The 10th edition of Empire Slovak Open 2018 took place from May 12th to May 20th 2018. For the first time, I shot this largest women’s tennis tournament in Slovakia as the official tournament photographer. Viktoria Kuzmova became the second Slovak player in tournament history to win the title. She beat Veronica Cepede-Royg of Paraguay in three sets. Other notable players in the main draw were Andrea Petkovic and two time Grand Slam finalist Vera Zvonareva. The schedule was very demanding, as two full days had to be cancelled because of the rain.
On February 10. – 11. Team Slovakia played the Fed Cup 2018 World Group II tie against Team Russia. In the battle of young and upcoming players, Team Slovakia managed to win against Team Russia for the first time in 25 years in tennis team competitions. Viktoria Kuzmova made her debut in Team Slovakia, playing two rubbers. On Sunday, she recorded her first Fed Cup victory and secured the historic win for her team.
Team Slovakia: Magdalena Rybarikova, Viktoria Kuzmova, Jana Cepelova, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova
Team Russia: Natalia Vikhlyantseva, Anna Kalinskaya, Anastasia Potapova, Veronika Kudermetova.
Empire Slovak Open 2017 – the largest women’s tennis tournament is Slovakia saw some amazing battles. This ITF Event with the prize money of 100 000 dollars is often a lauching pad in the careers of young tennis players. I believe this year we’ve seen the future superstars of women’s tennis in Trnava. Marketa Vondrousova of Czech republic (17 years old) claimed the title, defeating Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay. With this victory Marketa broke into Top 100 for the very first time and continued her impressive match record. In the first 5 months of 2017, Marketa managed to win 47 matches and recorded only 6 loses. Anastasia Potapova of Russia (16 years old), who is currently the Junior number one, made another notable appearance. She lost to Cepede Royg in a very close semifinal match.
Viktoria Kuzmova recorded the best result for a Slovak player this year with 2nd round loss to Heather Watson. Watson and her british colleague Naomi Broady captured the doubles title. They defeated Renata Voracova and Chia-Jung Chuang in straight sets.