Russia's Chakvetadze realises 2007 ambition
By Emma Davis
ANTWERP, Belgium, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Russia's Anna Chakvetadze has realised her 2007 ambition of breaking into the women's top 10 rankings for the first time after a strong showing at the Diamond Games.
The 19 year-old, who went out in the semi-finals of the tournament in Antwerp to eventual winner Amelie Mauresmo, moved up two places on Monday to number 10 in the world.
Having achieved that ambition, she said she wanted to gain more confidence in matches against top-flight players.
"Before, I had said I wanted to be in the top 10," the Moscow-born player told Reuters. "For me, it's more important now to improve my game and to win some matches and tournaments.
"The first thing is my fitness. I'm working on it. I have some parts of my game which I know I have to work on too. My serve and a couple of things I don't want to tell you about. We will see," added Chakvetadze, who has won three tour titles.
In Antwerp, she gave world number three Mauresmo a tough game in parts, breaking her serve and holding off two break points to take the second set. But the Frenchwoman took advantage of a string of unforced errors from Chakvetadze.
"I lost concentration for three or four games in the third set and that's why I lost the match. I just have to gain more confidence when I play more important players," said Chakvetadze.
"To win, you have to play all important balls with a bit more aggression," added the wrestling fan, who prepares for matches by listening to tunes by The Prodigy.
Chakvetadze's breakthrough means five of the women's top 10 are now Russian, led by world number one Maria Sharapova.
But while Chakvetadze has previously stated she wanted to be in the world's top five within three years, the Australian Open quarter-finalist declined to put a time limit on winning a grand slam title.
"A lot of players will talk about it. It's a dream for everyone. Of course I would like to win a grand slam but I don't know when and I don't want to talk about it," the Chelsea and AC Milan soccer fan said.
She was wary of playing too many tournaments and the problems with injury that can bring.
"For me, I'm getting tired if I play too many matches. I need some rest afterwards so I think I will play three tournaments on clay this year," said the Russian, who plans to compete on the surface in Warsaw, Berlin and Rome
"Hopefully I will be ready for three in a row," she said.