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Workahoilc Myskina eyes top spot

December 30, 2004

SHE's had only 20 days off this year but Russian star Anastasia Myskina today pronounced herself ready to shoot for the World No.1 ranking.

Fresh from a practice session at the Hopman Cup which starts in Perth on Sunday, 23-year-old Myskina was already looking forward to a productive year ahead.

With her historic French Open victory in April, Myskina this year became Russia's first female Grand Slam winner and went on to crown a magnificent 2004 by leading her country to the Fed Cup team's title last month.

Now the world No.3 is ready to fight American Lindsay Davenport for the top spot on the international tennis rankings.

"My goal for the next year is to get to number one and if I can achieve that it will be great," Myskina said.

"I want to win more Grand Slams like the French Open but first I am looking forward to the Australian Open."

Myskina was one of a group of Russian women to steam roll through world tennis this year with Svetlana Kuznetsova winning the US Open and 17-year-old sensation Maria Sharapova claiming the Wimbledon crown.

However, Myskina expects she and her talented compatriots to be under greater pressure for wins in 2005.

"It will be harder this year for sure," Myskina said.

"We have to defend our titles. Last year nobody expected us to win but this year they know what we can do."

Myskina remained coy about her prospects about playing in the 2005 Fed Cup competition after going public last month about her feud with Sharapova and her father-coach, Uri.

"Like I said, it depends what the Captain (Shamil Tarpischev) is going to say," she said.

With Davenport injured and unable to compete at the Hopman Cup, Myskina and her partner world No.4 Marat Safin are hot favourites to take out the mixed teams event next week.

Russia plays Germany's Tommy Haas and Anna-Lena Groenefeld in their opening tie on Monday.

AAP

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