On fire: Iveta Benesova

Czech player Iveta Benesova has enjoyed a perfect month of April. Benesova, who reached her best ranking at #33 in 2005, suffered a big slump during late 2007 and early 2008 which took her out of the Top 130, but she has recovered in such a way.
She started April with an impressive win in the ITF tournament of Latina ($50,000, clay), where she just dropped 10 games in 5 matches. Then she went to Belgium and reached the final in the ITF of Torhout ($75,000, hard). Back on clay and on WTA Tour, she was again runner-up in the WTA of Estoril, defeating 1st seed and Top 30 Flavia Pennetta on her way. Finally, she came to the rescue of Czech Republic in the Fed Cup World Group Playoffs, that had a very complicated tie in Israel with 1-1 after the first day. And Iveta not only defeated Israel's no.1 and WTA Top 20 Shahar Peer, but also got the decissive doubles point which sealed the Czech's victory. 14 victories, 2 defeats, and back into Top 100 is a great balance for only 4 weeks.

And with the European clay season in progress we can expect more from her. This week she is one of the favourites to take the title in Prague. All her rivals should be worried, because right now Iveta is on fire.

Iveta is also one of the hottest players on Tour, watch her gallery here

Hot gossip: Myskina Has First Child

Source: Sony Ericsson WTA Tour

Russian tennis pioneer Anastasia Myskina, who has been out of action on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour for nearly a year now, became a first-time mother on Monday, April 28, 2008.
After missing most of last season with a left foot injury, Myskina announced she was pregnant, and on Monday afternoon in Moscow she gave birth to a son, Zhenya. She has not made any announcements on whether or not she will return to the Tour.


Player of the week: Nuria Llagostera

Spanish Nuria Llagostera was already awarded with our "Player of the week" award in February when, after two years unable to play regularly due to a wrist injury, she completed her full comeback to the Tour with a victory in Bogota.
Now she gets this recognision as the leader of the Spanish Fed Cup team that has qualified for the Fed Cup final after a surprising win over China in Beijing. Spanish team already had surprised everyone when they defeated Italy in the quarter-final, also as a visitor. Then Llagostera upsetted Top-25 Francesca Schiavone and Anabel Medina got two more victories to get the 0-3. This time Spanish team was missing Medina, so Llagostera took the leading role and scored two points with victories over Jie Zheng and Shuai Peng, to get the 0-3 which secured the victory.

Llagostera truly represents the fighting spirit and the compromise of this team that has reached the Fed Cup final despite having just one player in the Top 60 of WTA rankings.

WTA ranking as of 28-Apr-2008

No changes in WTA Top 10 as no tournaments were held due to Fed Cup. Agnes Szavay drops one place to #14 while Vera Zvonareva climbs to #13 in the only change in Top 30. Betthanie Mattek climbs from #144 to #114 after taking the title in Dothan (ITF $75,000).

CurPrvNameCountryRank pts.Tours.
1(1)Justine Henin


2(2)Ana IvanovicSRB415717
3(3)Maria SharapovaRUS398615
4(4)Svetlana Kuznetsova


5(5)Jelena JankovicSRB377526
6(6)Serena WilliamsUSA272612
7(7)Anna ChakvetadzeRUS266525
8(8)Venus WilliamsUSA258614
9(9)Elena DementievaRUS244022
10(10)Daniela HantuchovaSVK225725

Hot gossip: Tatiana Golovin and soccer star Samir Nasri in love

According to French magazine Gala, WTA star Tatiana Golovin and Olimpique Marseille midfielder Samir Nasri are living "a beautiful love story". 19 yo Golovin reached her highest ranking in February at #12, while 20 yo Nasri, who is often compared to Zinedine Zidane, was named Best Young Player of the French league on 2007 and has already been selected for French National team.

Credits to http://justsamir.free.fr


Hot gossip: Nadal and Wozniacki, just friends

The tabloid "Ekstra Bladet" published a few weeks ago that ATP #2 Rafael Nadal and Danish talent Caroline Wozniacki might be going out. But this rumour has no credibility and both players have already made statements saying that there is no relation between them. We believe the players rather than the tabloid.

Hot gossip: Cibulkova dating Monfils!

ATP star Gael Monfils attended last weekend Fed Cup playoff tie between Slovak Republic and Uzbekistan which took place in Bratislava. According to Slovakian press, Monfils was supporting girlfriend Dominika Cibulkova. This is not the first relation with a WTA player for Monfils, who was previously linked to French talent Alize Cornet.

