Marina Erakovic (Croatian: Marina Eraković pronounced [ɛraːkoʋitɕ]) (born 6 March 1988) is a professional tennis player from New Zealand. Her career high Women's Tennis Association (WTA) rankings are World No. 39 for singles, achieved on 7 May 2012, and World No. 25 in doubles, achieved on 24 June 2013. She has won one WTA singles title, at Memphis in February 2013.
Erakovic is the only New Zealander to have been in the top 100 singles players of the WTA in recent years. After four years in that group, she dropped to 103 after missing the 2014 Coupe Banque Nationale in Quebec, where she had been runner-up a year earlier. She bounced back to number 90 a week later, however, following her efforts at the Toray Pan Pacific Open. Her loss in the first round of doubles in the 2015 French Open dropped her out of the top 50 for doubles for the first time in over two years, and not defending her 2014 Topshelf Open doubles title dropped her ranking further to 72.
A knee injury in England in 2015 caused problems at Wimbledon, and ended her season completely after she had to withdraw from her first round match at the US Open. She finished the year ranked well out of the top 100 in both singles and doubles.
Erakovic was born in Split, Croatia (then part of Yugoslavia), and emigrated to Auckland, New Zealand, in 1994 as a 6-year-old with her family. She attended St Thomas's Primary School and Glendowie College in Auckland.
Erakovic and Monica Niculescu were the runners-up to Victoria Azarenka and Olga Govortsova (Belarusian spelling being Volha Havartsova) in the 2004 Wimbledon Championships girls' doubles, before Erakovic teamed with Michaëlla Krajicek to win the 2004 US Open girls' doubles title, beating Niculescu and her Romanian team-mate Mădălina Gojnea. Erakovic became the first player from New Zealand to win a Grand Slam title (Singles or Doubles) since James Greenhalgh and Steven Downs won the Boys' Doubles at Wimbledon and the French Open in 1993; before that, it was David Lewis, who won the 1981 Australian Open Boys' Doubles title in partnership with Australian Tony Withers. She then partnered Azarenka to an easy win in the 2005 Australian Open girls' doubles over Nikola Fraňková and Ágnes Szávay, and reunited with Niculescu to be runners-up in the 2005 Wimbledon Championships girls' doubles, defeated this time by Azarenka and Szávay.
2005–2007: New Zealand's No.1 and world Top 160
In 2005 and 2006, Erakovic won five International Tennis Federation (ITF) singles titles. She was a wildcard entry in the 2005 ASB Classic in Auckland where she lost in the second round. She lost in the second round of qualifying for the 2006 French Open.
In 2007 Erakovic lost in the second round of qualifying for the Australian Open, the first round of qualifying for the French Open, the first round of qualifying for Wimbledon, and the third round of qualifying for the US Open. She was a wildcard entry in the 2007 ASB Classic where she lost in the second round.
At the end of 2007, aged 19, she was the best female tennis player in New Zealand, ranked No.153 in the WTA rankings.
2008: climbing up to WTA Top 70
Erakovic received a wild card into the 2008 ASB Classic where she defeated World No. 67 American Ashley Harkleroad in the second round 7–6, 7–5, and defeated the top seed and World No. 22 Russian Vera Zvonareva 6–3, 2–6, 7–6 in a quarterfinal. She lost in the semifinals to World No. 90 Frenchwoman Aravane Rezaï 6–3, 7–5. Erakovic was the first New Zealander to reach the quarterfinals at this WTA event since Belinda Cordwell in 1990.
Erakovic lost in the first round of qualifying for the Australian Open.
At the French Open, World No. 80 Erakovic defeated World No. 56 Tathiana Garbin in the first round 6–7, 6–3, 6–3 before losing to third-seeded Jelena Janković in the second round 6–2, 7–6. She was the first New Zealand-raised player to make the main draw of a Grand Slam singles tournament since 1993.
At Wimbledon, Erakovic played her second career Grand Slam singles tournament. She defeated Krajicek in the first round and Julia Görges in the second round before losing to Tamarine Tanasugarn in the third round 4–6, 6–4, 6–4. She was the first New Zealand player to reach the third round at Wimbledon since Belinda Cordwell in 1988.
Erakovic played for New Zealand at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, where she lost in the first round to wildcard Ayumi Morita from Japan.
At the US Open, Erakovic lost in the first round to Pauline Parmentier of France 6–3, 7–6 but reached the doubles quarterfinals with Jelena Kostanić Tošić. This was the first time a New Zealander had reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament in either singles or doubles since 1994.
She ended the year ranked no.66 in the world, mostly due to her Wimbledon performance and the 3 semifinals reached in WTA International tournaments.
2009: injury and fall out of Top 200
In the 2009 ASB Classic Erakovic won a match in her home event for the first time, defeating Nuria Llagostera Vives of Spain in the first round 7–5, 6–4. In the second round, she lost to top-seed Elena Dementieva of Russia 6–2, 6–3.
At the 2009 Australian Open, in her first participation in the event, Erakovic advanced to the second round by beating Petra Cetkovská 6–4, 7–5. In the second round she was defeated by Lucie Šafářová 6–1, 3–6, 9–7.
Due to an ongoing hip injury, Erakovic missed the 2009 French Open. She also withdrew from Wimbledon with the same problem.
By the end of the year, she was out of WTA Top 200.
2010: more setback to Top 333
Erakovic competed in singles and doubles at the 2010 ASB Classic, losing in the first round in both events. She then competed at the 2010 Australian Open, losing to eventual semi-finalist Li Na in the first round. In doubles she and partner Casey Dellacqua lost to 11th seeded Russian pair Alla Kudryavtseva and Ekaterina Makarova in the first round.
Erakovic's next tournament was the 2010 PTT Pattaya Open where she again lost in the first round of the singles, however she and partner Tamarine Tanasugarn won the doubles title, Erakovic's fourth.
She reached the no.333 place in the WTA rankings with this poor performance.
2011: a reborn Marina, Top 70 again
Erakovic started her year with the 2011 ASB Classic in Auckland where she received a wildcard entry. She lost in the first round against Elena Vesnina 2–6, 2–6.
Erakovic then competed on the ITF where she won three titles.
In the 2011 Australian Open she defeated Irena Pavlovic in the first round of qualifying draw, but lost round 2 to Kurumi Nara.
Erakovic took part in the 2011 French Open where she won 3 straight matches in the qualifying draw against Ajla Tomljanovic, Kurumi Nara and Petra Cetkovská, qualifying her for the main draw. In the first round of the main draw she lost 6–2 4–6 4–6 to Arantxa Rus.
Erakovic qualified for Wimbledon, where she beat Kai-Chen Chang in the first round, her first singles Grand Slam win since the Australian Open in 2009. She lost to Daniela Hantuchová in the second round.
At the Bank of the West Classic, Erakovic had the biggest win of her singles career, defeating top seed and then World No.4 Victoria Azarenka in the second round to reach the quarterfinals.
In the US Open she was defeated in the first round by Mirjana Lučić after coming through 3 rounds of qualification.
Following the US Open, Erakovic made her first WTA final at the Challenge Bell in Quebec City. To reach the final she defeated Caroline Garcia, Irina Falconi, top seed Daniela Hantuchová and defending champion Tamira Paszek. In the final she lost to Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová.
This very good year made her quickly climb back to WTA no.61.
2012: Top 40 personal high, short-lived
At the Australian Open, Erakovic beat Irena Pavlovic in the first round and lost 6–3, 6–7, 3–6 to Christina McHale in the second round. In the doubles she and partner Chuang Chia-jung lost in the first round.
