Meet the 18-year-old Canadian that has made a massive splash at BJK Cup this weekend.
By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday November 11, 2023
18-year-old Canadian Marina Stakusic (she will turn 19 on November 27, 2023) has burst onto the scene this week at Billie Jean King Cup, earning her first two Top-100 wins to help guide Team Canada to the semifinals in Seville. Scroll down to find out more about the World No. 258.
She’s been unstoppable on the challenger circuit
Stakusic has won 19 of her last 20 matches across all levels, compiling titles at Valladolid (25K), Berkeley (60K) and Toronto (60K) to earn a spot on Canada’s Billie Jean King Cup team. She was named the ITF World Tennis Tour Player of the Month for September.
The World No. 258, is making her BJK Cup debut this weekend for Canada. She was ranked 588 at the start of the September, but was boosted by this spectacular statline, coming back from a six-month injury hiatus to reel off 11 consecutive victories :
– Compiled an 11-0 win-loss record
– Went 22-1 in sets
– Defeated three top 300-ranked players
– Achieved a career-high WTA ranking of No. 297
– Contested just her fifth, sixth and seventh events of the year
What a way to start at the @BJKCup Finals! 🤩
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) November 8, 2023
She already has recorded her two biggest wins at BJK Cup this week
Stakusic has parlayed her hot form at the ITF level into back-to-back career-best victories – her first against players ranked in the Top 100 – against No.65-ranked Rebeka Masarova and No.63-ranked Magdalena Frech.
“I’m feeling amazing,” Stakusic told billiejeankingcup.com. “This week so far has been one of the most amazing experiences I have had. I’m just so happy I was able to fight today and find a way to pull it out and give Canada the lead.
She’s from Ontario
The young talent hails from Mississauga, Ontario. The same province that has produced Bianca Andreescu, Denis Shapovalov and Milos Raonic.
Her Older Brother Got Her into Tennis
Stakusic, who grew up playing the game on public courts, credits her older brother Marko as a provider of a spark.
“When I was like about 5 or 6, I wanted to copy him and do whatever he was doing. I just started to play and really liked it from the beginning. Since then I was obsessed with it. She would later join the development program at the National Tennis Centre in Montreal,” she said in a recent video posted on Sportsnet.
Stakusic’s favorite player to watch is Novak Djokovic, and her favorite sport other than tennis is basketball (she loves the Toronto Raptors).
Her Captain Pegs Her for a Bright Future
“It’s fair to say a champion is born,” Canada’s Captain Heidi El Tabakh told billiejeankingcup.com. “We all believed in her ability and capabilities, but I think she has surpassed everyone’s expectations.
“She has shown everyone that she belongs here, and I am so very excited for her and for her future. I think she’s going to be incredible.
Top-100 is Her Next Big Goal /strong>
“For me my goals have always been just to win Grand Slams and become No.1. I’m hoping in the next few years I can try and make that happen. Maybe by next year be Top 100 – that’s probably my biggest goal right now.