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20 Tennis Players to Watch - Part 3

In Parts 1 and 2 (available here and here), we have covered ten young ladies that could go far in the WTA. In this third part, we look at five more talented teenagers, including a 15-year junior Grand Slam semi-finalist and two former junior Grand Slam champions:

11. Daria Gavrilova (RUS)



Age: 18
Ranking: 208
2012 Record: 23-14
2012 Titles: 0

The young Russian is a former junior US Open winner, but has not quite progressed as hoped in the past year. She reached just one ITF final in 2012, losing to Margarita Gasparyan in Moscow, but her best result came on grass at s-Hertogenbosch, where she beat Yanina Wickmayer.

She has an aggressive game, combined with a solid serve, which gives her a good base to work from. She will be looking to push up the rankings in 2013 with a couple of results in the ITF tournaments, as well as the odd qualification for full WTA events.

12. Elina Svitolina (UKR)



Age: 18
Ranking: 114
2012 Record: 28-14
2012 Titles: 3 ($25k La Marsa, $50k Telavi, $125k Pune Challenger)

The young Ukrainian has had an excellent season, winning two ITF titles, as well as the newly introduced $125k Challenger in India, where she beat the returning Andrea Petkovic. In addition, matches against the likes of Ana Ivanovic and Serena Williams will have been beneficial, despite the crushing defeats.

Her win in Pune has pushed her to the verge of the top-100 and a place in the main draw for the Australian Open. She has no points to defend for the first couple of months of the season, so she should push into the top-100 and will be hoping to stay there with some more positive results at WTA level.

13. Sachia Vickery (USA)


Age: 17
Ranking: 381
2012 Record: 11-10
2012 Titles: 0

Junior Ranking: 15
2012 Junior Record: 20-9
2012 Junior Titles: 1 (Copa del Café)

A semi-final in the $10k Bastad and a quarter-final in the $50k in Saguenay were the highlights for Sachia Vickery in the ITF as she concentrated more on the junior tour in 2012. A title in Costa Rica, as well as a couple of semi-finals was her best results, although she might be slightly disappointed not to progress beyond the third round in any of the Grand Slams.

She will likely focus more on the ITF circuit in 2013, and a title at the $10k level would certainly seem to be within her grasp as well as a couple of runs in some of the $25k and $50k tournaments. A good season could potentially see her pushing for the top-200.

14. Samantha Crawford (USA)


Age: 17
Ranking: 273
2012 Record: 10-10
2012 Titles: 0

Junior Ranking: 9
2012 Junior Record: 8-4
2012 Junior Titles: 1 (Junior US Open)

Samantha Crawford has enjoyed an impressive 2012, reaching her first ITF final in the $50k in Yakima and a semi-final at the $50k in Sacramento. In addition, she picked up her first junior Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows, beating Anett Kontaveit in the final, and qualified for the senior US Open, where she lost in a close match against Laura Robson.

For a 17-year old, she is a big and powerful girl, standing at 6`2 already. She has powerful ground strokes and, with her size, she could turn her serve into a big weapon. She will be looking to push into the top 200 this season with some positive ITF results, and she could potential earn herself some wildcards into qualifying for some of the WTA events.

15. Francoise Abanda (CAN)


Age: 15
Ranking: 611
2012 Record: 2-3
2012 Titles: 0

Junior Ranking: 8
2012 Junior Record: 26-8
2012 Junior Titles: 2 (Pan American ITF Championships, Canadian Open Junior Championships)

The youngest player of the 20, the 15-year old Canadian had some good results on the junior circuit in 2012, winning two titles. However, the biggest statement was her run to the semi-final of the junior Wimbledon, beating Taylor Townsend and Donna Vekic.

It is almost certainly too early for her to make much of an impact on the senior circuit, but she will be hoping to have a couple of good runs in the junior Grand Slams, as well as maybe some positive results in some $10k ITF tournaments to propel herself into the top 500.

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