In May at the Italian Open, Erakovic (ranked World No.41) had one of the biggest wins of her singles career defeating World No.13 Sabine Lisicki in the first round. Earlier, ranked World No.45, she lost in the semifinals to Elena Vesnina at the Budapest Grand Prix, WTA International Tournament in Hungary ( 2012 Budapest Grand Prix – Singles ). This helped her reach her career high of Top 39 ... on 7 May 2012.
She reached the second round of Mercury Insurance Open, Carlsbad losing to Dominika Cibulková, 2–6 4–6.
She missed all 2012 tournaments after the US Open due to a right hip injury.
But at the end of the year she was down to Top 70.
2013: readvance to Top 50
Erakovic began her year at the 2013 ASB Classic, where she was defeated by Jamie Hampton in the second round of singles, and with Heather Watson as her partner, was defeated in the quarter-finals of the doubles.
Erakovic lost in the first round of the 2013 Australian Open to Alizé Cornet.
In February she won her first WTA singles tournament at the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships in Memphis, Tennessee. In doing so, she became the first New Zealander to win a WTA tour singles title since Belinda Cordwell won the 1989 WTA Singapore Open. It was to be the last time the tournament was played. Watson suffered a bout of glandular fever in March, keeping her away from the circuit for two months, and Erakovic subsequently teamed up with former World No. 1 Cara Black. They had immediate success together, reaching the finals of three European tournaments, although unable to win any.
At the 2013 French Open, Erakovic upset 16th seed Dominika Cibulková in the second round before losing to 17th seed Sloane Stephens in the third round, thus missing out on a fourth round match against defending champion Maria Sharapova. She and Black made it to the quarter-finals of the doubles, losing in three sets to second seeds Andrea Hlaváčková and Lucie Hradecká.
She was beaten by Laura Robson in the third round at Wimbledon, after being a set up and serving for the match. Seeded 11th, she and Black were beaten in the second round of the doubles by Eugenie Bouchard and Petra Martić, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-4).
At the US Open she lost her first round singles match to María Teresa Torró Flor 6-0, 6-4, while she and Black, this time seeded 13th, lost in a marathon third round doubles match, again to the second seeds (this time Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina).
Seeded sixth, she reached the final of the Challenge Bell in Quebec City for the second time, defeating Mallory Burdette, Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová (thus avenging her defeat by that player in the 2011 final), Ajla Tomljanovic and Christina McHale before losing in straight sets to Lucie Šafářová, 6-4, 6-3.
Erakovic lost in qualifying in both the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo and the China Open in Beijing. Her doubles partnership with Black had now ended, as Black joined forces with Sania Mirza to win both those tournaments and announced that the new partners intended to stay together through 2014. Although Erakovic was drawn to play doubles in Beijing with Elena Vesnina, she withdrew from that competition and all tournaments for the remainder of the year after the death of her grandmother.
The end of the year found her as WTA no.46th ranked player.
2014: regress to Top 80
At her home tournament in Auckland, the 2014 ASB Classic, Erakovic was reunited briefly with Cara Black in the doubles. Seeded second, they lost in the first round to local wild-card entry Sacha Jones and Abigail Guthrie. Erakovic then lost to Lauren Davis in the first round of singles. She also lost in the first round of both singles and doubles at the Hobart International, the latter to eventual winners Monica Niculescu and Klára Zakopalová when top seed with partner Zheng Jie.
At the Australian Open, Erakovic beat 21st seed Sorana Cîrstea in the first round of the singles, but lost to Kazakh qualifier Zarina Diyas 6-4, 6-0, in the second round. She and Zheng Jie were seeded 10th in the doubles, but lost 6-3, 6-3 in the first round to the French pair of Alizé Cornet and Caroline Garcia. At the Open GDF Suez in Paris, Erakovic again lost in the first round of both doubles (when paired with Petra Martić) and singles, trailing 3-6, 0-3 in the latter against Daniela Hantuchová before retiring with a back injury.
Erakovic then represented New Zealand at the Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Group II Round Robin Tournament in Astana, Kazakhstan. She had singles victories over opponents from Pakistan, Iran and India, winning each in straight sets and losing only four games in total, before losing her only doubles match when partnered with Abigail Guthrie. They were beaten 7-5, 6-1, by Indians Sania Mirza and Prarthana Thombare.
Her next tournament was the 2014 Qatar Total Open, where she again lost in the first round of both singles (to 12th seed Samantha Stosur) and doubles. In the latter, she and Petra Martić lost in a super tie-break to Anna-Lena Grönefeld and Mirjana Lučić-Baroni. With the Memphis tournament no longer in existence, and not playing in either of the tournaments now held during the third week of February, Erakovic dropped 17 places in the WTA singles rankings (from 52 to 69) as the points gained from her win in 2013 were lost.
Erakovic improved her 2014 record by reaching the quarter-finals in the singles at the 2014 Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco, Mexico. After a win over local wild card Ana Sofia Sánchez, she defeated sixth seed Bojana Jovanovski before losing 6-4, 7-5 to top seed (and eventual tournament winner) Dominika Cibulková in a match where both players struggled to consistently hold serve. Her doubles partner for this tournament, Ashleigh Barty, unfortunately had a gastrointestinal illness before the first round and the pair had to withdraw from the competition.
She then moved north to Indian Wells, California, where she and Petra Martić won their first round doubles in the 2014 BNP Paribas Open but lost in the next round to fourth seeds Květa Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik. She was well-beaten in her first singles match by Monica Niculescu. Her next tournament was the 2014 Sony Open Tennis in Miami, Florida, where she lost to qualifier Coco Vandeweghe in the first round of the singles and then, with Petra Martić, lost in a super tie-break to second seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the first round of doubles. Having been eliminated so quickly, she took the opportunity to play in a $50,000 clay court ITF tournament in Osprey, Florida. Seeded first, she went all the way to the final before losing 6-2, 6-3 to second seed Anna Schmiedlova.
The 2014 Family Circle Cup is the first WTA event of the season to be played on clay, and Erakovic scored what was described as one of her finest wins on that surface when beating former World No 3 Nadia Petrova in three sets in the first round. In the second round, however, she was well-beaten by the No 1 ranked junior in the world, Belinda Bencic. In the doubles, she and new partner Arantxa Parra Santonja were leading 5-4 over the No 1 pair in the world, Su-Wei Hsieh and Shuai Peng, before Peng suffered an abdominal strain and was forced to retire. Their second round (quarter-final) was the complete opposite, as they quickly lost to Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yaroslava Shvedova, who would go on to defeat the Chan sisters from Chinese Taipei in the final.
Erakovic returned to New Zealand for a holiday through most of April, before resuming as top seed at the $50,000 clay court ITF tournament in Indian Harbour Beach, Florida. She beat two qualifiers before losing to Anett Kontaveit in the quarter-finals. Moving over to Europe, she was beaten in the first round of qualifying singles for the 2014 Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome by Julia Görges. She progressed to the doubles in the quarter-finals, where, for the second time in the space of a few months, she came up against Květa Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik. She and partner Arantxa Parra Santonja were beaten 6-4, 6-4 by the fourth seeds, who went on to win the tournament after Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci had to retire when Errani injured her hip. They were second seeds in the doubles at the 2014 Nürnberger Versicherungscup, their last tournament before the French Open, but were well-beaten in the first round by Anna-Lena Grönefeld and Antonia Lottner. Erakovic then lost her first round singles match to top seed Angelique Kerber.
