LONDON // Kristyna Pliskova followed yesterday in the footsteps of an illustrious band of famous women who have launched their professional careers with a precocious triumph in the girls' singles at Wimbledon. Martina Hingis and Amelie Mauresmo are among the recent grand slam champions to have tasted junior glory at Wimbledon, and then gone on to win the senior title at a later date. Of those currently performing among the top 20 WTA players, Caroline Wozniacki, Agnieszka Radwanska and Victoria Azaranka have been given a solid start by winning the girls' title here.
Pliskova, 18, who put down a marker for the Czech Republic by beating Japan's Sachie Ishizu 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, dealt with her first moment of fame as though she had been experiencing such incidents on frequent occasions. "I don't do things like throwing rackets in the air," she said after being asked why she was so calm walking to the net to congratulate her opponent. "I'm happy, of course, but I don't need to overdo my celebrations.
Pliskova already knows the party line at Wimbledon. She described it as the best of the four junior grand slams. "This is my first visit to London and I have really enjoyed it. Things here are better than at Roland Garros or the Australian Open and I have never seen a tournament like it." The boys' final today will give the hitherto unknown players Marton Fucsovics (Hungary) and Benjamin Mitchell (Australia) the chance to emulate former Wimbledon champions like Bjorn Borg, Stefan Edberg, Pat Cash and Roger Federer who began their careers with junior titles here.
Fucsovics and Mitchell were both comfortable straight-sets winners of their respective semi-finals against Facundo Arguello, of Argentina, and Britain's Oliver Golding. Meanwhile, in other action yesterday, Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner won the men's doubles final by beating Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau in straight sets, 6-1, 7-5, 7-5. email@example.com