Monday, March 7, 2011

Yanina Wickmayer

Yanina Wickmayer (born 20 October 1989 in Lier, Belgium) is a Belgian professional tennis player who is currently ranked World No. 25. She rose to prominence with her semi-final appearance at the 2009 US Open. She is noted for her distinctive "whoopee" scream every time she hits the ball. She is a baseline player who is mentally very strong on court, and has been known to say she does not consider herself to be very talented.Wickmayer's mother died at an early age. Her father's name is Marc Wickmayer, of Austrian origin. Her name was inspired by the name of former Argentine soccer player Diego Armando Maradona's daughter. Yanina speaks Dutch, English and French. She personally admires Kim Clijsters.Wickmayer obtained her first real successes: 3 singles ITF titles and 2 ITF doubles (see below). Wickmayer continued her success on the ITF circuit by winning several tournaments in Asia during the fall season (see external links). It was around this time that Wickmayer surpassed Caroline Maes as the number two Belgian female tennis player. At the start of the year, Wickmayer was number 534 in the world but by November 2007 was around number 170.

Wickmayer has now won 8 singles titles and 7 doubles titles on the ITF circuit. She was also selected by team captain Sabine Appelmans to represent the Belgium Fed Cup team at the 2007 Fed Cup. She lost to Venus Williams 6–1, 6–2 in her World Group match before winning one rubber and losing the other against Chinese opposition. In the 2008 Fed Cup tie versus Ukraine, Wickmayer sprung a surprise victory over reigning Australian Open women's doubles champion Kateryna Bondarenko. Wickmayer qualified in singles for the French Open, but lost 2–6, 5–7 in the first round to Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan. She reached the final of the DFS Classic, but lost 6–7, 6–3, 6–7 to Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine. Wimbledon she lost in the first round to Japan's Ai Sugiyama 6–4, 6–2. Wickmayer started the year with first round losses in both Brisbane and the Australian Open. She won her first tour match of the year at Indian Wells, defeating Magdaléna Rybáriková 6–3, 6–2. She lost to Daniela Hantuchová in the second round, despite holding two match points. She then lost her first round matches in Miami, and Charleston. Wickmayer won her first ever WTA Tour singles title, in Estoril. She beat 3rd seed Sorana Cîrstea 6–4, 1–6, 6–4, en route to the final, where she defeated Ekaterina Makarova 7–5, 6–2. At the 2009 French Open, she was beaten by Samantha Stosur in the second round 6–3, 4–6, 6–4. Wickmayer lost to a newly returned Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals at the 2009 AEGON Classic in Birmingham, UK 6–1, 2–6, 6–3. At the 2009 Ordina Open, Wickmayer reached both the singles final and the doubles final, losing to Tamarine Tanasugarn in the singles final. The doubles final was a close contest, she lost in three sets to an Italian pairing. At Wimbledon, she lost in the first round to Elena Vesnina.

During the summer hard court season, Wickmayer reached the third round in Los Angeles, losing to Vera Zvonareva. She was defeated in the early rounds of her three other summer tournaments. At the 2009 U.S. Open, Wickmayer defeated a seeded Virginie Razzano in the first round. In the second round she recovered from a set down to beat Shuai Peng in three sets. In the third round Wickmayer dispatched Italian Sara Errani 6–3, 6–4. In the fourth round Wickmayer defeated Petra Kvitová 4-6, 6-4, 7–5 to reach the quarterfinals where she beat Kateryna Bondarenko 7–5, 6–4 to reach the semifinals before losing to Caroline Wozniacki 6–3, 6–3. With this semifinal finish, Yanina reached a career high no. 22. Wickmayer fell in the first round in Beijing, to Alisa Kleybanova. She has qualified for the year-end championships in Bali. Her next tournament was in Linz. She won through to the semis, where she upset top seed Flavia Pennetta, for her biggest career win. She beat Petra Kvitová in the final 6–3, 6–4, and as a result made it into the Top 20 for the first time. One week later at the 2009 BGL Luxembourg Open she won through to the semi-finals, where she was edged by Timea Bacsinszky 3–6, 6–2, 7–5. Her last tournament of the year was at the year-end championships in Bali. Drawn into Group C, she defeated Kimiko Date Krumm in her first match in straight sets: 7–6(5), 6–3. She was supposed to face Anabel Medina Garrigues next but was disqualified from the tournament due to doping allegations. This was her last tournament of 2009. On 1 October 2009, it was announced that Wickmayer and fellow Belgian tennis professional Xavier Malisse were to defend themselves before the Flemish anti-doping tribunal for failing to properly fill out their whereabouts. Wickmayer replied in a press release that the failure to follow procedure was due to her not being able to log on to the relevant website, not being able to contact the right people when needed, and not being in the country when written admonitions arrived by mail. At the tribunal on 22 October 2009 the prosecution did not ask for a ban, but rather for a "principal restraint" of the facts that they were being accused of, and as such it was expected that this would not cause any problems for both sporters.