At Roland Garros for the 2014 French Open, Erakovic had an easy win over Nadiia Kichenok in the first round, before losing 6-4, 6-4 to fifth seed Petra Kvitová in the second round. She and Parra Santonja were seeded 16th in the doubles, and had straight sets wins in the first three rounds as they progressed to the quarter-finals, a performance which equalled Erakovic's run from the previous year. Up against the higher-ranked, but unseeded, Lucie Hradecká and Michaëlla Krajicek, they led the first set 5-2 before losing five games in a row, and were eventually defeated 7-5, 6-3.
The grass season in England began badly for Erakovic, when she was beaten in the first round of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham by Tímea Babos. Her original opponent, qualifier Irina Falconi, had withdrawn due to a viral illness, and Babos entered the main draw as a lucky loser. Erakovic and Parra Santonja were beaten in the first round of the doubles by the vastly experienced pair of Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond. In their final lead-up to Wimbledon, the pair moved across the North Sea to take part in the 2014 Topshelf Open at Rosmalen in the Netherlands. Erakovic's opening singles match was a titanic struggle against qualifier Coco Vandeweghe, who sent down 19 aces on the way to winning the match in a third set tie-breaker. Vandeweghe eventually won the singles title, defeating Zheng Jie in the final.
The doubles was a different story, as Erakovic and Parra Santonja moved steadily through the tournament with a series of straight sets wins, beating top seeds Andrea Hlaváčková and Zheng Jie in the semi-final. Six years to the day after winning this tournament with Michaëlla Krajicek as her partner, Erakovic stood triumphant again after a fairytale reversal of fortune during the final. Krajicek and Kristina Mladenovic sped through the first set 6-0 in under 20 minutes, had the lead at 5-2 and held two match points at 5-4 in the second set, before Erakovic and Parra Santonja broke back to force a tie-breaker, which they won 7-5. The super tie-break third set ebbed and flowed as only seven of the 18 points went to the server, with Erakovic and Parra Santonja finally prevailing 10-8. Shortly afterwards Erakovic revealed that she had parted company with long-time coach Christian Zahalka.
Erakovic scored the very first point of the tournament as play began at Wimbledon but, as she did with Belinda Bencic at Charleston, again found a stumbling block in a top junior. This time it was Croatian Ana Konjuh who prevailed in three sets, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0. Ranked 17th in the doubles, and therefore one place outside the seedings, Erakovic and Parra Santonja were drawn in the first round against the 12th seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yaroslava Shvedova, who had defeated them so easily at Charleston. Although this match was much closer, the result was the same, with Medina Garrigues and Shvedova winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. A disappointing week at Wimbledon came to a close when she lost in the first round of the mixed doubles. Partnered with South African Raven Klaase, there was only one service break in the entire match against the British pair of Dominic Inglot and Johanna Konta. That was enough to produce a final scoreline of 7-6 (7-5), 6-4. For the trivia buffs, it was the first time on the senior tour that Erakovic had played against someone with the same birthday, Inglot also being born on 6 March.
Back in New Zealand for a short break after Wimbledon, Erakovic announced that she would be working with Parra Santonja's coach, Eduardo Nicolás, on a trial basis until the end of the US Open. Clearly refreshed after her time off, Erakovic resumed in the 2014 Citi Open in Washington, D.C. Playing only in the singles, she defeated Kristyna Pliskova, Shelby Rogers and Bojana Jovanovski on her way to the semi-final, where she was drawn against Kurumi Nara. After taking the first set to love she was able to convert only three further opportunities to break Nara's serve, whilst dropping her own service five times, and eventually lost 6-0, 4-6, 4-6.
One disadvantage of getting to the last round or two when relatively lowly ranked is that players may miss their chance at a bigger tournament following immediately afterwards. This was the case with the 2014 Rogers Cup in Canada, as Erakovic was unable to reach Montreal in time for her first singles qualifying match. In an ironic twist of fate, it was Parra Santonja who took her place (albeit a losing one). Erakovic had to be content with a start in the doubles, but had a new partner in Andreja Klepač. They lost in the first round to the Czech twins Karolina and Kristyna Pliskova, the latter getting some revenge for her singles defeat a week earlier.
The following week saw Erakovic in the 2014 Western & Southern Open, the next Premier 5 tournament, but she lost in the first round of qualifying singles to Shahar Pe'er. Reunited with Parra Santonja in the doubles, they won their first match, but lost 6-3, 6-2 in the second round to eighth seeds Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova.
The last tournament before the U.S. Open was the Premier level 2014 Connecticut Open, where Erakovic faced Caroline Garcia in the first round of qualifying singles. Garcia, the third seed in the qualifying tournament, was the winner for the first time in their four meetings, taking the match in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, with only one service break in each set. The doubles was a different story, with Erakovic and Parra Santonja having nail-biting wins in all three matches on the way to the final. They did not manage even one point against the serve of Garbiñe Muguruza and Carla Suárez Navarro in the first set of their first-round match, but eventually did enough to win 10-6 in the super tie-break. The second match (quarter-final) was against their old foes Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yaroslava Shvedova. Down 0-5, 0-40 in the first set, they were able to win that game (although losing the next) before going on to win another super tie-break 10-7. It became three super tie-breaks from three when beating Caroline Garcia and Monica Niculescu in the semi-final, clawing their way back from 3-8 in the final set to level at 9-all, then going on to win 11-9.
The final saw another titanic struggle, this time against Andreja Klepač and Sílvia Soler Espinosa. After breaking Soler Espinosa's serve to lead 4-3, Erakovic and Parra Santonja both dropped service games to lose the first set 7-5. They recovered to win the second set 6-4, coming back from 0-40 in the last game of the set. Up 7-5 at the second change of ends in the super tie-break, they did not win another point as Klepač and Soler Espinosa wrapped up the match 10-7.
As the US Open began, it was announced that Erakovic had been voted onto the WTA Players' Council, replacing Akgul Amanmuradova as the representative of the 51-100 Ranking Category. She would later move to representing the 21+ group, allowing Amanmuradova to regain her seat. She celebrated by recording her first ever singles victory at Flushing Meadows, beating 20th seed and former US and French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in three sets. In the second round she faced Elena Vesnina, and lost a three-set match in just under two and a half hours. The final score was 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, but Erakovic would have rued her missed opportunities in the first set when Vesnina came from 2-5 down to win five successive games. In the doubles, Erakovic and Parra Santonja were again ranked 17th, just as at Wimbledon (had they won at New Haven, they would have been seeded 15th). They started with a comfortable win against the teenage American wildcards Katerina Stewart (who would progress all the way to the semi-finals in the Girls' Singles) and Louisa Chirico, but the second round match against Muguruza and Suárez Navarro saw the Connecticut Open result reversed, with the Spanish 12th seeds prevailing 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-3.
Erakovic missed the next week of tournaments after the US Open due to taking a training block. These included the 2014 Coupe Banque Nationale in Quebec, where she had been runner-up a year earlier, and the loss of points carrying over from that result saw her drop from 76 to 103 in the singles rankings, taking her outside the top 100 for the first time in four years. She resumed a week later in the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, becoming top seed in the qualifying tournament after Coco Vandeweghe was promoted to the main draw. She raced through her three matches to qualify for the tournament proper, dropping only eight games in total. Her first round match was against fifth seed (and World No. 12) Sara Errani, who sped away to an early 4-0 lead. From there it was all one-way traffic, as Erakovic broke back and then shut out the Italian almost completely, winning 12 of the next 13 games to take the match 6-4, 6-1, the only hiccup being when she dropped her own service in the second game of the second set. Errani had started with an amazing 39 consecutive first service points, and the only times she needed a second serve in the first set were the first two points of her fifth service game. Erakovic was unable to repeat her effort in the second round, falling to Australian left-hander Casey Dellacqua 6-2, 6-4. Her second serve deserted her completely, as she won only three out of 17 in the entire match. She also struggled to break Dellacqua's serve, winning only one of six break points in the first set and one of four in the second. With Erakovic only playing singles in this tournament, Parra Santonja teamed up with Jelena Janković to go as far as the semi-finals in the doubles.
