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Olaru Hoping To Flip The Script

She was one of the brightest young stars on the WTA, but after a few tough seasons she finds herself fighting her way back up the rankings - it has been a long road for Raluca Olaru.

Published December 29, 2012 12:00

Olaru Hoping To Flip The Script
Raluca Olaru

BUCHAREST, Romania - A few years ago she was one of the brightest young stars on the WTA, but after a few tough seasons she finds herself fighting her way back up the rankings - it has been a long road for Raluca Olaru, but the Romanian, still just 23, is looking up. Here she is...

On her best years from 2007 to 2009, where she reached her first WTA final at Bad Gastein, two more semifinals and another six quarterfinals, and was a Top 100 fixture...
"2007 was an amazing year for me! I was really young, only 18, and I started the year ranked around No.300. I got to my first WTA semifinal in Memphis in February then another one in Fès in April; and then, in May, I passed three rounds of qualies and got to the third round of the French Open, my dream tournament growing up as a child! I was the first female Romanian player to get to the Top 100 since Ruxandra Dragomir and Irina Spirlea back in 1997, and I think that was the opener for many other Romanian tennis players, as you can see from the years since then. I finished 2007 ranked around No.65. In January 2008 I got seriously injured in my left wrist, which gave me trouble the whole year - but 2009 was another good year, starting around No.125 and reaching quarterfinals in Bogotá and Warsaw before winning a $100,000 ITF title in Marseille and reeaching my first WTA final in Bad Gastein. That got me to my personal best ranking so far - No.53 in the world."

On the last few years, which have seen her fall to her current ranking, No.216...
"Indeed, the last few years were not that great for me, but I have to say I've learned and improved a lot during this time! I've had some difficult periods, whether it's being without a coach or getting injured once every few months, and obviously there were some times when I lost my confidence. But I kept going, kept looking for solutions and worked hard to get better again. And right now I have to say I feel good about where I'm at. I've improved a lot, especially over the last six months, and I am excited to keep getting better. You know what they say: "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

On her off-season preparation for 2013...
"I was in Romania at home, having a five week off-season preparation. I am happy with the team I have around me now and as I said, excited to work on my game! My main goal for 2013 is to develop my game. I know I can play Top 100 level again, and I know that if I have the right attitude and work on the right things, there are many chances that I will achieve that. The other goals - playing more WTA tournaments, getting in the main draw of Grand Slams and going up in the rankings - are secondary."

On her overall career goals, given she's still so young...
"It's a good question! Indeed, I have enough years in front of me and right now I feel that I have the abilities to achieve even more than I have so far in my tennis career. And I'm not just talking about the numbers here, but also about enjoying the process!"

Topics: 2012, news, raluca olaru
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