I wonder what does the word hopeful mean in the following context

After Agnieszka Radwanska defeated Belarusian hopeful Olga Govortsova in straight sets during the second round of the Australian Open.'

I guess that the phrase to defeat sb in straight set means to win a game without losing a single set. Am I right?

3 Answers 3


It may not be obvious, but hopeful is actually being used as a noun here rather than as an adjective; the name that comes afterward states which "hopeful" was defeated, rather than being the noun to which an adjective is applied.

As seen at theFreeDictionary.com, hopeful when used as a noun in this manner means

A person who aspires to success or who shows promise of succeeding


a person considered to be on the brink of success

And yes, to win in straight sets means to win every set that was played.

  • Can I say "Govortsova was a hopeful in Australian Open but she fell in the second round.".
    – user72829
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 8:01

Yes on the second count. A hopeful is someone likely or hoping to succeed.


In that article, the author describes Govortsova as a "hopeful" because she is an underdog in the Australian Open tennis tournament. She is ranked #98 in the world, while Radwanska is ranked #5.

And yes, to win in straight sets means to win a match without losing a set.

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