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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Myskina Blames Hectic Schedule for Slip

ReutersMyskina was world No. 2 last year.
KOLKATA, India -- Russian Anastasia Myskina has attributed her subdued year in which she has failed to win a single WTA title to fatigue following a busy 2004.

Myskina, 24, became the darling of her country last year when she claimed the maiden Grand Slam singles title by a Russian woman at the French Open.

Two more titles during the year, having registered four victories in 2003, lifted her to world No. 2 in September last year before she slipped to be overshadowed by her compatriots led by world No.1 Maria Sharapova.

"We played so many tournaments, we won the Fed Cup in the Olympic year," she said on Tuesday. "I guess the break between the seasons wasn't enough for me."

"By the middle of this year, I was so tired. I wasn't concentrating on my tennis very much.

"But now I'm really back and after Wimbledon I'm playing much better tennis," Myskina, 24, top seed at this week's $170,000 WTA event in Kolkata, told reporters.

The player, who failed to impress in Russia's Fed Cup final victory over France in Paris on Sunday, added: "[This is] definitely not my best tennis. I still need to play harder. I'm trying."

The world No. 12 has her best chance to claim her first title of the year in Kolkata. However, she is expected to face stiff challenge from second-seeded compatriot Yelena Likhovtseva and rising Indian teenager Sania Mirza, the third seed.

Myskina, who triggered the "Russian revolution" in women's tennis, was happy with the intense competition among her compatriots.

"We have a really tough competition between us, like last year there was a tough competition for the Olympic team and there were six of us in the top 10.

"It was a tough decision for the captain to decide who is going to go. So I think that's why the desire was so very high that helped us to move forward and improve our game."

Likhovtseva said Russian woman players were benefiting from their professional approach in recent years. "Everyone depends on their own game. ... If they don't play well their life will end as professional tennis players."