She’s 6-foot-3, so the coach of Uzbekistan’s national basketball team keeps trying to recruit her. Akgul Amanmuradova is sticking with tennis instead, and the tallest woman on tour is in the French Open’s second round.
Amanmuradova, who had to go through qualifying just to get into the tournament, beat Vania King of the United States 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-3 Tuesday, setting up a match against No. 6-seeded Nicole Vaidisova on Wednesday.
The 5-5 King defeated Amanmuradova in a tournament in Thailand last year, so she knew what awaited her, AP reported.
``I think she’s not well-known, but she is most known for being the tallest WTA player,’’ King said. ``I went out there expecting a tough match.’’
Amanmuradova trailed 5-1 in the first-set tiebreaker before reeling off six consecutive points, including three clean groundstroke winners and a drop shot that showed a deft touch.
``I still can’t believe that I won - that doesn’t happen to me every day,’’ said Amanmuradova, who owns only one other victory at a major tournament.
She began playing tennis at age 10, relatively late for a pro, and that was only because her home in Tashkent is near a tennis club.
``I started as a hobby. I didn’t think about any professional career,’’ Amanmuradova said. ``I was like a normal child. I wasn’t thinking about playing in Grand Slams - they were like outer space, so far away for me.’’