Four youngsters to watch at Wimbledon 2013
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Four youngsters to watch at Wimbledon 2013

Last Updated: Saturday, June 22, 2013, 11:15
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Four youngsters to watch at Wimbledon 2013Paris: Young, colourful and heading for the headlines at Wimbledon, a look at four players with plenty to offer, on and off the court:

Donna Vekic

- Not 17 until June 28, Vekic is the youngest player in the top 300 and will be making her Wimbledon debut. Tall, blonde, self-assured, the London-based Croatian has not surprisingly already drawn comparisons with Maria Sharapova, who was a Wimbledon champion at 17.

The world number 64 was runner-up in Birmingham last weekend in what was her second final appearance.

"You can`t influence what the headline writers write. But still Sharapova is a pretty good person to look up to," said Vekic`s coach, David Felgate.

Yulia Putintseva

- Number 90 in the world, the Russian-born Kazakh may only stand at a modest 1.63m, but she`s not lacking in big opinions.


At the Brussels claycourt event in the run-up to the French Open, she was accused of poor sportsmanship by Coco Vandeweghe after beating the American in qualifying.

"I have never played a person with worst sportsmanship... Putintseva...," tweeted Vandeweghe.

"Her exact words were "You are a terrible player only serve. I win all the rallies" that comment is totally uncalled for......and on top of it your father clapping while you say this haha, unreal."

Putintseva fired back, also on Twitter: "i think she is angry coz before the match she thought that im not her level of player: lol."

Grigor Dimitrov

- Former boys champion at Wimbledon, Dimitrov will attract the tabloids` attention courtesy of his own good looks and the fact that he is dating Maria Sharapova.

The 22-year-old Bulgarian defeated world number one Novak Djokovic in Monte-Carlo before being pictured for the first time walking arm-in-arm through the streets of Madrid with Sharapova.

Tries not to take his status as a sex symbol too seriously.


"Why don`t you ask the people? Why are you asking me? How can I put myself out of the top 3 then? Tell me," joked Dimitrov at the French Open when asked where he would place himself in a top 10 of the sexiest men on the tour.

Ernests Gulbis

- The 24-year-old Latvian, was just outside the top 20 in 2011. That was before Gulbis, the son of an investment banker, lost his career focus and slipped down to 150 at the end of 2012, a consequence of too many late nights and a fondness for drinking and smoking.

"I could go out and get wasted and smoke some stuff, you know. Not some stuff, cigarettes. Marijuana, unfortunately, it`s not legal for tennis players, which I honestly don`t understand why. But that`s my own opinion. But yeah, now I quit everything, and I live a healthy lifestyle," he said in March.

Gulbis made more headlines at the French Open when he accused Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal of being boring.

AFP

First Published: Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 17:21

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Rank Player
1 Rafael Nadal (ESP)
2 Novak Djokovic (SRB)
3 Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI)
4 Roger Federer (SUI)
5 Andy Murray (GBR)
6 Tomas Berdych (CZE)
7 David Ferrer (ESP)
8 Del Potro, Juan Martin (ARG)
9 Milos Raonic (CAN)
10 Ernests Gulbis
Rank Player
1 Serena Williams (USA)
2 Li Na (CHN)
3 Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)
4 Simona Halep (ROU)
5 Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
6 Petra Kvitova (CZE)
7 Jelena Jankovic (SRB)
8 Jelena Jankovic (SRB)
9 Angelique Kerber (GER)
10 Dominika Cibulkova (SVK)