Inside the Women’s Tour: Players talk about their off-court life -
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Inside the Women’s Tour: Players talk about their off-court life

Inside the Women’s Tour (WT)
By Eleanor Preston

Lindsay Davenport

If you are ever planning a trip and need some advice, then most likely there’s no one better to ask than Lindsay Davenport, who is probably better qualified than most travel agents when it comes to booking flights and hotels.

Davenport has always been known as an anti-diva; however, many people might be surprised to know that, unlike most players, she books her own flights and hotels rather than leaving it to some faceless minion. Characteristically, she refuses to buy into the myth that all professional athletes must be narcissistic ninnies, for she has always remained an ordinary girl doing an extraordinary job.

These days she is an ordinary wife, and she is keen to spend as much time as possible with her husband of three years, Jon Leach, who has a day job as an investment banker. “I’m trying to play places where it makes a lot of sense,” she says. “We’re trying to do a really smart schedule where my husband or maybe my mom or someone can come with me. I tend to get sick of my hotel rooms after a few days. I read and go online sometimes, do some crosswords. I’m not one who goes out and about and does a lot of stuff. As far as traveling and being in locker rooms and being on the road, that’s the stuff that I don’t enjoy. If we could play every tournament in southern California [where she’s from], I’d play forever.”

That’s not to say that Leach is merely “Mr. Davenport,” trailing around after his famous wife—she shudders at the thought. “It would be nice for him to be with me, but I think part of the attraction is that we’re both independent and highly motivated people, and I don’t think he would be happy just holding my bags,” Davenport told the Age newspaper. “He’s a very intelligent man, he works extremely hard at home, he’s at work every morning at 5:30 and he really loves it, and I could never ask him to give that up for me, and the same; he doesn't ask me to stop traveling or anything.”

Indeed, Davenport credits her husband with keeping her playing, citing his support and encouragement for the change of heart she had after saying, two years ago that she was planning to retire. “I think with the help of my husband, I’ve been able to play longer than I thought I could, and play better and be more enthused about playing,” she said. “I’m really excited this year. The thought of quitting is not on my mind. I don’t know when it’s going to come. I’m fully committed to this year.” When she isn’t traveling, she and Leach enjoy life at their large home in Laguna Beach, California, along with their two rottweilers, Zoltan and Scout. She is a proud and active aunt to 11 nieces and nephews, but admits that she and Leach are planning to start a family of their own once her career winds down. She admits that he is a better cook though, so family dinners will be “Dad’s” job in the Leach-Davenport household. Leach is a former All-American player, so knows his way around a tennis court, and it helps that he has the same passion for the sport that his wife does.

“I’ve always loved it. I’ve always loved to play,” she said. “My husband and I hit on my day off just so we can both play. Love watching tennis. I used to watch it when I was younger, my mom would take me to tournaments. I love watching it now. That’s absolutely never been the problem. That’s what keeps me still going, is the actual hitting of the ball.’

She is rather good at it, too, though if the tennis thing doesn’t work out, there’s always that alternative career in the travel business to fall back on.

Kim Clijsters

People say that fame usually happens to those who are thinking about something else, and Kim Clijsters would probably agree. Clijsters has had far more to worry about over the last two years than being a celebrity, but her day-to-day life has changed since she won the US Open last summer—pulling off one of greatest comeback stories in the history of the sport as well as pocketing the biggest prize-money check in the history of women’s sport in the process.

“It’s definitely changed in America,” said the 22-year-old Belgian. “If I would go to New York maybe two years ago and play, people would know that there is a tournament on and so they know you are a player, but I realized that now they recognize me a lot more. I think the fact that I won the $2 million is the thing that people in the States latched on to, but also there is a big difference from being the runner-up in a Grand Slam to being the winner.”

Clijsters should be used to sporting fame, given that her dad, Leo, was a superstar of Belgian soccer and was once voted European Footballer of the Year, but she said she never paid much attention as a child.

