Even at 31-years-old tennis, you still have dreams. “The goal this year is to make a big impact at big tournaments,” says the normally reserved and highly motivated Viktorija Golubić. “Go through it for two weeks and you're done.” These are lofty ambitions, as Grand Slam tournaments are not yet Golubić's primary discipline.
The Zurich native has never won a game in the main draw at the US Open, having won in nine attempts until this year in Melbourne and eight years ago in Paris. A quarter-final in 2021 and third round in 2019 at Wimbledon alone is somewhat encouraging. In this respect, the start of Australia is a clear step forward.
Not taking advantage of opportunities
Golubic's anger got the better of her in a 3-6, 2-6 victory over 19th-seeded Jelena Svitolina on Margaret Court. “I'm obviously a bit angry because I think I could have played a better game,” he admits. She is confident that she has the means to put pressure on an opponent as strong and determined as Svitolina. “But today I couldn't find it and take my chances.”
Nevertheless, he made a positive decision from the beginning of the year. In Hobart he survived a strong qualification and in Melbourne he won his first and second – both times against higher-ranked opponents. “I can take a lot of good things with me from Australia,” said the 2022 team world champion.
A leaner Swiss balance sheet
Golubic also kept a small Swiss balance sheet, which is not surprising. Without the pregnant Belinda Bencic and the injured Dominic Striker, the main field consisted of three Swiss tennis pros, with Stan Wawrinka and Lulu Sun eliminated in the opening round.
This means that for the third time in the last four years, the Australian Open will be held without the participation of the Swiss in the second week. It never happened before this century – thanks to Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, Martina Hingis and Patty Schneider. Bencic reached at least the round of 16 last year, where she was defeated by eventual winner Aryna Sabalenka. The lack of Swiss at the start of the juniors fits the bleak picture.
Olympics in sight
Viktorija Golubić needn't have worried about this. In addition to a check for around 145,000 francs, she takes home enough WTA points to move up nearly fifteen places from 85th. With nothing to defend in the coming half term, he is already committed to practice at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. “It gives me a bit of security,” says the Zurich native happily.
Additionally, he is currently ranked 40th in the Olympic rankings. He needs at least 56th place to ensure a place in Paris. The double silver medalist from Tokyo will continue in a week at the WTA tournament in Hua Hin, Thailand.
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