Renata Voracova (Czech Republic)
One month after turning 29, the former WTA Top 100 ranked player Renata Voracova from the Czech Republic is our featured female player in November, a month that saw the experienced Czech compete in two $10,000 tournaments in Great Britain and also a $15,000 tournament in her homeland.
First up were the two British tournaments, the first of which was staged in Loughborough, Leicester, with Voracova named as the No.1 seed at the indoor hardcourt tournament.
She won her first three rounds comfortably in straight sets, including a quarterfinal win over fifth-seeded Brit Jade Windley. Another seed, Ana Bogdan of Romania, faced her in the semifinal and it was the Romanian who struck first, taking the opening set on a tiebreak 75.
Voracova did not allow this to distract her from the task in hand and quickly levelled the match, dropping just two games in the second set. The players then split 10 games in the decisive third set, which finished 64 in the Czech’s favour.
Sixth seeded Julia Kimmelmann of Germany was her opponent in the title match, her third consecutive seeded opponent, and a tough battle ensued.
Voracova edged the first set 75 and the second was even closer, requiring a tiebreaker to separate the two players before Kimmelmann drew level after pinching it 86. It was Voracova who hung on to wrap up victory in the third set, winning the decider 63.
Victory saw Voracova claim her second ITF Pro Circuit singles title of the year having previously triumphed at a $50,000 tournament in late September, her first singles title for almost two years.
From Leicester, Voracova travelled across to Edgbaston in Birmingham for another British $10,000 indoor tournament where she was once again named the top seed.
Voracova faced two tough battles in the opening rounds, winning 63 76(3) and 76(5) 63 to take her into the quarterfinals.
The top half of the draw, featuring Voracova as No.1 seed, saw all seeded players win through to the quarterfinal stage but in the bottom half not one seed survived to reach the last eight.
Her quarterfinal match against fifth seed Chantal Skamlova from Slovakia was to be her only three-set match of the week and Voracova came through 62 36 63 to remain on course for another title.
Britain’s Jade Windley, seeded sixth and defeated by Voracova in Leicester, was to be her opponent for a place in the final. Voracova raced through the first set 61 and then secured a place in the title match with a second set 7-5 tiebreak win.
Voracova’s semifinal win over Windley denied the crowd a guaranteed British champion as wild card entrant Harriet Dart had also made it to the title match. Dart put up a good fight but was unable to give the home fans the trophy they craved as Voracova won a second title in as many weeks with a 64 62 win.
Voracova's month ended on the banks of the Olza River in the Czech Republic village of Vendryne, where she was seeded fourth at the $15,000 indoor tournament.
Following two straight sets wins Voracova was given a fright in her quarterfinal after dropping the opening set 7-2 on a tiebreaker to her Slovakian opponent Lenka Jurikova. Although Voracova recovered to take the next two sets, both were hard fought and she narrowly won 64.
After beating fellow Czech national and wild card entrant Jesika Maleckova in another three-setter, 76(6) 4-6 6-2, Voracova reached a third successive singles final, this time against another compatriot and top seed Sandra Zahlavova.
With a chance to claim a hat-trick of titles in the same month within her grasp, Voracova fought well in the opening set against the top seed and forced the opener to a tiebreak. From there, the match became a more one-sided affair and Zahlavova delivered a 7-1 thumping before racing to the title, winning six games in a row in the second set to defeat Voracova 76(1) 60.