“You don’t think about it. I never thought ‘Oh, my dad’s famous,’ I just thought, because he was a soccer player, that people liked the way he played,” she said. “It was never in my head that I would be famous. I remember in the school holidays I would be watching the French Open and watching Steffi Graf, and I never thought of what was going on behind the scenes, I was just overwhelmed by seeing her play. That was all I thought of, not the celebrity part, not at all.

“I still find it tough to deal with. I do what I have to do, but I’m not the type of person that, when I’m home or when I’ve got two months off, I have to do a TV interview every week to have the attention. I’m not a show-off. I like to be with my friends and family, and that’s it.”

Whether she likes it or not, Clijsters compiled achievements in 2005 that were worthy of stardom. Having spent almost all of 2004 nursing a wrist injury so bad that doctors warned she might never play at the top level again, she returned in March and, despite being ranked No. 133 in the world, went on a tear. She ended up winning nine titles, including, of course, the US Open, her first Grand Slam victory after losing four finals. The contrast between the professional and personal low of 2004 (which also saw her go through a high-profile breakup from then fiancé Lleyton Hewitt) and the high of 2005 couldn’t be greater.

“I don’t know if 2004 hadn’t happened whether I would have won a Slam, it’s so hard to say. I think everything, the whole situation with Lleyton, the media attention that I got with that, it all made me stronger,” Clijsters said, now happily settled with U.S. basketball pro Brian Lynch.

“I think you enjoy your job more if you are happy in the rest of your life,” she continued. “For me personally, being a tennis player, it’s not all about what you do on the court, it is also about going to the gym, traveling around, and if you don’t have the right balance in your personal life, then it’s very tough to just sit in a hotel room all day and having to worry about something all the time. It’s good now because I know when I’m at a tournament that I focus on my tennis, and I focus on what I have to do in the gym and looking after my body; but when I’m home, I don’t think about tennis. I just go to the bakery every day, go to the supermarket, do things like that. And with Brian, I want to go to basketball and do things for him when he’s playing and take care of him. It’s nice to have to switch.”

Now that she has found happiness on and off the court, Clijsters might just have to get used to being famous.

Justine Henin-Hardenne

It’s hard to imagine someone who’s won four Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal, and has been World No. 1 getting excited about going to the supermarket, but Justine Henin-Hardenne has been through enough tough times to take pleasure from the little things in life.

“In Belgium, my husband was going to the shops all the time on his own, but he’s happy because it’s changed a lot now we live in Monte Carlo,” she says. “Now we go to the shops together, we go to the movies and we don’t have all the eyes on us like we did in Belgium. It’s normal, we are a small country with not many top athletes, and so there is a lot of attention on us; especially me, I think, maybe because of my story because it’s a special story that makes it like I’m a part of every Belgian family, like I’m the kid of everyone. Perhaps they don’t see that I grew up. When they write to me on my web site, it’s very intense, like there is a passion with me, so when I win a Grand Slam or big tournament, it’s like I’m a superhero and the whole country is behind me. As soon as I do a little mistake, which I do because I’m still young and I don’t always take the good decision, then they are very, very hard on me.”

Henin-Hardenne’s “special story” involves the tragedy of losing her mother at the age of 12 and an estrangement from her family that continues to this day, but it also takes in her evolution from a talented but nervous also-ran to one of the greatest players of her generation via a circuitous route marred by illness and injury.

In 2003 she won her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros and began a stellar season that also saw her win the US Open and claim the No. 1 ranking—an achievement she backed up by taking the Australian Open trophy at the start of 2004. But by March her body had begun to rebel, and she was struck with a lingering bout of mononucleosis that blindsided her so much that there were times she could barely get off the couch. Somehow she got herself well enough to pull off an unlikely Olympic triumph in Athens in August before being forced from the tour again.

The 2005 season began in much the same vein, with her being felled in the early months by a painful knee injury. Yet she returned with a vengeance, ripping through a perfect clay-court season that culminated in her winning a second title at Roland Garros. Once more success took its toll, though, and she struggled through the rest of the year with a painful and restricting hamstring problem. If her career continues to follow its familiar pattern then her next great triumph must be fast approaching.

