Michelle Larcher de Brito

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Michelle Larcher de Brito
Michelle Larcher de Brito @ Family Circle Cup 2010 02.jpg
Michelle Larcher de Brito, 2010 Family Circle Cup
Country Portugal
ResidenceBradenton, Florida, United States
Born(1993-01-29) 29 January 1993 (age 20)
Lisbon, Portugal
Height5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Turned pro7 February 2007
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize moneyUS$ 631,413
Singles
Career record 139–103[1] (57%)
Career titles0 WTA, 3 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 76 (6 July 2009)
Current rankingNo. 108 (23 September 2013)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open1R (2013)
French Open3R (2009)
Wimbledon3R (2013)
US Open2R (2009, 2013)
Doubles
Career record6–7[2] (46%)
Career titles0 WTA, 0 ITF
Highest ranking535 (28 February 2011)
Last updated on: 28 September 2013.
 
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Michelle Larcher de Brito
Michelle Larcher de Brito @ Family Circle Cup 2010 02.jpg
Michelle Larcher de Brito, 2010 Family Circle Cup
Country Portugal
ResidenceBradenton, Florida, United States
Born(1993-01-29) 29 January 1993 (age 20)
Lisbon, Portugal
Height5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Turned pro7 February 2007
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize moneyUS$ 631,413
Singles
Career record 139–103[1] (57%)
Career titles0 WTA, 3 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 76 (6 July 2009)
Current rankingNo. 108 (23 September 2013)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open1R (2013)
French Open3R (2009)
Wimbledon3R (2013)
US Open2R (2009, 2013)
Doubles
Career record6–7[2] (46%)
Career titles0 WTA, 0 ITF
Highest ranking535 (28 February 2011)
Last updated on: 28 September 2013.

Michelle Larcher de Brito (born 29 January 1993 in Lisbon) is a Portuguese tennis player. Larcher de Brito's family moved to the United States when she was nine years old so she could attend the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida. She was coached by Nick Bollettieri until the end of 2007. Currently she is training full-time with her father, António Larcher de Brito. She achieved a career-high ranking of 76 in July 2009.

She is the first Portuguese female player to enter the main draw of a grand slam, which occurred at the 2009 French Open. Her impressive results at such a young age have prompted Nick Bollettieri to tip her as a possible Top 10 player.[3] She is known for her loud grunts while executing shots, being noted for surpassing in decibels the likes of Maria Sharapova, Monica Seles, Victoria Azarenka and Venus and Serena Williams, other famous "grunters". In response to criticism from fellow players about this, she defended herself by saying, "I could [stop grunting], but, you know, it won't feel natural, because it feels like something is missing in my game if I just stop."[4]

Family and personal life[edit]

Larcher de Brito's coach and father, António Maria de Lima de Sousa Larcher de Brito, is Portuguese and from Angola.[5] Her mother, Caroline, is from South Africa.[6] She has two older brothers who are twins, Sérgio and Sebastião, born in 1989. She began playing at the age of three when her father introduced her at a local club. She is a baseliner whose main attributes are her groundstrokes and movement, and she prefers hard and grass courts. Her favorite players are Monica Seles, Martina Hingis and Rafael Nadal.[7] She won the 2008 Revelation Award from the Fundação Luso-Brasileira (Portuguese-Brazilian Foundation) and, as a result, she appeared in the pages of Elle Portugal.[8] In 2009, she won the Confederação do Desporto de Portugal (Portuguese Sports Confederation) female athlete of the year award against such rivals as Vanessa Fernandes and Telma Monteiro.

Career[edit]

Junior[edit]

Larcher de Brito played in the ITF Junior circuit from August 2006 to December 2007, winning three singles tournaments. In Grand-Slam tournaments, she made it to the singles quarterfinals of the 2007 French Open and the doubles quarterfinals of the 2007 Wimbledon Championships. She won her last tournament, the 2007 Orange Bowl, becoming, at 14 years, 10 months and 11 days, the second youngest champion of the event's history after Nicole Vaidišová. She was also the youngest player ever to win the U-16 Eddie Herr Championship (in 2005 when she was 12). Her best junior ranking was 20th place with a 44–15 singles record and a 10–17 doubles record.

2007[edit]

Michelle Larcher de Brito at the 2007 Coleman Vision Tennis Championships in Albuquerque

Larcher de Brito made her debut on the ITF circuit in early February 2007, in the $75.000, hard court tournament in Midland, Michigan, United States. There, as an unranked wild card, she lost in the first round both singles (lost 4–6, 6–2, 7–5 against world no. 185 Kristina Brandi) and doubles (teaming with Gréta Arn, lost 6–4, 6–2 against the pair of Julie Ditty and Natalie Grandin). She would make WTA Tour debut as unranked wild card at the Miami Open, reaching the second round before falling to No.16 seed Daniela Hantuchová 7–5 6–0. At 14 years, 1 month and 3 days, Brito became the seventh-youngest in the WTA tour history to win a singles main draw match by beating no. 43 Meghann Shaughnessy 3–6, 6–2 7–6(3) in the first round and the youngest since the Age Eligibility Rule was implemented in 1995. Despite this achievement, due to her age, she wasn't allowed to play any more senior tournaments until September. During that time, she played for the Sacramento Capitals in the World Team Tennis, becoming the youngest player ever to be drafted in the competition. She would be instrumental in the Capitals victory in the 2007 championship. In her return to the circuit, she became the first Portuguese player to reach a semifinal at a $75,000 ITF event in Albuquerque, New Mexico, losing to no.3 seed Rossana de los Ríos 7–5, 3–6, 7–5. The feat allowed her to debut in the WTA rankings at no.364, with no one younger ahead of her.

