DIRECT FROM SEVILLE | Markéta Vondroušová, Karolína Muchová… Two stars of the season rose to the top ten in the rankings this year. And if you’re looking for who can be the eleventh Czech woman in history to make it among the absolute elite, look no further than Sevilla. Linda Nosková is the best in the world in the 18-year-old category, in her first full season on the WTA Tour, usually the hardest, she jumped 50 places to the current 41st position. And we are still only seeing the tip of the iceberg.
“After Maky and Kája, we can have another girl here who will knock on the top ten,” David Kotyza, one of the Nosková coaching duo, is not afraid to say. She is growing in Přerov under the supervision of another seasoned coach Tomáš Krupa. The best that Czech tennis could offer in the last decade passed under their hands. And Nosková, the junior champion of Roland Garros 2021, is to be another important successor of the line of the domestic tennis school.
In exactly one week, the girl from Wallachia will be nineteen and she has made a sharp debut in the BJK Cup. Her performance against the same-aged Swiss Céline Naef didn’t excite her, but she took the winning premiere. “For the satisfaction of winning to outweigh the feeling of a performance that wasn’t the best, that doesn’t happen to me very often,” said the young lady, who spent half an hour in Seville on Wednesday together with Maria Bouzková at an autograph session for Spanish schoolgirls in uniforms, which both Czechs at the end they rewarded with applause.
She is closer in age to them than some of the opponents she meets on the WTA. She is known to be stubborn. She likes to do things her way. “I had a directive approach with some girls, and I can’t do that now,” Kotyza realizes. Her phlegmatic expression on the court is reminiscent of Karolína Plíšková. He hardly bats an eyelash, he leads the matches cold-bloodedly. “Even very good players are more emotionally unstable. But she has her own inner peace, which sometimes drives us a little crazy in training, but is a huge advantage for big matches,” says Kotyza, who didn’t have to go far for an example.
Tuesday’s clash with Switzerland’s Naefova was turned around by Nosková from a 1:4 crisis in the third set. “Her silent killer nature is a terrible asset. At the end she squeezed and Céline ran over. Few premieres at that age turn out like this,” praised the coach, whose charge has already knocked out three players from the top 10 in her career, including Petra Kvitová.
And maybe the time is not far when she starts conquering their place herself. That’s how fast her career is moving forward. He is already signing interesting sponsorship contracts, the expectations of the surrounding area are high. Sometimes it makes her dizzy. “Sometimes it’s hard to realize that I’m only eighteen and here I am. A lot of people around me take it for granted,” she sighed.
She forced her demanding trainer to smile. “Of course we are aware of that. But we won’t rub honey around her mouth again. She doesn’t need everyone patting her back. She herself knows she is good. She is the first in the world under the age of eighteen, she will soon be nineteen and will be second behind Coco Gauff. She’s already a great player and she’s going to get even better.”
Linda Nosková’s season
|ranking progress: from 91st to 41st place|
|greatest achievements: finals in Adelaide (WTA 500) and Prague (WTA 250), victory over three players from the top 10 (Kvitová, Džábirová, Kasatkinová), first win in the BJK Cup|
Eighteen-year-old and younger female tennis players on the WTA
|Mirra Andreyeva (Russian)||16||46.|
|Céline Naefová (Switzerland)||18||141.|