American Alison Riske, who is playing some of her best tennis at the age of 29, says her main goal for the season is to try and win every match and give herself the best chance to compete every time she steps on the court.
Speaking to India's leading daily, The Times of India, Riske, who married Stephen Amritraj last year, commented, "My main goals or what gives me the most satisfaction from tennis is go out there for every match and no matter what my level that day is, I'm able to try to find a way, to squeak out the match.
Before, I would think, 'Oh well, I'm not playing well today, so there's no chance I can win this' Just shifting that mentality to make me a stronger competitor. I take a lot of pride in trying to mentally give myself the best chance that I can every time I step on court.
I've never been one to put a ranking goal. It's not what I'm after. So that's kind of an after-effect of, if I do the right thing, then that follows. That's never been a great motivator for me." Riske says she does plan on playing for a few more years but does not see herself having a kid and coming back to the tour like Serena Williams or Kim Clijsters.
"I definitely think it's a thing now, players are lasting a little bit longer. Again, Serena is a rarity, she's really special. It's hard to compare people to that standard, but I do think that at 34-35, players are still able to produce good tennis.
I'm not quite sure why there's been a change, why they're able to go that long, but it's encouraging. It's nice to know that we can have a longer career than just 10 years and you're done. It is really exciting, to see it all happen before you.
I definitely don't see myself stopping and having a kid and then coming back. Stephen and I actually talked about that a bit, we were together on trying to take the career to a point where I feel like I'm satisfied and now I'm ready to have a family.
And then just call it a day. I think we're going to give it a little bit more time and play for as long as I can. It's really cool that he's in agreement with that." The Amritraj family is a big name in India and Riske says she has visited the country only once where she had a great experience.
"It was an amazing experience. I got to meet Amma, Stephen's grandmother, which was unbelievable. That was in 2017. She came out and watched some of my practices and that was really special, for me and their family. I loved everything about India.
Honestly, I feel like when I go back, I would appreciate it even more now that I know what to expect when I'm there. It is so different culturally and there's just so much going on, I feel like you can't fully embrace it (on one trip).
Everything you look at it's just different (from what you've seen and experienced) and so you're not ready for it. We went to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, we made our India trip a whole little trip and honestly it was spectacular.
Stephen and I talked about going back too. Earlier, Stephen would make an annual trip there just to see Amma. Now that she's no more, it's like there's no driving force for me to go (just now). But obviously, when we have children, we would absolutely be going back, get them to feel and know the culture that is a part of who they are.
That's something we look forward to a lot. Obviously, the Amritraj name in tennis was so prevalent, we knew who they were and knew of them, but we were never in the same group of friends. Stephen is six years older than me, my sister's nine years older than me.
So, him and my sister were more on the same age range. We both have very sweet mothers, our dads were more the driving force behind our tennis careers. They were both pretty intense. I think growing up, we had very many similarities, this whole family dynamic.
The fact that the Amritrajs take so much pride in their family, devoting time to being together, that was very attractive for me when I was dating Stephen. I felt like, you don't just marry Stephen, you're marrying the family.
So every time we get together, I have the best time with all of them. They're also interesting individually and when you put all of them together, it's crazy. There are plenty of laughs at the table and stories. All the brothers love talking about their past, days of playing tennis.
And so we might hear the same story like 10 times, but I still love it the same every time I hear it. They all talk at the same time. Vijay is such a great storyteller, as is Ashok, and then Anand adds a lot of colour to the group.
You put them in the same room, it's amazing. I really enjoy it. I look forward to the family and get-togethers."