Week #18 preview: Prague, Fes

Prague (CZE), Tier IV, $145,000
European clay season leading to Roland Garros continues with the Tier IV played in Prague. One of the best players in this season so far, Vera Zvonareva will be the top favourite for the title, in a tournament that will feature three other Top 30 players: Shahar Peer, Victoria Azarenka and Katarina Srebotnik. Italian Karin Knapp and Estoril runner-up Iveta Benesova, who is in impressive form lately, should be also taken into account.

Fes (MAR), Tier IV, $145,000
Anabel Medina and Gisela Dulko are the top favourites in one of the weakest tournaments on WTA Tour. Although it may be a good chance to watch the evolution of some promising young players such as Timea Bacsinszky, Sorana Cirstea, Ekaterina Makarova and Marina Erakovic. Also Sesil Karatantcheva and Jelena Dokic could write another chapter on their comeback stories.

Week #17: Russia and Spain, finalists of the Fed Cup

Russia and Spain advanced to the Fed Cup's final, which will take place in Spain on September 13th-14th. Powerful team of Russia gave no chance to a weak US team that missed their best players. Top players Anna Chakvetadze, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva solved the tie with 3 victories on the 3 first matches. The other tie was also decided in the first 3 matches, but in this case with some surprise as Spain defeated China in Beijing. WTA #132 Carla Suarez upsetted WTA #68 Shuai Peng in the opening match, while Spanish leader Nuria Llagostera secured the victory defeating Jie Zheng and Shuai Peng in the 2nd and 3rd matches.
Italy and France kept their place in World Group after defeating Ukraine and Japan respectively. On the other hand, Czech Republic and Argentina promoted to World Group after defeating Israel and Germany in two close ties.
On the other hand, Serbia and Switzerland promoted to World Group II while Belgium and Slovak Republic saved their place

Fed Cup, World Group semifinals
RUSSIA v U.S.A. 3-2
China v SPAIN 1-4

Fed Cup, World Group Play-offs
ITALY v Ukraine 3-2
Japan v FRANCE 1-4
ARGENTINA v Germany 3-2

Fed Cup, World Group II Play-offs
BELGIUM v Colombia 5-0
Austria v SWITZERLAND 2-3
SLOVAK REPUBLIC v Uzbekistan 5-0
Croatia v SERBIA 2-3


On fire: Serena Williams

Everyone around women's tennis knows that, when she's fit and focused, Serena Williams is almost unbeatable. And on this 2008 season it seems she is, because she has just lost one match in the whole season so far. This week she captured her third title of the season on Charleston, after winning Bangalore and Miami. She remains unbeaten since she was defeated by Jelena Jankovic in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, so she has won 15 consecutive matches. Furthermore, in the last month Serena has defeated 4 of the Top 5 players: Maria Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Jelena Jankovic (avenging of her Australian Open defeat) and Justine Henin, who was trashed by Williams 6/2 6/0. And she could increase her victory streak in the upcoming European clay season leading to Roland Garros, where she will be one of the main favorites for the title.

Serena is also one of the most popular players offcourt. She's interested in fashion and acting and is not strange to watch her dressed-up at parties and movie premieres. She was even featured in the 2003 edition of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue in a sexy bikini photoshoot.

She's one of the hottest players on tour and this season she's on fire
You can watch Serena's gallery here

Hot news: Clarisa Fernandez retires

Source: Sony Ericsson WTA Tour

Clarisa Fernandez had flashes of brilliance interspersed with struggles with injury, and in the end those injuries proved too much. Clarisa Fernández, perhaps best known for reaching the semifinals of Roland Garros in 2002 and reaching the Top 30 shortly afterwards, announced her retirement from the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour earlier this month after a lengthy battle with knee injuries.
... read all

Hot news: Ivanovic, Sharapova and Kournikova on the FHM sexiest list 2008

As every year, men's magazine FHM compilled the list of the 100 sexiest women in the world. American actress Megan Fox was named the "sexiest woman in the world" in the FHM poll, which saw nearly 10 million votes cast globally. WTA stars Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova were amongst the most voted and ranked at #23 and #30 respectively. Former tennis star Anna Kournikova is also on the list, ranked at #81.


