Karolina Šprem

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Karolina Šprem
Karolina Sprem cropped.jpg
Šprem in-action at the 2004 Wimbledon Championships
Country  Croatia
Residence Varaždin, Croatia
Born (1984-10-25) 25 October 1984 (age 30)
Varaždin, Croatia
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
Turned pro July 2001
Retired 2011
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money US$1,298,606
Singles
Career record 266–170
Career titles 0 WTA, 10 ITF
Highest ranking No. 17 (11 October 2004)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 4R (2005)
French Open 3R (2006)
Wimbledon QF (2004)
US Open 1R (2003–06)
Other tournaments
Olympic Games 3R (2004)
Doubles
Career record 14–16
Career titles 0 WTA, 1 ITF
Highest ranking No. 182 (8 May 2006)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open 2r (2006)
Wimbledon 1r (2005)
Last updated on: 20 September 2012.

Karolina Šprem (born 25 October 1984, in Varaždin) is a professional tennis player from Croatia. She has won eleven titles (ten singles, one doubles) all at the ITF level. Her highest ranking is world no. 17, which she achieved in October 2004.

Personal life[edit]

Karolina was born to Gabro and Bozena Šprem in Varaždin, Croatia. She was introduced to tennis by her father at nine years of age. She turned professional in July 2001.

Šprem represented Croatia at the 2004 Summer Olympics held in Athens. She reached the third round in singles and the second round in doubles (with Jelena Kostanić).

On 14 July 2012, Šprem married Lebanese-Greek Cypriot ATP player Marcos Baghdatis at Trakošćan Castle in Croatia.[1] At Wimbledon 2012, as a spectator for Baghdatis' match on Centre Court against Andy Murray, Šprem confirmed that she and Baghdatis were expecting their first child in October 2012. Karolina gave birth to a girl, named Zahara, on 20 October 2012 in Zagreb, Croatia.[2]

Professional career[edit]

2003–2006[edit]

Šprem displayed stunning results at the beginning of the 2003 season. Playing on the ITF circuit, she had a record 29-match winning streak from January to March, which earned her four titles at Grenoble, Southampton, Redbridge and Castellon.

Later in the year, she went on to reach two WTA-level finals in Strasbourg and Vienna. She also reached the semifinals of the WTA event in Helsinki, and won the ITF event in Poitiers.

Šprem's career highlight came at Wimbledon 2004, where she was a quarterfinalist. She defeated the then-two-time champion, four-time finalist and world no. 8 Venus Williams en route. Her run was ended by Lindsay Davenport. The umpire of her match against Venus had awarded her an extra point in the second set tiebreak by mistake.[3][4]

After Wimbledon, Karolina struggled to find her good form she had, losing early in many tournaments. She began training with Borna Bikic.

She rebounded at the Australian Open 2005, where she had a run to the fourth round. In September 2005, at the WTA event in Kolkata, India, she reached the final after a string of good wins. However, she lost the final to Anastasia Myskina.

She made it to round three of Roland Garros 2006.

2007–2009[edit]

Sprem at the 2008 US Open

In late 2007, Šprem announced a permanent split from Bikic and returned to her old coach Ricardo Sanchez. She had to cope with a serious elbow injury, which needed surgery. She was out of the tour for 10 months.

In April 2008, she returned to the pro-tour, winning in Amelia Island over Ai Sugiyama and top-10 player Daniela Hantuchová, before falling to Lindsay Davenport in the third round.

In July, Šprem made the semifinals of a Tier III event in Budapest, eventually losing to Andreja Klepač.

In 2009, Karolina won three big ITF titles in Biberach, Torhout, and Mestre. She also qualified for the Australian Open, losing to Tsvetana Pironkova in the first round.

At the start of 2009, Šprem changed from a Wilson K-factor Blade 98 to a Tecnifibre racquet.