“This year I hope I can play a full season, without any major problems, so that it won’t be like the last two years. As soon as I came back on the tour, I would win tournaments, but then I had to stop again. It was mentally and emotionally very difficult. I feel like this is a new start in my career, a big turning point,” she says. “I had very difficult times. It took me a long time to recover mentally from winning the French Open, because I gave all my energy, all my efforts to win it, when a year before I’d been thinking that I might never be able to win another Grand Slam in my lifetime. Physically and emotionally I was very tired. Now I feel very motivated to win more major tournaments this year and hopefully become No. 1 this year or in the next few years.” <comment on default at Australian Open?>

And if she can fit in a few trips to the supermarket along the way, then what more could she ask for?

Amelie Mauresmo

When Amelie Mauresmo won her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, she reeled off a list of people to thank, with everyone from her coach, Loic Courteau, to WTA Tour sponsors, Sony Ericsson, which received an honorable mention. There was one man, however, who would also have been in her thoughts during her career-defining moment of triumph—her father, Francis, who died in March 2003.

His death from cancer, she has admitted, forced her to “grow up” and gave her a sense of perspective, which allowed her to see that tennis, which had dominated her thoughts and emotions for so many years, was not the be-all and end-all.

“You see things differently,” she said. “Of course, you put things into perspective. Yeah, again, you see things differently and you set some priorities, I think. Probably enjoying what I do is now the priority when it was maybe sometimes the result and stuff. I also enjoy life, obviously. Tennis is a huge part of my life, but it is not the real thing. Life doesn’t stop with tennis matches.”

Before winning in Melbourne, she had famously kept a bottle of sweet Sauternes in the well-stocked wine cellar of her house in Geneva, which she spent some of the Christmas break redecorating. The bottle in question, ordained as the drink of choice in the event of her winning a Grand Slam title, is (or, should we say, was) a nice drop of 1937 Chateau d’Yquem, worth up to $2,600 a bottle, which was due to be cracked open with her friends and family.

Having a basement stuffed with vintage wines is almost an act of patriotism in France, and Mauresmo is nothing if not a proud Gallic. She lists winning the Fed Cup for her country as one of the most treasured of her achievements, and no one who has watched her at Roland Garros can have any doubt as to what being French means to her.

“I am very touched by the fact that the public stands behind me not only when I win, but also during the more difficult times,” Mauresmo said recently. “I think I have been honest in everything I have done since the beginning of my career, and I guess people feel that there is no cheating in my choices, in my way of being.”

She was referring, of course, to her sexuality, which has, at times, seen her subjected to the kind of sniping homophobia that would not be out of place in a schoolyard. Much of the sniping came during the 1999 Australian Open (when she was only 19), and from players and media who should have known far better.

Thankfully, she says she now feels that her lifestyle is no longer a talking point.

“It is something I will remember all my life because it hurt so much,” Mauresmo told the Sunday Times of London in an interview at the end of last year. “People ask me if I can laugh about it now. It is something I would never connect with laughter. Now it’s old news. It’s nice that I am a role model for some people, but I never wanted to be anything except myself. Nobody cares about it now. They’ve stopped making an issue of it. I think people see the tennis player. I was once very public about my private life. Now I want to preserve my privacy.”

She was born in St. Germain-en-Laye, just outside Paris, and though her family moved to a village in northern France while she was just a baby, she still regards herself as Parisian. Legend has it that her parents first noticed her tennis talent during the 1983 French Open, when they watched Yannick Noah’s victory over Mats Wilander in the final, and were stunned to see their 4-year-old daughter copying Noah’s movements.

Francis and Françoise Mauresmo knew then that they had a superstar on their hands. When she won in Melbourne, no doubt they were both watching her once more.

