Australian Open 2024: Jodie Burrage, Novak Djokovic & Aryna Sabalenka play on day one

Burrage is one of seven British players in the main draw of the singles, alongside Katie Boulter, Emma Raducanu, Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans, Andy Murray and Jack Draper.

Gaining direct entry into the Australian Open for the first time in her career is indicative of her rise over the past year.

Last year, the 24-year-old cracked the world’s top 100 for the first time, on the back of reaching the Nottingham final and earning her first Grand Slam main-draw win at Wimbledon.

Now she is planning to build further on her career-best season, but initially does not want to look beyond cementing a place inside the top 100.

“I know I had a really good year, but I also put pressure on myself to keep getting better,” said Burrage, who thought about quitting the sport in 2020 after a series of injuries.

“I believe there’s a long way to go and where I can get to.

“This year I really just want to secure myself in the top 100. I’ve not got many [ranking] points to defend in the next few months because of my injuries last year and gives me a free run to take a stab at a few of the bigger tournaments.

“Once I get into that place, then look at where I can get to. I’d love to say I want to finish the year in the top 50 or whatever. I think a realistic goal is top 75 but depends how the year goes.”

Anne Keothavong, Britain’s women’s team captain, says Burrage will be able to fulfil this ambition if she continues to increase her self-belief.

“Jodie competes a lot and has done so well to get her ranking where it is,” Keothavong told BBC Sport.

“Now it’s about being comfortable on the tour – she’s an WTA player now, not an ITF player.

“It’s about feeling comfortable she belongs among the best, that she can compete with these girls and she backs herself.”

Source: BBC News

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