DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: Svetlana Kuznetsova will be looking to end her runner-up jinx when the Russian heads to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on February 19.
The 31-year-old, who is currently enjoying a rich vein of form having recently retained her Moscow title as well as reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open, has climbed into the top ten in the world rankings for the first time since 2010.
Talking to the Gulf News, Kuznetsova says she is in a confident frame of mind approaching a tournament in which she has been the bridesmaid on three previous occasions, losing out to Justine Henin in 2004, Elena Dementieva in 2008 and Caroline Wozniacki in 2011.
"People see me differently now because I'm a Top 10 player again," she admitted. "Players will only see you by the ranking, and ranking reflects everything. You can't cheat the ranking, that's for sure. All players want to beat me.
"Of course, everyone expects good tennis from me and that can be hard to deal with. But I feel confident, I feel happy and healthy. Those are the main things and I love the game. I enjoy it.
? WTA (@WTA) February 1, 2017
"I would love to take some of the consistency into this season. In the last few years, I haven't been so good," she added. "I was always there, but couldn't quite flip the switch. I would love to stay with the switch on, because it's the key for me.
"I feel that I'm playing as well as the best in the world, and I have a chance to beat them and be ranked among them everywhere I go. It's a great feeling because I worked really hard to be there."