Elena Dementieva

Elena Dementieva is not the sort of tennis player you associate with bling or running up huge credit bills while indulging her voracious appetite for shopping. Yet, as serious as her game face is, she happily admits that she is every bit as much of a shopaholic glamorpuss as the next blonde, Russian tennis player.

“My shopping weakness is definitely jeans,” she says, with a somewhat guilty laugh. “Oh, yeah, I go straight to the Levis store. I have so many pairs that I think Anastasia Myskina [fellow Russian and her 2004 French Open nemesis] and I should open a jeans shop. She’s a big fan of jeans too. My legs are a bit longer than hers so we can’t wear the same jeans anymore, but when we were younger we used to swap clothes all the time—she’d give something to me and I’d give something to me but now we are two different sizes and two different tastes so we don’t do that anymore. My mum can’t understand why I bought so many pairs of jeans because they all look the same to her.”

Dementieva’s mother, Vera, is her coach and a constant companion on the road with her, always wishing her luck before matches and, where necessary, being there to pick up the emotional pieces in the locker room after a tough loss.

“After I lost the French Open final, I said that I was too depressed to go and celebrate. I felt too disappointed. But my mum said ‘Listen, you were in your first Grand Slam final, you should be proud of yourself, you did something a big thing in your life, that’s the big moment and you have to be happy for yourself,’” says Dementieva. “When I need to escape I just talk to my mum. She’s very quiet and very smart, and she knows me very well so she knows exactly what to say and right moment to say it. I’m just so lucky to have her with me. Every time I’m really nervous or something bothers me, I’m try to find her and it really helps me.”

When she isn’t shopping or getting herself into trouble with Mom by buying jeans, Dementieva can be found on various trails, indulging her love of winter sports, some of which are extreme enough to must give her insurance company palpitations. “In the off-season I like skiing, skating, snowboarding. My favorite time is the winter and so I’m glad the off-season is during the winter because I love the snow. I go to visit my grandparents in Latvia, which is not very far from my home in Russia. None of it is very dangerous, really. I don’t do mountain skiing. I mean snow-boarding is quite dangerous but cross-country skiing and skating aren’t too bad.”

Being able to shop with impunity and enjoy holidays in the snow are the sort of pursuits that the other young millionairesses on the tour might take for granted, but as much as Dementieva likes the finer things in life, her memories of Russian austerity as she was growing up are still fresh enough to ensure she doesn’t take her privileges for granted.

“I still remember the time when I had only one racket and that’s why I don’t like to smash my racket when I’m on the court. I might have plenty in my racket bag but I still remember the time when my parents spent all their money to buy me a wooden racket for my first one to go to the tennis court,” she says. “I wouldn’t forget that. It’s a funny time to remember now because we were washing the balls after each practice. We couldn’t find a skirt for me to play a match so we bought a long skirt and then my mum just cut it in the way I needed. She is still quite good at sewing, but she doesn’t get so much practice now!”

Her mother’s devotion to duty does at least give Dementieva an excuse to hit the shops again. “We don’t have Mother’s Day in Russia, but we do have Women’s Day,” she says, spotting an opportunity for some retail therapy. “I guess I’m going to have to buy her a really big present!”

Martina Hingis

Martina Hingis must be tennis’s ultimate multitasker. This is the woman who, after all, used to rollerblade along the Yarra River one minute, then seemingly win the Australian Open the next. She also is a keen show-jumper, and even in the days when she was World No. 1 for 209 weeks and in the running to be one of the greatest players who ever lived, kept three horses at her home in Trubbach, Switzerland, and regularly put them through their paces in the large, picturesque expanses of green around her home.

But boxing? That’s right, boxing.

Hingis, the woman who was assumed to have been powered out of tennis the first time around by the arrival of bigger, more muscular hitters than she, is actually a bit of a pugilist, albeit in the featherweight division.