Two days later Erakovic was in Wuhan for the 2014 Wuhan Open, only to find herself with a walkover win in the first round of qualifying. Her scheduled opponent, Varvara Lepchenko, was still competing in the 2014 Kia Korea Open, where she made it all the way to the final before losing to Karolína Plíšková. Erakovic won her second qualifying match to reach the main draw, but lost in the first round to fellow qualifier Karin Knapp in three sets. In the doubles she had a new partner in Stefanie Vögele, and they won the first set comfortably (6-2) against Anna-Lena Grönefeld and Alicja Rosolska. All four players dropped their first service game in the second set, but Voegele dropped her next service game as well, and Grönefeld served out the set to win 6-4. She and Rosolska then dropped only one point while serving in the super tie-break to run out the winners 10-5.
Next stop on the tour was the last Premier Mandatory tournament of the season, the 2014 China Open (tennis) in Beijing. A very easy winner in the first round of qualifying singles over María Teresa Torró Flor, she was then beaten 6-3, 6-3 by Mona Barthel in the second round. Reunited with Parra Santonja in the doubles, they faced yet another super tie-break third set in the first round, this time against Chuang Chia-jung and Olga Govortsova. They were able to break serve only once as they eventually went down 10-6.
Erakovic returned to Europe for the last two weeks of the regular tournament season, starting with the 2014 Generali Ladies Linz in Austria, where she had won the doubles title in 2011. In her first singles match she defeated eighth seed Caroline Garcia (her 300th tour singles win), and followed that with an easy win over Klára Koukalová (formerly Zakopalová). Her quarter-final match was against Camila Giorgi, who beat her 6-3, 7-5 after winning the final four games, the last when Erakovic dropped her serve to love. Seeded second in the doubles for this tournament, she had a new partner in Anabel Medina Garrigues who, with Yaroslava Shvedova, had been such a thorn in her side earlier in the year. After an easy first-round win, they scored a super tie-break win in the second round (quarter-final) over Paula Kania and Valeria Solovyeva after sharing the first two sets. This match was notable more for the fact that the players dropped 10 consecutive service games after Erakovic and Medina Garrigues had each held serve to lead 2-1 in the first set. In the semi-final they lost in straight sets to Garcia and Annika Beck, with Medina Garrigues unable to hold her service at any time in the match – in complete contrast to Erakovic, who dropped only three points in the first set and one in the second.
Playing singles only, Erakovic finished her WTA season in the 2014 BGL Luxembourg Open, where she was beaten 6-3, 6-4 in the first round by Polona Hercog.
These results did not help her to keep her position, and she ended the year ranked no.76.
2015: slow regress and out of Top 100
Erakovic started the new year, as usual, in the 2015 ASB Classic in Auckland, still with Eduardo Nicolás as her coach, but with a new doubles partner in Mónica Puig. They made a shaky start to their career together, needing a super tie-break to win their first match, and then went down to second seeds Andrea Hlaváčková and Lucie Hradecká, again through a super tie-break, in the second round (quarter-finals). Drawn against each other in the singles, it was Erakovic who prevailed in three sets, and was then defeated by eventual semi-finalist Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová, again in three sets.
She won her first singles qualifying match at the 2015 Apia International Sydney, but lost her second to defending doubles champion Tímea Babos in straight sets. Reunited with Arantxa Parra Santonja in the doubles, the partnership went out in the first round to Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sania Mirza, losing in straight sets in under an hour. The following week saw the start of the first Grand Slam event of the year, the 2015 Australian Open. Drawn against 24th seed Garbiñe Muguruza in the first round, she lost 5-7, 0-6. Reunited with Puig in the doubles, they were drawn against 13th seeds Michaëlla Krajicek and Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová, again losing, by 6-7 (9-11), 7-6 (8-6), 6-3.
For players not involved in the Fed Cup, there was a week's break before the next round of tournaments. Erakovic and Puig headed to the 2015 PTT Thailand Open in Pattaya. Although they lost as a combination in the first round of the doubles, both progressed all the way to the semi-finals in the singles. Erakovic started with a win over Luksika Kumkhum. She raced through her second match to beat Yuliya Beygelzimer 6-1, 6-1, before scoring one of her best-ever wins in the quarter-final, as she defeated former World No 2 Vera Zvonareva in three sets, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6), 7-5. That match lasted 2 hours and 38 minutes, but her semi-final was to be even longer, as it took Daniela Hantuchová 2 hours and 46 minutes to finally see of the challenge from the New Zealander. The final score was 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).
Her run at this tournament had exactly the same consequences for Erakovic as her experience in Washington the year before – she was unable to compete in the qualifying rounds of the next tournament, the 2015 Dubai Tennis Championships. She was, however, able to sign up for doubles, partnered this time with Heather Watson. They defeated the Chan sisters in the first round 6-4, 2-6, 13-11 in a super tie-break. In the second round they faced seventh seeds Caroline Garcia and Katarina Srebotnik. Watson dropped both her service games in the first set, and they each dropped one in the second set. Despite saving three match points on Srebotnik's serve at 2-5 in the second set, and winning the game, Erakovic and Watson were unable to prevent Garcia from serving out her last game to love to win the match 6-3, 6-4.
Erakovic stayed in the Persian Gulf to compete the following week's Premier tournament in Doha, but retired due to a viral illness in her first singles qualifying match, when down 3-6, 0-3 against Tímea Babos. It was not a memorable end to her 500th singles match on the professional tour. The illness may have been more severe than Erakovic first thought, as several other players also pulled out of the tournament with the same complaint. Luckily her first doubles match, with new partner Gabriela Dabrowski, was not scheduled until two days later, and they beat the Ukrainian pair of Yuliya Beygelzimer and Olga Savchuk 10-8 in the super tie-break. They didn't fare so well in the second round (quarter-final), when beaten 6-3, 6-2 by Hao-Ching Chan and Casey Dellacqua, managing to win only five service points in the second set.
Erakovic missed the next week of tournaments, opting for additional practice ahead of the first Premier Mandatory tournament of the year, the 2015 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, California. For the first time ever, she progressed past the first round. After a scrappy win over wild-card entry Grace Min, she came up against 27th seed Timea Bacsinszky, who had won her two previous tournaments in Mexico. Erakovic got the only break of service to take the first set, but from there on her second service let her down. Unable to gain even one break point in the second set, she was unable to convert either of the two she received in the third set, the final score being 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to Bacsinszky. In the doubles she was reunited with Arantxa Parra Santonja, but once again they came up against high seeds in the first round. This time the stumbling blocks were the Spanish fifth seeds in Garbiñe Muguruza and Carla Suárez Navarro, who overpowered the lower-ranked pair 6-1, 6-4, in just over an hour. Once again the second service was the bogey, as they won only four out of 19 during the match.
The next tournament was also the next Premier Mandatory stop on the tour – the 2015 Miami Open. Erakovic served superbly in the first qualifying round to beat Alexandra Panova, then not quite so well against Lourdes Domínguez Lino, but won both matches in straight sets to progress to the main draw. Up against wild card Daria Gavrilova, with a second round match against Maria Sharapova at stake, she injured her left ankle during the first set and had to retire while trailing 1-5. Gavrilova subsequently beat Sharapova in straight sets, for what was by far the best win of her career. Although her first round doubles match (with new partner Andrea Petkovic) was not until two days later, the injury was severe enough to force Erakovic's withdrawal. They had been scheduled to face top seeds (and Indian Wells champions) Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza.
