Thursday, 18 June 2009

Spotlight On ... Viktoriya Kutuzova

Back in 2005, Viktoriya Kutuzova was ranked # 76 in the world, but slipped outside of the world's top 100 in subsequent years. As a fourteen-year-old, she was given a wildcard into WTA Los Angeles in 2003 and went on to reach the third round (l. to 4th seed Ai Sugiyama). The 2004 season was less eventful as she failed to progress beyond the first round of any of her WTA tournaments and played predominantly on the ITF circuit. In 2005, she was given a wildcard into WTA Indian Wells and reached the fourth round (l. to # 1 Lindsay Davenport). Although she failed to get past round one after that and lost in qualifying on several occasions, she entered the top 100 for the first time in her career that season after winning two singles titles (Deauville and Poitiers) on the ITF circuit.

The 2006 season saw her establish herself more with second rounds or better at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open. She also won another singles title on the ITF circuit (defending her Deauville title from the previous season). 2007 was less successful as she only notched up one second round appearance and was largely active on the ITF circuit.

In 2008, she won another ITF singles title, but it wasn't until 2009 that things started to get back on track again. In April 2009, she reached the third round of WTA Charleston (d. 11th seed Alona Bondarenko; l. to Elena Vesnina), reached the semi-finals of WTA Strasbourg as a qualifier (d. 5th seed Tamarine Tanasugarn; l. to eventual champion, Aravane Rezai) and the second round of Roland Garros (l. to Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in three sets), and qualified for Wimbledon.

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