2010–2011[edit]

In 2010, she scored one of her biggest wins in years when she defeated 25th seed Anabel Medina Garrigues at the 2010 Australian Open. She followed this up with a tight loss to Australian wildcard Casey Dellacqua.

At the 2010 Open GDF Suez in Paris, Šprem made it through three rounds of qualifying to reach the main draw of the Premier event. In the first round, she defeated Timea Bacsinszky, before losing to sixth seed Shahar Pe'er in the second round.

In January 2011, Šprem went to Australia to begin the new season, where she failed to qualify for the tournaments in Brisbane and Sydney. She received direct acceptance into the main draw of the Australian Open, but was beaten in round one by Chanelle Scheepers.

During the Australian hard-court season, Karolina suffered a left-wrist injury, which forced her to stop competing. She tried playing in April at the tournament in Estoril, Portugal, but was unable to finish her first qualifying match against Heather Watson. This confirmed that the injury was very serious. She has been out of the tour since, and is still recovering.[5]

WTA career finals[edit]

Singles: 3 (0–3)[edit]

Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in Final Score in Final
Runner-up 1. 24 May 2003 Strasbourg, France Clay Italy Silvia Farina Elia 3–6, 6–4, 4–6
Runner-up 2. 14 June 2003 Vienna, Austria Clay Argentina Paola Suárez 6–7(0–7), 6–2, 4–6
Runner-up 3. 25 September 2005 Kolkata, India Hard (indoors) Russia Anastasia Myskina 2–6, 2–6

ITF Circuit finals[edit]

Singles: 14 (10–4)[edit]

$100,000 tournaments
$75,000 tournaments
$50,000 tournaments
$25,000 tournaments
$10,000 tournaments
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score
Runner–up 1. 2 September 2001 Mostar Clay Bosnia and Herzegovina Adriana Basaric 4–6, 3–6
Winner 1. 27 January 2002 Courmayeur Hard Germany Stefanie Weis 4–6, 7–6(7–3), 6–4
Winner 2. 17 February 2002 Bergamo Hard Italy Rita Degli-Esposti 6–1, 6–2
Runner–up 2. 31 March 2002 Rome – Parioli Clay Russia Dinara Safina 7–6(7–3), 2–6, 3–6
Runner–up 3. 23 June 2002 Gorizia Clay Spain Ainhoa Goni-Blanco 6–7(4–7), 1–6
Runner–up 4. 11 August 2002 Rimini Clay France Laurence Andretto 5–7, 4–6
Winner 3. 26 January 2003 Grenoble Hard France Sophie Lefèvre 7–5, 7–5
Winner 4. 16 February 2003 Southampton Hard Czech Republic Magdalena Zděnovcová 6–1, 3–0, ret.
Winner 5. 23 February 2003 Redbridge Hard Belarus Olga Barabanschikova 6–3, 6–2
Winner 6. 23 March 2003 Castellon Clay Slovakia Ľudmila Cervanová 6–3, 6–3
Winner 7. 2 November 2003 Poitiers Hard Italy Roberta Vinci 6–4, 7–5
Winner 8. 1 March 2009 Biberach Hard Belgium Kirsten Flipkens 6–1, 6–2
Winner 9. 11 April 2009 Torhout Hard Ukraine Viktoriya Kutuzova 6–1, 6–4
Winner 10. 11 April 2009 Mestre Hard Austria Yvonne Meusburger 2–6, 6–2, 6–4

Doubles: 1 (1–0)[edit]

Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score
Winner 1. 24 November 2002 Zagreb Hard Bosnia and Herzegovina Mervana Jugić-Salkić Croatia Jelena Kostanić
Croatia Matea Mezak
6–2, 6–4

Grand Slam singles performance timeline[edit]

Tournament 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Australian Open A 1R 4R 2R 1R A 1R 2R 1R
French Open A 1R 2R 3R A 1R 1R 1R A
Wimbledon 2R QF 1R 3R A A 1R 2R A
US Open 1R 1R 1R 1R A LQ LQ 1R A

References[edit]

External links[edit]