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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 January, 2004, 15:44 GMT
24 Magdalena Maleeva
Magdalena Maleeva
Born: 1/3/75
Nationality: Bulgarian
Seeded: 24
World ranking: 27
Australian Open best:
4th round (1991/1993/1994/2002)
Recent record:
2003: 3rd round
2002: 4th round
2001: 1st round

Maleeva, the youngest of three tennis-playing sisters, has enjoyed an impressive renaissance in recent years following a career-threatening injury.

She claimed the 10th singles title of her career in Birmingham last year and claimed her first WTA Tier 1 tournament in eight years in Moscow in 2002.

She described the victory as the highlight of her long career.

Maleeva first burst on to the scene in 1992 when she reached the quarter-finals of the US Open, defeating Martina Navratilova in the second round.

But it took the Bulgarian until 1995, when she won three titles, to reach the world's top 10.

At the beginning of the 1996 season she reached a career-high ranking of fourth.

Her progress after that was hampered by injury, until 2002 when she reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

Maleeva has been extremely consistent in Melbourne over the years, reaching the fourth round three times.

Maleeva's popularity with her peers was evident when she was elected as top 20 representative on the WTA Tour Players' Council to replace the retired Martina Hingis.

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