The tennis world is preparing to focus its beady eye on the events at the US Open, and one star hoping to make a big impression is Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who spoke exclusively to GiveMeSport.
Competition is fierce in the women's draw this year. Serena Williams is the defending champion, but her recent poor form in the majors leaves the field wide open this time around. The likes of Petra Kvitova, Maria Sharapova and Eugenie Bouchard will all hope to build on strong summers.
Pavlyuchenkova is hoping to be among the contenders for this year's crown too. She is no stranger to success at Flushing Meadows, after all, having won the tournament as a junior. As such, clearly the US Open is a special event for the Russian, and challenging the favourites is something the powerful hitter will relish.
She reached the quarter-final stage of the main draw in 2011, her joint-best showing at a Grand Slam, it was indeed Serena that ended her run that time. And now, after some positive results in the warm-up events, Pavlyuchenkova is aiming to get beyond the last eight in a tournament she values more than most.
"I'm very excited to be part of it again," Pavlyuchenkova told GiveMeSport. "Hopefully I'll be fit and healthy to perform at my best.
"I have lovely memories at the US Open. I love it here.
"I think about reaching the quarter-finals here back in 2011 a lot, it would be so great to reach that stage again, or go even further, that's what I'm working for."
The world no.25 has been busy on her favoured surface in order to achieve her goals. Tournaments at Washington, Montreal and Cincinnati have, however, thrown up some tough opponents in the form of multiple Grand Slam champions.
"I think I did well at those three warm up tournaments, especially in Washington where I got to the quarter-finals" she continued.
"At Montreal I had a great and close match against Venus Williams, but I thought she was in good shape for that one and did well.
"In Cincinnati I beat 11th seed Dominica Cibulkova, as well as Karin Knapp. I lost a tight match against Maria Sharapova. It's always tough in matches against Maria. I also got to the doubles quarter-finals in Cincinnati with Lucie Safarova.
"It could be better but I take positives from this as I had a few issues with my game; I changed coach and had health issues in the middle of the year."
Indeed it was a difficult summer for the former world no.13. After a strong showing at the Australian Open at the start of the year, where eventual semi-finalist Agnieszka Radwańska halted her progress at the third round, Pavlyuchenkova suffered early exits at Wimbledon and the French Open.
However, after being eliminated in the singles at SW19, the Russian - together with Safarova - reached the last eight of the doubles.
She'll need some more strong performances to battle her way through plenty of dangerous opponents at the upcoming US Open, but one factor that aids Pavlyuchenkova is her suitability on the hard courts: "I like the hard courts as much as I do the clay, but I grew up on hard courts."
The draw has been made and the seeds decided as we edge ever closer to the start of the two-week major.
Pavlyuchenkova, seeded 23rd, will face Teliana Pereira in the first round at Flushing Meadows. This is the first time that her 26-year-old Brazilian opponent has reached the main draw, and it would take a shock for the world no.88 to progress - she has only ever won one match at a Grand Slam in her entire career.
The winner of their first round match will meet either local wildcard entrant Nicole Gibbs or young French prospect Caroline Garcia.
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