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MANUELA MALEEVA

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. Her name Manuela is after her grandfather's Manuk. Manuela Maleeva's parents are sportspeople and that's why in their family living was in a healthy way. That included practise of some sport- tennis in the summer and the winter and some skiing in the winter. That is how everything begun

In creating a professional tennis player, leading part had mother Julia Berberyan, who after winning nine Bulgarian tennis titles decided to become a coach.After this decision of Julia Berberyan, Manuela's duties become more pressing, for she had to prove that she is a good player not because that she had a mother coach, but because she was really talented and complex player, that she was able to manage in the same conditions.

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.

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.