Thursday, 18 June 2009

Spotlight On ... Klara Zakopalova

Now ranked # 100 in the world, Klara Zakopalova (formerly Klara Koukalova) was ranked # 27 back in March 2006. In her career, the Czech has won two WTA singles titles ('s-Hertogenbosch and Portoroz) and six ITF titles. Despite reaching her career-high ranking in 2005, the 2006 season saw her fail to finish in the top 100 for the first time in four years and she did not string two wins together for the whole of the 2006 season. She refound some form in 2007 with a semi-final showing in Prague and a quarter-final appearance in Bogota and the Tokyo Open, along with one ITF title. 2008 was another top 100 finish with a final in Vina del Mar and a semi-final in Estoril.

Klara's 2009 season got off a rocky start with first round exits in Auckland (l. to Edina Gallovits), Sydney (l. to Daniela Hantuchova as a qualifier), the Australian Open (l. to Samantha Stosur), Monterrey (l. to Vania King) , Indian Wells (l. to Kristina Barrois) and Miami (l. to Tathiana Garbin). She reached second rounds in Bogota (l. to Edina Gallovits again) and Acapulco (l. to 4th seed Iveta Benesova) but did not win back-to-back matches until April, when she reached the quarter-finals in Marbella (l. to 5th seed Carla Suarez Navarro after defeating top seeded Serena Williams). That was followed by early exits in Barcelona (l. to Magdalena Rybarikova) and Fes (l. to top seed and eventual champion Anabel Medina Garrigues) before securing a quarter-final spot in Warsaw (beat 3rd seed Jie Zheng for her sixth win over a top 20 player; l. to Daniela Hantuchova ). At Roland Garros, she pushed Serena Williams hard in their second round match before bowing out in three sets.

On the grass, Klara booked her place in the main draw of Wimbledon after notching up three wins in the qualifying tournament.

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