Saturday, 23 May 2009

Spotlight On ... Arantxa Rus

Arantxa Rus has been making a few waves on the WTA tour since 2008. Her best result came in September 2008, when she qualified and reached the quarter-finals in WTA Ghangzhou (China) with wins over Yanina Wickmayer and 5th seed Gisela Dulko before losing out to Camille Pin. The event was only her second WTA event. She followed that up with a second round in WTA Tashkent (l. to top seed Shuai Peng).

Despite the slightly Spanish-sounding first name, Arantxa actually hails from the Netherlands. She gained the world number one ranking in the juniors after junior Wimbledon, and has broken into the world's top 200 in the seniors. The left-handed teenager has won two ITF singles title this year in Bari (Italy) and Opole (Poland), to go with the two that she won in her native Holland in 2007.

She has been awarded wildcards into the WTA tournament in s'Hertogenbosch (Holland) for the last two years, but has lost in round one on both occasions (to 8th seed Alona Bondarenko in 2007, and Mariya Koryttseva in 2008).

During the 2009 season, she has been trying to find success at a higher level and so far this has not paid off. She lost in qualifying for the Australian Open, Bogota and Acapulco. She was part of the Dutch Fed Cup team in Estonia, where she beat Mandy Minella (Luxembourg) but lost to Anne Keothavong (Great Britain) in her singles matches.

Things picked up a bit after this, and she made it through qualifying in Monterrey but exited in the first round (l. to Roberta Vinci). Following this, she made it into the main draw in Miami (l. to Magdalena Rybarikova), reached the second round of Marbella as a qualifier (l. to Kaia Kanepi). She qualified for the Roland Garros main draw in May, drawing French wildcard Olivia Sanchez in the opening round.

Arantxa started playing tennis when she was five years old. As a junior, her achievements have included winning the 2008 Australian Open in singles (d. Jessica Moore in the final), and reaching the final of the same event in doubles (w/ Lesley Kerkhove).

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