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Varvara Lepchenko


Varvara LepchenkoVarvara LepchenkoVarvara LepchenkoVarvara LepchenkoVarvara Lepchenko

Varvara Petrovna Lepchenko, born May 21, 1986 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is an Uzbek-American female professional tennis player. She reached her singles career high of no.59 on May 14, 2012. She has won eleven ITF singles titles during her career. Lepchenko was born in 1986 and started playing tennis at age seven; her father Petr became her coach. She reached a junior career high of no. 244 on January 5, 2004 after turning pro in 2001. In 2006, she reached the second round of the US Open, and later that year she reached her career high of no.84 on October 2, 2006. She has won eleven ITF titles in her career, all in the United States. Her most recent title came in 2011, in Kansas City, MO. In the 2009 MPS Group Championships, as a lucky loser, she upset 4 seed Patty Schnyder in the first round. She also reached the final of an ITF tournament in Cuneo this year. In 2011, Lepchenko recorded the biggest win of her career by defeating 18th seed Flavia Pennetta in the first round of the French Open.

Varvara started her French Open with a win over the also unseeded Ksenia Pervak. In round 2 she upset 19 seed and former world number one Jelena Janković. In round 3 she defeated 14th seed 2010 French Open champion and defending finalist Francesca Schiavone. In round 4, she lost to 4th seed and 2011 Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitová, but it was a breakthrough tournament for Lepchenko as she never had advanced further than the 2nd round of a Grand Slam tournament previously. In September 2007, it was revealed that Lepchenko had become a U.S. citizen and that she would represent the United States in Women's Tennis Association tournaments. Lepchenko and her family, whose Russian–Ukrainian heritage allegedly made them a target of persecution in their homeland, were granted political asylum by the United States. They had lived in the U.S. for more than five years when Lepchenko began representing the United States. It didn't take long for Lepchenko to feel like an American. The 20-year-old native of Uzbekistan, with the powerful left-handed game and gritty determination, embraced her new country almost as soon as she arrived here 4 1/2 years ago. Now there's no place she'd rather be.

"I feel like I belong here, it's like my home right now" said 20-year-old Varvara Lepchenko, who hails from Uzbekistan. She is in the final eight in the Legg Mason Pro Circuit event."

"People are so nice. The whole atmosphere makes me feel great and appreciated here. I feel like I belong here all my life. I don't miss Uzbekistan at all. It's just in my past," Lepchenko said.

It didn't take long for Varvara Lepchenko to feel like an American. The 20-year-old native of Uzbekistan embraced her new country almost as soon as she arrived here over 4 1/2 years ago. Now there's no place she'd rather be.

"It's like my home right now," said Lepchenko, whose family's Russian heritage made them a target of persecution in her homeland. She fled the country with her father, Peter, and sister, Jane.

Lepchenko has flourished since leaving Uzbekistan, making a name for herself on the USTA Pro Circuit, professional tennis's equivalent of minor league baseball. Seeded No. 4 in the Legg Mason Pro Circuit event, she outlasted Britain's Anne Keothavong, 6-3, 6-3, to advance to the round of eight, where she met Australia's Nicole Pratt. Since turning professional in 2002, Lepchenko has steadily risen in the world rankings. She is currently ranked No. 115 after defending her title in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in June and winning in College Park last month. She has won four titles on the tour, success that has rekindled her motivation. Lepchenko's spirits also received a boost when her mother arrived. Lepchenko hadn't seen her mother since emigrating from the former Soviet republic.

Located north of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan is widely considered one of the world's most repressive societies. Although Lepchenko, her father and her sister were granted political asylum by the United States, her mother, Larisa Lepchenko wasn't allowed to come to this country until two weeks ago. Lepchenko became a citizen on September 24, 2011. But because of her status before becoming a citizen, she wasn't allowed to travel outside of the United States until recently. This prohibition severely hampered her tennis career, forcing her to play only events in this country. After initially moving to Miami, she now calls Allentown home. She says she prefers the lifestyle in Pennsylvania to that of South Florida, where her sister lives.

Profile of Varvara at: Womens Tennis Association

source: www.wikipedia.org







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