Saturday, 4 July 2009

Spotlight On ... Noppawan Lertcheewakarn

After coming up short against British teenage Laura Robson, Noppawan Lertcheewakarn successfully hoisted the Girls' Singles title at Wimbledon today after defeating French top seed Kristina Mladenovic in three sets in the final. The Thai teenager is ranked # 406 on the WTA rankings, with a career-high ranking of # 314 that was achieved in May 2008. Noppawan has been likened to Monica Seles in terms of her style of play.

In 2009 so far, she was mixed ITF tournaments with the odd WTA event and has made a few forays back onto the junior circuit for the Grand Slam events. In February, she was given a wildcard into WTA Pattaya City (l. to Shahar Peer in the first round). Back on the ITF circuit, she suffered early exits in Sydney (l. to Ryoko Fuda in the second round after beating the top seed in the first round) and North Shore City (l. to Zi-Jun Yang in the first round) before reaching a final in Hamilton (l. to Ayu Fani Damayanti). Following this, she once again suffered early exits in Wellington (l. to So-Jung Kim in the first round), Hvar (l. to Karolina Kosinska in the second round), Bol (l. to Conny Perrin in the second round) and Makarska (l. to 8th seed Iveta Gerlova in the second round). All but Wellington were played on clay. It is pretty fair to say that her confidence probably wasn't that high going into junior Wimbledon, especially as she had lost in the first qualifying round of the senior tournament (l. to Vesna Manasieva, who went on to qualify for the main draw).

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