2008[edit]

Larcher de Brito facing Serena Williams in Stanford in 2008

In February, she defeated World No. 124 Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro by 7–5, 1–0 ret in the first round of the 2008 Cellular South Cup – Singles, but she lost in the second round to the World No. 43 Caroline Wozniacki by 6–2, 6–4.

On 28 March 2008, on her return to Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, upset World No. 16 Agnieszka Radwańska, 2–6, 6–3, 7–5 in the 2nd round. She would then lose to World No. 19 Shahar Pe'er 6–0, 6–2. In the first round she defeated World No. 75 Ekaterina Makarova by 3–6, 7–6(3), 6–3. The following month, she debuted on her home tournament in Portugal, the Estoril Open. She lost to World No. 471 Sanda Mamić 2–6, 6–0, 6–4.

In June, she fail to past the qualifying rounds of Wimbledon losing to world no. 105 Stéphanie Foretz Gacon by 6–0, 2–6, 6–4.

On 16 July 2008, she nearly won the best victory of her career, narrowly losing to former world number one player Serena Williams in three sets, 6–4 3–6 2–6.[9]  The day before, she had beaten world number 34 Gisela Dulko in straight sets, 7–5, 7–6(1).[10]

Based on her good Bank of the West Classic tournament performance where she won three qualifying matches (including in the first round with Marta Domachowska, No.  57, by 6–1, 6–0) and one main draw match, on 21 July 2008, de Brito's WTA singles ranking rose 56 places from the previous week, from number 226 to 170 in the world, her then best ranking ever. With that ranking she became (and still is) the highest ranked Portuguese women's player, ahead of then No. 192 Neuza Silva. At the Roger's Cup, Larcher de Brito won two qualifying matches to make it into the main draw. She then went on to defeat no. 97 Vania King 2–6, 6–3, 6–3 in the first round and no. 18 Flavia Pennetta 6–3, 0–6, 6–3 in the second round before losing to no. 4 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 7–5, 2–6, 6–4. After such a great performance by the 15-year old, she rise to number 131 in the world, making her the highest ranking Portuguese tennis player of all time.

At the US Open, de Brito reached the third round of the qualifying rounds, beating world no. 165 Angela Haynes by 3–6, 7–5, 6–4 and world no. 169 Abigail Spears by 6–2, 7–5, but she lost to world no. 124 Ioana Raluca Olaru by 6–2, 6–3.

Her most significant result of the season came in October at the Tashkent Open where she reached her first quarterfinal in the Tour. She would lose to third seed and eventual champion Sorana Cîrstea 6–2, 7–6(5), after she defeated in the first two rounds world no. 130 Andreja Klepač by 6–0, 6–7(4), 6–2 and world no. 182 Tatiana Poutchek by 6–4, 6–1.

2009[edit]

She obtained an invite from the Hong Kong Tennis Patrons' Association twice again to play 2009 JB Group Classic for Team Europe with Jelena Janković and Ágnes Szávay, they lost to Team Americas (include two Americans Venus Williams, Coco Vandeweghe and Argentine Gisela Dulko) 1–2 at Semi-final and then they lost to Team Asia Pacific (include Chinese Zheng Jie, Indian Sania Mirza and Zhang Ling from Hong Kong) 0–3 at Final (Silver Group).

Larcher de Brito begun the season at the Australian Open where she reached the second qualifying round losing to World no. 169 Alberta Brianti 6–2, 6–3. This was followed by a second round finish in Memphis, losing to World no. 52 Anne Keothavong 7–6(2), 6–4, after defeating World no. 91 Sofia Arvidsson in the first round by 6–2, 6–0 and a qualification to Indian Wells losing to World no. 107 Urszula Radwańska in the first round by 4–6, 6–2, 6–4. In Miami, after successful tournaments as a wild card the two previous years, she failed to qualify this time by losing 6–1, 6–2 in the first qualifying round to World no. 102 Aravane Rezaï.

In April, she debuted in the Fed Cup, helping Portugal qualify to the Europe/Africa Group I with a 2–1 singles record.

At Estoril, in May, she lost 6–0, 6–2 to World no. 165 Elena Bovina in the third qualifying round, but qualified to the main tournament as a lucky loser. She lost to seventh seed World no. 54 Shahar Pe'er 4–6, 6–0, 6–0. The following week at the Madrid Open, as the last direct acceptance in the qualifying draw, she reached the final round where she lost to World no. 53 Anna-Lena Grönefeld 6–1, 6–0, after defeating World no. 63 Olga Govortsova by 1–6, 6–4, 6–4.

