Australian Jarmilla Gajdosova will surely stop many in their tracks at the BMW Malaysian Open in Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Club.
The 24-year-old is making her second appearance in Kuala Lumpur, citing the warmness – in both weather and the people - being the main reason for her return after reaching the semifinals last year.
She isn't playing with much consistency this season, and will be hoping that a lengthy run at the BMW Malaysian Open will help to get her season back on track. The Australian has struggled in recent weeks, and she enters this tournament off of the back of a first round exit in Doha.
And she struggled to win her opening match against Kathrin Woerle of Germany, coming from a set down to eventually prevail 1-6, 7-6 (2), 7-5.
“It was really easy making a decision to come back to the BMW Malaysian Open. I was delighted when I received as wildcard entry for the tournament.
“All the people here are nice me – the tournament organisers, club staff and player services. I can have no complains, not even on the weather.
The world No. 45 reckoned her living in the Gold Coast in Australia makes her love the weather here. “The sunshine basically helps me,” said Jarmilla.
Those who were present during last year’s BMW Malaysian Open will know her better as Jarmilla Groth. She was a crowd favourite but she was stopped in her tracks in the last four stage by eventual losing finalist Lucie Safarova of Czech Republic .
But it was after the BMW Malaysian Open last year that tested the resolve of this player.
For her two year marriage to her tennis-playing husband Sam Groth ended and some even went on to question her loyalty to Australia.
Any lesser a person would have folded, but not Jarmilla who took all in her stride, letting the tennis courts become her sanctuary.
She hit a career high of 25 a month after the break-up and revealed that it was tennis that got her back into facing reality.However with a top 20 ranking in sight, she suffered from illness during the North American hardcourt season and the rest of 2011 unraveled.
The now world No.40 suffered further dents to her confidence during the Australian summer, including a 6-0 6-0 loss to Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli at the Hopman Cup and first round exit at the Australian Open.
Speaking on her expectations this year, the BMW Malaysian Open fourth seed believes it will be tough to make the later stages considering the strong field this year.
“The draw is tough and the stronger field this year makes it more difficult. But it is great to have all the players here. The organisers are doing a great job. That is probably the reason the likes of Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) and Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) chose to play,” she added.
Jarmilla will have to juggle between the singles and doubles in the BMW Malaysian Open as she has opted to partner compatriot Casey Dellacqua in the doubles competition.
They are tops seeds and have moved into quarterfinals after defeating the French-Chinese combination of Iryna Bremond and Kheng Sasai.
“It’s not really hard to balance between the two as I have partnered Casey before. I thought it would be fun to do it again so we are giving it shot in Kuala Lumpur. There should be enough recovery time for me,” said Jarmilla.