Having already beaten two top-eight players in 2013, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova’s New Years resolution is relatively straightforward – she wants to keep the form going.
The unseeded Russian surprised Petra Kvitova (world No.8) and Angelique Kerber (No.5) en route to tonight’s Brisbane International final.
Pavlyuchenkova, perhaps regarded as one of the more feisty competitors on the WTA tours, says she’s beginning to learn to control her emotions on court.
“I get really upset or excited. I’m trying to stay more calm and positive and just focus on things that I have to do on court,” she said.
After finishing the 2011 season inside the top 20 for the first time, the 21-year-old – by her own addmission – wasn’t at her best last year.
She suffered eight first-round exits, slipping down the rankings to end 2012 at No.36 in the world.
“Last year was a really tough year for me, it was up and down. I was seeded in almost every tournament [but] my results weren’t there.”
Pavlyuchenkova enters the final as the underdog but if tournament form is anything to go by, she’ll relish the challenge of taking on 15-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.
We caught up with her ahead of the women’s final on Pat Rafter Arena tonight.
What is your New Years resolution?
I guess to keep healthy… and to keep playing well like I’m doing now.
What music are you currently listening to?
I actually just got an album of Miguel. I usually get tired of the songs – this one I’ve kept playing every day for a week already. It’s like R’n’B but it’s calm. He has an amazing voice as well.
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
Bali and Mauritius.
If you weren’t a tennis player, what do you think you’d be doing?
It’s always been tennis, every since I was five or six. But I love girly, glamorous things. So maybe designing somewhere in clothes or fashion.
What is your favourite food?
Everything that my mum cooks. Borscht – a traditional Russian soup – and I also like duck in the oven.
How do you relax away from tennis?
Hanging with my friends or boyfriend, music and shopping.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
My family, my parents and my brother because they were all into tennis. They gave and sacrificed a lot for me.
Do you have any superstitions before a match?
I try not to get into the superstitions because otherwise you get crazy. I don’t want to ever freak out.
If we had a look in your bag, what would we find apart from tennis gear?
A little Luis Vitton bag with girly things, makeup and perfume really.