Petra Marčinko Ends 2021 as World #1 Junior Tennis Player!

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Igor Kralj
Igor Kralj

When it seemed that this tennis year could not be better for Croatia after numerous doubles titles and becoming Davis Cup finalists, 16-year-old Petra Marčinko reached new heights, reports HRT.

Namely, Petra became the first player in history to win the most prestigious junior tournament – Orange Bowl – in both singles and doubles competitions and ends the year as the best junior in the world! 

Marčinko defeated the seventh junior in the world, Russian Diana Schneider, in the final of the Orange Bowl in three sets (3:6, 6:1, 6:3). In the doubles final, Petra reached her second title with Schneider, celebrating 7:6, 6:0 against the Czech team Brenda and Linda Fruhvirotva.

After a phenomenal success at the Orange Bowl, the world’s largest junior tournament, the 16-year-old from Zagreb jumped nine places in the new ITF ranking of the world’s best juniors and took first place.

Petra was born on the day Croatia won the Davis Cup in 2005 and won her first international tournament on the same day Croatia lifted the second Davis Cup 2018. Some may see this symbolism as a good sign for Petra’s future, but Petra has already proven that the Orange Bowl and the first place in the junior rankings are not a coincidence.

“Winning such an important tournament and being the first in the world means a lot. The biggest success in my career so far,” says Petra, adding that she did not expect it.

“My goal was to be in the Top 10,” she added.

Her Orange Bowl success was something no one in the 75-year-old tradition of the competition has succeeded. The only other Croatian to win this tournament was Ana Konjuh in 2012.

“Ana is one of my role models. I hear stories about her, and it’s always been a part of my career,” says Petra, who has already been named the best tennis player in Europe under 14, and behind her is an excellent season in which she celebrated at the recent tournament in Cape Town.

“The whole season mainly was pretty good. I started with South America; I won one of a few tournaments and played Grand Slams, which was a good experience. There was also the quarterfinal at the US Open; it is my best result at the Grand Slams, and now I recently won that Grade A. All together very well,” says Petra. 

And how did it all start?

“I started playing tennis at the age of six. Dad took me to train. It was the first sport I ever tried, and I didn’t even try anything else,” said Petra.

“In about five years, I want to be on the WTA tour. I want to win the Grand Slam; that’s my goal. I think that’s the most you can do in tennis,” she concluded.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page


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