The first Grand Slam of the season is just around the corner and no one is more ready than the Australians. Casey Dellacqua penned an essay for the Player's Voice, explaining just how important the Slam is to local players and how hard it can be to juggle the pressure and expectations.
"Obviously the higher ranked you get, the more pressure and expectation there is, and there were definitely years where I did find that difficult," Dellacqua writes.
The 32-year-old is ranked No. 10 in doubles after another successful season with partner Ashleigh Barty (which saw them win three titles). Dellacqua has reached the doubles final of seven Grand Slams, but has yet to win one (though she won a mixed crown in 2011 with Scott Lipsky).
Not the result we wanted today but we certainly had a great 2 weeks in Paris, it's always important to remember how amazing it is to make a grand slam final ????????????✊️ thanks everyone for your support & kind messages over the last couple of weeks ???? P.S. how cute is Blake, he is so proud holding the trophy & he doesn't care it's a runners up one either ???????? #myteamisbetterthanyours
Dellacqua last reached the Australian Open final in 2013 (with Barty).
"Winning the Australian Open would be like the icing on the cake," Dellacqua writes. "But as Jason Stoltenberg has said to me: So many people would love to say they had made eight Grand Slam finals in their life, and to have won a mixed, so just be grateful for that. And I’m like, ‘You know what? You’re right.'"
Dellacqua has enjoyed plenty of singles success as well, particularly in Melbourne where she's reached the fourth round twice (in 2008 and 2014).
"I was so young, physically and mentally, and unaware of a lot of things," Dellacqua writes about '08. "But I’m grateful for that experience, because it was the first tournament that gave me the confidence and belief in myself that I could be a really good player."
She reached as high as No. 36 in singles in 2014, but has since moved to a more doubles-focused career, hinting in Player's Voice that the 2018 season may be one of her last.