The Runner Sports

Kateryna Bondarenko Wins First Singles Title In 9 Years

Yesterday, former top 30 player Kateryna Bondarenko won her first singles title in nine years in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Bondarenko took out No.2 seed Timea Babos 6-4, 6-4 for the title, and claimed victories over No.7 seed Nao Hibino and former world No.2 Vera Zvonareva along the way. Kateryna retired back in 2012, but returned to the tour in 2014, climbing her way back into the top 100. However, heading into Tashkent, Bondarenko had a rough couple of seasons, inevitably having her ranking dip back down to No.133. Bondarenko’s other singles title came on the grass-courts of Birmingham, United Kingdom in 2008.

That year was Bondarenko’s best season. While she won her first singles title that year, Kateryna also paired with her sister Alona to win the Australian Open doubles title, the Open Gaz de France in Paris, and finished in fourth place in the women’s doubles event at the Beijing Olympics.¬†Along with Alona, Kateryna has another sister that competed on the WTA tour, Valeria, so her background in the sport is strong-Alona is actually making a comeback of her own on the challenger circuit. After retiring to become a mother, Kateryna’s drive for success came back, and now she has a second singles title to her name.

Kateryna is known for having a bit of a temper, which may be the cause for only two singles titles, but she has a solid game. Her serve is not the fastest, but she can get it up to 109 or 110 mph. The backhand is the more consistent of the two groundstrokes, but the forehand is hit harder. Kateryna can also move well around the court, and obviously is not afraid of the net, considering she has a Grand Slam doubles title. It is just that temper that gets the better of her most of the time.

With another title under her belt, this may be the best Kateryna the world has seen, at 31 years of age. But players are sticking around on the tour longer, so 31, is the new 21.

Conrad Ellis

Conrad Ellis

Stevenson University graduate, class of 2016
Played tennis for 14 years and counting, favorite shot is forehand
Conrad Ellis