Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko began her Hobart International 2017 campaign with a win against Spanish lucky loser Silvia Soler-Espinosa in the first round. Not only was it the 27-year-old’s first win of the 2017 season, it was also her first win in three visits to Hobart. She had lost in the first round of qualifying in her two previous visits in 2011 and 2012.
Tsurenko returns this year as the world No.61 – although she was ranked as high as No.33 in October 2015. She finished 2016 in sensational form, reaching the US Open fourth round then winning her second career WTA title in Guangzhou. Now she has her sights on making the top 20.
She is on Centre Court today facing 11th seed Johanna Larsson, the world No.51 from Sweden who was a semifinalist in Hobart last year. Larsson boasts an unbeaten record in their three previous matches, but this is their first meeting since 2012.
Before Tsurenko took to the court, we asked her to finish these sentences…
My goal for 2017 is… make the top 20.
The best lesson I learnt in 2016 was… to enjoy what you do.
I love being a tennis player because… of travelling and for the excitement of matches.
The hardest part of being a tennis player is… being away from home.
The best advice I’ve ever got is… to enjoy.
My go-to karaoke song is… oh no, I don’t do karaoke (laughs).
The best concert I’ve ever been to was… I haven’t been too many. The only one was when I was 10 years-old and it was a Russian singer.
My favourite pre-match meal is… rice.
My favourite player growing up was… Martina Hingis because of her smart game.
My dream doubles partner is… Sania Mirza.
If I could steal one shot from another player, it would be… Ana Ivanovic’s forehand.
I think Hobart is…a beautiful place.