Polyna Leykina

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Her ideal player has Serena William's serve, Kim Clijster's groundstrokes, Justine Henis' volley, Victoria Azarenka's positioning and concentration, Dominika Cibulkova's speed and fighting spirit.

Russian former Junior Fed Cup player Polyna Lekina is enjoying her highest WTA ranking (No.491) and aims to break into the top-300 before the end of 2013. She was born in Moscow from a Moscow family. Her mother did gymnastics and ice skating and her father is a former road racing cyclist. It was him to take him to the the Belokamennaya Club in Moscow. “It was love at first sight! I immediately started doing well for my age and I never stopped”, Lekina said in an interview for the ITF website.

Actually coached by the Croatian Velimir Zovko, Lekine got her first ranking point in 2011, defeating Katja Milas in Doboy (Bosnia). This year she reached a final in a $10,000 in Netanya, Israel, and two semifinals.

“It’s really great to be a professional player! I love the feeling when I improve everyday, when I have good results. I love travelling and getting in touch with different people from different countries and cultures” Lekina said, adding that her idols are Andre Agassi,Novak Djokovic and Amanda Coetzer.

A long time ago, Lekina recalls, “my first racket broke during the match and then I broke the strings of the other one. I was very young and I didn’t have any other frames left in my bag! So I had to finish the match using one of the rackets that my opponent kindly gave to me. It was really tough but in the end I won”.

Turning pro was a big challenge for her. “I had to improve a lot of big and small things. I worked, I’m still working and I will always work, on myself as [much as] on my tennis skills. I can say that now I feel really more confident. I can understand a lot of things, mainly small things that I never considered important during my junior career. Those things are helping me to be a better person and a better player”.

How to achieve such goals? “Always know what you want, work hard, fight till the end and be positive, always, no matter what happened”.