“When I was in Switzerland, like growing up, I had a few boxing lessons for almost two years,” she said, to incredulous looks. “It was mainly also like in the room, not really in the ring. It’s just great for the fitness, like jump rope, just two hours straight, you just always do something. It’s great for the stamina. It’s a great physical workout. And got the speed and everything what you need for the tennis. I do a lot of swimming, Tai chi I used to do, too, a little bit. Now for me I think is better to spend as much time as I can on the court and do stuff like rollerblading or also swimming, like certain things on the court, it’s always great, it helps. But tennis is my game, and that’s what I can do the best.”

Of that there is no doubt, although it’s always been one of the more refreshing facets of Hingis’s personality that she understands the value of downtime, even if she had a little too much of it during the three-year hiatus from the game she took between 2002 and 2006 after being forced off the tour by foot injuries.

Hingis being Hingis, she did not exactly spend the time idly. She enrolled herself in an English course at an Adult Education Course in Zurich, an hour from her house, and signed up with Eurosport Television to provide commentary from the Grand Slams. It was the latter job that sealed her decision to return to playing rather than simply talking a good game.

“Probably a year ago, when I did the commentary and everything, and you see some matches and there are girls out there who played semifinals and I’ve played them, and sometimes the quality of the match I wouldn’t say it was the highest level,” she said. “Those girls we know that they can play better, but even today I felt how much nerves can do you and I think that’s the key: whoever can control it the best is going to win.”

She has been doing that to great effect since her return. As TLM went to press, she, as a wild card, had already made the quarterfinals of the Australian Open and reached the final of the Pan Pacific in Toyko before being ousted by Elena Dementieva. In the semifinal in Japan, she mashed Maria Sharapova in just 71 minutes, disproving the theory, touted since her first match back, that she is no longer capable of beating top-five players.

Hingis says that she is playing now with a renewed sense of perspective, imbued with the experience of having a life away from the sport and the knowledge that she has tried other things, and chosen tennis rather that it choosing her. “Now for me it’s not a must. I wouldn’t say I was ever forced, I always liked to play, but when you’re a child you look at it differently, and now with three years passing and doing other things, experiencing other things, nothing has fulfilled me as much as being on the court.”

Hingis may be a multitasker, but one who knows what it is that she’s really good at.

Ana Ivanovic

One freezing cold December day, 5-year-old Ana Ivanovic was watching television in the living room of her family home in Belgrade, transfixed by the pictures of Monica Seles belting the ball across the screen. This turned out to be a seminal moment for the Serbian.

“At that time Seles was starting to get better,” explains Ivanovic, now 18. “And there was commercial between games and there was commercial for a tennis club. So I remembered the phone number by heart, so I ask my Mum to call it. She did and then for my fifth birthday in November, my father bought me a small tennis racket as a birthday present. One month later, I started practicing. I was very happy. That was my happiest moment—when he bought me that tennis racket.”

Needless to say, a lot has changed since then. This December, for example, she and her father were in Melbourne, practicing on Rebound Ace in the hope of getting Ana’s game in gear for the Australian Open, while mum and her 13-year-old brother, Milos, stayed at home in Belgrade. It’s the sort of sacrifice the family has frequently made in the cause of Ivanovic’s career, but it’s nothing to some of the troubles the whole country went through in the 1990s.

Ivanovic doesn’t remember much about the Yugoslavian civil war, but she certainly remembers the American bombing of Belgrade in 1999, and the economic hardship her family endured through those worrying times.

“In ’99 when the bombing was happening, I was a little bit afraid,” she said. “But then, by the time you got used to it, you realized that they are not bombing just everything, just special buildings. So after a month I started practicing again. But it was a little bit, around that time, it was financially a bad situation.”

Now she is part of the regeneration of her country, a process in which sport is playing a vital part. “In our country, sports are very popular. On TV, they are always saying the number of children playing tennis has risen. We have so many talented sport people, it’s good if they do something else than just being on the streets.”
Perhaps a 5-year-old in a living room somewhere is watching Ivanovic right now and being inspired the way she was.

Sania Mirza

Sania Mirza’s favorite T-shirt bears a slogan that might well serve as her motto: “Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History.”

