CoCo Vandeweghe says her determination and self-belief are the driving forces behind her recent form.
The American made the quarterfinals at Wimbledon for the second time in three years earlier this month, having also reached the semifinal at the Australian Open in January. The 25-year-old also made the last eight at Edgbaston last month and Madrid in May and is closing in on a place in the world's Top 20.
"I think everyone has that [self-belief] a little bit in themselves," she told Rolling Stone. "You don't go into a job interview thinking you're going to bomb."
Vandeweghe made headlines as a 16-year-old, taking on second seed Jelena Jankovic on her Grand Slam main-draw debut at her home US Open in 2008. "Oh my gosh, I'm going to whiff this ball," she said, of her inner fears as she prepared to send down her first serve of that match.
That experience - and defeat - served as inspiration for Vandeweghe, who subsequently surged to the 2008 US Open girls' singles crown as a wildcard, without dropping a set. "At 16 years old I'm thinking, 'I'm the best junior in the world,'" she continues. "There's nothing more for me to do. I want to go and play professionally.'"
She opted for a career in tennis after choosing to walk away from her youth basketball team in California. "I don't need this," Vandeweghe thought at the time. "I'll go and play tennis instead." With next month's rapidly-approaching US Open marking nine years since her first appearance at Flushing Meadows, she can be said to have made the right decision.