It wasn’t long after Veronika Kudermetova won the WTA Finals championship with partner Elise Mertens that she declared she was heading on vacation.
Perhaps no other player is more worthy of a long holiday break than Kudermetova.
Monday night’s win was a fitting ending for a player who made steady progress all season.
Kudermetova will finish as the No.2-ranked doubles player and No.9 in singles, both career highs, to end this season.
“I am so proud of my work,” Kudermetova said following her win Monday night. “I think I played the whole year very consistently. I think I improved mentally the most. I started to believe in myself.”
One of five players to make her singles debut in the Top 10 this season, Kudermetova credits her rise through the rankings to a shift in mindset. “You have to stay positive,” she said.
Along with Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula, Kudermetova is one of three players to finish 2022 in the Top 10 in both singles and doubles.
A year ago, Kudermetova, 25, ended the season ranked No.31 in singles. The year before, No.46 in the world.
While Kudermetova did not win a title this year, she was consistent from the outset. In her opening event of the year, she reached the final of Melbourne Summer Set 1, and the next month, Kudermetova made the championship match in Dubai before falling to Jelena Ostapenko.
Kudermetova reached a third final in Istanbul, and also had career-best events at Roland Garros (quarterfinals) and the US Open (fourth round). She reached at least the quarterfinals at 11 of her 20 events, and finished with a 39-20 record.
Four of Kudermetova's 10 career wins over Top 10 opponents also came this season, including a 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 defeat of Aryna Sabalenka in the first round of Berlin and a 7-6(5), 6-2 upset of Ons Jabeur in the San Jose quarterfinals.
“Every day I improved no matter what was happening,” Kudermetova said. “You have to stay positive.”
And confident. When asked how she felt about her season, Kudermetova said she feels she deserves to be in the Top 10. That she put in the hard work all season.
As for next season? “I try to keep on improving every day,” she said.
After her doubles win Monday night, Kudermetova answered a few questions on the Tennis Channel desk. Among other things, she credited her partner Mertens for elevating her game and for helping her get her hands on some new hardware.
“I am super happy to end the season with his beautiful trophy,” Kudermetova said.
“I will keep on improving every day.”
After a well-deserved vacation, that is.