The 2019 season has seen a ton of new faces emerge as rising stars and champions on the WTA tour. Making her move this week is 21-year-old Marie Bouzkova. The qualifier hasn't lost a set on her way to her first WTA Premier semifinals, and will face Serena Williams on Saturday.
Here are five things to know about the newcomer:
Bouzkova has dismissed three Grand Slam champions this week, Sloane Stephens, Jelena Ostapenko and Simona Halep. Her win over Stephens is her first Top-10 victory. On Friday night, Halep while retired down a set, 6-4. The Czech won her first Grand Slam major match earlier this summer at Wimbledon over Mona Barthel after getting into the draw as a lucky loser.
The newcomer to the Top 100 started training at the Bollettieri Academy in Florida as a pre-teen, and that's where she picked up her giant water bottle accessory thats present at every match she plays.
“Yeah, we bought it from some random girl who was just practicing there,” she told the WTA. “Now, I honestly can’t think of playing a match without the bottle. It just became a part of me, and now that I think about it it’s been more than 10 years that I’ve been playing with it.”
There’s always a quirky detail that is unique about each player and Marie Bouzkova’s is definetely the huge drink bottle.— Jimmie48 Photography (@JJlovesTennis) July 3, 2019
I still remember shooting my first match of hers in Biel and the bottle made it instantly memorable. pic.twitter.com/L35yczC1Gd
The Czech is no stranger to success on the ITF tour. She's won a whopping 12 singles titles, most recently taking home an $80,000 tournament in Kazakstan last month. She made her WTA debut in 2015, and her previous best result was reaching the final of a 125K Series in Guadalajara earlier this year.
Bouzkova had an impressive junior career, winning the 2014 US Open girls' title and also reaching the 2014 Wimbledon girls' doubles final. While many juniors forgo school when they pick up such success, Bouzkova is still deathly serious about her studies. She's pursuing a degree online with Indiana University East.
She's currently ranked No. 91, which is her career-high, but with her run this week, she will rise inside the Top 60.
Bouzkova faces Serena on Friday night, after the 23-time Grand Slam champion got past Naomi Osaka, 6-3, 6-4.