in the final. This was her second career WTA title.

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