Editor's Note: On Wednesday morning, Danilovic withdrew from the US Open due to "a medical reason," per the tournament. Danilovic later revealed she was suffering from a non-COVID related viral illness.
NEW YORK—Most players will tell you that the key to winning tennis is enjoying the points playing out on court. In this respect, Olga Danilovic is no different, but the rising Serbian hotshot tacks on another criterion as she prepares to take on defending champion Naomi Osaka.
“Whenever I feel completely myself on the court,” she explained after knocking out Alycia Parks in her US Open debut, “that’s when I’m at my best.”
Danilovic was unapologetically herself in press, interrupting an answer to assure me that my hair was, indeed, sufficiently tousled, and later let out an exasperated sigh when thinking back on the so-called bubble life that kept her and mother Svetlana hotelbound at Wimbledon.
“She was telling me, ‘I can’t move!’ and I was like, ‘Ok, welcome aboard because that’s the bubble!’”
Now enjoying the relative freedom of New York, the 20-year-old daughter of basketball legend Predrag Danilovic has continued a summer of unrestricted tennis. It began with back-to-back quarterfinal appearances in Budapdest and Palermo, and then through qualifying at Flushing Meadows, where Danilovic has unleashed much of the potential she first showed as a teenager.
“I don’t think a lot of people realize just how tough it is to pass through qualies because it’s the best players of the world right now playing here, and in qualies you’re playing three extra matches every day.”