By McCarton Ackerman
Throughout the year, EmiratesUSOpenSeries.com will be taking a look at players who could contend or surprise during this year's Series. Next up: Fast-rising Swiss Timea Bacsinszky.
The Timea Bacsinszky File
Residence: Lausanne, Switzerland
Current Rank: 23
Career-High Rank: 22 (April 2015)
Best 2014 Series Finish: Qualified for New Haven (lost in 1R)
Bacsinszky was touted as a rising star in women’s tennis as a teenager, a belief cemented after she won her first WTA singles title in Luxembourg in 2009. But a serious foot injury in 2011 required surgery and kept her off the tour for 10 months and she initially languished in lower-level tournaments during her comeback.
Her fortunes began to turn in 2014, when she went from needing to play in qualifying at the Series events in Montreal, Cincinnati and New Haven to finishing the year inside the Top 50. Still, few would have expected the strong start to 2015 that Bacsinszky has had. In January, she defeated world No. 4 Petra Kvitova on the way to her first WTA final in five years, in Shenzhen, China. She then reached the third round of the Australian Open, won back to-back WTA titles at Mexican tournaments in Acapulco and Monterrey – her first WTA crowns since Luxembourg – and defeated world No. 9 Ekaterina Makarova en route to a quarterfinal finish at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif. Those results pulled Bacsinszky's record on the year to 19-3 boosted her ranking to a career-high No. 22.
Bacsinszky is known for taking the ball early, in a manner reminiscent of former two-time US Open champion Monica Seles. Her forehand is typically loopier and has more variety, but her flat backhand is well-disguised and produces the majority of her winners. She has also shown an increased willingness over the last year to finish points off at the net.
The Swiss player has historically struggled during the summer hard-court season. But she is clearly playing the best tennis of her career and is likely to be seeded at this summer's events – which could be the right recipe for a 2015 Series breakthrough.