Dubai: Success is nothing new for Denmark teenager Clara Tauson. On Saturday, the 6ft tall 18-year-old battled past Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic to pick up her eighth title on the ITF Women’s Circuit at the inaugural Fujairah International Women Tournament.
Prior to that, Tauson’s previous success had come at the ITF Oeiras in Portugal, a 15k event that she had won with a straight sets win against Spaniard Maria Gutierrez Carrasco, in August 2020.
“Yes, it’s been a long time since I was last in a final,” Tauson told Gulf News with a sense of smooth urgency. “The plan today was to go out and just enjoy this moment as it’s been a while since I last played in a final. I am very happy about today and with the way I fought.”
The two had featured in a National Level Tournament during the course of the pandemic last year, and Golubic had won on that occasion. “I didn’t want a repeat and that was my motivation,” Tauson said.
However, conquering opponents and achieving goals is not exactly what Tauson ought to be worried about at the moment going by what she has already achieved in her young yet blossoming career.
In 2016 at the age of 13, she became the youngest Danish champion in tennis. The very next year, Tauson turned professional and was rewarded with the girls’ singles title at the 2017 European Youth Olympic and the European Junior Championship in 2018.
Since her debut, Tauson has gone on to win eight singles tournaments including Saturday’s Fujairah crown — with the 2019 Australian Open junior girls crown as her biggest achievement to date. That same year, Tauson peaked at the world No. 1 junior — the first Danish girl to achieve this honour — something that not even the ‘other’ famous Dane Caroline Wozniacki has managed.
“Ah, that’s not for me to say,” Tauson said when Wozniacki is brought into the picture. “I think we are very different players and very different personalities on court as well. Over the years, I have taken a lot of good things from her game. But I think my path is very much different from hers and this is simply because we are such different people. She’s had her moments, and I am just trying to create my own name.”
Tauson’s professional debut on the ITF Women’s Circuit came in September 2017, and on Saturday, she took her title count to eight crowns. Tauson’s feat has been different when compared to what her compatriot Wozniacki had achieved in her junior career.
Until summer 2019, Tauson had played junior amateur tournaments along with contesting as a professional on the ITF. Her WTA Tour debut came in April 2019 and her first senior level Grand Slam participation came in at the French Open in September 2020.
“There’s a huge difference in playing juniors and seniors. Neither are very easy,” Tauson said. “But, every time I walk on court I know I have to play my game or it’s going to make things difficult for myself. For me, every match is important as the other players are aware of what I can do on court.
“Things have become even more difficult now during these pandemic times as none of us know what’s going to happen next week. So, my philosophy is try to enjoy each and every moment on court as much as possible and try to be the best that I can.”
She’s not too nervy about walking away from the shadows cast by her illustrious compatriot who won her lone Grand Slam also at the Australian Open, in 2018. October 11, 2010 was a historic day as Wozniacki became the 20th player in the Open Era, and the first woman from a Scandinavian country to hold the top ranking position on the WTA Tour.
“I really don’t think about all those things as my plan is to enjoy each and every moment that comes up before me,” she said. “Of course, there is much hard work hard to be done, as always. And my focus is entirely to just keep working and see what comes out as the end result.” Next up for Tauson is the W25 Trophee De La Ville De Grenoble and the W25 Engie Open De L’Isere in France, starting in early February.