Tennis Prose



Biofile with Vania King

Status: 2010 Wimbledon and U.S. Open women’s doubles champion (with partner Shvedova on left). Winner of one WTA singles title (Bangkok in 2006).

Ht: 5-5 Wt: 125

DOB: February 3, 1989 In: Monterey, CA

First Tennis Memory: “My sisters (Mindy and Ivana) and I playing in the back of the courts when my brother (Phillip) was drilling with my dad, when I was like four.”

Tennis Inspirations: “Pete Sampras – although I play nothing like him [laughs]. And Justine Henin.”

Favorite Movies: “Fantasy, sci-fi, Tomb Raider II.”

Last Book Read: “Gosh. I read 20 books on this trip [laughs]. So, Neil Gaiman, the author – I have a few of them – American Gods, Coraline, Anansi Boys. Some of his short stories.”

Musical Tastes: “Pretty much everything, Christian, heavy metal.”

Hobbies/Leisure Activities: “Listening to music, meditating, biking, swimming.”

Current Car: “I have a RAV 4 and a Civic.”

Favorite Meal: “Chinese.”

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Mint chocolate chip.”

Greatest Sports Moment: “Maybe today (winning U.S. Open women’s doubles with Yaroslava Shvedova over Huber/Petrova 26 64 76). Hopefully in the future.”

Most Painful Moment: “I guess when I wanted to stop. (What happened?) After I turned pro (in July 2006), I stopped working with my dad (David) and I finished the year (ranked) at my highest – top 50. And then it was the next year when I actually started – I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well, and I think that other people thought that I should do better than I did that year, to be more than top 50. I thought that I should be better than that and I just put way too much pressure on myself. And I saw like all my friends, they went to uni(versity) and having fun, and I was, you know, traveling and not happy and losing. It wasn’t fun at the time. But I rededicated myself, thanks to my family, my team. I’m really glad now that I did choose to play tennis, because it’s a great life. I couldn’t see it then. But, I guess, it’s growing older.”

Favorite Tournaments: “Brisbane. Monterrey, Mexico. And Quebec City.”

Closest Tennis Friends: “Slava Shvedova, Olga Savchuk, Alla Kudrayavtseva, Anna-Lena Groenefeld – I don’t want to miss anybody because they’re gonna get mad at me [laughs] – Monica Niculescu, Alize Cornet. I have a lot.”

Funniest Players Encountered: “I think Monica is pretty funny. And Andrea Petkovic.”

Toughest Competitors: “I think everybody is tough.”

Favorite Players To Watch: “Nadal.”

Embarrassing Tennis Memory: “No, not really. I can’t think of one.”

Funny Tennis Memory: “Silly things at like, team tennis. I was in front of our home crowd, in front of the full stadium. And the first or second point, I took a nose dive and slid face-down on the court. And then everyone rushed over to see if I was all right. I was, like, I’m fine. I’m fine. I was trying to get everybody away because I was so embarrassed [smiles]. But just silling things like this.”

Favorite Sport Outside Tennis: “I don’t have one.”

People Qualities Most Admired: “Loyalty.”



  • Dan Markowitz · September 15, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Scoop, King does not smile broadly after every point she plays. We both watched her play Christina McHale at the Open in an early-round match, and when McHale took the second set, King didn’t look too happy.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 15, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Thanks for that correction. I saw a few points from her in the SF and F and she was smiling after every point. She smiles more on court in one match than Federer and Nadal do in an entire season, so it seems.

  • Richard Pagliaro · September 15, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Good biofile, Scoop. I covered that women’s doubles final and love King’s energy and enthusiasm which really seemed to piss Petrova off (not that it takes much to piss Petrova off the sun could be shining and she might take it as an insult). King hit 2 of the biggest shots of that final, showing courage both time – down match point on her serve she hit the forehand down the line to save it. At 4-all in the third-set tie break, she read the Petrova serve going wide, again she drilled the forehand return down the line behind Huber who was planning to poach.

    Amazing that King and Shvedova win Wimbledon then only won 1 more match together the entire summer until catching fire again at the Open. Clearly, Huber and Petrova wewre playing Shvedova in the end and Shvedova delivered big time with that beautiful lob winner on championship point. What made it such a great shot was she had drilled 4 or 5 passing shots in a row down the middle and Huber/Petrova volleyed them all back, so to step back and hit a touch shot like that lob going into the short court (she lobbed down the line not diagonally) a very, very tough shot and she hit the perfect lob.

    Two of the more exciting matches I saw that tournament were doubles matches – Bryan brothers over Qureshi/Bopanna and King/Shvedova’s win. Even though it was an empty stadium it was a hell of a finish to that match.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 15, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Thanks, yeah it was tough to get as I didn’t request the interview at the media center and just winged it and was able to get her and the escort to stop in the hallway and do it spontaneous before she ducked into the locker room. She was very nice about it and thoughtful, on the spot. Andy Kentla gave her a rose too. I really enjoyed watching her play and smiling so much, which as you say seemed to rile up Petrova. King and Shvedova winning two slams this year has to be one of the, if not THE biggest surprise story of the year, along with Schiavone at Roland Garros. Big fan of King now and her comeback story from the brink of quitting the sport.



Find it!

Copyright 2010
To top