Chakvetadze Looking Forward To Grass Challenge
Russian Anna Chakvetadze is looking forward to the challenge of the grass court season. Chakvetadze has had an OK year so far, but is looking for more. "I have played OK during the year, I have had some good wins, especially on clay, but I know I can do more, and I want to prove it here. Grass is certainly not my favourite surface and I'm sure I will have ups and downs on it. I don't have very high hopes for Birmingham, I am just getting used to the surface here. I arrived here earlier than I usually do, to have more time on the grass. I know I need to improve on grass and I'm starting here. I know I have very little chance of winning the title here as there is a lot of good grass courters here, but I'm not here to win, I'm here to improve and I hope by the time it comes to Wimbledon, I will have a chance."
The 20 year old, has dropped from 9th in the world in singles to 14th. The Russian, went to Roland Garros last week with high hopes and was one of the contenders for the title, but suprisingly lost in the first round, "I was very upset after Roland Garros. I was playing very well going into the tournament, getting to the semis of two events and winning a doubles event, I had a lot of practise on the surface and I thought I was ready to win. I didn't play very well through out the match, I couldn't get into a rhythm, she wouldn't let me. This frustrated me and I let it get to me too much, and she took advantage of that. My serve wasn't working that well, I wasn't getting many aces, and she attacked my second serve and it worked for her. But I'm young, I will have many more years ahead of me hopefully, plenty of time to play Grand Slams. I hope by the time next year, I will be ready for Roland Garros."
Chakvetadze is part of the number one ranked doubles team, with Ashley Harkleroad, already winning three titles this year, including the Australian Open, "I love doubles. It's great to win a Grand Slam so young, and to win it with a friend is even more special. I really enjoy playing doubles and we have had a lot of success, which makes it even better. I hope we can play well here too. Grass certainly isn't either Ash or mine favourite surface, so it will be hard, especially the first week, as we don't really practise for doubles, we just play."
The world number 14, arrived in Birmingham, on Saturday, 4 days before the tournament starts. "I wanted to get here early, I didn't want to go back to San Diego for a couple of days after Roland Garros, then travel for 10 hours or so to Birmingham, so I decided to go to Ireland for a few days to relax. I spent 3 days or so in Dublin, chilling with some of my friends and my coach. I wasn't supposed to come to Birmingham to Sunday night, but I decided to come even early to get more practise on the courts. I think it was a good decision."