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By Chris Oddo

(September 2, 2012) -- Andrea Hlavackova upset Maria Kirilenko on Saturday to reach the fourth round of the US Open in her first career main draw appearance. She'll face Serena Williams in the round of 16 on Monday.

To honor the occasion, let's find out more about the 26-year-old Czech:

Brew Crew:

If you like beer, Andrea Hlavackova is the type of woman you want to have as a friend. Her great-grandfather was the General Director of the Pilsner Urquell brewery in her hometown 80 years ago, and since then Hlavackova's family has kept the taps flowing. Her father is currently the Brewmaster at Pilsner Urquell. If you don't know about Pilsner Urquell, just think delicious Czech beer! In a recent piece in the New York Times, Ben Rothenberg reports that Hlavackova's family has run the company for nearly a century.

Golden Girl

Hlavackova may not be well-known on the singles court but in doubles she's right up there with the best in the world. Hlavackova won an Olympic silver medal just a few weeks ago in London. In the aforementioned NY Times piece, she mentioned how the prestige of that medal has affected the way she is viewed in the Czech Republic. “I think so far, it’s always been ‘daughter of the master brewer,’ and now the medal has changed it a little bit,” she said. “My father is also getting older, so he’s slowly retiring from his position.  He will always be the master brewer, but, you know, it’s changing.”  

Qualifying Blues

The US Open wasn't always a piece of cake for Hlavackova. She has failed to qualify for the US Open five times. Until this year, Hlavackova had never made it to the main draw, dropping her first-round qualifying match three times (2006, 2007, 2010), her second-round qualifying match once (2009), and her finally qualifying match another (2011)

Almost, but Not Quite

In 2011 Hlavackova lost a third-set tiebreaker in the final round of qualifying to Alexandra Panova of Russia

Doubles Trouble

Hlavackova owns 11 WTA doubles titles and is currently seeded third at the US Open with her partner Lucie Hradecka. The US Open is the only Grand Slam that Hlavackova has yet to reach the women's double semifinals in. 8 of her 11 career titles are with Hradecka, and the Czech duo is currently in third place in the race to the WTA year-end championships.

Grand Slam Glory

Hlavackova and Hradecka won their first and only Grand Slam title at the 2011 French Open. In 2012 they reached their second Grand Slam doubles final, losing to the Williams in two tough sets at Wimbledon.

Craving Singles Success

Hlavackova is currently the World No. 82, and her best career result on the WTA tour has been a quarterfinal in Quebec City in 2011. Hlavackova owns six career top 50 wins including yesterday's victory over World No. 12 Kirilenko. She has never defeated a top 10 player.

Still, the 26-year-old is hoping her singles success at the 2012 US Open is just the tip of the iceberg. “I’m thinking this is the perfect timing for me to make it in singles and prove to people that I’m not a doubles-player specialist,” she told the New York Times. “I’m a player who is playing singles and doubles well.”

She's a Bohemian

Hlavackova hails from Plzen, a city in Western Bohemia in the Czech Republic. Plzen is the capital of the Plzen region. The city is known worldwide for its Pilsner beer. The city is 90 KM west of Prague, at the confluence of four rivers.

She's a Surfer too

On the Olympic web page, Hlavackova listed surfing, along with music and dancing as her favorite hobbies.

A Lawyer in the Making


Hlavackova told Steve Fogleman of Tennis East Coast about her law education earlier this spring: “I have two and a half years, five semesters,” she said. “I had to stop because it was not possible to make it with all the travel. According to the law, I can only have four semesters off. So this winter, I have to get back into studies. I will definitely work on a special exception and get another postponement because I want to keep playing but I don’t want to lose that. If they don’t give it to me, I’ll try to combine it as much as I can.”

 

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