The Women's Top 10 Interviews
PARIS -- Reshuffling the top 10 women by interview:
1. Sveta Kuznetsova (Russia): There are times you feel like she's on a couch in the therapist's office and you're sitting in on the session, but that makes such a great interview. She'll crack you up, but she's more than just a joker. You want to know something? Just ask. She's smart and, aside from her occasional court lapses, she's very confident with herself.
2. Lindsay Davenport (USA): The elder stateswoman of the women's tour is capable of taking you through a match point by point or telling you about her dogs. She once told me with complete candor how she was affected by her parents' divorce. She's an eminently interesting interview and a darn fine human being.
3. Amelie Mauresmo (France): She occasionally flashes a smile and sense of humor, but her stock in trade in interviews is her ability to dissect a match. If you like talking tennis, you'll have an immediate link with her.
4. Kim Clijsters (Belgium): Ask her, "How are you doing?" and she'll give you a 5,000-word answer. Talkative and maybe too talkative at times. The only interview she met she didn't like was the one that wanted to know about her break-up with Lleyton Hewitt. Otherwise, connects beautifully with reporters.
5. Justine Henin-Hardenne (Belgium): She's No. 5 but that doesn't mean she's a mediocre interview. She's very good, but also very serious. I'd like to see her open up with an anecdote or a joke, but you know that's not going to happen.
6. Nadia Petrova (Russia): As she has gotten over the nerves that inhibited her Grand Slams earlier in her career, she's emerged as a pretty good interview. It's probably a useless generalization, but I find most Russians and Eastern Europeans to be great talkers. She's no exception.
7. Maria Sharapova (Russia): Her interviews have a sort of Public Relations 101 feel to them and she has a few interview habits I don't like, such as the way she airily dismisses some questions as if they are too stupid to deal with. At least you can hold a conversation with her, and that's a lot more than you can say about approaching her coach/father.
8. Elena Dementieva (Russia): She's trying. There isn't an evil bone in her body, but she never seems totally comfortable in interviews.
9. Mary Pierce (France*): She's into that nether world thing where life is too good to let bad tennis irritate her. Talking to Mary now feels like you're interviewing someone in Golden Gate Park during the Summer of Love.
10. Patty Schnyder (Switzerland): She's not terribly interesting and she's not terribly uncooperative. She just "is" and that gets her the No. 10 spot.
* We're still not sure if she's French, Canadian or American.