The number one player in Finnish women’s tennis has risen wildly on the WTA list, but expectations are even tougher.
Finland number one player Anastasia Kulikovan the ranking was well over 500 at the end of December 2019, when he said his dream of winning a Wimbledon tennis tournament.
There is still enough to go for that Wimbledon victory, but Kulikova, 22 ,’s career is moving in the right direction. Maybe the pace is a little slower than he would have liked.
There is a lot of talk in tennis about rankings because it determines a lot where you can compete and where you can play. Last September, Kulikova’s ranking on the WTA list was over 370 and now already 222.
The rise feels wild, but Kulikova is not entirely happy with the schedule.
“I would have liked the numbers to have been like that even before the covid started two years ago,” Kulikova said in Tali as the national team prepared for next week’s Billie Jean King Cup, formerly known as the Women’s Team Cup or Fed Cup.
Career got a sharp turn up before last Christmas. Kulikova played for the first time in a WTA tournament before the tournament had been at a lower level on the ITF tour. .There are scores low and money even lower.
In the WTA 125 in Seoul, Kulikova advanced to the semifinals. The results were promising and the Finnish media woke up. Finland would be getting the long-awaited female tennis star.
Even the star will have to wait for some time, because after Seoul, not everything went according to expectations.
Kulikova first contracted angina, tried to play, and was followed by a coronavirus.
“I’m coming back. I only played one tournament in the UK after Seoul. I lost and thought I was going to die on the field. I had not recovered from Korea. ”
After a successful WTA tournament, Kulikova has only played nine singles in three and a half months. He knows it’s too little.
Kulikova finally recovered from Angina, but the corona became a latent tease. The worst part was that Kulikova didn’t even know at first that she had a coronavirus. The forces were just gone. Previous tests showed a negative that allowed gaming.
“It took time to recover when my heart was beating too fast. I didn’t want to take a risk. Everything is fine now, but then it was hard, very hard. ”
Although there has not been another similar race since the success of Seoul, there were many answers in that tournament.
“Of course, I gained more self-confidence and confirmation that I can play at that level. There was also a lot more motivation. ”
“I only played there at my own level. It’s also weird that the bigger the tournament, the better I play. ”
Billie Jean Under the King Cup, Kulikova says everything is finally fine and the matches will be needed. She needs more routine and smoothness.
There are two major problems with building a tennis career: you need ranking points to get higher and money to get around tournaments.
Kulikova came to Finland from Russia at the age of 13 Jarkko Nieminen academy. Grandparents then traveled to Helsinki and paid for expensive coaching.
Kulikova no longer wants to ask her grandparents for money, but tries to get by on her own. He has no sponsors, but the Tennis Association and his club HVS support the promise.
When thinking about the spring and summer competition calendar, Kulikova has to consider where she would get a chance to win matches and get a routine. He would get into the qualifiers of quite large tournaments, but they may not have a match experience.
“It’s really good,” Kulikova says of her motivation.
“This in my goal is to rise to the top 150, but the most important thing would be to stay healthy. If you don’t stay healthy, you can’t win and January and February gave a good lesson. ”
“The most important thing now is to have matches. The money will come if you play well. If you run for money, you won’t be able to get up. ”
In the Billie Jean King Cup to be played in Vierumäki, the women’s national team aims to rise to number one in the sport, with only the world block above it. Lithuania, Luxembourg and Israel play in the same block as Finland.
Kulikova is confident he could win the number one in every country, but then the game has to go.
Read more: Anastasia wants to top
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