Silvija Talaja
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Silvija Talaja

Silvija Talaja
Country (sports) Yugoslavia (1991)
 Croatia (1992-2007)
ResidenceMakarska, Croatia
Born (1978-01-14) 14 January 1978 (age 43)
Imotski, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia
Height1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Turned pro1992
Retired2006
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money$1,135,876
Singles
Career record300-273 (52.4%)
Career titles2 WTA, 1 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 18 (29 May 2000)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open2R (2001)
French Open3R (1999, 2004)
Wimbledon3R (2000)
US Open2R (2001, 2003)
Doubles
Career record69-120 (36.5%)
Career titles1 WTA
Highest rankingNo. 54 (7 June 2004)

Silvija Talaja (born 14 January 1978) is a former professional tennis player from Croatia.

Talaja won two singles titles and one doubles title on the WTA Tour as well as one singles title on the ITF Circuit. On 29 May 2000, she reached her best singles ranking of world No. 18. In her career, Talaja defeated former world No. 1 players Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Jennifer Capriati as well as other top-10 players such as Conchita Martinez, Marion Bartoli, Nadia Petrova, Nathalie Tauziat, Anna Kournikova, Chanda Rubin, Barbara Schett and Irina Spirlea. Her best Grand Slam results were third-round appearances at Roland Garros (twice) and Wimbledon (once). She also won a gold medal at the 1993 Mediterranean Games in doubles.

After 15 seasons on the tour (five of which she finished in the top 100), Talaja married her long-time partner in 2006 and retired from professional tennis.

Career

The early years

Talaja debuted at the age of 13, representing Yugoslavia at the ITF Belgrade in 1991 but lost in the first round in three tight sets to C?t?lina Cristea. She played ITF tournaments in 1992, reaching one quarterfinal and one semifinal as well as scoring her first top-100 win (defeated Jenny Byrne). In 1993, she qualified for a WTA tournament in Essen where she lost to No. 1 seed Sanchez-Vicario in the first round. She reached the second round at WTA Palermo in 1994 and qualified for three WTA tournaments in 1995 (Zagreb, Palermo and Vienna).

First WTA final

In March 1996, Talaja won her first ITF title at Makarska and then reached her first WTA final at Bol). In August, she reached the semifinals at WTA Vienna and quarterfinals at Prague. In October 1996, she entered the top 100 for the first time.

In 1997, she debuted at a Grand Slam at the Australian Open. She reached the semifinals at Pattaya in 1998, but played mostly on the ITF Circuit.

Entering top 50

At the 1999 Australian Open, Talaja lost to fifth seed Venus Williams 7-9 in the third set, being two points away from victory. In May 1999, she reached the semifinals at the Warsaw Open and then made it to third round at Roland Garros. Talaja reached her second WTA final at s-Hertogenbosch and entered the top 50 for the first time. The following month, she reached the final in Vienna. The following week, she reached the semifinals in Sopot. In August, Talaja reached hear third semifinals of the season in Brussels and in November her fourth semifinal in Pattaya. On November 1999, she entered the top 30 for the first time. In 1999, Talaja won career-best 32 WTA Tour matches (going 18-9 on clay) and finished the season at no. 29.

Winning first WTA tournament

In January 2000, Talaja won the WTA Gold Coast, scoring three successive top-20 victories along the way (Anna Kournikova in the quarterfinals, Sanchez-Vicario in the semifinals and Conchita Martinez in the final. In May, Talaja won the her second WTA tournament of the year in Strasbourg. The following week, her ranking rose to a career-high at no. 18.She finished her most success on ranked at no. 30.

Injuries and come-back

In 2001, Talaja reached just one quarterfinal (in Gold Coast) and one semifinal (Porto) during the entire season (13 first-round losses). Struggling with injuries, Talaja dropped out of top 100 by the end of the year.

She started the 2002 season by reaching the semifinals at the Auckland Open (having gone through qualifications). She reached the semifinals at the Warsaw Open in May and reached the finals in Tokyo. She finished the season at no. 75, having reached quarterfinals at WTA events in Pattaya and Memphis.

2003 was the final top-100 season of Talaja's career. She reached the quarterfinals four times (at Hyderabad, Bol, Estoril and Nordic Open). Her year-end ranking was no. 93.

Final years of her career

In 2004, Talaja reached the quarterfinals once (Korea Open). In 2005, Talaja finished her season at no. 200. She played just three tournaments in 2006 and retired at the end of the year. In November 2007, she made a short come-back, playing at the $25k in Ismaning, Germany.

WTA career finals

Singles: 6 (2 titles, 4 runner-ups)

Result W/L Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Loss 0-1 May 1996 Bol, Croatia Clay Italy Gloria Pizzichini 2-6, 0-6
Loss 0-2 Jun 1999 Rosmalen, Netherlands Grass Puerto Rico Kristina Brandi 0-6, 6-3, 1-6
Loss 0-3 Jul 1999 Pörtschach, Austria Clay Slovakia Karina Hab?udová 6-2, 4-6, 4-6
Win 1-3 Jan 2000 Gold Coast, Australia Hard Spain Conchita Martínez 6-0, 0-6, 6-4
Win 2-3 May 2000 Strasbourg, France Clay Hungary Rita Kuti-Kis 7-5, 4-6, 6-3
Loss 2-4 Oct 2002 Japan Open Hard United States Jill Craybas 6-2, 4-6, 4-6

Doubles: 4 (1 title, 3 runner-ups)

Result W/L Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 0-1 May 2002 Warsaw Open, Poland Clay Russia Evgenia Kulikovskaya Slovakia Henrieta Nagyová
Croatia Jelena Kostani? To?i?
1-6, 1-6
Win 1-1 Jul 2003 Warsaw Open, Poland Clay Ukraine Tatiana Perebiynis Estonia Maret Ani
Czech Republic Libu?e Prová
6-4, 6-2
Loss 1-2 Aug 2003 Nordic Light Open, Sweden Clay Ukraine Tatiana Perebiynis Russia Evgenia Kulikovskaya
Ukraine Elena Tatarkova
2-6, 4-6
Loss 1-3 Jan 2005 Pattaya Open, Thailand Hard Poland Marta Domachowska 3-6, 1-6

ITF finals

$25,000 tournaments
$10,000 tournaments

Singles: 2 (1-1)

Result No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Win 1. 25 March 1996 ITF Makarska, Croatia Clay Czech Republic Zuzana Le?enarová 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
Loss 2. 1 June 1998 ITF Budapest, Hungary Clay Hungary Anna Földényi 2-6, 4-6

External links

  • Silvija Talaja at the Women's Tennis Association Edit this at Wikidata
  • Silvija Talaja at the International Tennis Federation Edit this at Wikidata
  • "Ni?ta se ne mo?e mjeriti s ro?enjem djeteta". Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). (Silvija Talaja's life after retirement)

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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