Tennis: Marina Erakovic on a roll

By Matt Brown

Marina Erakovic plays a forehand during the 2016 ASB Classic. Photo / Getty Images
Marina Erakovic plays a forehand during the 2016 ASB Classic. Photo / Getty Images

New Zealand tennis number one Marina Erakovic looks to be finally turning the corner as she bids to climb back up the world tennis rankings.

The 28 year old has won four matches in a row for the first time in over a year, to reach the second round of the WTA tournament in Rabat, Morocco.

Having won through three rounds of qualifying, Erakovic has brushed aside Romanian Andreea Mitu 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 16 minutes.

"It's been going really well here and is great to get a string of matches under my belt. It's a process and the work I've been doing and battling in and out in those moments is starting to pay off." Erakovic said.

The Kiwi has slipped to 186 in the world rankings following a year hampered by injuries and inconsistent results. It means she will have to try to qualify for the French Open and Wimbledon.

But after winning just her third WTA main draw match in 2016, Erakovic can see light at the end of the tunnel. " I've been constructing the points a lot better and my game's improving and the level has been good and I have to keep chipping away."

Erakovic will get a better indication of where she is at when she meets 7th seeded Lesia Tsurenko in the second round tomorrow. The Ukrainian is ranked 44 in the world and while Erakovic beat her in qualifying at Eastbourne last June, that was on grass, the Kiwi's best surface.

"I know her, but it will be different on clay. It's a matter of focusing on what I have to do."
A win over Tsurenko will see her ranking climb to around the 150 mark, a far cry from her career high of 39, but a sign he is on the right track.

This week's tournament will be last on the WTA Tour for Erakovic prior to next month's French Open, where Erakovic will have to go through qualifying in a bid to make the main draw.

She intends heading to France next week for an ITF tournament in Cannes and then plans to take a week off to train a bit before getting ready for French Open qualifying.

- Radio Sport

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