Tamarine eyes clay feat for Beijing spot
By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
Published on May 17, 2008
A determined Tamarine Tanasugarn is poised to find her feet on the clay of Roland Garros to keep her Olympic dream alive, as she left for the year's second Grand Slam event yesterday.
Resting her tired shoulder for a week after back-to-back finals in Japan, she is ready to take up the challenge on clay, the surface she is most vulnerable on. But unlike in the past, she is more pumped up than ever to improve her result on clay with a fourth straight Olympic berth at stake.
"I need to progress beyond the first round to increase my chances. I've been to the Olympics three times but the fourth will be splendid," said Tamarine, who reached the doubles quarters at the Atlanta and Sydney Games with Benjamas Saeng-aram.
Tamarine, now ranked 68, has a below-par record at the French Open, stumbling at the first hurdle in six out of 10 attempts. Her best result was a third-round showing 11 years ago.
She revealed that she has regained her concentration after almost deciding to quit the game two years ago due to injury problems.
"I had a foot injury and was preoccupied with things I wanted to do after tennis. That's why I had bad results and my rankings slipped. But now that I'm fitter, I'm very focused and want to play as long as I can carry a racquet and drag myself to court," said Tamarine, who turns 31 next Saturday.
If things do not go well in Paris, Tamarine will have another chancee at Surbiton, a US$50,000 grass-court event coinciding with the second week of the French Open and her last chance for her to pick up points with the cut-off for Beijing set around the top 70.
Let's hope Tammy gets a great draw at RG!