Julia Glushko feels her recent exploits at the US Open will put her in a strong position to take a leading role in Israel's Fed Cup team in the coming years.
The 23-year-old exceeded her own expectations by reaching the third round of the final Grand Slam of 2013 before falling to Daniela Hantuchova. She received a warm welcome home last week despite the disappointment of not being able to capitalise on four match points in the close three-setter against the veteran Slovak.
The results saw her break into the world's Top 100 at No. 99 when the new WTA rankings were published today.
"With all the support and praise that I am getting, my phone has not stopped ringing," the bubbly Glushko told reporters at a press conference in Tel Aviv.
Although usually holding the Israeli No. 2 position in the Fed Cup team behind stalwart Shahar Peer, Glushko has in the past two seasons delivered some impressive results which have been vital in keeping Israel firmly ensconced in Europe/Africa Zone Group I.
She was also full of praise for the support she has received from Peer, the world No. 83, for helping her in her recent tournament successes.
"Shahar and I have always been close, I always applaud her and she always compliments me... I want to emulate her and I hope we both manage to improve within the Top 100," she said.
"No doubt it will help us to have two players of a high ranking. The Fed Cup event is one the toughest weeks of the year for me and I'm always shattered at the end of it but it's a huge honour to represent my country," she said.
Glushko was born in Ukraine and immigrated to Israel with her family when she was nine years old. She was a leading junior, although fluctuating form suggested she might not have the temperament to make a breakthrough needed to succeed in the senior ranks.
Any doubts have been answered in the past few weeks with a string of positive results that have so far culminated in her Flushing Meadow exploits.
After working her way through the qualifying rounds, Glushko upset 20th-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova in the opening round of the main draw for the first tour-level win of her career and followed that by beating American wildcard Sachia Vickery.
"Despite the huge disappointment, the most important thing that I have taken from this experience is that I know that I can be up there with the best players and that I am good enough to vie for a top position," an emotional Glushko said.
She thanked her coaches and the Israel Tennis Association for their support. "If they had not believed in my abilities to succeed I would not be sitting here today," she said.
This year she has won two singles titles at ITF events, the $25,000 tournament in Innisbrook, Florida and more recently the $50,000 event in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
Glushko was on the verge of quitting until three years ago a coaching team headed by Assaf Ingber took her on and helped her hone her technical and mental abilities with significant funding provided by the Israel Tennis Association.
Ingber also said Glushko's parents, Olga and Sergei, who come from a tennis background, had put their faith in their daughter and her mentors and had allowed them free license to work without imposing their own will and ideas.