Reuters

Vaidisova aims for more

Vaidisova  aims for more
By Eurosport

07/06/2006 at 18:40Updated

Nicole Vaidisova will play her first Grand Slam semifnal when she takes on hard-hitting Svetlana Kuznetsova for a place in the final. The tall blonde from Eastern Europe has hit the airways and like 2004 Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova of Russia, the

Vaidisova has been all tennis since she left kindergarten. A Czech born in Germany, she moved back to Prague at the age of 6 and then left for a Florida tennis academy. Her stepfather, Alex Kodat, coaches her, and the super-motivating coach Nick Bollettieri aids him.

She's put in the necessary time at the junior level, then at the Futures level and then in lesser events on the pro tour, where she has already won six titles.

She learned the value of winning matches at all levels and consequently, in just her sixth Grand Slam, she has reached the semifinals against former U.S. Open champion Kuznetsova, who thrashed Dinara Safina.

Vaidisova won't be favored in that match, and even if she gets through there, certainly won't be favored to knock off either Henin-Hardenne or Clijsters in the finals.

The bad news for the 17-year-old is that Kuznetsova holds a 1-0 lead in their head-to head meetings, with a three sets win at Wimbledon last year.

But she wasn't expected to hold up in her prior matches. Every great player in the making has her breakout tournament and in the case of Vaidisova, it's possible that it will come in Paris on the final Saturday.

"If she can beat me (Svetlana Kuznetsova) , she should play well. There is no pressure out there. I have my pressure all behind already," Said a relaxed Vaidisova.

"My game is getting better, I can get to next level".

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