On 22 May 2009, de Brito qualified for her first Grand Slam tournament main draw at the French Open after winning the final round of the qualifying by beating World no. 152 Kristína Kučová by 6–3, 1–6, 6–3, World no. 177 Yuliana Fedak by 6–3, 6–7 (1), 6–3 and World no. 151 Ekaterina Ivanova 0–6, 6–4, 6–4. She became the first Portuguese female player to do so. After overcoming World no. 121 Melanie South 0–6, 7–6 (5), 7–5 in the first round, de Brito once again made history by becoming the first Portuguese player overall to qualify to the third round of a Grand Slam by beating World no. 15 Jie Zheng 6–4, 6–3, in the greatest victory ever for a Portuguese female tennis player. She would lose to home player World no. 57 Aravane Rezaï 7–6 (3), 6–2, a game in which her opponent made a number of complaints about the amount of noise coming from de Brito.[11] With her third round result, she entered the top 100 for the first time, as the world no. 90.

After a failed qualification in Birmingham, where she lost in the second round to World no. 146 Chanelle Scheepers 6–1, 6–3, she received a wild card to participate in Wimbledon, before winning the Tradition-ICAP Liverpool International, an exhibition tournament, where she beat fellow Wimbledon wild card Laura Robson 6–4, 2–6, 10–6 in the final. At Wimbledon, she defeated World no. 122 Klára Zakopalová in the first round 6–2, 7–5 but fell to World no. 43 Francesca Schiavone in the second 7–6 (2), 7–6 (4). After the good results on Europe, she returned to the USA to compete on the US Open Series tournaments. However, her results were disappointing, first in LA, where she received a Wild Card, losing 4–6, 5–7 against World no. 28 Sorana Cîrstea, then as a qualifier in Cincinnati losing 4–6, 2–6 against World no. 61 Yaroslava Shvedova and Toronto 3–6, 4–6 against World no. 69 Petra Kvitová.

Following those results its was announced that she signed a three-year deal with the famous Mouratoglou Academy to prepare herself during the European seasons.[12] At the US Open, de Brito reached the second round, beating World no. 97 Mathilde Johansson 1–6, 7–5, 6–1, before losing to World no. 19 Na Li 6–1, 6–3. She finished the year by losing to Belgian World no. 85 Kirsten Flipkens in the first round of qualifying in Luxemburg.

2010[edit]

Playing in the qualifying phase at the Australian Open, Larcher de Brito failed to qualify to a Grand Slam tournament since the previous year's Australian slam, losing in the first qualifying round 6–3, 6–0 to World no. 174 Ekaterina Dzehalevich. This was followed by a four-match losing run in the Fed Cup in February (that saw the Portugal relegated to Europe/Africa Group II) and a third successive second round showing in Memphis, losing 6–3, 6–1 to World no. 121 Anne Keothavong. After first round exits at Indian Wells (after she won two qualifying matches against World no. 86 Klára Zakopalová by 6–4, 3–6, 6–3 and World no. 115 Arantxa Rus by 6–4, 6–3, she lost to World no. 51 Alexandra Dulgheru by 6–2, 6–2) and Miami (where she lost to World no. 40 Sorana Cîrstea by 7–5, 7–6(9)), she found more success in the clay court season with second round showings at Charleston (where she lost to World no. 49 Patty Schnyder by 6–1, 6–2) and Estoril (after she defeated World no. 71 Alizé Cornet by 6–3, 4–6, 6–3 in the first round, she lost to World no. 38 Sorana Cîrstea by 7–5, 7–5). Despite signs of improvement, she failed to qualify to the main draw at the French Open, losing to World no. 179 Misaki Doi in the second qualifying round 4–6, 6–4, 6–4.

Michelle Larcher de Brito @ Family Circle Cup 2010 03.jpg

In June, came her best result of the season, a third round showing in Birmingham, where she lost to World no. 93 Kaia Kanepi 6–2, 6–2, after defeating World no. 174 Ekaterina Dzehalevich by 6–2, 4–6, 6–3 and World no. 39 Olga Govortsova by 6–1, 4–6, 7–5 in the first two rounds. This was followed with a first round loss at Wimbledon against World no. 1 and eventual champion Serena Williams 6–0, 6–4. The American hard court season also proved to be unsuccessful with failed qualification attempts at Stanford and San Diego and a first round loss at the US Open against World no. 159 Sania Mirza 6–3, 6–2 (after she won three qualifying matches against World no. 207 Karolína Plíšková by 6–4, 6–4, World no. 124 Anastasiya Yakimova by 6–0, 6–0 and World no. 132 Alexandra Panova by 2–6, 6–3, 6–3). She finished the year at the ITF 75K event at Albuquerque with another first round loss to World no. 677 Daria Gavrilova by 6–2, 6–4.

2011[edit]

Larcher de Brito started the season by playing in an ITF 25K event in Plantation, losing in the first round to World no. 323 Julia Boserup in straight sets 6–0, 6–4. She then took part in another ITF 25K event in Lutz, losing in the second round to 874-ranked player Jessica Pegula in a close match, by 4–6, 7–6(3), 7–6(3). At her third event, in the ITF 25K event in Rancho Santa Fe, California, Larcher de Brito won her first career title beating World no. 189 Madison Brengle in the final 3–6, 6–4, 6–1. Afterwards she took part in 100K event in Midland, losing in the second round to American World no. 281 Ahsha Rolle 6–0, 3–6, 6–3. In Miami she lost in the second round of qualifying to former junior No.1 and World no. 104 Arantxa Rus 6–4, 6–2, after she defeated World no. 67 Magdaléna Rybáriková by 2–6, 7–5, 6–0 in the first round.

