He’ll have enough time to enjoy Christmas, before he packs his bag and heads off to the other side of the world. It will be warm “but not on vacation”. Susan Bandicci isn’t complaining about it: The flight on December 27th will take her to Australia. In Melbourne, after a preparatory tournament, she will play in the Australian Open qualifiers: the only Grand Slam she’s missing, having played Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open this year. There will also be a strong season finale, which led her to reach the top rankings in singles (WTA 175) and in doubles (171) on December 6.
What title would you give your season?
thinks about it a lot. Something like “Finally the first goals achieved”.
If you were told at the beginning of the year that you would be in the season you made later, would you have believed it? Were you satisfied or did you want something more?
I never believed it, that’s little but sure. Could I have done more? Yes, but if someone told me in January that I was going to play three Grand Slam qualifiers, win one singles tournament and one doubles championship and do whatever I do, I would sign. So I am satisfied.
You have advanced a lot in the ranking: you have been in the top 300 in the world, and now your position is starting to generate interest. Is order something you look at and do some math for?
I do not make any calculations. Then yeah, take a look, even if (smiles) it would be better not to. But as much as we like to give it a little importance, unfortunately the arrangement has a certain weight. I don’t go see my place every week; I do it when I get good results and I want to understand what they bring me in terms of places. Position is a result of what you do, how you train, and how you play matches. Being where I am indicates that I am doing well.
At the start of the new season, do you also set goals in terms of ranking?
At the beginning of 2021 my goal was to play in the Grand Slam qualifiers. Once I succeeded, especially after the US Open, we and my team said to ourselves that by the end of the year we would aim to have a ranking with No. 1 up front; This means to be “a hundred and something.”
Have you already set your goals for 2022?
I do not deny that I would like to enter the draws of the major companies directly, without going through the qualifiers. But it’s more geared to the next season; Thus, the 2023 Australian Open is more than the 2022 US Open. For the next year, I aim to qualify in a major draw in a Grand Slam tournament; Whether it’s Melbourne, Roland Garros, or the other two. My goal is to continue to raise my level so that I can play the biggest tournaments. It’s going to be tough, but I’m also trying to get ahead in important competitions.
It is said that the higher level you get, the more complex it is to make room. Is this correct?
Of course, each stage is difficult, but I realize that now it is more difficult. I’ve often been told that going from the top 200 to the top 100 is more complicated. Before I didn’t know what it meant, now I understand that it is just that. At this point, more and more points are needed to climb fewer positions. This is definitely the hardest step, but I think I can beat it. Perhaps it will not be easy at first to accept more defeats, which, of course, will happen. But I have to keep working, as I do.
What have you learned from this season, about yourself and the world you are trying to appear in?
He laughs. You definitely have to work a lot. I didn’t think, but the commitment – daily: physically, mentally, on the field – a lot. Many people think that tennis is “just” a good life, made up of traveling and playing. Instead, the effort to get ahead is really a lot. I also realized how many sacrifices my parents made to help me. Thanks to my progress, two years ago I was able to pay the expenses incurred previously. I realized how expensive it is to try a professional career in this sport and today I know how to give the right value to my family’s efforts. Another thing I learned is that I have to improve mentally a lot. During this year, I found myself in situations that I couldn’t manage well, and at times I ended up losing matches that I could have won.
Among the opportunities you could have, do you think there is the Billie Jean King Cup?
Heinz Günthardt called me in September. He wanted to know if I would one day be interested in playing for the Swiss national team. I was happy! I thought I’d be called up as a reserve for the November finals, but it wasn’t. However, the captain told me that if I kept going and got good results, I would probably be called for the next appointment. That phone call made me realize it might be my turn soon. With players like Belinda Bencic, Viktoria Golubec and Gil Tichmann up front, of course I would be a substitute. But just training with the group and enjoying the competition will be great and give you a lot of energy. Participation in this event is my dream. I would like to represent my country in an important competition. I like the few opportunities to play in a group, like Interclubs; Because we are always alone in the season, while in the team we are more comfortable.
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