Former world No. 9 Coco Vandeweghe admitted she was rusty in her first match of the season but she was glad she managed to beat Yuki Naito 6-4 3-6 6-2 in her ITF Bendigo opener.
“It’s my first match of the year, rusty as all heck, but you know you’ve got to get through those wins, tough ones, good ones – it doesn’t matter as long as you get the win,” Vandeweghe told The First Serve’s Jack Holland following her win.
After making the Australian Open semifinal in 2017 and breaking into the top-10 in 2018, Vandeweghe was struck by a serious of injuries.
Vandeweghe missed a lot of time since but now she finally feels healthy again.
“I feel really good. Tom and I, my coach, have been working really hard this off-season trying to put in a lot of hard yards just because I finally feel healthy,” Vandeweghe exclaimed.
“It’s been a long road to feel healthy, but you know, once I do, you might as well go for it, so that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Vandeweghe is now 30 but healthy and she suggested this is her final push.
“Give this one more last push and see what I’ve got basically,” Vandeweghe said.
Vandeweghe aims a quick top-100 return
Vandeweghe plummeted to No. 174 in the world and now she is hoping to return to the top-100 and be able to gain direct entries into WTA events.
“It’s a little bit different from when I was playing two years ago, coming back through these ITF’s, there’s a lot going on. Keeping yourself in control of what you can do is kind of what was my motto out there,” Vandeweghe said.
“Getting back to the top 100, that’s the number one goal. I’d like to get myself into the main draw through my own ranking at Wimbledon and that’s kind of the goal,”
Vandeweghe was an Australian Open semifinalist in 2017 but now she will have to play qualifying in order to make the main draw at Melbourne Park.
“I want to take care of business out here and then we’ll think about the Australian Open,” Vandeweghe noted.
“Obviously, the first thing is to qualify. I have great memories at the Australian Open, great matches there. I’ve qualified once before so let’s see if I can do it again.”