Marketa Vondrousova Player Profile

by Alex Mann

She kind of came out of nowhere to snag the Wimbledon trophy from Ons Jabeur. But who is really Marketa Vondrousova?

Marketa Vondrousova

Marketa Vondrousova drop-shotted her way to her first major title at this year’s Wimbledon, but who is the cat-loving, tattooed champion?

Marketa Vondrousova was born on 28th June 1999 in Sokolov in the Czech Republic. The Czech first picked up a racquet at four, playing with her father, David Vondrous.

Vondrousova had a stellar career as a junior. In 2015, she reached world junior number 1. She also reached the back-to-back semi-finals of the 2014 girls’ singles tournament at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, losing out to eventual champions Daria Kasatkina and Jelena Ostapenko, respectively.

Big breakthrough

After a few years competing on the ITF tour, Vondrousova made her big breakthrough on the WTA tour in 2017. At the age of 17 and competing in only her second WTA event, she came through qualifying before defeating Anett Kontaveit in the final to win the Ladies Open Biel/Bienne, Switzerland. With the title win in Switzerland, Vondrousova rose from 233 in the world to a then-career high of 117 in the WTA singles rankings.

She continued her success in the following months, qualifying for her first main draw at the 2017 French Open before losing out to Daria Kasatkina in the second round. Vondrousova ended 2017 ranked 67 in the WTA singles rankings.

At the beginning of 2018, the Czech reached the second round of the Australian Open, narrowly losing out to the 8th seed Carolina Garcia 8-6 in the third set.

Vondrousova reached her only semi-final of the 2018 WTA season at the 250 event in Gstaad, Switzerland.

Rocketing up the rankingspage1image29784912

2019 was the Czech’s breakout year. Ranked 61 in the world, she defeated world number 2, Simona Halep, at Indian Wells to record her first-ever top-10 win.

At the French Open, the unseeded Czech drop-shotted her way past Y. Wang, Potapova, Suarez Navarro, Sevastova, Martic, and Konta to reach her first major final.

Although Vondrousova lost out to world number 8 Ash Barty, who would go on to reach world number 1, the result skyrocketed her up the rankings, reaching number 16 in the world.

A wrist injury plagued the rest of Vondrousova’s season, and her last match of the year was a loss to Madison Brengle at Wimbledon.

Vondrousova played only a handful of events in 2020.

She lost in the first round of the French Open to eventual champion Iga Swiatek and failed to make any final appearances during the season.

At the 2021 Olympics, Vondrousova fought past the likes of Naomi Osaka, Paula Badosa and Elina Svitolina to reach the gold medal match.

Standing in her way was Swiss Belinda Bencic. In a tight three-set match, the Czech lost but was awarded with a silver medal for her and her country, the Czech Republic.

After the highs of 2021, Vondrousova once again succumbed to injury. She had wrist surgery which forced her out of the 2022 French Open.

Playing under protected ranking

The Czech did travel to Wimbledon, not to play, but to support her friend and fellow Czech, Miriam Kolodziejova who had reached the qualifying major stage for the first time.

Playing under a protected ranking, Vondrousova began her 2023 comeback season by defeating world number 2 Ons Jabeur in the second round of the Australian Open

She continued to succeed on the WTA tour, once again taking out Ons Jabeur in Indian Wells and world number 8 Maria Sakkari at the Italian Open.

The Wimbledon Fairytale

As good as Vondrousova had been playing in the lead-up to this year’s Wimbledon, her grass-court pedigree was almost non-existent.

She has only ever won one match at Wimbledon in her four appearances in the women’s singles draw.

Kanepi, Kudermetova, Vekic, Bouzkova, Pegula, Svitolina, Jabeur.

Six out of the seven of these women had more match wins at Wimbledon than Vondrousova. I would have picked almost all of these players to beat the Czech, but Vondrousova found her rhythm and tricky left-handed game, battling past them all to win her first-ever major title.

She became the first unseeded women’s player to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish with the win.

This wasn’t the only talking point of Vondrousova’s run to the final. During the fortnight, the Czech’s husband couldn’t watch any of her matches as he was on pet duties, looking after Frankie, the sphynx cat. Once Vondrousova reached the final, the cat sitter arrived so her husband could watch her play.

Now sitting at number 10 globally, do you think Vondrousova can continue her success during this year’s hard-court season?

Marketa Vondrousova’s Racquet

Marketa Vondrousova’s racquet is the Yonex Ezone 100. It is most likely an older model, potentially the Ai 100, with a cosmetic of the latest edition. She strings it with Yonex Poly Tour Air (a very soft polyester string) in the mains and Yonex Rexis in the crosses.

As with all pro-player racquets, there is likely some kind of customization going on, so if you know if Vondrousova adds any weight, how much, and where, let us know in the comments. /TN

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