She's back: Tanasugarn describes recent slump
SYDNEY,AUSTRALIA- Two-time grand slam champion and former world number one was on top of the world in the first two seasons of ATC, claiming S1 Wimbledon and S2 Australian Open and gaining the world's top ranking but she suffered a mini-slump after her Aussie Open title. "I was having a rough period in my life where I did not know what to do. Being on the top has had its great moments but I did not know what to do for awhile." After a disappointing loss at Wimbledon where she was the defending champion. "I put way too much pressure on myself and that is all I could say." Then she won the S2 Rogers Cup, the tier I tournament in Montreal. "That is what I needed and I felt like I was back." She then made the New Haven final and it seemed like her life was back in focus. Then the U.S. Open came. "I was on a confidence high and I think I put a little pressure on myself to do well." She lost to Anastasia Myskina. "I lost 7-5 in the third. I felt like I was on fire and to have a loss like that absolutely killed me, then I had to go to the indoor season which is probably my worst surface. Going into Australia I was at an all-time low." She ended her first two seasons ranked 4th in the world. She then suffered her "gratifying" loss to Sania Mirza in her opening match of the Australian Open, as defending champion. "I then did not know what to think at all." She quickly fell out of the top 10 not too long after.
Her losses kept coming with Clay and Indoor as her worst surfaces she knew there was a possibility of not qualifying for the Year-End Championships. "I knew I had to have a stellar grass court season just to be in contention." She won her 3rd grass court title (after S1 Birmingham and Wimbledon) at Eastbourne. She then lost to pop-tart Britney Spears. "I thought I would beat her in our first round since I beat her in Eastbourne, but she played a good match, or at least good enough to win." Her confidence quickly tanked and horrendous results overall continued and she found herself in Linz, Austria playing the Tier II instead of the Year-End Championships. "I was devastated but gave me enough fire-power for the 4th season." She ended ranked 16th in the world. Her first non top 5 finish.
The fourth season of ATC brought a whole new low. She dropped a couple of spots lower but this past season was a blur to her. "Besides that final at s'Hertogenbosch I had a even more of a lackluster season." With a bunch of retirements she was up to 11 in the world by season's end. "I had a few QF and SF and the final in Eastbourne, but other than that it was a disappointment." "I knew this season would be my comeback season so I trained very hard for this upcoming season and in my first two matches I felt really good out there and I am ready for Sydney and maybe I can come up with a second Australian Open title," she says with her famous smile.
She comes into Sydney trying to defend her semifinal finish from last year. She has a career record of 81-80. "I am shocked about my win-loss record because I feel I am better than that." She has won 5 career singles titles (S1 Wimbledon,Birmingham, S2 Australian Open,Montreal, S3 Eastbourne). She has also made 5 career finals (S1 Amelia Island,Eastbourne, S2 Auckland,New Haven,S4 s'Hertogenbosch). Also 5 career semifinal finishes (S1 Cincinnati,YEC, S4 Sydney,Rome,Quebec City). "I guess 5 seems to be my lucky number," she adds jokingly. Not quite finishing out the five, but she has 8 Quarterfinal results (S1 s'Hertogenbosch,Toronto,U.S. Open,S3 Auckland,Birmingham,Moscow,S4 Eastbourne,U.S. Open).
Despite calling it a very rough season, this past season gave her a 20-22, her second best record (S1: 31-18). In S2 she got a 19-20 record and S3 was what Tammy called 'horrific' finishing with a 13-20 record, with only 6 wins besides Eastbourne, with 14 opening round losses. "I just want to get back on track and I feel like my plan is working and if it does not work here in Sydney I will switch it up in Melbourne. What are her goals for the season? Obviously get back into the top 10 and qualify for the Year-End Championships, do well on Grass, I would love to do well on Clay, maybe since i have won the Aussie and Wimby I can win the French and U.S. and get the career slam, but first and foremost I want to do well and be consistent."
Tamarine skipped Hopman Cup to focus on her training in Thailand and then flew to Auckland, where she made the finals in S2, and lost to 6th-seeded and eventual tournament champion Maria Kirilenko (who beat 2-time defending champ world number 1 Alicia Molik) and lost 6-4,6-4, taking 8 games against a 4-acer surprised Tammy and realized how her training was paying off. She then flew to the Gold Coast in Australia and took on 2nd-seeded Kim Clijsters and lost 5-7,6-3,7-5. "I have given it my all in my first two matches and I had tough opponents so despite the losses I am confident nonetheless."
She then begins to pray for a good draw. Check back soon to see how Tammy is doing!