Harkleroad about her past: “It makes you miserable trying to make everyone happy"
Harkleroad captures win; Davenport next
The Desert Sun
March 9, 2006 March 9, 2006
INDIAN WELLS - Ashley Harkleroad, the former "it girl" of American tennis, said she's regained some perspective after a series of hardships and is ready to climb the ranks on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.
Harkleroad, the 2000 Easter Bowl champion, defeated China’s Zi Yan 6-3, 7-5 on Wednesday in the first round of the women’s draw at the Pacific Life Open to keep her record perfect in the desert.
With her good looks and impressive junior career, Harkleroad was trotted out as an American version of Anna Kournikova.
That resulted in a lot of opportunities and a lot of pressure for Harkleroad, who turned professional at 15.
“It makes you miserable trying to make everyone happy — agents, family. You just have to play for yourself,” Harkleroad said. “I was asking myself, ‘Where do I fit in?’ But I was really young. I turned pro at 15. That’s normal now but I had a lot given to me and I was like, ‘Do I really deserve this?’ You know what I mean?
“Now, I just take everything, I try to keep an even keel. If someone wants to do something for me, thank you very much and go on with my life. You have to keep things in perspective really.”
About two years ago, Harkleroad took a break from the game, partly because of an elbow injury and because of her mother’s battle with cancer. Harkleroad said her mother is doing fine now.
“I took things way too hard. I think (the break) really helped me out. It was probably the bravest thing I’ve ever done, but no one understood it at the time, maybe I didn’t either, but it worked out,” Harkleroad said.
Harkleroad will take on Lindsay Davenport in the second round.
Harkleroad, an Easter Bowl champion in 2000, fared better than the reigning Easter Bowl champion, Alexa Glatch.
Playing her first match since a career-threatening accident in November, Glatch fell to Martina Sucha 6-0, 6-1.
While riding her motor scooter around her neighborhood in Newport Beach, Glatch slammed on her breaks to avoid a dog, tossing her over the handle bars. Glatch broke her right wrist and left elbow.
Glatch was out for three-and-a-half months, and didn’t have much time to get ready for the Pacific Life Open.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to play this a week ago,” Glatch said.
Getting back on court has been difficult.
“I felt like I never played before. It was the weirdest feeling,” Glatch said.
But I, being poor, have only my dreams
I have spread my dreams under your feet
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams