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Greece’s tennis star ranked 24th in world

Eleni Daniilidou has climbed to number 24 in the Women’s Tennis Association world rankings, following her performance in the Brazil Open, where she reached the final on Saturday. «I am happy. My aim was to get into the top 30 rankings this year. In the end, I got there sooner and now I will try to get into the top 20,» Daniilidou said yesterday after she returned to her native Thessaloniki. She was ranked 34th before the tournament. She will turn 20 on Thursday, September 19. To have a chance of getting into the top 20 she will have to play in three tournaments in Germany, one in Switzerland and another in Austria. She will then return to Thessaloniki and her parents in early November. In the Brazilian final at Costa da Sauipe on Saturday, eighth-seeded Daniilidou, who was suffering from a cold, lost 6-3, 0-6, 6-2 to Russia’s Anastasia Myskina, the third seed. Myskina won the first set comfortably but collapsed in the second, letting Daniilidou back into the match. Myskina shot ahead 4-0 in the final set and held on to win. Daniilidou began the year ranked 84th after rising from 320th place at the start of 2001. Sturdy performances at Grand Slam events have propelled her rapid rise. Besides reaching Wimbledon’s fourth round, where she fell to the world’s number three, Jennifer Capriati, in three sets, Daniilidou registered third-round appearances at the Australian Open earlier this year, and at the US Open last September. She became the first Greek player to win a tournament, in the Netherlands, shortly before Wimbledon.