After starting the season on a high note with a run to the Brisbane International quarterfinals, 24-year-old Jennifer Brady is again drawing blood as a qualifier, having ousted two-time champion Elina Svitolina in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Tuesday. Let’s go through the American’s tennis beginnings and childhood photos as part of our Little Tennis Stars series.
Brady was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and started playing tennis at the age of seven.
The current world No.52 moved to Florida when she was nine. The reason behind the move was not tennis, but it obviously ended up working out. She went to Evert Tennis Academy.
The first time Jennifer made headlines was during the 2017 Australian Open, when she reached the fourth round as a qualifier. Her third-round upset of Elena Vesnina was her first Top 20 career win and just her fifth tour-level win overall. That same year Jennifer also advanced to the fourth round of the US Open, the tournament where she had made her pro debut three years earlier.
Jennifer took her dark horse status to new levels at this year’s Brisbane International, where she scored her maiden Top 10 win over world No.1 Ashleigh Barty in the second round. Qualifier Jennifer’s first-round victim in Brisbane was five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova.
This week in Dubai, Brady beat Kristyna Pliskova, Gabriela Dabrowski and Hsieh Su-Wei in qualifying and then dismantled world No.6 Elina Svitolina, who had lifted the Dubai champion’s trophy in 2017 and 2018 and had not lost before the semifinals since her 2015 debut. Brady opens Wednesday’s second-round action in Dubai against Marketa Vondrousova on Court 1.
For more childhood photos of WTA players, scroll through our Little Tennis Stars page.