Enjoying The Moment & On To The Next One
Published September 13, 2012 12:00
ALLENTOWN, PA, USA - A little less than a year ago Varvara Lepchenko got her US citizenship, saying it was going to open doors for her to play more tournaments around the world and realize the potential she always had.
And she was right - ranked outside the Top 100 at this time last year, Lepchenko debuted in the Top 30 this week. And to be exact she didn't just debut in the Top 30, she stormed it - shooting from No.32 to No.22.
"Of course it feels incredible. I feel pretty good about it!" Lepchenko said. "One of my goals last year was to be Top 20 by the end of this year. I was telling people about that goal and I'm not sure if they took me too seriously.
"I always believed I could do it though, and I'm almost there.
"But I'm not too surprised. Last summer I was injured and missed some time, so I knew this summer would be a good time to get my ranking up. And the year's not over - there's still a lot left, and I look forward to finishing strong."
Lepchenko's season so far has been highlighted by three WTA quarterfinals, including two at Premier-level events (Madrid and Carlsbad), as well as her best ever Grand Slam results, the fourth round of the French Open and third rounds at Wimbledon and the US Open (she had never been beyond the second round of any Grand Slam). She is now the US No.2 behind Serena Williams.
She has also been beating almost everyone she should - she has only lost to a lower-ranked player once since the start of the grass court season.
"I started to be conscious of that but only recently!" she said of her consistency from week to week. "Now I'm hoping to start beating the top players. I'm almost beating them. I have no doubt in my mind those wins will start coming soon."
Because of her previous circumstances, she was never able to play the WTA's Asian season in the fall - this will be her first time, and having played only ITFs last fall, it could provide her another big push on the world rankings.
"I always felt like I deserved to play more WTAs but I had to be patient. It started happening more this year. And this is my first year going to Asia so I'm excited! And Moscow too - I've only been there once, when I was 12. Every tournament is new to me. And while some players are feeling tired now, I'm so excited about playing tournaments in all these places for the first time.
"It's nice to enjoy the success so far, but I still have a lot of things I want to achieve. My main goal is to keep improving, keep getting good results, and hopefully win a WTA tournament and beat the top players as well.
"It's nice to enjoy the moment, but it's on to the next one now."