Latent heat: Yanina Wickmayer

After Kim Clijsters retirement, Belgian fans are looking for a young player that could take the relay when Justine Henin decides to quit. And they have found. Her name is Yanina Wickmayer. 17 yo Wickmayer was just a promising junior until July 2007. Then she got her first victory for the Belgian Fed Cup team defeating Zi Yan and got her first victory on the ITF Tour. But the best was still to come and between October and November Yanina reached ITF finals 4 weeks in a row, winning three titles and scoring and incredible 19-1 victory record. She climbed from #399 in July to #175 at year-end.

So there were high expectatives about her performance in 2008. And, although the beggining wasn't too good, as she failed to qualify for the Australian Open, it hasn't taken too long to confirm the expectatives and it was again defending Belgium in Fed Cup. She scored two big wins in Ukraine defeating local idols Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko, WTA #22 and #43 respectively, in straight sets. This week she received a WC in home tournament at Antwerp and she didn't dissappointed her Belgian fans and got her first victory in a WTA tournament main draw by defeating Chinese Shuai Peng 6/0 6/4. Top Ten Daniela Hantuchova send Yanina back to Earth on the 2nd round.

Belgian media has already has crowned her as the "Belgian Sharapova" and they resemble not only in their tall and slim figure, but also their game style and attitude is similar. Many people predicts she is a potential Top 10, but we can say she already is a WTA hottie.

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