Next stop on tour was Erakovic's first clay court tournament for the year, the 2015 Family Circle Cup. Her first-round singles match, against South African Chanelle Scheepers, was a topsy-turvy affair. Erakovic dropped her serve three times in the first set, breaking Scheepers only once, but broke Scheepers twice in the second set while holding her own throughout. The final set saw plenty of chances go begging for both players. Erakovic dropped her second and fourth service games, the latter ending with consecutive double faults, to be down 2-5. She broke Scheepers in the next game, then held her own service to be down 4-5. Scheepers double-faulted twice on match point, but held service at her third attempt to run out the winner 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 in 2 hours and 9 minutes. She has now won all three of her matches against Erakovic. Finally able to take the court with Petkovic as her doubles partner, they won their first two matches in straight sets, demolishing the fourth seeds Tímea Babos and Anna-Lena Grönefeld 6-1, 6-2, in the quarter-final. The semi-final saw Casey Dellacqua and Darija Jurak take the first set 6-4 in a see-saw affair, and then Erakovic and Petkovic raced through the second set to win it 6-1. Although Petkovic served an ace during the super tie-break, she also finished with a double-fault to hand the deciding set to Dellacqua and Jurak 10-5.
Erakovic skipped the following tournament in Stuttgart, choosing instead to wait a further week until the only African stop on the WTA tour, the 2015 Grand Prix SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Marrakesh, Morocco. Playing only singles, she faced Kristina Mladenovic in the first round. She lost her opening service game, and despite several chances in Mladenovic's first two long service games, could not break back, instead being broken again to lose the first set 6-2. Mladenovic then dropped service twice in the second set, to Erakovic's once, the latter taking the set 6-3. Erakovic dropped her service to love in both her second and third service games in the deciding set and, although she broke back to 2-5, and saved two match points in the last game, Mladenovic eventually triumphed 6-3. Although Erakovic's first serve went well, the biggest difference between the players was again the second service, where Erakovic was able to win only eight points in the match, out of 29 attempts, compared with 22 from 44 for Mladenovic.
Mid-year: back to Europe
At the 2015 Mutua Madrid Open, she drew Kateryna Bondarenko in her first round qualifying singles match. Erakovic opened with a hard-fought three-set win. Three hours later she was back on court for her second qualifying match, against Monica Niculescu, eventually taking the match 2-6, 7-6 (10-8), 6-3. Her first round proper was against her new doubles partner, Julia Görges, the final score being 6-1, 0-6, 6-4.
In their first-round doubles match they came up against the wild card pair of Lisa Raymond and Madison Keys, to whom they lost 7-5, 3-6, 10-6.
The next stop on the tour was in Rome for the 2015 Internazionali BNL d'Italia, where Erakovic lost her first round qualifying singles match to Christina McHale in straight sets, 2-6, 4-6, and did not enter the doubles. She skipped the following week's tournaments, despite originally entering the Nuremberg event, and waited until the next stop on the tour – the 2015 French Open at Stade Roland Garros.
The European Majors: French Open
Erakovic's terrible luck with the draw in major tournaments continued in Paris, as she started her campaign against 4th seed Petra Kvitová, victor in all four of their previous encounters (including the second round of this event a year earlier). For the very first time in a major tournament, Erakovic had a singles match on the Centre Court (Philippe Chatrier). Starting a red-hot favourite with bookmakers, Kvitová survived a break point in her first service game, and three more in her second, before dropping her third in a game which included an ace and two double-faults. Erakovic held serve to lead 4-2, but couldn't maintain the momentum as Kvitová broke back twice to take the set 6-4, her final service game being the only one where she did not offer a break point. Despite an excessive amount of unforced errors, Kvitová was able to pull out the big points when it mattered most. Although Erakovic served well, her returns were not as consistent as they needed to be, and resulted in a disastrous eight unforced errors as she served the final game of the set. Again it seemed that a good chance to progress had gone begging.
The second set again had too many unforced errors, but this time it was Kvitová who was broken three times to Erakovic's once, the New Zealander winning the set 6-3. In contrast to the first two sets, where there had been 14 and 11 deuces respectively, the third and deciding set had only two, in Erakovic's first and fourth service games. Kvitová broke in the third game of the set, but immediately dropped her own service to love. They both also dropped their fourth service games, but Erakovic was broken in her next as well to be down 4-5. There were no worries for Kvitová as she served out to love, taking the match 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
As if the singles draw wasn't bad enough, Erakovic and Heather Watson started their doubles run against the third seeds Tímea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic. Dropping serve twice in the first set, and only breaking the seeds' service once, the first set was over in not much more than half an hour. The second set, however, was a different story. Each team lost one service game, leading to a tie-break with the score at 6-all. After winning their first serve, and splitting the first pair of points against them, Erakovic and Watson had to watch as Babos and Mladenovic won six straight points to take the set and the match 6-4, 7-6 (7-2).
The grass court season began the following week, with Erakovic choosing to play again at the 2015 Topshelf Open. She did not defend her doubles title, however, playing only singles. In the first round she beat Carina Witthöft in straight sets. Having missed out on four break points to win the match at 5-4 in the second set, she had to wait a further 20 minutes until she won in a tie-break, the final score being 6-4, 7-6 (7-5). In the second round she met Yaroslava Shvedova, who had beaten top seed Eugenie Bouchard in the first round. Erakovic started badly, dropping serve in the first and fifth games before breaking Shvedova to pull back to 3-5, but both then held serve for the Kazakhstani representative to win 6-4. In the second set Erakovic was broken in her third service game and, despite surviving three match points in the final game, could not break Shvedova, the final score being 6-4, 6-4.
Next stop was Erakovic's first English tournament of the year, the Premier-level 2015 Aegon Classic at Birmingham, and again she competed only in the singles. Placed in the qualifying draw, she started with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Alla Kudryavtseva in just over an hour, which included three consecutive aces to win her second service game. The match could not be completed before nightfall on the first day, but Erakovic wrapped it up in just nine minutes on the second morning. Starting just two hours later, her second round match was a titanic struggle against Belgian Kirsten Flipkens. Erakovic dropped one service game in the first set; they each dropped one in the second, forcing a tie-breaker which Erakovic won comfortably 7-1; and they both held serve through the third set until the rain came with Flipkens leading 6-5. After a break of more than an hour, the players returned to see Erakovic hold her nerve, and her serve, to set up another tie-breaker. She prevailed again, the final score being 4-6, 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-4).
Into the main draw, her first match was against Petra Cetkovská, whom she beat 6-4, 6-2, to remain unbeaten in their four meetings. Next up was another meeting with Daniela Hantuchová, who had beaten Erakovic in the semi-final in Pattaya, and this was yet another match affected by weather. Rain came after 25 minutes, with the score at 3-3, and Hantuchová promptly dropped her service on the resumption. She broke Erakovic's serve three games later, however, and they went to a tie-breaker. Erakovic held a set point at 6-5 but couldn't convert, whereas Hantuchová converted her first set point to take the tie-break 8-6 after an hour's play. Erakovic then dropped the first game of the second set. There were no other breaks of service, although Hantuchová had one more opportunity, and eventually the Slovak ran out the winner 7-6 (8-6), 6-4.
