Tennis: Five things about Polish underdog Magda Linette

Poland's Magda Linette celebrates after winning her quarter final match against Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova on Jan 25. PHOTO: REUTERS

Magda Linette will continue her run into the semi-finals of the Australian Open after beating former world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova on Wednesday. The 30-year-old, who is world No. 45, next faces Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka. Here are five facts about the unheralded Pole.

1. Previous win record

Linette has previously competed in 29 Grand Slams and has never gone beyond the third round at any of them. She made her professional debut on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Circuit in Poland in 2007 at the age of 15. In 2010, she won four singles titles on the ITF Circuit.

She first finished within the top 100 of Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings in 2015, and within the top 50 in 2019. She won her first WTA Challenger title at the 2014 Ningbo International Open and her first WTA Tour title at the 2019 Bronx Open.

2. She picked up tennis at the age of five

Linette inherited her love of the game from her father Tomasz, a tennis coach. He was also her first coach.

After he stepped down, she was coached by Michal Dembinski before she switched to Izo Zunic. The two later became a couple. Linette is currently coached by with Mark Gellard, whom she has known since 2014.

3. Her tennis idol is Monica Seles

Linette’s tennis idol and role model growing up was Monica Seles, who represented Yugoslavia and the United States. Seles is a former world No. 1 who won nine Grand Slams singles titles, and was named one of the “30 Legends of Women’s Tennis: Past, Present and Future” by Time magazine.

Monica Seles (right), nine-time Grand Slam champion, giving advice during the tennis clinic organised by the Singapore Tourism Board. PHOTO: TNP FILE

4. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in business administration

The WTA has a partnership with Indiana University East to support members in their pursuit of post-secondary education opportunities. In 2021, Linette was one of the players to graduate from IU East, with a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in marketing, minor in sport marketing and management, and a minor in communication studies.

According to a WTA article, Linette received her diploma while she was at a tournament.

5. She loves to travel and sing

According to an article by WTA, Linette became an avid fan of karaoke when she began to train in Guangzhou in 2014. “Oh my God, I love it; I have too many to choose a favorite song but I’m really awful at it, it’s painful for people around to listen to me but I really love it,” she said.

Linette also loves travelling. On her personal website, her blog posts on travel are in a category of their own alongside posts about tennis and tennis events.

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