Asia’s active and healthy lifestyle destination, Thanyapura Phuket hosts its first women’s Top 50 star when Bojana Jovanovski and her entourage check into the Thanyapura Sports Hotel today (November 2013) for a five-week intensive tune-up ahead of the year’s first Grand Slam, the Australian Open.
Jovanovski, 21, ranked 36th in the world, a grand slam quarter finalist and winner of two recent WTA titles, is part of the new breed of young Serbian players shaking up women’s tennis. Jovanovski has earned over US$1.2 million in her brief career, as well as the moniker ‘Iron Woman’ after playing seven games in eight days to win the Tashkent Open in September. She arrives at Thanyapura today with a team of six and will spend five weeks working on various aspects of her game ahead of the Australian Open, a grand slam event in January.
Thanyapura Phuket’s outgoing President, Robert Hauck, who is taking up the reins of newly created Thanyapura International, said it was gratifying to see women’s tennis coming into its own at Thanyapura.
Mr Hauck hailed the arrival of Jovanovski as the culmination of a team effort and said Thanyapura’s Tennis Academy would now be focused on making her feel welcome and helping her prepare for her next grand slam assault.
“We welcome Bojana with open arms, and I’m sure her stay at Thanyapura will be enjoyable and effective as she gears up for the Australian Open. She is definitely a player to watch and showed real grit in her recent victory in Tashkent.
“I’m confident she is just the first of many Top 50 players who come to Thanyapura and make use of our fantastic facilities while enjoying all that Thanyapura and Phuket have to offer. Her visit is very good for Thanyapura as it shows the word is getting out about what we offer as the complete tennis destination.
“Thanyapura is drawing the best juniors and professional players which in turn inspires those in our youth program as they grow and develop.”
Jovanovski is the latest in a series of rising stars of women’s tennis, who have competed at Thanyapura or visited for high-octane tune-ups and coaching clinics. In January 2013, Thanyapura hosted Japan’s female number one junior, Kanami Tsuji, 16, who won her first tournament, Europe’s top rated championship for juniors, Les Petits As, when she was just 14.
Current world number 20 whose rating peaked at 13 in August, Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium, played in two successive Women’s ITF US$25,000 2012 events at Thanyapura, and lost in the quarter finals in both weeks.
Shortly thereafter she turned her form around and went on a winning streak, culminating in a semi-final appearance at Wimbledon this year. Hong Kong’s number one, Zhang Ling, was also a recent repeat visitor, having figured in both the April and November women’s tournaments this year. Coming off back to back wins she is a hot favourite for the South East Asian Invitational Tennis in Bangkok this week.
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