22-year-old Australian Jaimee Fourlis won her fifth professional singles title over the weekend at the ITF 25K tournament in Bendigo.
The live WTA World Number 246 spoke with The First Serve after a successful week and triumph in her home state of Victoria.
“It was really good to be able to get a title. I think anytime you win one, you cherish it a lot," Fourlis said.
“And to do it 90 minutes away from Melbourne, having my dad, grandpa and coach come down to watch me play was really special.”
Fourlis further revealed her satisfaction with her recent run of form and level of tennis.
“It’s been a good 2-3 years since I’ve played at this level, and it’s been a long time since I’ve been inside the top 250.”
“Every time I step out onto the court, it’s been better and better. The things I’m doing in practice, I’m starting to execute on the court.”
Fourlis, who underwent shoulder surgery in 2020 and returned to the tour in March last year, has now played 35 matches already in 2022, across singles and doubles, but remains in a great place physically.
“I feel really good, really fit. That’s a credit to the people behind the scenes. My fitness coach, my physios, and my tennis coach. They’ve put a lot of hours into me to be able to get my body right so part of all this is due to them.”
Prior to her recent success at ITF level, Fourlis began her 2022 season with a remarkable Australian Open campaign. Teaming up with fellow Australian Jason Kubler, the wildcard pair managed to progress all the way to the Mixed Doubles Final, saving match points in three separate matches on their path.
“It was an incredible experience. Leading up to that, we didn’t really expect anything. We were playing day by day, match by match, and somehow, we were coming out on top.
“Just to be able to stay at a home Grand Slam for two weeks, I’ve never really done that before. It’s always; if you do finish early, you either train or you move onto the next tournament, so to be able to be there for two weeks was pretty incredible.
“It was an unreal experience. It’s something I’ll never forget.”
The Grand Slam Finalist, who is a great supporter of her fellow Aussies on tour, discussed the significance of Ash Barty and her drought-breaking singles triumph in Melbourne.
“It’s huge. She’s such a role model to everyone and especially to me.
“She inspires me every day and I watch her matches all the time. She is an inspiration to all the young girls that want to play tennis and also to the girls that are currently playing tennis in Australia.”
Fourlis also revealed her surprise to receive a quick message back after congratulating Barty on her Australian Open title.
“She’s an unbelievable tennis player but she’s also an amazing person.
“If you message her, she’s someone that’s always going to reply. I didn’t expect to get anything from her, but she replied within a couple of days of winning the Aussie Open.”
Fourlis will now contest the final two ITF events in Australia starting next Monday, before heading to Europe later in the year.
“I’ll play the two in Canberra. I’ll leave on Saturday for that and prepare to go on the clay which I’m really excited about.”
“I’ll probably come home for a little bit after that. Just train, prepare and do a bit of a pre-season. Then, I’ll head off to Europe and spend a chunk of time overseas.”
The 22-year-old is looking to continue her strong start to the season and has her sights set on a top 150 debut later this year.
“Hopefully it will be a big year ahead. If I can stay healthy off the court, there’s nothing stopping me from playing consistent tennis and from achieving that goal (top 150).”