Manuela Maleeva is the most successful Bulgarian Tennis Player. The Australian newspaper"Herald sun" defines her as:"A good tennis player!Something more even- one of the best! Well-bred, polite, ready to fight- splendid example for every aussie to copy from"
Manuela Maleeva was born on the 14th of Feb in Sofia, Bulgaria in the family of George Maleeva and Julia Berberyan. She is 1st of three sisters Malleevi (his sisters Katerina and Magdalena are top tennis players too). In creating a professional tennis player, leading part had mother Julia Berberyan.
Her competing career started in the junior tourneys in Bulgaria. In her age group she was with no rivalry, due to the fact that tennis was with no traditions in Bulgaria and most of the players were not good, and also because Manuela was really talented player able to fight. She soon started to take part in some tourneys in the communist countries -Jugoslavia, Romanaia, the Cheh Republic, where the tennis traditions were strong and the players were good. There she could prove that she was good - almost ever reached the semifinals and the finals of the tourneys, upsetting players older than her. Soon she was with no rivalry in Bulgaria at all. She won the Bulgarian tennis title at the age of 13 and 7 months to become the youngest player to do so.
The way that Manuela had to pass through to the professional tennis is very hard. Firstly, the communist restricted her activity. The hardships, however, were due not only to the hard conditions in Bulgaria. Another reason was the full information luck in Bulgaria. That's why in the beginning Manuela had been playing in tourneys not proper for her and that way she'd missed a lot of opportunities to reveal her enormoous potential. Another reason is the judgement injustice. The judgement couldn't allow a player from a country, situated "nowhere", to enter the tennis elite with such results.
In 1982 Manuela started to play in her first pro-events. She won some, reached the semis and the finals of others. As a result, on the 30 of April, 1982 Manuela appeared in the WTA rankings at N153(not sure). For 12 years in the pro-tennis Manuela had won more than $4000000 in prize money, won 17 WTA tourneys and many other events, had beaten almost every player and remained in the tennis elite for ten years.
Manuela Maleeva is the first tennis player in history to win three matches in one day. At the Italian Open 1984, she defeated the Roland Garos'78 Champion Virginie Ruzici (Rom), after that the Canadian star Carling Basset in straight sets and finally Chris Evert in the final 6-3 6-3. With the win over Evert, she became the only seventh player in the world to beat Evert on clay. The above photo is from this tournament.
In 1987 Manuela married F. Fragnier, who afterwards became her coach. In 1990 she started to compete for Switzerland. Currently Manula is living on the beach of the Geneve lake in Switzerland. She has tree children - Lora-Julia and Iva, and a boy Timo. She likes listening to misic and reading books. Though she is a citizen of Switzerland , Manuela admits she will always remain a Bulgarian.
1982-Leche($10000- Italy), Katania ($10000-Italy), Roland Garos - JuniorS, European Junior Championships;
1984-Lugano(Switzerland), Perudga(Italy), Indianopolis (USA), Pan Pasific(Japan)
1987-Wild Dunes(USA), Mahwah(USA), Sofia (Bulgaria)
1989-Wichita, Phoenix (USA)
1990-Indian Wells(USA), Geneva(Switz)
1991-Linz(GER), Geneva(Switz), Bayonne(France)
Show tourneys: 1984-Nasau(Bahamas), Sydney (AUS), Lions Cup(Japan;1987-Halifax(CAN);1989-Japan, Detroit(USA)
Doubles tourneys: 1982-Tapanto,Leche (Italy);1985-Indianopolis(USA)-K.Maleeva;1993-Amelia Island (USA)
Mix tourneys: 1984-US Open (with T. Galikson);1985-Marco Island( with T. Miot)
Team Tourneys: 1992-Hopman Cup(with Y.Klassek)
Fed cup results:1984-1/4 final;1985-1/2 final;1986-1/4 final;1987-1/2 fianl;1988- ;1989-1/4 final.
Olympic results: Bronze medal from the Seul'88 Olympic games
Tourney's finals: 1982-Kazerta(Italy), Bastad (Sweden),Orange Bawl(USA); 1984-Huston(USA); 1985-Washington(USA), Brighton(Great Britain);1986-Lugano(Switzerland);1987-Hilton Head(USA),Genf(Switzerland), Pan Pasific(Japan); 1990-Chicago(USA), San Antonio(USA); 1991-Barcelona(Spain), Genf(Switzerland); 1992-Kitzbuel(Switzerland)
Tourney's semis: 1982-Bari(Italy), Heatfeld(Germany); 1983-Hilton Head(USA);1984-East Hanover(Germany), Amelia Island(USA), Zurich(Switzzerland);1985-Hilton Head(USA), Roland Garos (France), Zurich(Switzerland); 1987-Neew York(USA),Masters(USA); 1991-Tokio(Japan), 1991-Italian Open(Italy), California(USA), Auckland(New Zealand), Philadelphia(USA); 1992-Pan Pasific(Japan), US Open(USA), Zurich(Switz),Monako(Monako); 1993-Amelia Island(USA), Starten Mountain(USA), Toronto(CAN)