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US Open countdown: Young Blood

US Open countdown: Young Blood
By Eurosport

27/07/2007 at 13:06Updated

The success of Ana Ivanovic, Nicole Vaidisova, Anna Chakvetadze and Tatiana Golovin has been well publicised, but there are a number of other youngsters who are beginning to make waves on the WTA Tour.

In the lead up to this year's US Open, eurosport begins a regular look at the Under 19's planning to cause a stir at Flushing Meadows.

TIER I

Tamira Paszek, Austria, 6-Dec-1990 (39)

Introduced to tennis by her mother at the age of four, Paszek is now beginning to make her mark on the WTA Tour. At just 5'5", Paszek has developed a power game which has seen her shoot up the world rankings, reaching a career high of 35 just four months after breaking into the top 100.

Starting her 2007 season at the Australian Open, Paszek raced through qualifying before taking her first top 40 scalp defeating Severine Bremond in the first round, before losing to 22nd seed Vera Zvonareva. Paszek was also knocked out in the second round of the French Open but not before giving eventual champion Justine Henin a tough challenge recovering from 0-5 in the first set but going down 7-5 6-1. It was at Wimbledon, however, that Paszek really made people take note as she charged through to the fourth round, defeating 17th seed Tatiana Golovin and 12th seed Elena Dementieva in the process before losing to 5th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova. Assuming Paszek gets a friendly draw, the US Open could well prove to be the diminutive Austrian's best Slam of the year, having already proved she can cut it on the hard courts with a US Open Girl's final appearance in 2006.

Alla Kudryavtseva, Russia, 3-Nov-1987 (67)

Described by NBC presenter Mary Carillo as the female Marat Safin, Kudryavtseva began her steady rise up the rankings in 2006, when she reached her first WTA tournament quarter finals in Kolkata. The 19-year-old's first appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam was at the Australian Open this year where she defeated Finland's Emma Laine before falling in straight sets to three time champion Martina Hingis in the second round. Kudryavtseva took another step towards Grand Slam glory at Roland Garros, where she defeated 29th seed Gisela Dulko 8-6 in the third to reach the third round before falling again in straight sets to compatriot Maria Sharapova. Unfortunately for Kudryavtseva, the first round of Wimbledon saw her drawn with eventual champion Venus Williams. Despite taking the first set 6-2 and leading by a break in both the second and third sets, the Russian could not maintain her effort eventually going down 2-6 6-3 7-5.

Caroline Wozniacki, Poland, 11-Jul-1990 (90)

Formerly the number two ranked junior, Wozniacki won a number of junior tournaments including the prestigious Orange Bowl Championships in 2005, as well as reaching the final of the 2006 Australian Open Girl's, where she was the top seed before losing to Russia's Anastasia Pavlychenkova. Wozniacki reached her first WTA tour quarter final in February last year in Memphis before storming to the Wimbledon Girl's title. Despite reaching her second WTA tour quarterfinal in August, the rest of the year did not quite go according to plan for the Pole as she was disqualified from the first round of the US Open Girl's tournament for verbally abusing an umpire. Wozniacki was said to have used an expletive while referring to a linesman who made a disputed call, a claim the 17-year-old denies. Having reached a career high ranking of 88 earlier in the month, Wozniacki has already proven that she can translate her success in the juniors on to the senior tour. But the 2007 US Open may be just come a little too soon for her to cause the shock defeats she is capable of.

Aleksandra Wozniak, Canada, 07-Sept-1987 (93)

Former Wimbledon and US Open Girl's semi finalist Wozniak, who was previously the number three ranked junior, has already on seven ITF junior titles as well as steadily improving her WTA world ranking to a career high of 83 in May this year. 2006 proved to be the Canadian's breakthrough year, which was highlighted by her first WTA tour quarter final at the Tier III event in Quebec City. The 2006 Fed Cup second round clash with Argentina also saw Wozniak secure her first win over a player in the top 100 when she defeated Gisela Dulko in three sets before reaching her first WTA Tour final in Fes earlier this year. Although, she is yet to make it past the first round of a Grand Slam her first three attempts this year, a good draw at Flushing Meadows could see Wozniak get the kick-start she needs to break into the top 50.

TIER II

Alize Cornet, France, 22-Jan-1990 (104)

The great French hope to follow Amelie Mauresmo, Alize Cornet succeeded where many others have failed in winning her home Grand Slam, albeit the junior title. Cornet, ninth ranked junior, charged through the Girl's single draw after, being knocked out in the first round of the main draw by a battling Venus Williams, beating Colombia's Mariana Duque Marino in three sets in the final. Cornet, who had previously reached the second round at Roland Garros in both 2005 and 2006, then reached the second round of the Wimbledon main draw where she lost in three sets to Ai Sugiyama.

TIER III

Naomi Cavaday, Great Britain, 24-Apr-1989 (222)

Cavaday sprung to the world attention when she held match points against former world number one Martina Hingis at Wimbledon earlier in the month. Despite not being able to close out the match, Cavaday showed enough to suggest her move to train at the Nick Bollettieri Academy in Florida could be just the thing to help her further lower her ranking.

Best of the rest

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Russia, 03-Jul-1991 (304)

Less than two years after turning pro, Pavlyuchenkova is already a multiple junior Grand Slam champion and the number one ranked junior in the world. The Russian first made headlines by beating Caroline Wozniacki to win the 2006 Australian Open Girls title, which she successfully defended this year. She is also the defending US Open girl's champion, having defeated Tamira Paszek for the title a year ago. Her first appearance in a senior Grand Slam draw, at Wimbledon last month, ended prematurely when she was beaten 6-0 6-1 by Daniela Hantuchova. But given a good draw at Flushing Meadows, Pavlyuchenkova could use all her positive experience of the grounds to cause an upset.

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