In April, in the ITF 50K event in Charlottesville, Larcher de Brito lost to World no. 189 Stéphanie Dubois in the final by 1–6, 7–6(5), 6–1.

In May, she failed to qualify to the main draw at the French Open, losing to World no. 202 Elena Bogdan in the first qualifying round by 4–6, 6–2, 6–4.

In June, she achieved the semi-finals in the ITF 75K event in Nottingham, where she lost to no. 123 Olga Govortsova by 7–5, 6–2.

In August, returning from injury, she won the first round in the qualifying of the US Open, beating World no. 136 Lesia Tsurenko by 7–6(4), 4–6, 7–6(3) in 2h51m with an incredible number of 19 double-faults. In the second round, she defeated World no. 193 Anna Floris by 6–2, 6–0 in only 56m. In the third round, she lost to the World no. 194 Karin Knapp by 4–6, 6–2, 7–6(1) in 2h40m.

In September, she won the second round in the qualifying of the Bell Challenge, beating World no. 422 Amra Sadikovic by 6–0, 6–4 in 69m with 9 double-faults. In the third round, she lost to the World no. 236 Gail Brodsky by 6–3, 6–4 in 59m.

In October, Larcher de Brito was the 3rd seed in the ITF 25K in Bayamón. In First Round, she defeated Yolima Ogando by 6–3, 6–2, in Second she won Teliana Pereira by 6–4, 7–6(3), in Quarter-Finals defeated the no. 5 seed and World no. 195 Madison Brengle by 6–3, 6–2, in Semi-Final defeated Catalina Castaño by 6–4, 6–2. In the final she defeated the no. 8 seed and World no. 262 Mónica Puig by 6–3, 6–2 to win her second career title.

In November, in the ITF 75K event in Phoenix, Larcher de Brito lost to World no. 175 Sesil Karatantcheva in the final by 6–1, 7–5, after defeating seed no. 1 and world no. 79 Irina Falconi in the first round by 6–2, 4–6, 6–0 and no. 3 seed and world no. 117 Mandy Minella by 6–2, 6–0 in the semi-finals.

2012[edit]

Playing in the qualifying phase at the Australian Open, Larcher de Brito won in the first qualifying round by 6–3, 7–5 to World no. 151 Kathrin Wörle. In the second round, she defeated World no. 117 Arantxa Parra Santonja by 6–3, 4–6, 6–2 in 2h. In the third round, she lost to the World no. 140 Stefanie Vögele by 7–5, 3–6, 6–4 in 2h29m.

Fed Cup Group I 2012 Europe Africa day 2 Michelle Larcher de Brito 003.JPG

This was followed by participation in the Fed Cup in February. After a 6–2, 6–3 loss to Elena Baltacha, Portugal's overall 3–0 loss to Great Britain, Michelle, 99 places lower than her Israeli opponent Shahar Pe'er, played a solid baseline game and capitalised on the Israeli's many errors to register a 6–1 6–2 thrashing that both the home favourite and the crowd are certain to remember for a while. She also beat Michaëlla Krajicek 6–1, 6–2 and Dia Evtimova 6–1, 6–1 to help Portugal to achieve the 5th place in the Europe/Africa group. After that, in the ITF 25K event in City of Surprise Women's Tennis Classic, Larcher de Brito won her third career title beating World no. 172 Claire Feuerstein in the final by 6–1, 6–3 in only 58m.

In April, playing in the qualifying phase at Charleston, Larcher de Brito won in the first qualifying round by 6–2, 6–3 to World no. 333 Alexandra Stevenson in 1h11m. In the second round, she lost to the World no. 122 Karolína Plíšková by 6–4, 6–2 in 1h13m. A week later, in the ITF 25K event in Pelham, Larcher de Brito lost to the no. 96 Edina Gallovits-Hall in the semi-finals by 7–6(5), 2–6, 6–1, after defeating the no. 174 Julia Boserup in the first round by 6–3, 5–7, 6–3 and the young Australian no. 218 Sacha Jones by 3–6, 6–4, 7–6(5) in 2h55m in the quarter finals.

In May, playing in the qualifying phase at Brussels, Larcher de Brito won in the first qualifying round by 6–1, 6–3 to World no. 748 Ysaline Bonaventure in 1h7m. In the second round, she lost to the World no. 98 Arantxa Rus by 6–1, 6–1 in 1h4m. A week later, she failed to qualify to the main draw at the French Open, losing to World no. 163 Tatjana Malek in the first qualifying round by 4–6, 6–2, 6–1 in 2h.

