Sometimes I try to take myself out of Maria, so I can understand that what I have accomplished so far is quite enormous.
But then, when everything returns to normal, I realize that all this is not enough for me.
I strongly believe that this is the right approach of the situation I am currently in.
I don’t want to stop here…
I don’t want to think “OK, I have succeeded, now it is done”.
I believe that I can become better and for this reason I am working hard every day.
Of course, me being in the Top20 of the women’s world tennis rankings is a huge step for my career.
I have not realized it yet… “Top20 in the WTA Tour!”.
I never forget the fact that I have arrived quite late- age wise- on the Tour compared to the other players
Tennis is constantly changing. Every month, every day and not only on court.
When you see the other players reaching the Top50 at 18 years of age, me being here at 20 years old, seems “late”.
This is something new for me.
There are tennis players who have made an impact at an age younger than mine.
But now I play week after week against the top female tennis players.
I am getting comfortable competing at this level, I see myself improving week after week, tournament after tournament.
I work hard, but I love to practice and I don’t want to stop doing it.
I think that I am growing up, I mature as a person and as a tennis player.
I am evolving and I can deal with crucial circumstances a little better.
There is a lot of depth in women’s tennis.
During a Grand Slam tournament, around 20 players have a shot at winning the title.
The competition is fierce.
It is more competitive than on the men’s side, the odds are not the same there.
That gives me courage and hope.
I look at myself, I analyze my game and I feel that I belong among these players who have set the bar high for themselves.
Clay court is my favorite surface.
I have expectations for myself on the way to this year’s French Open.
I don’t want to repeat the same mistakes I did when I was younger.
I made the mistake of going into tournaments with high hopes.
I was stressing myself out and ruined everything in the process.
I know I can play well on clay.
All the big tournaments, in Stuttgart, in Madrid, in Rome and Paris of course, boast a very strong and competitive field.
I eagerly wait for the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.
If all goes as planned, I will be there.
Me competing at the Olympic Games is something I have dreamed since I was a child.
It is not “another” tournament for me.
On my team we are all 24 years old. My coach, Tom Hill and I are the same age. My physio Daniel Pohl is also 24 years old.
We are all born in 1995. Us being the same age plays a significant part in our journey.
We spend a lot of time together outside of the court as well.
We take lunch and dinner together, we enjoy ourselves, all this works very well.
Everything that happens in sport, happens so fast.
I don’t quite recall my first tennis memory.
I used to spend many of my summer holidays in the company of my grandparents.
My grandmother is a huge tennis fan, even though she has never played tennis. We used to watch tennis on TV on a daily basis. Some images come to my mind from my first tennis practices with my grandfather.
Nothing else comes to my mind.
Tennis is my whole life.
At least until I reach a certain age. I have other plans in my life that I want to accomplish.
Tennis is my passion.
I enjoy playing and this is probably the most important thing that a person can do in his/her life.
Editor: Giota Kounali.