Veteran Alison Riske is off to a good start this season, but the American says she has even bigger goals.
The 28-year-old reached the final at Shenzhen, got to the second round in Doha as a qualifier and lost a highly competitive match to Karolina Pliskova in the third round of Dubai. She also reached the semifinals in doubles at the Australia Open and in Doha.
"Yeah, I'm definitely super excited," she told press at Doha. "Like I said, just playing matches for me, trying to always put myself in the best position is kind of what I'm trying to do. Just trying to compete for every match. If they play too good, that's just too good that day. I'm just excited that I feel maybe things are coming together."
Riske is also convinced that her improvement is all mental. She says she has not made any changes in her team or training.
"I think at this level the majority is mental," she said. "Everyone is pretty darn good. I think on any given day, anyone can beat anyone, with the exception of maybe a few.
"I think a lot of things have to do with mental approach."
She also knows that being on tour for as long as she has is helping.
“I’m 28 now. I've definitely been here for almost 10 years. I hate to say it's experience, because I've had experience a long time ago,“ Riske said. “Maybe more of a maturity thing. I think we all mature at a different time. Mentally, I'm referring to. I like to think things are coming together."
While Riske has yet to reach the second week of the majors, the American has won a title—in 2014 at Tianjin. That is something she's aiming to do again.
"In terms of getting to finals, obviously that's a great thing," she said. "Ultimately you would like to win the title. Just keep trucking along, giving myself the best chance I can.“
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