Thanks for visiting the Australian Open Website. We can see you’re using Internet Explorer, and wanted to let you know that we will no longer be supporting this browser in future. We’d recommend you download a new browser if you'd like to continue keeping up with all of the latest tennis news!

Storm Hunter: From “happy to be on court” to world No.1

  • Rhys de Deugd

Five years ago, Storm Hunter almost stepped away from professional tennis after being plagued with injuries.

Now, she is the first Australian woman in 17 years to hold the year-end WTA doubles No.1 ranking.

Alongside Belgian Elise Mertens, Hunter claimed WTA 1000 titles in Guadalajara and Rome and reached Wimbledon final in a 2023 season full of highlights.

A semifinal appearance at the WTA Finals in Cancun assured Hunter would reach world No.1 for the first time and end her season at the summit.

Storm Hunter celebrated her year-end doubles world No.1 achievement during a ceremony at Melbourne Park's KIA Arena this week. [Getty Images]

On The AO Show podcast this week, Hunter revealed how it felt to reach the milestone after some testing years.

“I get a little bit emotional when I start to think about it just because of my journey,” said the Aussie, who now owns three WTA 1000 trophies among seven career doubles titles .

“I just feel like I'm a regular Australian girl who grew up in WA (Western Australia) in a small town, and I just honestly couldn't believe that it had happened.”

Hunter has been forced to contend with a multitude of physical health problems and as a result she is simply happy to be back playing the game she loves.

The 29-year-old credited some of her success to the time she spent away from tennis; returning with a new perspective on the game this allowed her to play more freely.

“When I started playing again five years ago, I was honestly just so happy to be on the court,” she said.

“I had a year out and I had this injury that kind of stopped me playing, and I wasn't sure if I'd get back to a high level, but I was just super grateful to be back on the court and playing, and I kind of had no expectations.”

The ‘Hunter’ will now become ‘the hunted’ in 2024, as she sets new goals as the world’s top-ranked doubles player.

Along with playing more singles, Hunter has her sights set on bigger doubles titles.

“I want to try and win a Slam,” she declared.

“That's something that I want to do in the women's doubles and obviously it being an Olympic year too, that's a huge goal of mine.”