However, on 5 November 2009 the decision of the tribunal was announced, an effective one-year ban for both players. Wickmayer as well as Malisse appealed the final decision, and her ban was lifted on 16 December 2009 after the appeal was granted. Yanina accepted a wildcard into the first tournament of the year, the ASB Classic in Auckland. Seeded third, she defeated first seed Flavia Pennetta in the final, winning the tournament without dropping a set. This title was her first title of the year and third of her career. Due to her suspension being lifted after the deadline for the Australian Open, Yanina was forced to enter the qualifying draw. After a nervous first round qualifying, she easily won through to the main draw. Being a dangerous floater, she drew Alexandra Dulgheru first round. In a match that included numerous rain delays, she prevailed 1–6 7–5 10–8. Yanina defeated two Italian players, the 12 seed, Flavia Pennetta and Sara Errani in the second and third round respectively, but lost in three sets to Justine Henin in the fourth round. Despite the loss she moved up to a career-high of no.15. Wickmayer was selected to represent Belgium at the World Group II Fed Cup tie against Poland. Wickmayer won both her rubbers against Marta Domachowska and Agnieszka Radwańska, thus allowing Kirsten Flipkens to secure the tie for Belgium with a win against Domachowska, to advance to the World Group Playoff. In her next two tournaments, the Open GDF Suez tournament in Paris and the 2010 Dubai Tennis Championships in Dubai, Wickmayer lost in first-round matches – in Paris to Petra Martić; and in Dubai to Shahar Pe'er.

She fared better in the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, where she won two matches before losing in the round of sixteen to María José Martínez Sánchez of Spain, who had upset sixth seed Victoria Azarenka in the previous round. She then travelled to Miami for the Premier Mandatory Sony Ericsson Open. Seeded 12th, in the fourth round she thrashed Timea Bacsinszky 6–0 6–1. Despite losing 6–4 7–5 to Marion Bartoli in a close quarterfinal match, her strong performance has brought her to a new career-high ranking of World no. 13, moving to 12 without playing the next week. She was again selected to represent Belgium at the Fed Cup World Group Playoff tie against Estonia. When Kim Clijsters and Yanina won their singles rubbers on Saturday, Belgium was in a comfortable lead. However, Clijsters had injured her foot, and had to be replaced by Justine Henin, who herself had been injured earlier that week. Henin lost her rubber, so it fell on Yanina to bring home the tie during the fourth, which she did in three sets: 2–6, 6–1, 6–1. At the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix held in Stuttgart, Yanina moved to the 2nd round before falling for the 2nd consecutive time to fellow Belgium and former World No. 1 Justine Henin 6–3, 7–5. Her next tournament was the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, where she was seeded 11th. She defeated Karolina Šprem and Aravane Rezaï in the first two rounds before losing to 7th seeded Jelena Janković in the third round, 6–2 6–0. As she was defending the points for her 2009 Estoril win during this week, but lost too early in the tournament, this week marked the first in a long time when she lost ranking points. She pulled out of her next tournament, citing a right elbow injury, and underwent surgery. Though Roland Garros was only two weeks later, she managed to be fit in time, and played there as 16th seed. She defeated Sandra Záhlavová in the first round 6–1, 6–1 and Sybille Bammer 7–6(4), 1–6, 7–5 before falling to Daniela Hantuchová 7–5, 6–3; despite her recent injury, this was her best French Open performance so far.

Yanina reached the quarterfinals in Birmingham where she lost to qualifier Alison Riske. The next week she had 200 ranking points to defend from her 2009 's-Hertogenbosch final. She decided to play in Eastbourne however, where she wasn't seeded due to the strong players field. She lost to fifth seed Kim Clijsters, 6–1 6–1. Yanina defeated Riske in a tough first round match at the Wimbledon Championships, her first Wimbledon main draw win. She reached the third round after defeating compatriot Kirsten Flipkens, but lost to no. 21 seed Vera Zvonareva. The day before their second round match, Flipkens and Yanina played doubles together, which they lost. Yanina also lost her first mixed doubles match with Dick Norman. After Wimbledon she will rise to No. 16 once again, the third Belgian after Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin. At the 2010 Bank of the West Classic, Wickmayer fell to top seed Sam Stosur in the quarterfinals. She was seeded 8th at the 2010 Mercury Insurance Open, but fell to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first round. Wickmayer was seeded 15th at the 2010 US Open, with semifinal ranking points to defend. She advanced to the 4th round, before falling in three sets to 31st seed Kaia Kanepi. Wickmayer returned to Auckland to defend her 2010 championship. Seeded second, she started well with a tough three-set first-round victory over Dinara Safina, 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-1. She made it to the final after defeating Peng Shuai, but lost in the final to Gréta Arn, 3-6, 3-6. Wickmayer was seeded 21st at the 2011 Australian Open. She won her first match against Australian Jarmila Groth 6–3, 2–6, 6–4, but lost in the second round to Lativan Anastasija Sevastova 4–6, 2–6. Yanina reached the quarterfinals of the 2011 Open GDF Suez, where she lost to Petra Kvitová in a tight three-sets match, 7-5, 3-6, 6-7(3). At the Dubai Free Open she defeated Bojana Jovanovski and Na Li in three sets, the latter after saving four consecutive match points in the second set tiebreak. She lost to Shahar Peer in the third round, 6-3, 4-6, 1-6.

Yanina Wickmayer performance at field

Yanina Wickmayer and her trophy

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