Indian tennis player Ankita Raina has set her sights on breaking into the top 100 on the WTA charts when the season gets underway in the new year.
Ranked 180 in the world, the Ahmedabad-born player had a busy few months once tennis resumed after the pandemic-induced break.
But months of inactivity was visible in her game as Ankita Raina failed to go deep in any of the tournaments she competed in. But she is positive about her chances in 2021.
“For 2021, I want to break through into the top-100 in singles and I believe that I can do it. Then I want to play the main draw of a slam and the Olympics of course,” Anikta Raina told Firstpost.
“The season starts with the Australian Open qualifiers. I always enjoy Australia a lot, I always look forward to it and enjoy going there. The women's qualifiers are in Dubai and I like it there too. The weather, the conditions suit me.”
Despite results not going her way, Ankita Raina persisted with competing at various events in the hope of getting back in shape.
“I have never had such a break so I worked on things that I would have little time for like getting stronger and fitter. That's how you think, right? But when I didn't get the results, I was disappointed,” the 27-year-old Ankita admitted.
“But I just kept telling myself that there are other players in this situation who are finding it tough to travel. I at least had the opportunity so I played back-to-back tournaments for three months. At some point, of course, you will feel bad about it, but I just tried to look at the positive side of it.”
Her persistence eventually paid off as Anikta Raina along with Georgia’s Ekaterine Gorgodze won the doubles title at the ITF women’s event in Dubai to sign off their season. The win also propelled the Indian tennis player to the career-best 117th rank in doubles.
Ankita Raina will begin her 2021 season with the Australian Open qualifiers in Dubai from January 10-13.