Indian Harbour Beach 05 mei 2010 R32: Hsu (455) 6-2 6-3
Krajicek has name and game to match
A tennis fan will recognize the last name and many, after watching a few minutes, will shake their heads as they spot similarities in the games of Michaella Krajicek and her retired-from-the-tour brother, Richard.
Michaella used her big serve -- sound familiar? -- and aggressive all-court game to win her opening-round match at the MIMA Foundation/USTA Pro Tennis Classic. The native of the Netherlands at times overwhelmed 18-year-old American Chieh-Yu Hsu 6-3, 6-3 in a Wednesday late-afternoon match that somehow avoided rain despite dark clouds.
"I think that I served well," Krajicek said "I think I was the stronger one."
Fifth-seeded in the MIMA, Krajicek craves back-to-back titles after taking last week's $50,000 clay event in Charlottesville, Va. Oddly, her opponent in that Virginia final, Laura Siegemund, will be her round of 16 foe today. Siegemund is known at the Kiwi Tennis Club for reaching last spring's final before losing to American teen Melanie Oudin.
The 5-foot-9 Krajicek then plans to take next week off before entering French Open qualifying.
Years ago, however, she would not have worried about toiling just to get into main draws on the WTA circuit. She was 16 when she won her first WTA event in 2005, then won two more in 2006. Her world ranking peaked at No. 30 before plummeting to No. 326 sometime in 2008. Knee and wrist injuries have forced her to play in tournaments like this to regain her ranking.
"A lot of players can't handle it," she said. "The matches aren't given to you. You have to grind them through. I'm fit now. I know this is the only way."
Now a resident of Bradenton, Krajicek still exists in terms of tennis accomplishments in the shadow of 6-6 Richard, who won the 1996 Wimbledon title. Richard, Michaella said, still keeps his hands active in tennis and is the director of the ATP's Rotterdam event.
Of course, she has her own career to worry about. It is not as if she is running out of time. Michaela Krajicek is merely 21.
"I do," she said when asked if she wants back-to-back titles before flying to Europe. "I'm not playing doubles here. That's (winning the championship) my main focus here."