Latent heat: Alize Cornet

1990-born French Alize Cornet gained some attention last season, when she climbed from #189 to #57 in the WTA ranking and won the Junior competition in Roland Garros.
On 2008 Alize had to confirm all the expectations. And she did as soon as she got into clay courts. In late February she reached her first WTA final ever in Acapulco. But her breakthrough has been in the american green clay season. In Amelia Island she reached the semis, defeating 9th seed Sybille Bammer and 13th seed Virginie Razzano on her way. And in the Tier I of Charleston she upsetted 16th seed Michaella Krajicek and 10th seed Agnes Szavay to reach the semis for the second week in a row, where she was defeated by Serena Williams.

What makes Alize different from the rest of upcoming young players is that her game is not based on power, but on talent. Her gamestyle is varied and smart so she's often compared to Martina Hingis. Also her look, sweet and childish, is different.
She's already ranked #33, but with the European clay season on view she's likely to break into the Top 30 soon. And as her game is the most suitable of the young players for clay courts, many French fans are thinking about having another French Champion at Roland Garros. But we will have to wait for that, maybe not too much...
You can watch her gallery here


Player of the week: Vera Zvonareva

Since she reached the Top Ten in 2004, continuous injuries have prevented Vera Zvonareva to play regularly and to stay in the top places of the WTA ranking, although she has collected remarkable performances when fit.
In this 2008 season, Vera looks at her best form and she has already achieved great results. Finalist in Hobart and Doha and semifinalist in Miami, she's one of the best players in this season so far. This week she has confirmed again her talent by reaching the final in the Tier I of Charleston. On her way to the final, Vera defeated 1st seed Jelena Jankovic, 4th seed Elena Dementieva and 6th seed Marion Bartoli. In the final she was a though opposition for nearly unbeatable Serena Williams, who needed to play her best and three sets to defeat her.

Now Vera is already at 14th place in the ranking but, as she was injured last year, she has no points to defend until the US Open, so if she can stay healthy she will keep on climbing and will be again in the Top Ten very soon.

WTA ranking as of 21-Apr-2008

Charleston's champion Serena Williams climbs from #9 to #6, while Maria Sharapova gains one spot and is already at #3. Charleston's runner-up Vera Zvonareva goes 3 up to #14 and Estoril's champion Maria Kirilenko moves from #32 to #27. Good climbs also for Tatiana Perebiynis (from #66 to #55), Anastasia Rodionova (from #88 to #75), Sorana Cirstea (from #86 to #73) and Stephanie Cohen-Aloro (from #107 to #83), although the greatest gainer of the week is Estoril's runner up Iveta Benesova which gets back into the Top 100 going from # 132 to #95.

CurPrvNameCountryRank pts.Tours.
1(1)Justine Henin


2(2)Ana IvanovicSRB415717
3(4)Maria SharapovaRUS398615
4(3)Svetlana Kuznetsova


5(5)Jelena JankovicSRB377526
6(9)Serena WilliamsUSA272612
7(6)Anna ChakvetadzeRUS266525
8(7)Venus WilliamsUSA258614
9(8)Elena DementievaRUS244022
10(10)Daniela HantuchovaSVK225725


Week #17 preview: Fed Cup, World Group semifinals

This week is devoted to women's team competition, also known as Fed Cup, featuring the World Group semifinals. Russia is looking for its 4th title in the last 5 years and its powerful team composed of Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anna Chakvetadze, Dinara Safina and Elena Vesnina is suppossed to find little opposition on the US team, missing the Williams sisters and Lindsay Davenport and with no Top 100 players. On the other semifinal, China may reach the final for the first time in a year highlighted by Beijing Olympic Games. Despite the absence of their best player (Na Li), Shuai Peng, Zi Yan and Jie Zheng are the favorites over a Spanish team missing Anabel Medina and Virginia Ruano and with Nuria Llagostera as only Top 100 player.
World Group play-offs will feature some exciting ties with top quality players. Also play-offs for World Group II are played, with an interesting tie between Croatia and Serbia.

