Anastasia Rodionova is eyeing a spot inside the top 50 after her impressive showing at the US Open.
The world No.139 received a major confidence boost ahead of the Australian summer by reaching the third round of a major for the second time in her career.
“It was a pretty good result, I qualified and won two rounds in the main draw, unfortunately I lost in the third [round], I was hoping to do a little bit better in that match but it's a good result overall and I feel like I'm back playing good tennis again,” Rodionova told tennis.com.au.
After undergoing major hip surgery in September last year, Rodionova missed the last three months of the season, which means she has no ranking points to defend for the rest of the year.
Rodionova, who was born in Russia, said she was finally back to full fitness and was looking to capitalise in the upcoming tournaments.
“It's a very big difference the way I feel on the court because if you are 100% healthy you feel confident and you feel like you can beat anybody,” she said.
“I feel like I can play against these girls and obviously I beat her [world No.25 Sabine Lisicki at the US Open] and I think it's going to give me a lot of confidence and hopefully I'll beat even higher [ranked] players.”
“I hope to get to top 50 by the end of the year but we'll see, it's step by step, match by match. I try to do everything I can to play my best tennis.”
Rodionova was full of praise for Australia's number 1 player when asked for her thoughts on the improving state of Australian women's tennis.
"I know Sam Stosur is doing really well this year, she made the semifinals of the French Open. It's a great achievement and I hope she'll be able to get in to the Championships."
While Rodionova was excited by her result at Flushing Meadows, she was also excited to return home to Melbourne and visit Guide Dogs Victoria, where she is an official ambassador.
“I love dogs, I love playing with puppies, they're so cute. I was amazed the first time I actually saw what the guide dogs do and how they can change the lives of people who have vision problems, so I'm happy to be a part of it,” she said.
“I had so much fun [today] and I really want to take one home but I can't do it yet, as soon as I finish my tennis career I'm getting a dog the next day.”