The final Premier-level English tournament is the 2015 Aegon International at Eastbourne, which is the last stop before Wimbledon. Erakovic again started in the qualifying singles draw, where she began with a comfortable 6-2, 6-3 win over Lesia Tsurenko in just over an hour. The only time she dropped her service was when broken to love in the first game of the second set, but she broke Tsurenko's serve in the fourth and eight games before serving out to love. Her second match, against top seed Daria Gavrilova, was a very different story. She broke the young Russian's serve in the first and fifth games to lead 4-1, but then lost four in a row before eventually holding her last two service games and forcing a tie-breaker. Erakovic dropped two set points before prevailing in just under an hour. The second set started the opposite way to the first, with Erakovic the player down 4-1. Although she held her next service game, Gavrilova served out to take the set 6-2. Unable to convert a break point in Gavrilova's first service game of the deciding set, Erakovic then lost her own serve before breaking back in the eighth game to level at 4-4. She held her own serve, then broke Gavrilova to take the set and the match, 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 6-4, in 2 hours and 35 minutes.
Gavrilova also ended up going into the main draw, however, as the highest-ranked loser. She took top seed Petra Kvitová's spot, and won her way to the quarter-finals before withdrawing due to an abdominal muscle injury. Erakovic, meanwhile, faced Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova in the first round, a match which was all over in just 55 minutes. Erakovic dropped her last two service games in both sets, with Pironkova winning 6-2, 6-2. Scheduled to play doubles for the first time since the French Open, Erakovic was denied the chance when her first-time partner, Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, suffered an abdominal strain in her singles match against eventual title winner Belinda Bencic, just two hours before their doubles match was due to begin.
The European Majors: Wimbledon
Erakovic began her campaign at The Championships with a singles match against 95th-ranked Yulia Putintseva, born in Moscow but representing Kazakhstan since 2012. In one of the longest sets she had ever played, only three games had been completed after 26 minutes. The first two took six and eight minutes, and then Erakovic took 12 minutes to serve her second and fourth games (20 and 18 points respectively) as every game went with serve through to 6-all after an hour and 11 minutes. The tie-break took a further nine minutes, with Erakovic taking a 5-2 lead before Putintseva stormed back with five successive points to win the set. With Putintseva serving first, the second set also went with serve for the first eleven games. Erakovic then blew a 30-15 lead with three backhand unforced errors to lose the set and the match 7-6 (7-5), 7-5. She had committed 43 unforced errors, as well as serving five double faults, compared with 29 unforced errors and no double-faults from her opponent.
In the doubles she was again partnered by Heather Watson, and their first match was against Bojana Jovanovski and Nadiia Kichenok. Dropping their second service game, then trailing 1-4, they won the next five games to take the first set in 32 minutes. They broke service again in the third game of the second set, and had a match break point at 5-3 but couldn't convert. They then dropped their own serve to be level at 5-5 after being two points from victory. Eventually they went to a tie-break where, from 3-all at the first change of ends, they lost only one more point, the final score being 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).
Their second round match was against the 16th seeded Spanish pair of Anabel Medina Garrigues and Erakovic's former partner, Arantxa Parra Santonja. Breaking the Spaniards' serve twice, they raced to a 4-1 lead, but Erakovic and Watson then each dropped their own service game to bring the match back to parity. Games then went with serve to yet another tie-break, where they were only able to win two points. On the right end of three service breaks in the second set, Erakovic and Watson were eventually able to serve out for the win on their fourth set point. The deciding set, however, was in complete contrast to the first two, as Medina Garrigues and Parra Santonja raced through in just 25 minutes without losing a game. The final score in favour of the seeded pair was 7-6(7-2), 3-6, 6-0.
Erakovic injured a knee at Eastbourne and, although she continued on to play at Wimbledon, she then returned home to Auckland for six weeks' rest and rehabilitation.
Back to the U.S.A. – and injury ends her year
Playing singles only, Erakovic returned to the tour at the 2015 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati where, in a scrappy first-round qualifying match that saw more service breaks than holds, she lost to Kurumi Nara, 6-4, 6-3. She also played singles only at the final tournament before the U.S. Open, the 2015 Connecticut Open. She beat Lucie Hradecká in the first round of qualifying, Erakovic winning the first set 6-4, and losing the second 6-3. They had a service break each early in the third set, then held serve until the tenth game of the set, when Erakovic broke to win the match 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. She had identical scorelines for the first two sets against Olga Savchuk in the second round of qualifying, then broke Savchuk's first service game of the third set to lead 3-0. However, she dropped her own service when leading 4-2, and games then went with service until Erakovic was broken to love to make the score 6-5 in favour of Savchuk. The latter then served out to love to win the match 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
The 2015 US Open was a bitter disappointment for Erakovic. Needing a good result to defend her second-round effort the previous year and stay ranked in the top 100, she was drawn against second seed Simona Halep in the first round. Serving first, Erakovic started with three consecutive backhand unforced errors, dropping both that and her fourth service game as Halep took the first set 6-2 in 32 minutes. After receiving treatment on her troublesome knee during the break between sets, Erakovic was broken in her first two service games to be down 0-3, and retired from the match. Scheduled to play doubles with Heather Watson against Michaëlla Krajicek and Barbora Strýcová the following day, she was forced to default.
Two weeks later, having returned home, she announced that she would not be playing again in 2015 to allow her knee time to fully recover. She finished the year with her singles ranking at 135, rather higher than the first estimate of "below 160."
Feeling well-rested and hopefully injury-free, although obviously rusty from lack of match fitness, Erakovic returned to the tour with a wild card entry into her home tournament, the 2016 ASB Classic in Auckland. Drawn against Yulia Putintseva, the pair battled hard for two hours, through two tie-breakers, before Erakovic prevailed 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3). She converted only two of seven break points in the first set, and was unable to win even a solitary point on her second serve. The second set, however, showed a marked improvement in the latter, as she picked up 10 points from her 13-second serves. Her second round match, against Alexandra Dulgheru, again featured a tie-break, but this time the New Zealander lost 7-4. They traded service breaks to start the second set, but Dulgheru finished much the stronger to run out the winner 7-6 (4), 6-3.
In the doubles, Erakovic teamed up with Spaniard Sílvia Soler Espinosa for the first time in close to ten years. In the first round they were drawn against local wild cards Sacha Jones and Rosie Cheng. After losing the first two games they won the next six, and the set. The second set was closer, eventually going to a tie-break, but the far more experienced pair prevailed comfortably in the finish, the final score being 6-2, 7-6 (1). Their second round (quarter-final) was against the second seeds Julia Görges and Katarina Srebotnik. The first three service games were all lost, and it was Soler-Espinosa holding serve that saw them eventually take the first set. She dropped both her second and third service games in the second set, however, as the seeds bounced back to level the match. Erakovic and Soler-Espinosa raced away to a 6-1 lead in the match tie-break, losing only two points on their own service as they eventually won 6-4, 4-6, 10-7.
The semi-final was against Danka Kovinic and Barbora Strýcová, and an inability to convert break points cost Erakovic and Soler-Espinosa dearly. They missed three in the very first game, eventually gaining only two of the ten offered. Kovinic and Strýcová fared slightly better, claiming three of eight break points to take the set 6-4. With only one service break apiece, the second set was much tighter. With Erakovic serving to stay in the match at 4-5, she was 15-30 down when rain forced a halt, the match resuming the following day. Kovinic and Strýcová took only a couple of minutes to get the two points they needed to win the match, 6-4, 6-4.
The 2016 Australian Open was completely forgettable as far as Erakovic was concerned. Drawn in the first round of qualifying against Michelle Larcher de Brito, Erakovic took the first set 6-0 in 26 minutes. Although her first service game had three deuces, Larcher de Brito's set was full of unforced errors. The second set was more even, with both players making more mistakes than winners, until Erakovic dropped her serve for the third time in the set, meaning that Larcher de Brito levelled the set count at one-all. The third set saw more of the same before Larcher de Brito, having held one match point at 4-5, was able to break Erakovic's serve again at 5-6 to win the match 0-6, 6-4, 7-5. With her doubles ranking having also tumbled during her time out, and despite having made the semi-finals at Auckland, Erakovic was unable to find a partner ranked high enough to get her into the doubles draw for the first Major tournament of the year.
