SoCalPROfile: Monterey Park’s Vania King

This week’s #SoCalPROfile hails from Monterey Park – the young American doubles talent, Vania King!

Most seventeen-year-olds have a lot on their plate – their first driver’s license, college and university tours, part-time jobs. 

Not Vania King. At seventeen, King decided to become a professional tennis player, and two years later moved to Florida to train with Tarik Benhabiles, the former coach of American grand slam champion Andy Roddick.

She has always been a step ahead of her peers. While others struggled through qualifiers and tried to keep pace with life as a pro athlete, King began her professional career on top, winning the PTT Bangkok Open, a Tier III tournament, in 2006. During her first year as a 17 year old pro, King reached as high as WTA #50 in world singles rankings, to date her highest pinnacle (currently, Vania comes in at #108). The 2009 US Open saw King’s best performance in a Grand Slam as a singles player, reaching the third round at Flushing Meadows.

Yet doubles is King’s true game. She ranks at #54 in current women’s tandems, with 14 tournament wins in her young career. She won the 2010 ladies’ doubles title at Wimbledon in straight sets alongside her partner, Russian-born Kazakhstani player Yaroslava Shvedova. Mere months later, King & Shvedova continued their newly found success by winning at the 2010 US Open, their second Grand Slam doubles title.

Delaying Vania King’s ascent in the rankings have been nagging injuries, from thigh and hip injuries in 2014 to this year’s BNP Paribas at Indian Wells, when she injured her ankle in an early round match against Germany’s Andrea Petkovic. Shortly after, King had successful surgery on her ankle, and looks forward to her return when health allows. Keep an eye on this 28 year old, and all of the potential still to be realized.

 

Jeremy Goode

 

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