Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

Popular This Week

Net Notes - A Tennis Now Blog

Net Posts

Industry Insider - A Tennis Now Blog

Industry Insider

Second Serve - A Tennis Now Blog

Second Serve


By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Tuesday, January 2, 2024
The New Year reminds us: It's never too late to pursue your dreams.  

Arina Rodionova is closing in one realizing dual dreams Down Under.

More: Richard Evans on HOF, GOAT and Top Rivalries

Australian wild card Rodionova repelled Sofia Kenin 7-5, 7-6(7) to reach the round of 16 at the Brisbane International.

At the age of 34, Rodionova is closing in on history.

The victory vaults Rodionova to a new career-high ranking of No. 103 in the live rankings— putting her three spots away from becoming the oldest woman to ever crack the WTA Top 100 for the first time.

"Oh, it's so great. I think that's the reason why I'm having so much fun out there because, as I say, I've done the hard work," Rodionova told the media in Brisbane. "I've played in the small cities, small tournaments where no one is watching. Yeah, I think it's a little bit like a reward for me just even being here.

"Obviously winning is a great bonus, but, yeah, playing this level of tournament and being at home and being healthy enough. Like last year I couldn't even play the week before Australian Open because my injury was still not great."

To put this victory in perspective, consider Rodionova arrived in Brisbane with three career Top 50-wins, most recently knocking off Sloane Stephens at the 2020 Adelaide.

Now, the Russian-born Aussie has knocked off successive Top 50-ranked opponents.

The Australian No. 1 is making her case for an Australian Open wild card. Rodionova will try match her career-best winning streak of three matches when she faces either fourth-seeded Liudmila Samsonova or Mirra Andreeva for a quarterfinal spot.

Rodionova said she'd obviously love a wild card into the Melbourne major, which starts on January 14th, but knows the ball is in Tennis Australia's court.

"If it was up to me, I would give it to myself, yes, but I think there's other people involved," Rodionova said. "I don't know. Hopefully they like the way I'm playing this week, and hopefully they like the I've already won I don't know how much matches last year. I've done all the hard work.

"So I put myself in the best position. There's nothing else I could have done to get myself closer. I've pushed really hard the whole year. I think when I was starting, I was 00 and finished the year at around 100. Yeah, I'm super proud of myself, and I'm happy with myself. If they they're not happy, then there's nothing else I can do. I've done my best, and now it's out of my hands this, so..."

Photo credit: Chris Hyde/Getty