In June, she achieved the second round in the ITF 75K event in Nottingham, where she lost to no. 63 Elena Baltacha by 6–4, 6–2, after winning 3 games in the qualifying and defeating no. 84 Ayumi Morita by 4–6, 6–0, 7–6(4) in the first round. A week later, playing in the qualifying phase at Birmingham, Larcher de Brito won in the first qualifying round by 6–3, 6–2 to World no. 784 Liga Dekmeijere in 1h5m. In the second round, she defeated no. 151 Chan Yung-jan by 6–2, 6–2 in only 1h14m and qualified for the tournament main draw. Then she won in the first round to no. 103 Bojana Jovanovski by 3–6, 7–5, 6–4 in 2h7m. In the second round, she lost to no. 206 Melanie Oudin by 6–3, 6–4. This was followed with a first round victory in the qualifying phase at Wimbledon against world no. 216 Ajla Tomljanovic by 7–5, 3–1 ret. In the second round, she lost to the World no. 118 Karolína Plíšková by 6–4, 3–6, 6–3 in 2h.

In July, Michelle received a wildcard in the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford. In the first round she won 11 straight games from 7–5, 2–0 down and eventually closed out Jarmila Gajdošová by 5–7, 6–2, 6–3 in 1h44m. In the second round, she lost to world no. 43 e 6th seed Chanelle Scheepers by 6–3,6–4 in 1h27m. A week later, playing in the qualifying phase at the Mercury Insurance Open in San Diego, she won in the first round to world no. 238 Julia Boserup by 6–3, 6–2. In the second record she won world no. 123 Melanie Oudin by por 6–4, 6–2 in 1h28m and qualified for the tournament main draw. In the first round, she lost to world no. 140 Misaki Doi by 6–7(6), 6–1, 6–3 in 2h17m. This was followed with a first round victory in the qualifying phase at Washington against world no. 1138 Alessondra Parra by 6–0, 6–3 in only 48m. In the second record she won world no. 272 Gabriela Paz by por 6–2, 6–4 and qualified for the tournament main draw. Larcher de Brito, battled past the a player 11 years older the Croatian star, Mirjana Lučić, in a three-set thriller. She also had to endure a short delay because of temperatures rising to unplayable levels. She nudged up a 6–3, 3–6, 6–1 victory against the German-born Lučić to labour into the second round. She broke her rival's serve twice and jumped to a 5–1 lead. Apart from wasting her chance of serving out the opening set with a breadstick, Larcher de Brito plucked her serve once more and clicked the opener with a 6–3 win. Lučić re-focused in the follow-up set and got back in action. She earned the critical break in the fourth game and leaped to a 4–1 lead. The Croat held her remaining serves with poise and sealed the equalizer by winning six games to two. Larcher de Brito re-gained her strength in the final set which matter the most. After Lučić held her serve in the second game, the Portuguese unleashed her true form and went on a five-game tear, subsequently pulling out the decider a breadstick. In the second round, she lost to the world no. 50 Sloane Stephens by 6–2, 0–6, 6–1 in 1h21m.

In August, at the Roger's Cup, Larcher de Brito won the first round of the qualifying to the world no. 156 Kristina Mladenovic by 7–5, 6–2. In the second round, she defeats world no. 60 Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová by 6–1, 6–2 in only 1h3m. In the 3rd and ast round, she defeats world no. 100 Mirjana Lučić by 2–6, 6–1, 6–3 in 1h31m and qualified for the tournament main draw. In the first round, she lost to the world no. 48 Simona Halep by 6–4, 6–3 in 1h19m. Later, she won the first round in the qualifying of the US Open, beating World no. 1032 Ekaterina Dzehalevich by 4–6, 6–3, 7–5 in 2h32m. In the second round, she lost to Elina Svitolina by 2–6, 7–5, 6–3 in 1h58m.

In September, she lost in the first round of the Bell Challenge, to World no. 234 Petra Rampre by 6–2, 1–6, 6–3 in 1h27m. Later, she reach the semifinal at the $75,000 ITF event in Albuquerque, New Mexico, losing to no. 177 Maria Sanchez by 6–4, 7–6(5) in 2h after saving 7 match points.

In October, she reach the semifinal at the $25,000 ITF event in Troy, losing to no. 198 Sharon Fichman by 6–3, 6–4 in 1h45m after saving 5 match points.

2013[edit]

Playing in the qualifying phase at the Australian Open, Larcher de Brito won in the first qualifying round by 6–1, 6–1 to Azra Hadzic. In the second round she defeated no. 196 Cristina Mitu by 1–6, 7–5, 6–2 in 1h49m. In the third round, Larcher De Brito needed more than two hours to defeat South Africa's no. 188 Chanel Simmonds, triumphing by 4–6, 6–1, 8–6 in a titanic clash on court 10 to make her Australian Open main draw debut. In the first round, she was defeated by 19th seed Ekaterina Makarova by 6–2, 7–5 in 1h31m.

