In a year that has seen her win the junior Australian Open and reach semifinals at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon, Ana Konjuh is preparing to play her last junior Grand Slam at next month’s US Open before concentrating on the pro circuit full-time. The 15-year-old, who reached the quarterfinals in her penultimate junior tournament at the 2013 European Junior Championships in Switzerland in late July, admits that it will be a sad day when she leaves the junior circuit behind but is determined to end her junior career on a high in New York.
The US Open is going to be my last junior tournament so it would be great to finish with a win in New York. This will be my second junior US Open [after reaching the third round last year] and I’m really excited about going back and I just really hope I’m going to play my best tennis there. I’ll just concentrate on my game, how I’m going to play and hopefully the rest will take care of itself. I’m going to enjoy being in New York and I’m sure I’ll be able to do some shopping while I’m out there along with some of the other girls!
I’m a bit sad about leaving juniors. Playing on the ITF junior tour has been the most beautiful time of my life. I’ve met some really nice people on the circuit, had a great time and I’m sad that it’s coming to an end but I will go on to play pro events in the future and maybe I will meet some of them again!
The pros is really different to the juniors, but I’m happy to have been able to get the chance to experience both circuits alongside each other. I’m much more experienced now and I’ve learnt a lot from the older girls and hopefully I’ll carry on doing the same in the near future.
My last junior event was the European Junior Championships [in Klosters, Switzerland] and it didn’t really go that well. From the first day I practised there I didn’t have very good feel on the ball because of the altitude. It doesn’t really suit my game and I played really bad – I don’t know how I won three matches there but I managed to reach the quarterfinals. It was a good experience for me playing in those conditions but hopefully I won’t have to play in that kind of altitude in the future!
My next event will be a $50,000 ITF pro circuit event in Romania and then after that I’ll go and prepare for the junior US Open. I’m not really sure of my schedule after that but I’ll be concentrating on the $25,000 and $50,000 pro circuit events. I just hope that I’m going to be able to go as far on the pro circuit as I have done in juniors!
I’m not really keeping an eye on my ranking (currently No. 330). My team might, but I just go on court and play tennis. That’s my job, their job is to look at things like that. I would like to get into the Top 200 before the end of the year though. I have five or six more tournaments to play this year so hopefully I’m going to do it!