Two players will break new ground at Wimbledon 2024 by contesting the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time. Get to know them here.

Anca Todoni (ROU)

Three weeks ago, Anca Todoni had never set foot on a grass court. The 19-yearold Romanian had just won her first WTA 125 title in Bari on clay, and continued to practice on it before traveling to Gaiba for her first grass-court tournament. The only specific training she made sure to do was for her movement -- but with no grass tennis courts available, Todoni instead did her footwork drills on a football pitch.

It worked, despite Todoni's low expectations. The Timisoara native reached the second round of Gaiba -- then came through just her second Grand Slam qualifying event this week to reach the Wimbledon main draw. She says that she took to grass immediately, despite her inexperience.

"I really enjoyed it," Todoni said after defeating Nuria Parrizas Diaz in the final qualifying round. "In fact, I enjoyed it more than hard courts, which I thought was impossible. The movement is not as bad as everyone told me it would be. The power is one of my keys. Taking the opponent's time is a crucial advantage."

Teenage qualifier Todoni topples Stefanini in Bogota first round

Todoni's easy power and formidable serve are the standout elements of her game, and they helped her slam 95 winners across her three qualifying matches. It's not a style with much precedent in Romanian tennis -- though in a roundabout way, Simona Halep was responsible for how Todoni has tried to develop her tennis. She currently works with three coaches -- Adrian Cruciat, Adrian Gavrila and Artemon Apostu-Efremov, the last of whom was with Halep when she played Elena Rybakina in the 2020 Dubai final. Apostu-Efremov noted Todoni's similar height and build, and recommended that she pattern her game after the Kazakhstani.

Todoni has been a Rybakina fan ever since.

"She's my model player, and I've been watching her games constantly," she said. "I just love everything about her -- her game, how she is as a person. I would say she's my goal in tennis -- I want to become like her."

This applies to Todoni's demeanor as well; closing out the experienced Parrizas Diaz took a few games and a few match points, but the teenager gave nothing away. Afterwards, her team praised her for being so zen.

"I just try to focus on myself without hearing anything from outside," Todoni said. "Just me, myself and I."

All of this has helped Todoni put together a spectacular rise in the pro ranks. In 2022, she was preparing to play her first junior Grand Slams at Roland Garros and Wimbledon when she got injured. When she returned to action in October that year, she opted to skip juniors and head straight into the ITF World Tour -- a decision that has paid off.

This time last year, Todoni was playing -- and winning -- ITF W15 events in Kranjska Gora and Bucharest. They would be part of an impressive 56-16 record in 2023, which raised her ranking from No.893 to No.250. And she's also begun to demonstrate that she can cut it at tour level. Todoni made her WTA main draw debut as a wild card in Cluj-Napoca this February, won her first tour-level match in Bogota in April and has lifted her ranking to No.141, but the statistic which stands out is her 6-1 overall winning record against Top 100 opposition.

It's not bad for someone who only picked up the sport, aged 6, because she was such a sickly child whose allergies were set off by indoor activities. Now, Todoni's only problem is that she's been winning so many matches that she often finds herself too tired in the evening to catch up with her favorite TV show, "Gossip Girl."

Todoni will start against lucky loser Olga Danilovic, with a potential second-round meeting with No.2 seed Coco Gauff lying ahead for the winner.

Marina Stakusic (CAN)

After announcing herself on tennis's world stage at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals last November, Marina Stakusic was happy to talk a big game -- with one specific goal in mind.

"From a very young age, my goals in my head were to win Wimbledon and become No.1," Stakusic told WTA Insider. "So from the beginning I never really did it just for fun. I was doing this to win Wimbledon one day. I'm not just doing it for fun. It's always been serious since the beginning."

The 19-year-old Canadian is a step closer to her dream now -- or just seven steps away from it -- after coming through Wimbledon qualifying this week. It was just her second Grand Slam qualifying tournament, and she had fallen to Yuliia Starodubtseva in the final round of Roland Garros. In Roehampton, Stakusic made no mistake at that stage, racing past Amarni Banks 6-3, 6-0.

Stakusic's Billie Jean King Cup performance was one of the competition's great underdog stories. Canada went into the Finals with just one Top 100 player in their squad, Leylah Fernandez -- but No.258-ranked Stakusic stepped up to the plate in style, stunning Magdalena Frech and Martina Trevisan to help secure the trophy for her country.

Canadian teen Stakusic outlasts fellow qualifier Melnikova in San Diego

Arguably, Stakusic had only been so unheralded due to injury. Her first step on to the Hologic WTA Tour had been an impressive one -- she qualified and reached the second round of Granby in August 2022, and took a set from Marta Kostyuk -- but she was sidelined for six months of 2023. On returning, she swept up three ITF titles, ultimately finishing the season with a 26-5 record.

"Her determination to keep course led to her great results," her coach, former No.14 Elena Bovina, told "That and of course her never-say-die attitude, that X-factor that she has in her personality, to never give up no matter what."

In 2024, Stakusic has lifted her ranking to No.164 after notching her first WTA 500 win in San Diego as a qualifier and reaching the Ilkley ITF 100 quarterfinals last week. She opens against No.27 seed Katerina Siniakova.

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