Petrova:« No jealousy between Russian players»
From the tournament site:
Russian player Nadia Petrova powered past Anna Smashnova in her first match of the week, setting a quarterfinals date with either Tatiana Golovin or Sania Mirza. Nadia took time to tell us more about her match and the relationships between the Russian players of the WTA Tour.
Nadia, congratulations, that was a great match. But your injured leg seemed to bother you, especially in the first set. Is it hurting?
No, it didn't bother me at all, it's just fine. I'm getting treatment for that every day, it's ok. I had to go to the hospital for an ultrasound machine test because I was getting contradictory opinions and I wanted to know what it really was. But it's nothing serious.
There was an obvious difference between the first and the second sets. Did you play better in the second, or did Smashnova get tired?
You're right, the first set was really close, and then I started serving better. You know, I had had troubles with my serve as I couldn't serve as hard as I wanted to because I was unsure of what was going on with my leg. It's the first match I play since the Australian Open so I knew it was going to take me some time to adjust. I was trying too hard in the first set, I was trying to hit a winner every time and it didn't work. But in the second set, I started to be more consistent, I used every opportunity I had to win a point, and it paid.
Is it easy for you to be friends with other Russian players on the tour when you know you have to play against each other regularly?
Well, the competition definitely doesn't allow us to be best friends. But we're friendly with each other, and when we play the Fed Cup together, we're a very good team. Because the Fed Cup is such a different atmosphere that when you're playing it, there's absolutely no personal competition going on between us. In other tournaments, we may get to play against each other, but it's just not the same. And even then, it's just a tennis match, there's never anything personal. The players I have an easier time to be friends with usually are doubles players. They're more relaxed and we all know there can be no competition between us.
What about the attention of Russian media? Is it something Russian players tend to compete for?
No, I think Dementieva and Myskina have always been more in the picture than the others anyway. I, for one, grew up and spent most of my life outside of Russia, so I'm not in the spotlight when it come to the Russian media. And it's the same with Sharapova. But that's just the way it is, once again, there's no personal feelings, there's no jealousy.
Back to the Open Gaz de France, your next match will be against Golovin or Mirza. Do you have any preference?
I can't really say I have a preference. I know playing Tatiana here would be tough, with all the crowd cheering for her. People would probably be more quiet if I played against Mirza. But they're both really good players, so whoever it is, it will be a good match"
Somebody want to be in the Russian team for 2006...