Townsend dreams of SW19

French Open

2014-05-30 18:00

Taylor Townsend (AFP)

Paris – Taylor Townsend’s Paris party came to an abrupt end at the French Open on Friday, but the bubbly teenager from Georgia already has Wimbledon in her sights.

The 18-year-old American lost a third round match 6-2, 6-2 to Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain two days after she made headlines by defeating leading French player Alize Cornet.

More than just the win, Townsend has caught the eye for her atpyical shot-making, her celebratory dance routine and a chubby physique that will likely require some work in the gym if she is to develop into a Grand Slam title winner.

Asked if she thought she could be a force at Wimbledon which starts in two weeks’ time she replied: “If I got a wildcard into Wimbledon, I would pass out right now. Honestly, that would make my day. Wow!

“Wimbledon is like my favorite tournament, I swear, I love the grass. I just love the tournament, the atmosphere.

“That would mean the world to me if I got a wildcard just because I just love the tournament so much. I love grass. I have done well in the juniors there.

“So I just love the atmosphere. That would — oh, my God, I’ll probably cry. I’m not a crier, either. So that means a lot.”

Wildcard or not, Townsend would still have the possibility of playing in what would be her second Grand Slam tournament by competing in the qualifiers. She gained entry to Roland Garros by winning a wildcard qualifying tournament in the United States.

Great hopes have being placed on Townsend back in the United States ever since she finished 2012 as world junior number one, the first American to do that since Gretchen Rush in 1982.

Coached in Florida by 1990 Wimbledon runner-up Zina Garrison, she believes that she has does have the weapons to be a force on the world stage

“I do. I mean, honestly, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t feel in my gut, in my heart, that I could do this. I wouldn’t have turned pro if I didn’t feel that way,” she said.

“I mean, this is a far trip. It’s very expensive. It’s far away from home. My phone doesn’t work!

“I believe 100% in myself that I can do great things. But it’s a matter of time. I have to trust the process, trust the work that I’m doing and understand that it is a long process, and, you know, it doesn’t happen overnight.”

One thing she does not intend to change though is her aggressive game style that involves frequent visits to the net.

Asked if she would ever adopt the baseline bashing style of play favoured by the majority of current pros she replied: “No, I won’t do that.

“That’s a part of my game, but my game and how it’s designed and how I have been playing, I have been at the net, the net is normal for me. When I started playing tennis, I was doing volleys.

“And it just so natural for me, and I know that that makes my game special. So I’m definitely not going to take that away, because there are a lot of people who can hit the ball very hard all day long.”

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