Who is Kaja Juvan? Meet the Slovenian who upset Aryna Sabalenka in Adelaide

Kaja Juvan in action against Aryna Sabalenka in Adelaide
Kaja Juvan in action against Aryna Sabalenka in Adelaide

Aryna Sabalenka must have stepped on court for her second-round match at the Adelaide International 1 against Kaja Juvan, expecting a fairly comfortable day at the office. But she was outclassed from start to finish and crashed out of the tournament following a 7-6(6), 6-1 loss.

The win over Sabalenka was Juvan's first over a top-10 opponent, enabling her to move into the quarterfinals of a WTA 500 event for the first time.

Kaja Juvan might not be a household name among the tennis fraternity yet, but going by her latest performance, it might not be long before she is one.

Who is Kaja Juvan?

Kaja Juvan is a 21-year-old Slovenian tennis player. She started playing tennis at the age of six, accompanying her parents to a tennis camp organized once every year.

Juvan made a name for herself at the junior level, winning the prestigious Orange Bowl Tennis Championships in 2016. She also bagged the title at the European Junior Championships in 2017 and won gold in both singles and doubles at the Youth Olympics, before transitioning to the senior tour.

Kaja Juvan during Wimbledon 2019
Kaja Juvan during Wimbledon 2019

After making her Grand Slam debut at Roland Garros in 2019, where she entered the main draw as a lucky loser, she crashed out in the first round. Juvan qualified for the Wimbledon Championships the same year, where she lost to Serena Williams, but not before taking a set off the 23-time Major champion.

The Slovenian reached the third round of the Australian Open last year before reaching the same stage once again at Wimbledon, defeating ninth seed Belinda Bencic along the way.

Kaja Juvan - Playing Style

Kaja Juvan describes her game as 'diverse' involving a lot of drop shots and angles. She also likes to take the ball early and rush her opponents. The 21-year-old is most comfortable on clay since she grew up playing on the surface.

Kaja Juvan's interests, hobbies & goals for the future

Reading is her primary hobby with psychology and philosophy being her favorite subjects. She also loves to paint which she says helps her to relax.

Developing her body muscles and physicality for the grind of the senior tour has been Juvan's primary objective for the past couple of years. The win over Sabalenka must have served as a validation that she is certainly going in the right direction.

Kaja Juvan plays Misaki Doi in the quarterfinals of the Adelaide International on Friday.