This was followed by participation in the Fed Cup in February. After a 3–6, 7–5, 7–5 loss to no. 79 Tímea Babos in 2h20m, Portugal's overall 3–0 loss to Hungary, Michelle defeated no. 41 Heather Watson by 6–1, 6–4 in 1h6m. Laura Robson and Heather Watson held their nerve in a deciding doubles rubber against Portugal to secure Great Britain's second victory at the Fed Cup in Israel. Watson and Robson are occasional doubles partners, teaming up at the Olympics last year, and they easily saw off Larcher de Brito and Joana Vale Costa 6–2, 6–1 in 55 minutes to earn Britain a 2–1 victory in the tie. In the last round, she defeated no. 566 Jelena Simic from Bosnia 6–3, 3–6, 6–2 and in doubles with Barbara Luz they defeated Anita Husaric and Dea Herdzelas by 6–1, 6–0. This was followed by a loss in the qualifying in Memphis, losing to World no. 96 Jana Čepelová by 7–5, 7–5 in 1h44m.

In March, in the qualification to Indian Wells, Michelle defeated in the first round no. 83 Misaki Doi by 6–1, 6–3 in 1h19m. In the second round, she qualified to the main draw, as she defeated no. 108 Anastasia Rodionova by 6–2, 6–3 in 1h19m. In the main draw, in the first round, Michelle lost to Alexandra Dulgheru, ex-top25 and no. 491 by 6–4, 6–4 in 1h19m. Later, playing in the qualifying phase at Charleston, Larcher de Brito won in the first qualifying round by 6–4, 6–1 to Hayley Carter in 1h2m. In the second round, she lost to world no. 147 Jessica Pegula by 7–6 (4), 6–3 in 1h25m.

In May, in the qualification to the Brussels Open, Larcher de Brito won in the first qualifying round by 6–3, 6–2 to no. 972 Alicja Rosolska in only 56m. In the 2nd round, she lost to no. 108 Yulia Putintseva by 6–4, 6–1 in 1h20m. Later, she failed to qualify to the main draw at the French Open, where she lost in the first round of the qualifying to no. 180 Maryna Zanevska by 6–4, 6–2 in only 1h16m.

In June, playing in the qualifying phase at Birmingham, Larcher de Brito lost in the first qualifying round by 4–6, 6–4, 6–4 in 2h to the Spanish no. 235 Arantxa Parra Santoja. This was followed with a first round victory in the qualifying phase at Wimbledon against world no. 166 Chanel Simmonds by 6–3, 6–1 in only 1h. In the 2nd round, Michelle defeated no. 160 Claire Feuerstein by 6–1, 6–2 in only 1h. In the 3rd round, she defeated no. 171 Shahar Peer by 6–3, 6–0 in only 59m and then qualified for the main draw of the tournament. in the first round of the main draw, Michelle defeated no. 123 Melanie Oudin by 7–6(7), 1–6, 6–4 in 1h48m. In the second round of Wimbledon, she defeated 2004 champion and world no. 3 Maria Sharapova in straight sets, 6–3, 6–4. In the third round though she lost to unseeded Karin Knapp from Italy by 7–5 6–2.

In July, Michelle playing in the qualifying phase at Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, she defeated in the second round no. 478 Julia Boserup by 6–3, 3–6, 6–3 in 1h56m. In 3rd round, she defeated no. 908 Natalie Grandin and qualified for the main draw by 6–3, 6–2. In the first round of the main draw, Michelle was lost to no. 40 and 6th seed Varvara Lepchenko by 6–2, 6–4 in 1h19m. Lepchenko nearly let a 6–2, 5–1 lead slip away but eventually closed. The American won it on her sixth match point. This was followed with a first round victory in the qualifying phase at Washington against world no. 459 Louisa Chirico by 7–5, 6–1. In the second record she won world no. 298 Victoria Duval by por 7–5, 4–6, 6–2 in 1h54m and qualified for the tournament main draw. In the first round of the main draw, Michelle lost to no. 40 Madison Keys by 7–5, 6–3 in 1h15m. A week later, at the Roger's Cup, Michelle lost in the first round of the qualifying to the world no. 71 Paula Ormaechea by 6–3, 6–3 in 1h18m.

In August, Michelle won the first round in the qualifying of the US Open, beating World no. 316 Chiara Scholl by 4–6, 6–4, 6–2 in 1h30m. In the 2nd round, Michelle defeated no. 197 Zarina Diyas by 6–4, 5–7, 6–4 in 2h8m. In the 3rd round she defeated Elena Baltacha by 4–6, 7–5, 6–1 in 2h31m and qualified for the main draw. In the first round of the main draw, Michelle defeated world no. 124 Eleni Daniilidou by 6–4, 6–3 in 1h29m. In the 2nd round, Michelle lost to no. 17 Maria Kirilenko by 6-3, 6-1 in 1h15m.

In September, she lost in the first round of the Bell Challenge, to World no. 166 Julie Coin by 7-6 (5), 7–5 in 1h34m.