You have to be pretty sure of yourself when you are carrying the hopes of a billion people the way 19-year-old Mirza is. Since coming to prominence at the start of 2004, the teenager from Hyderabad, India (where she won her first WTA Tour singles title in 2005), has already received a slew of awards in her home country and is second only in popularity to Indian cricket star, Sachin Tendulkar—a high honor, given the subcontinent’s obsession with cricket.

She has other T-shirts, some of which read: “I’m Cute?” and “Don’t Get in My Way,” and the devout Muslim also wears a nose ring and multiple ear piercings. Yet it’s a measure of how high her profile is in her home country that a national outrage erupted over her skirts. In September of last year, her on-court attire caused a row when a Muslim cleric insisted her skirts were too short and issued a fatwa—a legal pronouncement declaring her actions contrary to Islamic law—which, thankfully, the All-India Shia Muslim Personal Law Board declared “uncalled for and unnecessary.”

Mirza, who is not one to shy away from making her feelings clear, agreed. “As long as I am winning, people shouldn’t care whether my skirt is six inches long or six feet long,” she said following the fracas. “How I dress is a very personal thing. It is scary that every time I wear a T-shirt, it becomes a talking point for the next three days.” Off-court Mirza says her dress sense is much the same as most Indian girls her age—a fusion of traditional Indian and western styles.

“I wear everything,” she says. “Salwars, jeans, pants, everything. I mostly don’t have time to wear all that, though. I am mostly in my tracks!”

Mirza travels with her mom, Naseem, but says she is looking for a boyfriend. “He has to be good-looking and over six feet tall,” she says. “No, on a serious note, I think he needs to understand me, and he needs to be a nice person and not have any ego hassles. I need a guy who understands me.”

And one who likes his girls feisty—after all, as her T-shirt reads: “Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History.”

Maria Sharapova

Watch Maria Sharapova’s gimlet-eyed game face and it’s hard to imagine her giggling with her friends like any other teenage girl, yet she is the first to admit that she needs her gal pals just as much as the next millionaire pin-up does.

“I have three good friends. I have one friend in Russia and two friends in the U.S.,” she explains. “My best friend lives in Los Angeles, so I get to see her quite a lot when I’m there but, obviously, I don’t see her all the time. My friend in Russia, I haven’t seen her for over a year. So it’s not easy. They’re all girls. It’s impossible to have guy friends. There is no such thing as a friend that’s a guy. That’s just impossible.”

She says her phone bills are astronomical because between talking to her mom, who is one of her biggest confidantes, and her friends, she gets a lot of use out of the bright pink cell phone her sponsors gave her. “What do you talk to a friend about? Not about tennis,” she muses, trying to think what they use up all that talk time with. “Like, what did you buy? What does it look like? Oh, and how hot was the guy!”

If the rumors are true, then Sharapova has had plenty to tell her friends about hot guys for she has been linked to everyone from players such as Juan Carlos Ferrero and Andy Roddick to singer Adam Levine from the band Maroon 5. Stella McCartney sends her designer dresses; Ben Stiller and his wife run up to her at parties and gush about how great she is—to coin a cliché about celebrities: Men want to date her and women want to be her.

She insists that it hasn’t gone to her head, even though she has to pause and sign autographs every time she stops to buy gas or glance at a pair of designer shoes in a store window. “I have sunglasses that cover half of my face, so that helps,” she says. “I realize that if someone wants my autograph or wants to take a picture, it’s just two seconds of my life. It’s not a big deal. I appreciate my fans; I appreciate everyone who recognizes me because it reminds me of what I have achieved, that I’m not just a stranger walking the streets.”

She says she also relishes the responsibilities that come with being well known. “I hate saying things about myself, it’s very difficult. I don’t know. I like it when people just appreciate the fact that I love giving back to people who don’t have the opportunities that I have in life.”

