Sat, 12 Mar 2005

From: Reuters

Vaidisova leads teenage parade at Indian Wells

Agencies, Indian Wells, California

Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic led a parade of teenagers into the second round of the Pacific Life Open WTA tournament on Thursday.

The 15-year-old Vaidisova ousted experienced American Mashona Washington 7-6 6-4 and will now play 11th seed Karolina Sprem of Croatia.

"It was a pretty good effort for a first-round match," world number 63 Vaidisova told reporters.

"I was happy to pull out the tiebreak. She plays very quickly and I had to get used to her rhythm."

Vaidisova has shot up the rankings since winning her first tournament in Vancouver last August.

"Last year I proved I can play on the pro tour," she said. "This year I need to take another step and start beating the big players. It's just a matter of time."

Another 15-year-old, Sesil Karatantcheva of Bulgaria, also progressed with a 6-7 6-0 6-2 victory over Germany's Marlene Weingartner.

Karatantcheva now faces top seed Lindsay Davenport.

"I'm very excited to play the best player in the world," she said. "I'm going to approach the game more professionally."

She reached the third round in Indian Wells last year, losing to Russia's Maria Sharapova.

Karatancheva played four events in 2004 as a 14-year-old, collecting US$70,000. But she is best known for her outspoken comments before the Sharapova match, where she boasted she was going to "kick her (expletive) off".

Sixteen-year-old American wild card Jessica Kirkland saved a match point before overcoming Russian Galina Voskoboeva 6-2 0-6 7-6.

Another 16-year-old, Viktoriya Kutuzova of Ukraine, beat Swiss Emmanuelle Gagliardi 7-6 6-4.

American Angela Haynes knocked out Mara Santangelo of Italy 6- 4 6-4 to set up a second-round meeting with third seed Maria Sharapova.

The men's event here begins on Friday. World number one Roger Federer is the top seed, followed by Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick and Marat Safin.