Fed Cup, April 26-27, 2008
Semifinal World Group:
Russia v USA
China v Spain

World Group play-offs:
Italy v Ukraine
Japan v France
Argentina v Germany
Israel v Czech Republic

World Group II play-offs:
Belgium v Colombia
Austria v Switzerland
Slovak Republic v Uzbekistan
Croatia v Serbia

Week #16: Serena Williams gets her 3rd title of the season

Serena Williams captured in Charleston her 3rd title of the season (Bangalore and Miami were the previous ones) and extended her victory streak to 16 matches in a row since she was defeated by Jelena Jankovic in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. On her way to the final, Serena had to face Maria Sharapova, which was considered the anticipated final between the best players of the season so far. In the final Serena defeated Russian Vera Zvonareva, who is also in great form lately and upsetted 1st seed Jelena Jankovic, 4th seed Elena Dementieva and 6th seed Marion Bartoli, but wasn't able to overcome Williams in the final.
In Estoril Maria Kirilenko got her 3rd career WTA title and first one on clay, as she defeated Czech Iveta Benesova in the final. Benesova, who suffered a big slump last year which took her out of the Top 100, has been playing impressively in the last few weeks and made a great run to the final, defeating 1st seed Flavia Pennetta on her way. On the other hand Kirilenko had a good start of the season reaching the Last 16 in the Australian Open but was missing good results after that, so this title will boost her confidence.

Charleston (USA), Tier I, $1,340,000
Final: Serena Williams (USA) def Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 6/4 3/6 6/3

Estoril (POR), Tier IV, $145,000
Final: Maria Kirilenko (RUS) def Iveta Benesova (CZE) 6/4 6/2


Hot shot: Alona Bondarenko's sexy add for K-Swiss, keep it pure!

K-Swiss latest campaign is being widely commented, as it features Ukranian player Alona Bondarenko seductively sprawled out across a tennis court, while the viewer is asked to "Keep it pure".

You can watch Alona's gallery here.

Hot shot: Maria Kirilenko's glamorous photoshoot at Dubai

Photoshoot via Maria Kirilenko's official website

Player of the week: Dominika Cibulkova

As we already predicted a few weeks ago (see post), 18 yo from Slovakia Dominika Cibulkova is one of the most promising players on the WTA Tour. Once again, she has confirmed her potential with an outstanding performance in Amelia Island. Only the best player in the season so far, Maria Sharapova, was able to keep her away from the title.

On her way to the final, Dominika defeated Anastasia Rodionova, 14th seed Viktoria Azarenka, 2nd seed Anna Chakvetadze, 11th seed and former #1 Amelie Mauresmo and promising teen Alize Cornet. With this result she breaks into the Top 30 for the first time in her career, reaching a career-high ranking at #29. Top 20 will be her next step.

You can watch Dominika's gallery here.

WTA ranking as of 14-Apr-2008

Jelena Jankovic drops 2 spots and falls to #5, while Anna Chakvetadze and Venus Williams exchange #6 and #7 again. On the Top 20,
Agnes Szavay, Agnieszka Radwanska and Alona Bondarenko score career-high rankings at #13, #14 and #19 respectively. Also career high rankings for Amelia Island teen sensations, runner-up Dominika Cibulkova, who goes from #34 to #29, and semifinalist Alize Cornet, who climbs from #49 to #40. Greatest gainer is Czech teen Petra Kvitova who gains 25 spots to #98 after her victory in ITF Monzon and breaks the Top 100 for the first time, so does Japanese Ayumi Morita at #99.

CurPrvNameCountryRank pts.Tours.
1(1)Justine Henin


2(2)Ana IvanovicSRB415717
3(4)Svetlana Kuznetsova


4(5)Maria SharapovaRUS387614
5(3)Jelena JankovicSRB377025
6(7)Anna ChakvetadzeRUS266524
7(6)Venus WilliamsUSA258614
8(8)Elena DementievaRUS230521
9(9)Serena WilliamsUSA229611
10(10)Daniela HantuchovaSVK225725


Week #16 preview: Charleston & Estoril

Charleston (USA), Tier I, $1,340,000
The Tier I played on the green clay of Charleston will feature 5 Top 10 players. Defending champion Jelena Jankovic, Amelia Island champion Maria Sharapova and Miami champion Serena Williams will be the top contenders for the title. Elena Dementieva, Anna Chakvetadze, Dinara Safina, Vera Zvonareva and Agnieszka Radwanska are also candidates to reach the final rounds

Estoril (POR), Tier IV, $145,000
European red clay season heading to Roland Garros starts in Portugal with a mixed ATP & WTA event. Italian Flavia Pennetta will be the 1st seed and top favourite, as she has won 2 of the 3 red clay tournaments so far (Viña del Mar & Acapulco). Former Top 30 Lucie Safarova and Maria Kirilenko will try to get her best tennis back, while Portuguese teen sensation Michelle Larcher de Brito will play in front of her home crowd.

