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Get to Know American Katie Volynets

By Richard Pagliaro | Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Veronika Kudermetova was reminded of a tennis truth down under: What you don't know can hurt you.

Unheralded American qualifier Katie Volynets isn't the biggest name in the Australian Open field, but she scored one of the biggest upsets today.

On her third match point, Volynets blocked a volley into the open court stunning the ninth-seeded Kudermetova 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 to score her biggest career win on Margaret Court Arena.

More: McDonald Shocks Nadal

In her sixth career Grand Slam main draw, the 21-year-old Volynets reached a major third round for the first time.

Tennis Express

A tournament-high 18 American women started the main draw in Melbourne. Volynets joins 2022 finalist Danielle Collins, third-seeded Jessica Pegula, seventh-seeded Coco Gauff, Bernarda Pera and 10th-seeded Madison Keys in the group of Americans already into round three.

We realize many of you, like some of us, may not know a lot about Katie Volynets.

Here's a few facts about the woman with one of the coolest names in tennis to know more ahead of her third-round clash.

World No. 113 Volynets has attained a career milestone in Melbourne winning back-to-back Tour-level main-draw matches for the first time.

The victory vaults Volynets to a career-high ranking of No. 95 in the live rankings.

In round three, Volynets will face either Petra Martic or 23rd-seeded Shuai Zhang.

She is coached by German Henner Nehles.

Including qualifying, Volynets has scored five match wins in Melbourne Park. She wears adidas apparel and plays with Head racquets.

Volynets defeated world No. 9 Kudermetova in her first career match against a Top 10 opponent.

Prior to today's win over Kudermetova, the highest-ranked opponent Volynets faced was No. 15 Bianca Andreescu at the 2019 US Open.

Volynets is the first American woman qualifier to reach the Austalian Open third round since 2017.

The pride of Walnut Creek, California won the USTA's Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge last year to earn her way into the French Open draw.

If you're not familiar with Volynets' style, she's a quick-footed counterpuncher who redirects pace effectively and is an accurate ball striker. Volynets is not a particularly big hitter but plays smart combinations: She committed 28 unforced errors against Kudermetova, which was 19 fewer than the world No. 9.

The 21-year-old Volynets qualified for the ASB Classic in Auckland earlier this month where she lost to 42-year-old Venus Williams in the opening round. It was former No. 1 Williams' first main-draw win in more than a year.

Volynets, who has played extensively on the ITF Tour, told her goal is to become a complete player.

“I’ve definitely grown a lot as a player through the ITF programme,” Volynets told “When I first started playing I only played 25ks and then I got to progress to 60ks and now to a lot of 100ks. As you progress the level you also build your game.

“We’ve worked on a lot of mental aspects, physical aspects, different tools in the game and being a well-rounded player. Having no holes as a player is the ultimate goal and we’re working towards it every day."

Photo credit: Clive Brunskill