The Czech Republic is renowned for its ability to outdo itself on the Hologic WTA Tour. A population of just 10.7 million has produced seven of the world’s top 100 female players, including two Grand Slam champions, Petra Kvitova and Barbora Krejcikova.
The Czech team have lifted the Billie Jean King Cup trophy six times since 2011, and their modern success is set against the historical backdrop of a host of legends, from Hana Mandlikova to Jana Novotna.
At this week’s Livesport Prague Open, a team of teenagers proved that the future of the country’s tennis is in good hands, and maybe even in better hands. Meet them here. Linda Noskova Age: 17 (born November 17, 2004)
Current rank: 112
Highest career ranking: 112
2022 win-loss record: 27-9 (1-1 in the WTA main draws), from Prague R2 Highlights of the.
WTA: Made his Tour debut in the main draw at Roland Garros 2022, beating his maiden Grand Slam qualification on his first attempt and beating Emma Raducanu in three sets in the first round; reached Makarska 125 semi-finals the following week; recorded her first WTA main draw victory this week in Prague against Natalia Vikhlyantseva.
ITF awards: six titles, including 2021 Prerov W60, 2022 Croissy-Beauborg W60, 2022 Versmold W100.
Highlights among juniors: 2021 Roland Garros champion in women’s singles, career number 5.
Lucia Havlickova Age: 17 (born March 13, 2005)
Current Rating: 787
High career ranking: 758
2022 win-loss record: 12-7 (1-0 in WTA main draws), from Prague R2 Highlights of the.
WTA: Made her WTA main draw debut in Prague in 2021, losing to Anastasia Gasanova in three sets in the first round; as a wildcard, won her first WTA main draw match this week in Prague 2022 against Barbora Palicova.
ITF Highlights: 2022 Ceska Lipa W60 third round.
Highlights among juniors: 2022 Roland Garros champion in singles and doubles (with Sara Bejlek), career number 2.
Dominika Salkova Age: 18 (born June 28, 2004)
Current rank: 421
High career ranking: 421
Record of wins and losses in 2022: 20-9 (1-1 in the FIFA World Cup main draws).
WTA) WTA Highlights: Playing the second WTA qualifying draw of her career (and the 16th professional tournament in her history), she beat Astra Sharma and Natalia Vikhlyantseva this week to make her main draw debut at Prague 2022; she beat Ylena In-Albon 6-1, 6-4 to reach the second round, where she lost to Marie Bouzkova.
ITF highlight: Osijek W25 2022 champion (as a qualifier).
Junior Highlights: Number 24, career best.
Barbara Palicova Age: 18 (born March 11, 2004)
Current rank: 373
The best ranking of his career:
Record of wins and losses in 2022: 37-16 (0-1 in the main World Cup draws).
WTA Highlights: She won her first WTA qualifier in Prague in 2020 against Ellen Perez; she beat Viktoria Kuzmova and Yanina Wickmayer in qualifying in Prague 2022 to make her WTA main draw debut, losing in the first round to Lucie Havlickova.
ITF highlights: W15 champion in Antalya in 2022, W25 vice-champion in Glasgow in 2022.
Highlight among juniors: Number 21, best career result.
Nikola Bartunkova Age: 16 (born February 25, 2006)
Current rank: 353
The best ranking of his career:
Record of wins and losses in 2022: 20-8 (0-1 in the main draws of the competition).
WTA) WTA Highlights: Won his first WTA qualifier of 2021 in Istanbul.
Leonie Kung, who lost in three sets in the second round to Anastasia Gasanova; she made her WTA main draw debut as a wildcard at Istanbul 2022, losing to eventual champion Anastasia Potapova 6-1, 6-4 in the first round; this week at Prague 2022, she lost in three sets to Oksana Selekhmeteva in the first round of qualifying.
ITF highlights: vice-world champion W25 in Milovice in 2021 and W60 in Istanbul in 2022.
Junior highlights: 2022 Roland Garros women’s singles semi-finalist and 2022 Roland Garros women’s doubles runner-up (with Céline Naef), 2022 Wimbledon women’s singles quarter-finalist, career number 8.
Surprisingly, the players present in Prague this week represent only a tiny part of the young Czech talent at the moment. Several others have made an impact at the WTA, ITF and junior level this year.
Linda Fruhvirtova Age: 17 (born May 1, 2006)
Current rank: 155
High career ranking: 153
2022 win-loss record: 15-13 (4-3 in World Cup main draws).
WTA highlights: She made her WTA main draw debut in Prague in 2020, losing in the first round to Kristyna Pliskova; for her second appearance in the WTA main draw, she reached the quarter-finals of the Charleston 250 in 2021 thanks to victories over Alizé Cornet and Emma Navarro; as a wildcard in Miami in 2022, she knocked out Danka Kovinic, Elise Mertens and Victoria Azarenka to reach the fourth round.
She has five Top 100 wins in total.
ITF highlight: three titles, including the ITF W25 Cancun 2022.
Highlights among juniors: semi-finalist in women’s singles at Wimbledon in 2021, career number 2.
Fruhvirtova d. Kovinic, 2022 Miami R1; L. Fruhvirtova d. Mertens, 2022 Miami R2; L. Fruhvirtova d. Konjuh, 2022 Charleston R1; Bencic DL Fruhvirtova, 2022 Charleston R2 Sara Bejlek Age: 16 (born January 31, 2006)
Current rank: 196
High career ranking: 181
Record of wins and losses in 2022: 28-9 (0-0 in the main draws of the
WTA) WTA Highlights: Made her circuit qualifying debut at Wimbledon 2022, losing 7-6(3), 6-3 to Emina Bektas in the first round.
ITF Highlights: Champion in 2021 Olomouc W60, 2022 Santa Margherita di Pula W25, 2022 Ceska Lipa W60 and 2022 Olomouc W60.
Highlights among juniors: 2022, Roland Garros champion in doubles (with Lucie Havlickova) and semi-finalist in women’s singles, career number 43.
Brenda Fruhvirtova Age: 15 (born April 2, 2007)
Current rank: 322
Highest mark in career: 322
Record of wins and losses in 2022: 22-5 (0-1 in the WTA main draw).
WTA highlights: reached the second round of the Seoul 125 tournament in 2021, on her professional debut; in her Guadalajara 2022 tournament qualifying debut, she defeated Sara Errani and Leonie Kung to reach the main draw, before losing to eventual champion Sloane Stephens in the first round.
ITF Highlights: 2022 Tucuman W25 (x2) and 2022 Klosters W25 champion.
Highlight of his career: n°3.
Linda Klimovicova Age: 18 (born June 18, 2004)
Current rank: 876
High career ranking: 876
Record of wins and losses in 2022: 13-8 (0-0 in the main draws of the
WTA Highlights: She made her WTA rankings debut at Prague 2021, losing in the first round to Anastasia Zakharova.
ITF Highlights: Three-time W15 semi-finalist in 2022.
Highlights among juniors: semi-finalist in women’s singles at Wimbledon in 2022, number 11 in her career.