Week #15: 1st title on clay for Sharapova

Amelia Island's title was the 19th for Maria Sharapova, but it was special as it was the first one that Maria has won on clay. Sharapova had to overcome two long and though matches against Anabel Medina and Alona Bondarenko to reach the semis, but there she took benefit of Lindsay Davenport's withdrawal due to illness. Her opponent in the final was upcoming teen Dominika Cibulkova, who confirmed her brilliant season with wins over Amelie Mauresmo and Anna Chakvetadze, but was unable to upset Sharapova in the final. Also a surprising semifinalist was French teen Alize Cornet, who took advance of an easy draw. It was also remarkable the comeback of former Top 20 and now ranked #296 Karolina Sprem, who defeated Sugiyama and Hantuchova to get into the Last 16, where she was defeted by Davenport in three sets.

Amelia Island (USA), Tier II, $600,000
Final: Maria Sharapova (RUS) def Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 7/6 6/3


Player of the week: Serena Williams

Miami tournament is always very special for Serena Williams, as she usually produces some of her best tennis here. This year's victory means Serena's 5th title in Miami, following her victories in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007. Last year she defeated Justine Henin, who was dominating women's circuit at that time, in the final, with an incredible comeback from 6/0 down to take the match in the third set.

This year they were drawed to an exciting quarter-final. But there was no emotion at all, as Serena just passed over a weak Henin by 6/2 6/0. Serena was then considered the main favourite for the title, but there were still two though battles to win. In the semis, Serena really had to fight to come back from a set down and defeat world's #3 Svetlana Kuznetsova 3/6 7/5 6/3. And in the final Serena also needed a third set to overcome #4 Jelena Jankovic.
Once again, Serena has showed in Miami that if she's focused and healthy, she's almost unbeatable.

Sad week on WTA Tour: Daniela Klemenschits dies and some players suffer health problems

It was a sad day for the tennis world on Wednesday, as Daniela Klemenschits - who, along with twin sister Sandra Klemenschits, was diagnosed with a rare form of abdominal stomach cancer last January - passed away. Unfortunately, the illness proved too much for 25-year-old Daniela, whose cancer was more advanced than Sandra's. The Klemenschits sisters are perhaps best-known for reaching the Istanbul final in 2005 and the Stockholm and Budapest semifinals later that year; they were an impressive force on the ITF Women's Circuit as well, winning 20 titles together. (article and photo via Sony Ericcsson WTA Tour)

On the other hand some other WTA players have announced that they will be out of the Tour for a while due to health problems.
Most shocking was Venus Williams, who announced that she will be out the Tour for an indefinite period of time until she "resolves some issues" that she didn't want to get any further into. Expeculations raised about possible health problems, although her agent reported that she was just making some medical tests and would be ready to return at next month's Italian Open.
German Tatjana Malek will be out of the Tour for 6 months after she was diagnosed a thrombosis on her leg, most likely due to the long flights, which could have lead to a cardiac arrest. Malek had some pain in her calf and after it became worse and the pain was spreading into her whole leg she went to hospital and was forced to stay there for 1 week. Malek needs 3 months to healing up completely, but her comeback to the Tour may take 6 months, as she also wants to focus on her education.
Finally Ashley Harkleroad is recovering from surgery to remove her right ovary on March 30 after a frightening episode during the Sony Ericsson Open. She experienced some abdominal pain during and after her straight-sets second-round win over France's Virginie Razzano, but chalked it up to menstrual cramps and tried to treat it with over-the-counter pain medication. The discomfort worsened, and Harkleroad underwent a diagnostic ultrasound that showed she had a blood-filled cyst on her ovary. After her 3rd round match, Harkleroad spent several hours vomiting, unable to eat or drink, and grew progressively weaker. The cyst had ruptured. Harkleroad said she bled internally, affecting her liver function, and wound up losing more than a quart of blood. She was rushed to the hospital where she went through emergency surgery. Harkleroad spent two days in the hospital and she is healing quickly now and expects to resume practicing next week and could be playing again by early May.


WTA ranking as of 7-Apr-2008

Elena Dementieva gets back into Top 10 and goes up 3 places up to #8. Miami semifinalist Vera Zvonareva gains 6 places and goes from #20 to #14, while Marina Erakovic continues her climb and is the greatest gainer in Top 100 going from #101 to #84.

