Photo: Jet TanakaJarmila Gajdosova
Jarmila Gajdosova, who in 2003 represented the Slovak Republic in both Fed Cup and the European Summer Cup Junior competition, is featured for this month. A resident of Melbourne, Australia, she is part of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Program* and is in the process of becoming an Australian citizen.
21-year old Gajdosova came into this month having already won two singles titles from three finals on the ITF Women’s Circuit in 2008. Looking to increase her collection, her travels this month took her to Australia, Chinese Taipei and Japan.
The month began with a trip to Traralgon, a city located 162km southeast of Melbourne in the Latrobe Valley in the Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia. Here she played in a $25,000 tournament as the third seed. In 2007 Gajdosova exited the tournament in the opening round at the hands of her doubles partner Jessica Moore, a player with whom she has teamed up with here once again. This year, a 61 60 win over Renee Lampret, an Australian qualifier, saw her move comfortably into the second round. Gajdosova followed this up with further straight sets victories over qualifiers in the next two rounds with the loss of just three games in each match. Her quarterfinal tie came against Jessica Moore, her doubles partner here for the second year running and also the second seed, giving her the opportunity to gain revenge for that 2007 defeat. The match went to three sets and it was Gajdosova who was celebrating at the end after winning 63 26 64. In the final Gajdosova took on the top seeded player, Melanie South from Great Britain. The first two sets proved evenly matched with each player winning a set 63 but in the deciding final set it was Gajdosova who stepped up a gear and conceded just one game as she wrapped up a 63 36 61 victory to take the title. In doubles, Gajdosova with her partner Jessica Moore, as fourth seeds, made it through to the final where they were defeated in straight sets by the number one seeded pair.
Next came a trip to Taipei City, located on the Danshui River at the northern tip of Chinese Taipei. The humid subtropical climate associated with this region did not hinder her progress through the rounds however, as she recorded successive straight sets victories to make the final. There, sixth seeded Gajdosova dropped the opening set against her Italian opponent, Corinna Dentoni, before fighting back to claim the title with a 46 64 61 victory. Gajdosova once more teamed with Jessica Moore in doubles. Together, they made an early exit from the tournament, losing a close match against the top seeds and eventual champions in the first round.
A $50,000 tournament in Tokyo, Japan brought the month to a close for Gajdosova. Tokyo, Japan’s capital city since 1868, is located on the eastern side of Honshu Island within a humid subtropical climate zone. Gajdosova, named the fourth seed for this tournament, opened with straight sets victories over her quarterfinal and semi final opponents from Taipei, losing just six games. Sixth seed, Jessica Moore, her doubles partner and semi final opponent in Traralgon, was then defeated in the quarterfinal 63 61 to set up a semi final match against the 2007 champion, Sophie Ferguson from Australia. Ferguson took the opening set 64 but Gajdosova lost just six more games as she fought back to win the match 46 64 62. The final saw Gajdosova take on another former champion, Ayumi Morita, the 2006 winner. Gajdosova was however unable to prevent Morita from winning her second title here as the third seed ran out a 62 26 63 winner.
Her form during the month has seen her return to the WTA top 100 for the first time since July 2007. Gajdosova has increased her singles titles count to eleven from fourteen finals on the ITF Women’s Circuit with four titles coming from her six appearances in a final in 2008. She now stands in joint second place with six other players on the list of singles title winners on the 2008 ITF Women’s Circuit, one behind the leader Masa Zec-Peskiric.
* Australian Institute of Sport (AIS)