Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the women's world number 26, writes for GiveMeSport following the 2014 US Open.
So, the last major of the year has come and gone, and my experience was…okay!
It was a very frustrating loss for me in the second round to Nicole (Gibbs). I didn’t play well on the day, there was a little bit of wind and all I could do was fight. That turned the second set around, but unfortunately not the whole match and I lost. When that happens, you just have to say well done to your opponent.
Sad to lose
I’ll have to put it down as a learning experience - it was sad to lose in such a way as it was the US Open, but now I’ll work really hard on my mistakes and make sure I improve myself.
The facilities at Flushing Meadows have got better ever since I started going, and they are improving for the fans as well! Now they just need to improve the practice scheduling for players outside the world’s top 10 so we can practice more!
Looking back on all the major tournaments, I started the year well at the Australian Open, which was good. The weather conditions were crazy for a few days, and then I went and won in Paris. After that though, I lost a bit of form and started to make some changes with coaches, rackets and a few other things. I picked up a back injury as well which didn’t help, but it feels back to normal again and now I’m focusing on moving forward.
I just hope these experiences will stand me in good stead when I come up against them again, and I really want to progress as a player.
In the doubles, I came up against Martina (Hingis) once again and we have to laugh about it. People ask me if it’s strange to play against someone who used to be involved with you as a coach, but I’d already played her this year in Miami, Madrid, Montreal and Cincinnati.
She came to me after the draw was made and said if you win we’ll meet again in the second round but that it would have been nice to meet in the final. On the day, she and Flavia (Pennetta) were better than us and did make it all the way to the final, but it was fun as always to play against her.
Whilst the match didn’t go our way, Lucie (Safarova) and I enjoy playing together and we’ll keep on doing that moving forward.
The singles title obviously went to Serena (Williams) at the end and all you can say is WOW! 18 titles sounds pretty good, doesn’t it! I guess once you’ve won the first, you just can’t stop yourself from doing it again.
I don’t like to look at anybody in particular and count their trophies, but for sure she is a great player and I congratulate her for that. Everyone has their own way, and the challenge is to match her and beat her if you want to win a Grand Slam.
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