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"20 to Watch" Quarterly Review - Part 3

Daria Gavrilova

Initial World Ranking: 208
Current World Ranking: 143 (↑65)
2013 Record: 8-7
2013 Titles: 0

The year started slowly for Gavrilova with qualifying defeats in Brisbane and Hobart to Vania King and Mariana Duque-Marino respectively. However, her season kicked into life when she battled her way through the qualifying draw to reach the Australian Open main draw. Wins over Stefanie Vogt, Genie Bouchard and Yi-Miao Zhou saw her into her first Grand Slam event and she continued her good form with a first round victory over Lauren Davis. Sadly, the in-form Lesia Tsurenko was too good in the second round, but it was a promising run.

A lucky loser spot gave her the chance to play in Doha and she made the most of it, beating Anabel Medina Garrigues in three sets to set up a marquee encounter with Serena Williams. While she only won three games, it was certainly a valuable learning experience against such a top quality opponent. While she may have had some luck in Doha, it ran out a week later in Dubai as she came up against Svetlana Kuznetsova in qualifying. The former Grand Slam champion is making her way back from injury and is certainly far better than her ranking suggests. A 6-2, 6-2 defeat was not unexpected.

She has managed to break the top 150 already this season, and will be hopeful of pushing on as the year progresses. She had her best results last year on clay, so she will be hopeful of a few good wins and the chance to qualify for the French Open main draw.


Elina Svitolina

Initial World Ranking: 114
Current World Ranking: 90 (↑24)
2013 Record: 11-6
2013 Titles: 1 ($75k Eilat)

A second round defeat to Klara Zakopalova in Shenzhen and a first round defeat at the Australian Open to Angelique Kerber were the outcomes of the two early season tournaments that Svitolina played. While she might have hoped to continue her good form from late-2012, there is certainly no shame in losing to two top-30 ranked players.

Stepping down a level, she won the title at the $75k event in Eilat, dropping just one set. Wins over Johanna Konta, Ilona Kremen and Marta Sirotkina were all expected, but the title would give her confidence to take into the upcoming tournaments.

After a heart-breaking 8-6 loss in the third set against Lourdes Dominguez Lino in the Fed Cup, she bounced back well on the clay in the Cali Challenger event. Wins over Sevastova, Cohen and Duque-Marino saw her reach the semi-final, before bowing out to local player, Catalina Castano.

Following a first round defeat in Bogota to Alize Cornet, she returned to the hard courts in Indian Wells, where victories over Genie Bouchard and Ajla Tomljanovic saw her qualify for the main draw, although she will have been disappointed to have been double-bagelled by the tricky Monica Niculescu. A qualifying defeat to Melinda Czink in Miami put pay to her hopes of qualifying for back to back WTA main draws though.

She won an ITF title on clay last year and her run to the Cali semi-final suggests that she enjoys playing on the surface, so it would be no surprise to see her pick up a few more wins over the next few months. Her ranking is good enough to secure a main draw place in the French Open, so she will be looking for a few WTA main draws before then to really test herself against the top players.


Sachia Vickery

Initial World Ranking: 381
Current World Ranking: 302 (↑79)
2013 Record: 12-6
2013 Titles: 0

The year started in disappointing fashion with a first round defeat at the $10k event in Innisbrook against Lauren Embree, but a month later, she returned and qualified for the $100k event in Midland with good wins over Muresan, Ospina and, particularly, Victoria Duval. She backed this up with a first round win against Taylor Townsend before losing in two close sets to the talented Monica Puig. A quarter-final followed in the $25k event in Surprise.

Defeat in qualifying for Indian Wells was no surprise, although she will have been pleased to have taken Stefanie Voegele to three sets, especially given the Swiss player’s recent form. Returning to Innisbrook for a $25k event, she came through qualifying with ease and picked up three excellent victories over Caroline Garcia, Madison Brengle and Mariana Duque-Marino before succumbing to Patricia Mayr-Achleitner. Her most recent result was a tough three set defeat to Jovana Jaksic in qualifying for Monterrey.

She will have been pleased with her runs in Midland, Surprise and Innisbrook and it would seem that a $10k or $25k title could certainly be within her reach this year. She still has an outside chance of creeping into a French Open qualifying spot with some good results over the coming month, and her run on the clay in Innisbrook will have given her confidence to push on.


Samantha Crawford

Initial World Ranking: 273
Current World Ranking: 241 (↑32)
2013 Record: 6-5
2013 Titles: 0

Her season did not start until February in Midland, where a win over Samantha Murray was followed by a defeat to the talented Mallory Burdette. A second round defeat followed in Surprise to Irena Pavlovic and defeat in qualifying for Indian Wells to Monica Puig was expected. She struggled again to find form in Innisbrook with a disappointing result against Allie Will.

She finally found some form in Monterrey. Three wins in qualifying against Nicole Rottmann, Julia Glushko and Alexandra Stevenson doubled her win tally for the season, before a respectable performance against Angelique Kerber in the first round saw her lose 6-3, 6-3.

It has been a tough first season on the senior circuit for the junior US Open champion, but she will be hoping her run to the main draw in Monterrey can spark her season into life. Clay has never really been her strong point, so she would be wise to stick with some of the hard court tournaments on the ITF circuit and look to boost her ranking ready for the return to the hard courts later in the season.


Francoise Abanda

Initial World Ranking: 611
Current World Ranking: 604 (↑7)
2013 Record: 0-1
2013 Titles: 0

There is not much to say about Francoise Abanda, having played just one match thus far in 2013 – a 6-1, 6-1 defeat to Beatriz Garcia-Vidagany on the clay in Innisbrook. At her age, she is limited in the number of tournaments that she can play, so it would seem likely she is waiting for the ITF events in Canada later in the year.

Her next confirmed tournament is the junior French Open, although she may well play the odd junior tournament on clay ahead of that as a warm-up.


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