Jaqueline Cristian talks about her passion: tennis
It's 5:30 in the morning. In the Cristians family home sounds the alarm clock. Noise that makes your brain mush comes from Jaqueline's room. This is how it begins for many years, each day for the young tennis player who recently won the most important U14 tournament, Les Petits As. Jaqueline says amused: "I usually wake up very easily. I go to the bathroom, I eat a sandwich or cereal with milk in a hurry and run to the car, to get the first tennis training. Between 6:30 and 7: 00 is the warming up, running, special exercises. Then, for 2 1/2 hours I play tennis with my coach, Corneliu Enache, and with my sparring partner, Valentin Popescu, a former player, who is 20 years old. "
After training I jump in the car. I must go to "Herastrau" or "Lia Manoliu", depends on the season, where my physiotherapist Ana Maria Finta awaits me. One and a half hours I do other exercises: running stairs, milestones, running, gym. It is important without it you can not succeed in tennis". On my way home, "sometimes I fell asleep in the car," admits Jacqueline. It's already 13:00. "I wash, eat, stay a little bit in bed. At 14:00 I must go, I have the second workout, for 2 1/2 hours. I don't get home until at about 18:00". So this is how a 13 year old girl plays tennis 6 hours per day, plus two hours of physical training. Six days per week!
Every week at 18:30, Jacqueline has tutorials for Romanian, mathematics and English. She's in the eighth grade at sports high-school "Mircea Eliade", where she moved this year. In summer is the entrance examination for the ninth grade and doesn't conceive not take it. Until last year was a student at the more prestigious school "Eugen Lovinescu", where she managed to learn very well, despite her schedule. "Now tennis has become my first priority. I could not cope there so I moved to "Eliade". "Teachers are more lenient, especially when I miss school due contests," admits Jacqueline. Still goes to school 2-3 times a week, when doesn't do the physical training. "I try to do my best in school and tennis," says the 13 year old kid.
"I always go to bed at 21:30"
This is how it goes every day for "Jachetă" (Jacket) or "Zuzu", as colleagues call her. "We don't have to tell her anything. She goes to bed by herself at 21:30, she knows what awaits the next day and never did mischief in the past 10 years" says her mother, Luminita. "Sometimes, when I have free time 30 min or an hour, I read or watch a movie. I especially like vampire or horror movies. I am fascinated how they transform themselves, perhaps because I do the same thing, I'm totally different on court" adds Jacqueline.
Hundreds of serves per day
One of Jacqueline's main weapon is her serve. In the final of Les Petits As, against american Alicia Black, which she defeted, her average service was 170 km/hour. And she's just a girl of 13 who already has 1.73 m! "I worked hard for years, hundreds of repetitions for each exercise, to get here. And I still have so much to put in place, especially the drop shot and lob" said Jaqueline. "We repeat on court, watch the video, make the corrections, and repeat again, then the video," confirmed her coach .
"Sunday is my Christmas!"
Sunday is Jacqueline's only day off. "I don't play tennis, I don't run, I do nothing. I usually play on my computer, I go to the mall with my physiotherapist and sparring partner. They are with me every day. After a week of "torture", they spoil me from morning till evening. For me it's Christmas," says Jacqueline, who in the past three years was only 10 days with her parents on holyday, last September in Antalya, Turkey.
"I know this is the price to become a top player. But I like tennis and will not stop till I get where I want, among the best in the world" (Jaqueline Cristian)
"I know it seems odd for a 13 years old girl, but I don't have friends, I do not want [to have] maybe because they would not understand me! My friends are from the tennis world. And my mother is my best friend!" (Jaqueline Cristian)
"All the great champions have gone through what she passes now. Without such a schedule, you have no chance. But she never skipped it. The best example: she had 40C fever on Tuesday, but yesterday (02.02) she left for Austria with the U14 team"(Cornelius Enache Jacqueline's coach)
191 km/h was Jaqueline's fastest serve delivered in the final of Les Petits, the record of the competition
Although she's Romania's number 1 in the U 14 category, Jacqueline was very close to miss Les Petits As tournament. "The registration is done through e-mail. I sent the form, but I have not verified the confirmation, which should have come automatically. Somewhere a "short circuit" occurred. Eventually, with Mr. Sever Dron's help and the FRT, we managed to get a wild card for Jaqueline, "said Cornelius Enache, the one who is coaching the young player from the age of 4. Jaqueline has played six games to win the title, losing only one set in quarters, "when spaniard Julia Payola took my first set 6-2. But I changed the tactics and won."
Her model is Sharapova
"I like Sharapova because she is always aggressive on the court, just like me. I had the opportunity to see her training for Australian Open. Impressive. She trains the way she plays. Very serious. Only misses a ball every 10 minutes but she apologizes. She has two boys as partners. I also talked briefly with her. It was something very special for me to meet the player who's my model "
"In December, when I trained at Nick Bolletieri Academy, I talked briefly with Sharapova. She looked at me while I hit the ball and told me that if I am serious and I work hard, I have great chances to become a top player. It was the most beautiful compliment "(Jacqueline Christian)