Grunting controversy[edit]

During the 2009 French Open and Wimbledon tournaments, Larcher de Brito came under criticism for what by some was considered excessive grunting. Some players and commentators have voiced suspicions that the grunting is used as an unsportmanlike tactic to distract the opponent and that this tactic is actually taught by Nick Bollettieri, who is responsible for the training of Larcher de Brito and other grunting tennis greats. Bollettieri has denied this by saying: "My staff and I have never taught grunting. It isn’t something that is done deliberately to hurt their opponents." He also called for some sort of regulation: "Players on both the men's and women's tours grunt. Something eventually needs to be done." Michelle Larcher de Brito also denies being unsportmanlike and has stated: "Nobody can tell me to stop grunting. Tennis is an individual sport and I'm an individual player. If they have to fine me, go ahead, because I'd rather get fined than lose a match because I had to stop grunting [...] If it has inconvenienced the other player, there's nothing I can really do about it, because I don't really want to change anything. [...] I'm here to win. That's it. If people don't like my grunting they can always leave.".[13] On a more conciliatory note, however, Larcher de Brito has also recently[when?] remarked: "I’m 16 and I’m still learning. Maybe I can eventually put it under control. I don’t know, but I’ll try. It comes from Seles; it comes from Sharapova. It comes from great players.".[14][15] Like Larcher de Brito, Monica Seles and Maria Sharapova were also trained by Nick Bollettieri.

Career finals[edit]

ITF Circuit[edit]

Singles: 5 (3–2)[edit]

$100,000 tournaments (0–0)
$75,000 tournaments (0–1)
$50,000 tournaments (0–1)
$25,000 tournaments (3–0)
$10,000 tournaments (0–0)
Titles by Surface
Hard (3–1)
Clay (0–1)
Grass (0–0)
Carpet (0–0)
OutcomeNo.DateTournamentSurfaceOpponent in the finalScore in the final
Winner1.6 February 2011Rancho Santa Fe, United StatesHardUnited States Madison Brengle3–6, 6–4, 6–1
Runner-up1.1 May 2011Charlottesville, United StatesClayCanada Stéphanie Dubois1–6, 7–6(7–5), 6–1
Winner2.30 October 2011Bayamón, Puerto RicoHardPuerto Rico Mónica Puig6–3, 6–2
Runner-up2.13 November 2011Phoenix, United StatesHardKazakhstan Sesil Karatantcheva6–1, 7–5
Winner3.19 February 2012Surprise, United StatesHardFrance Claire Feuerstein6–1, 6–3

Exhibition[edit]

Singles: 1 (1–0)[edit]

OutcomeNo.DateTournamentSurfaceOpponent in the finalScore in the final
Winner1.20 June 2009Liverpool, England, U.K.GrassUnited Kingdom Laura Robson6–1 6–1

Singles performance timeline[edit]

Key
W F SFQF#RRRLQ (Q#)APZ#POSF-BFSGNMSNH

Won tournament; or reached Final; Semifinal; Quarter-final; Round 4, 3, 2, 1; competed at a Round Robin stage; lost in Qualification Round; absent from tournament event; played in a Davis Cup Zonal Group (with its number indication) or Play-off; won a bronze, silver (F or S) or gold medal at the Olympics; a downgraded Masters Series/1000 tournament (Not a Masters Series); or a tournament that was Not Held in a given year.

To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated either at the conclusion of a tournament, or when the player's participation in the tournament has ended.

Tournament2007200820092010201120122013SRW–L
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian OpenAAQ2Q1AQ31R0 / 10–1
French OpenAA3RQ2Q1Q1Q10 / 12–1
WimbledonAQ12R1RAQ23R0 / 33–3
US OpenAQ32R1RQ3Q22R0 / 32–3
SR0 / 00 / 00 / 30 / 20 / 00 / 00 / 30 / 8N/A
Win-Loss0–00–04–30–20–00–03–3N/A7–8
WTA Premier Mandatory Tournaments
Indian WellsAA1R1RAA1R0 / 30–3
Miami2R3RQ11RQ2AA0 / 33–3
MadridNot HeldQ2Q1AAA0 / 00–0
BeijingNot PMMQ1AAA0 / 00–0
SR0 / 10 / 10 / 10 / 20 / 00 / 00 / 10 / 6N/A
Win-Loss1–12–10–10–20–00–00–1N/A3–6
WTA Premier 5 Tournaments
Montreal/TorontoA3RQ1AA1RQ10 / 22–2
CincinnatiNot PM5Q1AAAA0 / 00–0
SR0 / 00 / 10 / 00 / 00 / 00 / 10 / 2N/A
Win-Loss0–02–10–00–00–00–1N/A2–2
Career statistics
Tournaments played1678067Career total: 35
Finals reached0000000Career total: 0
Tournaments Won0000000Career total: 0
Statistics by surface
Hardcourt Win-Loss1–18–54–51–80–05–61–6N/A20–31
Clay Win-Loss0–00–12–22–23–00–0N/A7–5
Grass Win-Loss0–00–01–12–20–01–12–1N/A6–5
Carpet Win-Loss0–00–00–00–00–00–0N/A0–0
Overall Win-Loss1–18–67–85–123–06–73–7N/A33–411
Win (%)50%57%47%29%100%46%30%Career Win (%): 45%
Year-end ranking312124114205146130$414,621

If ITF women's circuit (Hardcourt: 45–26; Clay: 13–13; Grass: 7–2) and WTA Qualifying (Hardcourt: 31–17; Clay: 9–9; Grass: 4–4) participations are included, then her overall win-loss record stands at 139–103.

Fed Cup[edit]

Larcher de Brito debuted for the Portugal Fed Cup team in 2009 and helped in the team's promotion to the Europe/Africa Group I. The team was relegated back to Group II in 2010 and she helped again in 2011 in the team's promotion to the Europe/Africa Group I with 5 victories. She has a 10–7 singles record and a 5–2 doubles record (15–9 overall).