Erakovic resumed in the 2016 Rio Open, where she teamed up again with Soler-Espinosa in the doubles. Seeded second, they started with a comfortable 6-2, 6-2 win over Carolina Alves and Heidi El Tabakh, but the second round match was far tougher. Their opponents, Tara Moore and Conny Perrin, broke Soler-Espinosa's first service game, but the seeds broke back to level at 4 all. Erakovic and Soler-Espinosa were unable to convert either of two break points at 6-5 to take the set, and a tie-break followed. Down 2-4 at the first changeover, Moor and Perrin then picked up five consecutive points to take the set. In total contrast, Erakovic and Soler-Espinosa raced through the second set to win 6-0 in just 27 minutes, a rain break halfway through doing nothing to stop their progress. The match tie-break saw them battle back from 2-5 down to lead 8-7, but Moore and Perrin were able to take the next three points to complete an upset result, 7-6 (4), 0-6, 10-8.
In the singles, Erakovic started with an epic three-hour marathon against María Teresa Torró Flor. Breaking the Spaniard's serve twice, and holding three set points on her own serve at 5-2, 40-0, Erakovic served three consecutive double faults as she dropped that game, and her next, before Torró Flor won a 14-point game to go ahead 6-5. Erakovic held serve to force the tie-break where, despite dropping four of her own serves in a row, she finally prevailed 10-8. It was a similar story in the second set as both players dropped serve twice on the way to another tie-break. Between them, the pair won only three of their service points as Torró Flor, having held three set points, eventually won 7-5. The third set was rather more straightforward as Erakovic broke Torró Flor's serve twice on the way to a final score of 7-6 (8), 6-7 (5), 6-2. Her second round match against Petra Martic was half an hour shorter, again featuring a first set tie-break. Five double faults at inopportune times through the set saw Martic eventually take the tie-break 7-2, but it was a different story in the second set. Erakovic served much better, and was able to take the only service break in the set. Martic was much the stronger in the deciding set, however, breaking Erakovic twice to run out the winner 7-6 (2), 5-7, 6-2.
The highlight of Erakovic's clay court season was the tournament in Rabat, Morocco, where she played three rounds of qualifying, then went all the way through the main draw to the final before losing 6-2, 6-1 to world number 15 Timea Bacsinszky, having beaten subsequent Nurnberg singles and doubles winner Kiki Bertens in three sets in the semi-final.
Beaten in the first round of qualifying for the French Open, she had far more success at Wimbledon. Winning her three qualifying matches, she beat Irina Falconi and 22nd seed Jelena Jankovic in the first two rounds, before bowing out to 12th seed Carla Suarez Navarro in the third. It was her best result in a major tournament since losing at the same stage at Wimbledon three years earlier. While her singles ranking jumped more than 40 places to 115, her doubles ranking plummeted more than sixty places to 255. She had not played doubles since her first round win with Karin Knapp in Katowice at the beginning of April (they had to default the second round after Knapp was injured playing singles).
After Wimbledon she played in the Croatian and Swedish Opens on clay, then returned to New Zealand for an extended break before the US Open, where she lost in the first round of singles qualifying to Yafan Wang of China. Rather surprisingly, she teamed up again with Arantxa Parra Santonja to play doubles, winning the first round match against Aleksandra Krunic and Andreea Mitu, but losing their second to 11th seeds Yifang Xu and Saisai Zheng. This was followed by losses in the first round at Seoul (to Patricia Maria Tig) and in the first qualifying round of the Premier tournament at Wuhan (to Louisa Chirico). She won both her qualifying singles matches in Hong Kong, but was beaten in a close match in the first round proper by Heather Watson, 7-5, 7-6 (9). Partnered by local player Ling Zhang in the doubles, they won a tight first-round match before going down to the top seeded Chan sisters from Taipei, the final score being 6-4, 6-3.
Erakovic then took a short break before heading to Taipei for her first 125K series tournament, where she reached the semi-finals before losing to local player Chang Kai-Chen. The final tournament of the year was in Honolulu, where she lost in the second round to Zhang Shuai. The points she earned from these last two tournaments lifted her singles ranking to 105, the mark she was hoping to reach to guarantee a main draw slot for the 2017 Australian Open.
With her ranking being so low, Erakovic required a wild card to enter the main draw of the first tournament of the year, the 2017 ASB Classic in Auckland. Drawn against one of the leading juniors from 2016, Jelena Ostapenko, she was never comfortable as the young Latvian raced through the match to win 6-1, 6-2.
She missed the Australian tournaments the following week, electing to go straight to Melbourne for the 2017 Australian Open. Drawn against seventh seed Garbiñe Muguruza, to whom she had lost at the same point two years earlier, she had a royal chance to reverse that result once it became clear that Muguruza was finding it very uncomfortable to play with a hamstring strain incurred in her previous match in Brisbane. Erakovic held a set point on Muguruza's serve at 5-4, but couldn't convert, and then dropped her own serve as Muguruza went on to take the first set 7-5. A long medical time-out followed before Muguruza reappeared with her thigh heavily strapped. Erakovic broke service to lead 4-1, and was two points away from another break, with Muguruza moving very gingerly, when everything turned against the New Zealander. Muguruza managed to hold that serve, and then won the next four games in a row as Erakovic made a string of unforced errors. The final score was 7-5, 6-4. Once again, with her ranking so low, Erakovic was unable to find a partner to compete in the doubles.
Equipment and apparel
Erakovic currently uses Wilson K Blade tennis rackets and wears Fila apparel.