CurPrvNameCountryRank pts.Tours.
1(1)Justine Henin


2(2)Ana IvanovicSRB421618
3(3)Jelena JankovicSRB409526
4(4)Svetlana Kuznetsova


5(5)Maria SharapovaRUS360113
6(7)Venus WilliamsUSA278115
7(6)Anna ChakvetadzeRUS266523
8(11)Elena DementievaRUS230521
9(8)Serena WilliamsUSA229712
10(9)Daniela HantuchovaSVK225724

Week #15 preview: Amelia Island

Amelia Island (USA), Tier II, $600,000
WTA Tour goes to the green clay of Amelia Island, a Tier II that will feature half of the Top 30 players. Maria Sharapova will lead the field and will try to recover her winning streak that was broken in Indian Wells. Anna Chakvetadze and Daniela Hantuchova will be other Top 10 players here, but favorites may include also names as Agnieszka Radwanska, Dinara Safina or Lindsay Davenport. Teenagers performing well at 2008 season such as Caroline Wozniacki and Dominika Cibulkova may cause again some upsets.

Week #14: Serena retains her title in Miami

Serena Williams defended her title successfully in Tier I of Miami, also know as the fifth Grand Slam, and got her fifth title there, as she also was the champion in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007. And the way to the title wasn't easy as she had to defeat 3 of the Top 4 players: Justine Henin, Svetlana Kuznetsova and finally Jelena Jankovic in the final. Henin showed a poor level again as she was defeated by Williams 6/2 6/0. Vera Zvonareva was the lowest ranked semifinalist, confirming her good season, where she has reached the quarters in every Tier I event. And also teenagers Caroline Wozniacki and Sabine Lisicki confirmed their potential by reaching the Last 16 round.

Miami (USA), Tier I, $3,770,000
Final: Serena Williams (USA) def Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 6/1 5/7 6/3


On fire: Ashley Harkleroad

Ashley Harkleroad's career was early marked with the high expectations that American media and fans put on her, not only due to her promising game, but mainly for her looks, as media was in the quest for an American response to Anna Kournikova's popularity. So Ashley got nicknamed as the "American Kournikova" and got thousands of eyes behind her when she was just a teenager. Despite this pressure, Ashley's game kept on evolving and she broke into Top 100 in 2003 being 17 years old.
But Harkleroad couldn't handle all this pressure and she even kept away from the courts for a while after marriage with ATP player Alex Bogomolov Jr., which finally failed. After disappointing 2004 and 2005 seasons, Ashley focused again on tennis and with good performances on ITF tournaments in the USA and minor WTA events she finished 2006 and 2007 into the Top 100.

On 2008 it seems that she's moving a step forward. She started the year in good style with a semifinalist place in Hobart going through the qualy and winning 6 matches in a row. And on March she has proved that she can compete with the best, as she has reached the Last 16 in Indian Wells Tier I and the 3rd round in Miami Tier I, upsetting seeded players such as Dinara Safina, Lucie Safarova and Virginie Razzano. Now she's close to breaking into the Top 50.
But the highlight of her season was the Fed Cup tie between USA and Germany, where she assumed the leadership after a surprising defeat by Lindsay Davenport and secured victory for the USA winning her two singles points.

And, although Ashley hasn't reached the popularity level that American media predicted some years ago, she still has a big fan support and is one of the best looking players on Tour.
You can watch Ashley's gallery here.


Latent heat: Marina Erakovic

20 yo from New Zealand Marina Erakovic is probably the most outstanding newcomer in the WTA Tour in this 2008 season. She made her breakthrough early in the year when she reached the semifinals in Auckland, the WTA event held at her home town, where she defeated Vera Zvonareva. Later she focused on ITF events in Australia, winning 9 matches in a row, and getting a title and a runner-up place.
And she got all the attention when, after reaching the semifinals at Memphis as a qualifier, she became the first woman from New Zealand to break into the top 100 for over twenty years. And now she has confirmed her great season in the big Tier I of Miami, reaching the 3rd round and defeating Top 30 Michaella Krajicek on her way.

With a big serve and a powerful forehand, Marina is already one of the most popular sportswoman in New Zealand, and definitively one of the players to watch for the following years.
You can watch Marina's gallery here