Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Spotlight On ... Olivia Rogowska

Olivia Rogowska almost upset top seed Dinara Safina in the first round of the US Open yesterday and showed flashes of her potential. The Australian teenager recently turned 18 in the summer, and is arguably one of their big young hopes for the future (along with the likes of Jessica Moore and Bernard Tomic). She is currently ranked at a career-high # 167.

She won an ITF title in Sorrento (Australia) last season and has spent a good chunk of this season playing on the ITF circuit. She was given a wildcard for the main draw of the Australian Open, where she lost to 31st seed Alona Bondarenko in three sets in the first round. She was more successful as a wildcard at Roland Garros, where she reached the second round (l. to Katerina Bondarenko in three sets after beating Maria Kirilenko). Elsewhere on the WTA circuit, she failed to qualify for Wimbledon (l. to Regina Kulikova but beat 19th seed Yvonne Meusberger in the second qualifying round) and Stanford (l. to Lilia Osterloh).

Her results on the ITF circuit weren't particularly impressive at the start of the season, with second rounds in Burnie (Australia) (l. to 5th seed Erika Sema) and Sydney (Australia) (l. to 5th seed Junri Namagata), and a quarter-final in Mildura (Australia) (l. to 6th seeded compatriot Monique Adamczak). Moving onto the clay, she reached a final in Bundaberg (Australia) (l. to 2nd seeded compatriot Anastasia Rodionova after beating top seeded compatriot Jessica Moore and 5th seeded compatriot Emelyn Starr), and a semi-final in Ipswitch (Australia) (l. to Rodionova again in a slightly more competitive encounter). Back on the ITF circuit but switching to the US hard courts, she reached the second round in $75k Vancouver (l. to Rebecca Marino) and lost in the first round in $100k Bronx (l. to Masa Zec Peskiric). Bronx was her last tournament prior to taking on Safina at the US Open, so it seems that the Aussie likes a big stage.

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