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MELBOURNE, Australia – Czech teenager Linda Noskova does not need to look far for inspiration in a country with a proven track record of producing top tennis talent, but the Australian Open quarterfinalist said she would always idolize American great Serena Williams.
Noskova caused the upset of the tournament so far when the 19-year-old defeated top seed Iga Swiatek in the third round and she marched into her first Grand Slam quarterfinal on Monday, January 22, after Elina Svitolina retired injured.
While Noskova has the likes of Hana Mandlikova, Jana Novotna, Petra Kvitova, Barbora Krejcikova, and Marketa Vondrousova to look up to, the powerful youngster said she has always been a fan of 23-times major champion Williams.
“When I was younger, I didn’t really watch tennis as much as my parents or people that were around it a little more,” Noskova told reporters.
“But I think when I got into it, I was a big fan of Serena. I always am and always probably will be. I like her style a lot and the way she carries herself and the person that she is.”
“She’s definitely on top of my charts.”
Noskova, one of eight Czech women in the top 50, also had kind words for Ukrainian Svitolina, who retired due to a back issue while trailing 3-0 in the first set.
“I’d actually say Elina might have been one of them as well,” she said of her favorite players.
“I like her style a lot. She can change the direction or rhythm of the game really well, so I was always really appreciated of such a player that can go on the net or can do slice.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get to know each other on court,” Noskova added. “Maybe next time when we play each other.”
Brisbane semifinalist Noskova will next face another Ukrainian in Dayana Yastremska, who knocked out twice Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka.
The Belarusian said emerging players like Noskova and Yastremska must aim for consistency.
“Noskova, she’s a very young player. We’ve seen her play really well last year in Adelaide and then the next week it was not so great,” Azarenka said.
“I think that there’s for sure a learning curve for all these players there.” – Rappler.com