Anastasia Mikheeva from the Scottish Tennis Academy at St George’s, continues to blaze a trail which could yield a wildcard for this summer’s Wimbledon junior grand slam singles which has been won by Laura Robson, among others.
Anastasia, 14, won in Nottingham at 18-and-under-level which has prompted Marcel du Coudray to predict that the Wimbledon wildcard is now a possibility “depending on good results on grass for Anastasia in the lead-up”.
Meanwhile, For George Watson’s pupil Alexandra Hunter, 14, victory in the Nottingham Junior Open singles (Grade Two), part of the Nike Junior Tour series, was immediately followed by success in the tennis Europe 14-and-under event in the same city, winning singles and doubles.
Those three titles over a fortnight led to an ITF tournament invitation, also in Nottingham, where Alexandra again distinguished herself.
To claim her latest title, Alexandra – who has won Tennis Europe doubles titles Iceland, Ireland, Latvia France, Cyprus, England and Malta – had to show true grit, according to her coach Du Coudray.
“Alexandra was opposed in the tennis Europe final by a 12-year-old Japanese girl, Himari Sati, of whom we are going to hear plenty.
“It was to Alexandra’s great credit that at 3-6, 2-5 down she found a way to win the deciding set 6-4 by hanging in and keeping the ball in court so that, eventually, the Japanese girl made mistakes,” said Du Coudray.
Anastasia is now taking a break from competition to concentrate on exams before returning to the court.
Her father Andrei, who also coaches her, is pleased with progress.
“This year Anastasia has won two titles at Grade Four level and played promisingly at Grade Two.
“She played well in Nice (Grade Two) losing to a world top 50 player in the quarter finals.
“Winter brought trips to Belgium, Holland, South Africa, Czech Republic, France and Nottingham.
“The break for exams will also allow some deep work on Anastasia’s strength and conditioning as well as technique and game development.”
Du Coudray believes Anastasia will come back even stronger from her break.
“Anastasia was top seed in Nottingham but showed she could handle the pressure that entails before, in the final, reversing a defeat by the same opponent in the final last year. I was also with Anastasia for the south of France tournament where we got on to the same bus as (former world No 9) Marin Cilic who I knew through being a hitting partner with Nikolay Davydenko.
“Being shown around the Monte Carlo tournament by Marin Cilic before Anastasia played later in the day a few miles away at Cap d’Ail added positively to her experience.
“There’s an important junior tournament at Roehampton before Wimbledon and success there in particular could earn Anastasia a wild card for the slam event.”
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