KINGSTON tennis ace Mel South insists it’s only a matter of time before she joins the sport’s elite at the top of the world rankings.
The 23-year-old’s Wimbledon campaign ended in tears last week as she crashed out of the first round 7-5, 7-6 to France’s world number 86 Mathilde Johansson on court one.
South then teamed up with Jocelyn Rae in the women’s doubles but a second round defeat 6-2, 3-6, 4-6 to 12th seeds Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Vania King put an end to her All England Club progress.
But despite her losses, the British number four – who reached the first round at the Australian Open and French Open grand slams earlier this year – is refusing to get downhearted.
“It would have been nice to make it into the second week but it wasn’t to be,” said South. “Just being out on the courts at Wimbledon is an inspiration and I’ve really enjoyed my week here.
“My goal is to get back into the top 100, but, with all the training I have been doing, I know I can definitely fulfil my potential and beat top 50 and top 20 players.
“I need to work on my consistency, and I think if I can improve my fitness, I can only go in one direction.”
South reached a career-high ranking of 99 after her Australian Open exploits earlier this year.
But South – who reached the second round of Wimbledon in 2006 – has vowed to climb even further up the global listings before the end of the year when she returns to the lower-ranked challenger circuit next week.
“I’ve got an idea about what I’m going to do but we’ll wait and see,” added South. “I have been training hard and I’ll continue that over the next couple of weeks.
“I’m going to go out to the States to play a few tournaments and see how that goes now.
“I want to continue improving my ranking and then hopefully push on with the training next year because there is a lot more to come from me yet.”
Leading life assurance and pensions company AEGON is lead partner of British Tennis and is backing the sport at all levels, from grassroots to world class tennis events.
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