“I look back when I’m sitting at home and I look back at what was going on and what I was doing a couple of years ago and it just feels amazing, it really does,” she says. “When we sit down at the end of the day and you go through a magazine and you see yourself and you are with friends and family that have been with you through the past, it’s like: we’re still doing the same thing. We’re still together and we are still doing the things that we were two or three years ago but so much has happened. I always laugh with my friend, because we used to go shopping and we would be like, ‘Oh, my God, I want that, I want that, I want that for my birthday’ but now it’s like when we go shopping it’s like, ‘I want that and I’m going to buy that now.’ And my friend is like, ‘Damn.’ And I’m buying like all these clothes and now she doesn’t even know what to get me for my birthday. She’s, like, ‘You have everything now.’”
She does, and she even has the one thing all her millions of dollars can’t buy—good friends.

Nicole Vaidisova

Ask Nicole Vaidisova what she wants most in the world, and she will probably say a Grand Slam trophy. Ask her what the next best thing would be and the retort would probably be similar to what most 16- (soon to be 17-) year-old would say—Hollywood heartthrob Colin Farrell.

The disheveled Irishman is Vaidisova’s pin-up of choice, and she has a very sound and serious reason for her crush—“Because he’s so cute.” When she’s not swooning over movie stars or waxing lyrical about her admiration for legendary cyclist Lance Armstrong (“What he’s done has been absolutely amazing,” she says), the young Czech has a penchant for the finer things in life. When she’s shopping (which, she admits, is a lot) it’s Christian Dior that catches her eye. But she also leaves room for a few more sophisticated passions, too, including the art of Salvador Dali. If you want an even bigger contradiction, how about the fact that she splits her leisure time between practicing her yoga and being an avid fan of the Tampa Bay Lightening NHL team?

If Vaidisova’s tastes seem a little eclectic it’s probably because she is nothing if not a citizen of the world. Born in Nuremberg, Germany, she grew up in Prague and then at age 12 moved to Nick Bollettieri’s Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Her accent is mid-Atlantic, though with an unmistakable Eastern European burr. “I love traveling,” she admits. “New places and new people are very exciting to me.”

These days she spends most of her time on the tour (she has already won a remarkable tally of five titles on the women’s circuit) but when she isn’t playing tournaments, she splits her time between her parents’ home in Prague (where her two younger brothers Toby and Oliver live) and the Bollettieri Academy. “It’s hard work at the academy because there isn’t much to do apart from play tennis,” she says, “but I’m not one to go partying so it suits me.”

She might change her mind about partying if a certain Colin Farrell were to come calling . . .

But I, being poor, have only my dreams
I have spread my dreams under your feet
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams
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That's why I love her.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 2006, 08:31 PM
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Lovely article.

Watch my uploaded highlights of Williams sisters their matches on this link:

Titles won:
Fill in the Draw: Australian Open 2007,Bali 2007
Race The Game: Player of the Month January 2007 and August 2008,Player of The Week Istanbul/Strasbourg 2007, Carson 2007,New Haven/Forest Hills 2008, US OPEN 2008
Pick A Winner: Stanford 2008
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 2006, 08:33 PM
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I agree hurricanejeanne

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 2006, 08:36 PM
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That was great!!!

I wonder if any member of the WTA tour had inputs in this?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 2006, 08:45 PM
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Great! Thanks for the link!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 2006, 08:56 PM
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Davenport is not a diva, MY ASS. This is so trashy.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 2006, 10:31 PM
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LOL, elena and anastasia starting a jean shop? didn't know they were such good friends either
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 2006, 11:01 PM
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I've seen Lindsay's a long time ago.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 2006, 11:06 PM
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What about the other players?
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 2006, 11:16 PM
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Every one of them was really cool to read about!

Venus: US Open Champ (2000, 2001) Wimbledon Champ (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007)
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2006, 05:41 AM
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Myskina, kirilenko, chakvetadze. Douchevina, Petrova, Clijsters, Zvonareva, Dementieva, Vaidiosava, Voskoboeva, !!!!!

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