Participations (24)[edit]

Singles (17)[edit]

EditionRoundDateAgainstSurfaceOpponentW–LResult
2009 Fed Cup
Europe/Africa Group II
RR22–24 April 2009Morocco MoroccoHardFatima El AllamiWin6–4, 7–5
Latvia LatviaAnastasija SevastovaLoss2–6, 3–6
GII Play-Offs25 April 2009South Africa South AfricaHardNatalie GrandinWin6–4, 6–3
2010 Fed Cup
Europe/Africa Group I
RR3–5 February 2010Croatia CroatiaHardPetra MartićLoss4–6, 1–6
Switzerland SwitzerlandPatty SchnyderLoss2–6, 4–6
Romania RomaniaAlexandra DulgheruLoss0–6, 7–5, 2–6
GI Play-Offs6 February 2010Bulgaria BulgariaHardTsvetana PironkovaLoss3–6, 3–6
2011 Fed Cup
Europe/Africa Group II
RR4–6 May 2011Morocco MoroccoClayFatima El AllamiWin4–6, 6–3, 6–2
Finland FinlandEmma LaineWin7–6(7–3), 6–3
GII Play-Offs7 May 2011Georgia (country) GeorgiaClaySofia ShapatavaWin3–6, 6–4, 7–6(8–6)
2012 Fed Cup
Europe/Africa Group I
RR1–3 February 2012United Kingdom Great BritainHardElena BaltachaLoss2–6, 3–6
Israel IsraelShahar Pe'erWin6–2, 6–1
Netherlands NetherlandsMichaëlla KrajicekWin6–1, 6–2
GI Play-Offs4 February 2012Bulgaria BulgariaHardDia EvtimovaWin6–1, 6–1
2013 Fed Cup
Europe/Africa Group I
RR7–9 February 2013Hungary HungaryHardTímea BabosLoss6–3, 5–7, 5–7
United Kingdom Great BritainHeather WatsonWin6–1, 6–4
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and HerzegovinaJelena SimicWin6–3, 3–6, 6–2

Doubles (7)[edit]

EditionRoundDatePartneringAgainstSurfaceOpponentsW–LResult
2010 Fed Cup
Europe/Africa Group I
RR3 February 2010Neuza SilvaCroatia CroatiaHardJelena Kostanić Tošić
Silvia Njirić
Win7–5, 6–4
2011 Fed Cup
Europe/Africa Group II
RR4–6 May 2011Maria João KoehlerMorocco MoroccoClayFatima El Allami
Nadia Lalami
Win6–3, 6–2
Maria Joao KoehlerFinland FinlandEmma Laine
Piia Suomalainen
Win6–3, 6–2
2012 Fed Cup
Europe/Africa Group I
RR1–3 February 2012Maria Joao KoehlerUnited Kingdom Great BritainHardLaura Robson
Heather Watson
Loss5–7, 0–6
Maria Joao KoehlerIsrael IsraelShahar Pe'er
Julia Glushko
Win6–2, 4–6, 6–4
2013 Fed Cup
Europe/Africa Group I
RR7–9 February 2013Joana Vale CostaUnited Kingdom Great BritainHardLaura Robson
Heather Watson
Loss2–6, 1–6
Bárbara LuzBosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and HerzegovinaAnita Husaric
Dea Herdzelas
Win6–1, 6–0

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The official WTA records are incomplete as they do not count Larcher de Brito's Fed Cup singles record (8–6).
  2. ^ The official WTA records are incomplete as they do not count Larcher de Brito's Fed Cup doubles record (4–1).
  3. ^ Michelle Brito é "uma lutadora" e tem espírito para subir ao "top-ten" mundial – Nick Bollettieri (in Portuguese) SAPO Notícias, 1 August 2008
  4. ^ Michelle Larcher de Brito Draws Ire for Loud Grunting Fanhouse.com, 30 May 2009
  5. ^ http://www.geneall.net/P/per_page.php?id=1228429
  6. ^ http://www.geneall.net/W/per_page.php?id=1228430
  7. ^ Michelle Larcher de Brito – Career Highlights WTATour.com
  8. ^ Larcher de Brito Strikes a Pose For Elle Portugal. WTATour.com, 25 January 2009
  9. ^ Serena given workout in Stanford BBC News, 17 July 2008.
  10. ^ Main Draw Results 07/15/08 Bank of the West Classic, 15 July 2008.
  11. ^ Rezai rises above shrieks of Larcher de Brito The Independent, 30 May 2009
  12. ^ Michelle Larcher de Brito joins the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy
  13. ^ Michelle Larcher de Brito refuses to tone down the grunting News.com.au, June 2009
  14. ^ One more grunt and you're out: Wimbledon to crack down after complaints Times Online, 14 June 2009
  15. ^ "Wimbledon faces noise pollution". Stuff.co.nz. Reuters. 23 June 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
Awards
Preceded by
Vanessa Fernandes
Portuguese Sportswoman of the Year
2009
Succeeded by
Telma Monteiro

External links[edit]