Shuker eager to build on recent success as US Open approaches
Fresh from victory at the US Open USTA Championships Super Series, Lucy Shuker heads to New York for the final Grand Slam of the season with only one thing on her mind – a maiden major title.
The US Open has, so far, not been a happy hunting ground for two-time Paralympic bronze medallist Shuker, with the 37-year-old yet to make the final in either the singles or the doubles at Flushing Meadows.
But she is on somewhat of a winning streak at present, and will kickstart her US Open campaign on Thursday on the back of doubles victory in St Louis alongside Yui Kamiji, as well as at the Birmingham Classic in Canada with Sabine Ellerbrock.
Japan’s Kamiji – who normally partners the pregnant Jordanne Whiley – will once again be by Shuker’s side after their triumph in Missouri, where they defeated the Netherlands’ Marjolein Buis and Diede de Groot in a tie-break to take top prize.
Buis and de Groot are set to be among the favourites to lift the US Open title come Sunday, but with a first Super Series title together under their belts, Shuker and World No.1 Kamiji are licking their lips at the thought of more silverware coming their way.
“I’m really looking forward to getting started. The Grand Slams feature the best players in the world,” said Shuker.
“There is no real easy first round match, but at the end of the day, I feel that I’ve been playing some good tennis, I’m fit and healthy and just excited to get on those courts.
“They’re good, hard courts, so for me, it means it’s a lot easier than, for example, at Wimbledon.
“In the singles, I appreciate it will be tough, but I’ve got as good an opportunity as anyone else competing there.
"I think any tennis player, regardless of whether they’re playing able-bodied or wheelchair tennis, is striving to win a Grand Slam." Lucy Shuker
“In the doubles, having just beaten the pair who are likely to be top seeds, it gives us confidence.
“It’s always an absolute pleasure to play with Yui, she’s world number one and she’s that for a reason.
“I’m looking forward to going into New York alongside her. We have a lot of confidence in each other’s games, which I think is mainly why we decided to play together.”
While a Grand Slam title continues to evade her, World No.7 Shuker is not feeling any extra pressure on her shoulders as she continues in her pursuit of glory.
But that’s not to say Shuker isn’t putting pressure on herself, but her focus is set on performances rather than prizes.
“Heading into Grand Slams, I don’t feel added pressure, I just feel that I want to play good tennis,” she said.
“We have four of them in a year, and I’d love to win one. I think any tennis player, regardless of whether they’re playing able-bodied or wheelchair tennis, is striving to win a Grand Slam.
“I’ve yet to do that, so if it happens in New York then I’d be extremely happy.”