London, UK, 7 July 2023 | Matt Trollope

Storm Hunter today launches her Wimbledon doubles campaign alongside Belgium’s Elise Mertens, with the target of a maiden women’s major doubles title in her sights.

It is not an unrealistic proposition for the No.3 seeds, who have combined brilliantly so far in their first season playing together.

They have won 15 of their 20 matches, the highlight being a run to the WTA 1000 title in Rome.

> READ: Eight Aussies in action on day five of Wimbledon

Hunter broke through for a first major title at last year’s US Open, where she combined with John Peers to win the mixed doubles tournament.

With another credentialled partner by her side in Mertens, she hopes to reach even higher heights in women’s doubles.

“I would love to win a Grand Slam in doubles. I’ve been close, making two semifinals, and winning two 1000 events,” Hunter told The AO Show podcast during an interview at Wimbledon.

“I’d love to try and get close to No.1 … (It’s) a really tough ask, and that does involve winning a Slam or two to be able to get there.

“But I really believe in myself that I can do that.

“It’s been a lot of fun (playing with Elise), and we’re still continually working on our games together. So it’s nice to have a consistent partner that we can kind of work together towards these goals.

“She’s someone that’s had a lot of experience; she’s won Grand Slams, she’s been world No.1 in doubles. So just using her to help me as well, and believe in myself in those moments – that’s been really great.”

> LISTEN: Hunter joins The AO Show podcast

Hunter’s success in 2023 has seen her peak at world No.5 in doubles; she is currently ranked seventh.

As a result, she received a pleasant surprise when she came to collect her player credential for The Championships.

“Usually it says LC, for ladies’ competitor, but mine said LM, and I didn’t really understand what that meant, but the lady at accreditation told me that I had access to the Members’ Locker Room, which I was over the moon (about), I couldn’t quite believe it,” said Hunter, whose two major semifinals came at last year’s US Open, and Wimbledon in 2021.

“I went and checked it out as soon as I came on site … it’s just really special to be, I don’t know, I guess a part of the history, and just being able to use those facilities. I feel like, for me, I’ve never thought I’d be allowed in there.

“Usually the locker rooms, it’s a lot of players, benches, seats and rows of showers. But in the Members’ Locker Room, it’s just very classy; everyone’s got their own suite. There’s showers, a bath, there’s a sauna in there. Obviously only the seeded players can get in there, so there’s less players. It’s just very calm.

“When you go in there, the staff know your name straight away … I definitely don’t feel like I belong there (laughter). But I’m definitely going to soak up the experience, along with Ellen Perez, who also has access this year.

“We were both messaging (each other), we were like: ‘Oh my gosh, can you believe it?’

“It’s a really special experience for my Wimbledon this year.”

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