Premier Mandatory/Premier 5 finals
Doubles: 1 (1 runner-up)
|Runner-up||2013||Madrid||Clay||Cara Black|| Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova |
WTA career finals
Singles: 5 (1 title, 4 runners-up)
|Runner-up||1.||18 September 2011||Challenge Bell, Quebec City, Canada||Carpet (i)||Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová||6–4, 1–6, 0–6|
|Runner-up||2.||25 February 2012||Memphis International, Memphis, United States||Hard (i)||Sofia Arvidsson||3–6, 4–6|
|Winner||1.||23 February 2013||U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships, Memphis, United States||Hard (i)||Sabine Lisicki||6–1, retired|
|Runner-up||3.||15 September 2013||Challenge Bell, Quebec City, Canada||Carpet (i)||Lucie Šafářová||4–6, 3–6|
|Runner-up||4.||30 April 2016||Morocco Open, Rabat, Morocco||Clay||Timea Bacsinszky||2–6, 1–6|
Doubles: 16 (8 titles, 8 runners-up)
|Runner-up||1.||24 May 2008||İstanbul Cup, Istanbul, Turkey||Clay||Polona Hercog|| Jill Craybas |
|Winner||1.||21 June 2008||Ordina Open, Rosmalen, 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands||Grass||Michaëlla Krajicek|| Līga Dekmeijere |
|Winner||2.||4 October 2008||Japan Open Tennis Championships, Tokyo, Japan||Hard||Jill Craybas|| Ayumi Morita |
|4–6, 7–5, [10–6]|
|Winner||3.||26 October 2008||Fortis Championships Luxembourg, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg||Hard||Sorana Cîrstea|| Vera Dushevina |
|2–6, 6–3, [10–8]|
|Winner||4.||14 February 2010||PTT Pattaya Open, Pattaya City, Thailand||Hard||Tamarine Tanasugarn|| Anna Chakvetadze |
|Runner-up||2.||24 July 2010||Banka Koper Slovenia Open, Portorož, Slovenia||Hard||Anna Chakvetadze|| Maria Kondratieva |
|4–6, 6–2, [7–10]|
|Runner-up||3.||8 January 2011||ASB Classic, Auckland, New Zealand||Hard||Sofia Arvidsson|| Květa Peschke |
|Winner||5.||16 October 2011||Generali Ladies Linz, Linz, Austria||Hard (i)||Elena Vesnina|| Julia Görges |
|Runner-up||4.||14 January 2012||Moorilla Hobart International, Hobart, Australia||Hard||Chuang Chia-jung|| Irina-Camelia Begu |
|7–6(7–4), 6–7(4–7), [5–10]|
|Winner||6.||16 July 2012||Bank of the West Classic, Stanford, United States||Hard||Heather Watson|| Jarmila Gajdošová |
|Winner||7.||25 August 2012||Texas Tennis Open, Dallas, United States||Hard||Heather Watson|| Līga Dekmeijere |
|Runner-up||5.||11 May 2013||Mutua Madrid Open, Madrid, Spain||Clay||Cara Black|| Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova |
|Runner-up||6.||25 May 2013||Internationaux de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France||Clay||Cara Black|| Kimiko Date-Krumm |
|4–6, 6–3, [12–14]|
|Runner-up||7.||16 June 2013||Aegon Classic, Birmingham, United Kingdom||Grass||Cara Black|| Ashleigh Barty |
|Winner||8.||21 June 2014||Topshelf Open, Rosmalen, 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands||Grass||Arantxa Parra Santonja|| Michaëlla Krajicek |
|0-6, 7-6(7-5), [10-8]|
|Runner-up||8.||23 August 2014||Connecticut Open, New Haven, United States||Hard||Arantxa Parra Santonja|| Sílvia Soler Espinosa |
|5–7, 6–4, [7–10]|
ITF Circuit finals
Singles: 17 (12–5)
|Winner||1.||6 March 2005||Warrnambool, Australia||Grass||Daniella Dominikovic||6–3, 4–6, 6–4|
|Runner-up||1.||13 March 2005||Benalla, Australia||Grass||Yuan Meng||4–6, 4–6|
|Winner||2.||20 March 2005||Yarrawonga, Australia||Grass||Emily Hewson||6–3, 4–6, 6–4|
|Winner||3.||3 September 2006||Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands||Clay||Andrea Petkovic||4–6, 6–2, 7–5|
|Winner||4.||15 October 2006||Melbourne, Australia||Hard||Casey Dellacqua||6–1, 0–6, 6–4|
|Winner||5.||29 October 2006||Beijing, China||Hard||Alla Kudryavtseva||6–2, 6–1|
|Runner-up||2.||29 July 2007||La Coruña, Spain||Hard||Neuza Silva||6–0, 5–7, 3–6|
|Runner-up||3.||5 August 2007||Vigo, Spain||Hard||Olivia Sanchez||w/o|
|Winner||6.||14 October 2007||Rockhampton, Australia||Hard||Sophie Ferguson||7–6(7–5), 7–5|
|Winner||7.||21 October 2007||Gympie, Australia||Hard||Sophie Ferguson||6–4, 6–3|
|Winner||8.||9 February 2008||Mildura, Australia||Grass||Chang Kai-chen||6–3, 6–1|
|Runner-up||4.||17 February 2008||Berri, Australia||Grass||Nicole Kriz||4–6, 6–4, 6–7(3–7)|
|Winner||9.||7 June 2008||Surbiton, England||Grass||Anne Keothavong||6–4, 6–2|
|Winner||10.||7 March 2011||Irapuato, Mexico||Hard||Andreja Klepač||7–5, 6–4|
|Winner||11.||28 March 2011||Pelham, USA||Clay||Renata Voráčová||6–4, 2–6, 6–1|
|Winner||12.||4 April 2011||Jackson, USA||Clay||Ajla Tomljanović||6–1, 6–2|
|Runner-up||5.||30 March 2014||Osprey, USA||Clay||Anna Schmiedlova||2-6, 3-6|
Doubles: 9 (6–3)
|Runner-up||1.||29 October 2006||Beijing, China||Hard||Raquel Kops-Jones|| Ji Chunmei |
|Winner||1.||30 June 2007||Padova, Italy||Clay||Maret Ani|| Vanessa Henke |
|Winner||2.||28 July 2007||La Coruña, Spain||Hard||Melanie South|| Andrea Hlaváčková |
|6–1, 4–6, 6–4|
|Winner||3.||15 December 2007||Dubai, United Arab Emirates||Hard||Monica Niculescu|| Yuliana Fedak |
|Winner||4.||7 February 2008||Mildura, Australia||Grass||Nicole Kriz|| Monique Adamczak |
|Winner||5.||17 February 2008||Berri, Australia||Grass||Nicole Kriz|| Shannon Golds |
|2–6, 7–6(7–4), [10–3]|
|Winner||6.||28 November 2009||Toyota, Japan||Carpet||Tamarine Tanasugarn|| Akari Inoue |
|Runner-up||2.||16 April 2010||Johannesburg, South Africa||Hard||Tamarine Tanasugarn|| Vitalia Diatchenko |
|3–6, 7–5, [14–16]|
|Runner-up||3.||9 May 2010||Fukuoka, Japan||Carpet||Alexandra Panova|| Misaki Doi |
Junior Grand Slam Finals
Doubles (2 Titles, 2 Runners-Up)
|Runner-Up||2004||Wimbledon Championships||Grass||Monica Niculescu|| Victoria Azarenka |
|6–4, 3–6, 6–4|
|Winner||2004||US Open||Hard||Michaëlla Krajicek|| Monica Niculescu |
|Winner||2005||Australian Open||Hard (Rebound Ace)||Victoria Azarenka|| Nikola Fraňková |
|Runner-Up||2005||Wimbledon Championships||Grass||Monica Niculescu|| Victoria Azarenka |
|6–7(5–7), 6–2, 6–0|
Singles Performance timeline
|Grand Slam Tournaments|
|Summer Olympics||Not Held||1R||Not Held||1R||Not Held||A||NH||0–2|
|WTA Premier Mandatory Tournaments|
|Beijing||Not Tier I||A||A||A||A||Q2||Q2||A||A||0–0|
|WTA Premier 5 Tournaments|
|Doha||Not Tier I||A||Not Held||NP5||A||A||1R||NP5||A||0–1|
|Dubai||Not Tier I||A||A||A||Not Premier 5||A||NP5||0–0|
|Cincinnati||Not Tier I||A||A||A||A||2R||Q1||Q1||A||1–1|
|Tokyo||A||A||A||1R||A||A||A||A||Q2||Not Premier 5||0–1|
|Wuhan||Not Tier I or Premier 5||1R||A||Q1||0–1|
|Year end ranking||213||160||161||60||232||324||61||66||48||77||135||105||6–18|
Doubles Performance timeline
|Grand Slam Tournaments|
|WTA Premier Mandatory Tournaments|
|Beijing||Not Tier I||A||A||A||A||A||1R||A||A||0–1|
|WTA Premier 5 Tournaments|
|Doha||Not Tier I||A||Not Held||NP5||A||A||1R||NP5||A||NP5||0–1|
|Dubai||Not Tier I||A||A||A||Not Premier 5||2R||NP5||1–1|
|Cincinnati||Not Tier I||A||A||A||A||1R||2R||A||A||1–2|
|Tokyo||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||1R||Not Premier 5||0–1|
|Wuhan||Not Tier I or Premier 5||1R||A||A||0–1|
|Year end ranking||677||274||258||43||351||82||48||54||28||42||111||162||13–21|