Perth, WA, 30 December 2011 | AAP
Australia’s world No.33 Jarmila Gajdosova has set her sights on breaking into the tennis world’s top 20 in 2012 as she attempts to wreak more damage in the grand slams.
Gajdosova reached a career-high ranking of 25 this year after notching third-round appearances at both Wimbledon and the French Open.
The 24-year-old will use Perth’s Hopman Cup and the Hobart International to prepare for the Australian Open, where she is yet to make it past the first round.
Gajdosova is the first to admit she needs to clamp down on her unforced errors during big points but the Slovakian-born right-hander is confident she has the weapons to match it with the world’s best.
“There’s a lot to improve. I still make errors at certain times where a lot of the top girls don’t,” Gajdosova said on Friday.
“Everybody who watches me play knows I play an attacking game and a very aggressive game, so I’m going to make errors.
“But if you look at the ratio of my winners as well, it’s very high. I can make mistakes but still win in straight sets.
“I’m sure if I get rid of them on the big points, then definitely I can do some more damage.”
Former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt, who will team with Gajdosova at the Hopman Cup, said he had been impressed with what he’d seen of his new partner.
“She hits the ball extremely well, she moves well and she’s strong out there,” Hewitt said.
“She’s going to hit a lot of winners but she’s got to cut out her unforced errors.
“That’s probably the main part for her to take the next step from 33 in the world to get into the top 20, top 15 in the world.
“But she’s dangerous. I wouldn’t write her off against anyone and I’m looking forward to playing some mixed doubles with her.”
Australia’s sole Hopman Cup title came in 1999 when Mark Philippoussis and Jelena Dokic defeated Sweden’s Jonas Bjorkman and Asa Carlsson in the final.
The hosts are unseeded for Hopman Cup XXIV and face a daunting challenge to knock off the likes of second seeds France (Marion Bartoli, Richard Gasquet) and third seeds Spain (Anabel Medina Garrigues, Fernando Verdasco) just to reach the final.
The Czech Republic, featuring women’s No.2 Petra Kvitova and men’s No.7 Tomas Berdych, are hot favourites to win the event, although Denmark can’t be written off considering the skills of world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki.
France and China, featuring French Open winner Li Na, will square off on Saturday in the tournament opener, with Australia starting their campaign against Spain on Sunday.