A Nice Svetlana Kuznetsova Interview
ďI want to have a dog so muchĒ
Stuttgart. No matter how much Svetlana Kuznetsova wanted to play in the semi-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix today, deep down there is somewhere else sheíd rather be.
For most of us, when we want a holiday we go away. When tennis players such as Kuznetsova want a holiday, they go home. Understandable, when the season stretches from January into November. The players know that if they do decide to take a break then others will be building up the ranking points ready to overtake them, and often their sponsor contracts dictate how much they receive based on their results and ranking.
So, despite climbing to number two in the world and the glory of playing in Grand Slam finals, there is a down side to the job. ďThe down side for me is that I want to have a dog so much, but I cannot because Iím never home to take care of it,Ē Kuznetsova said. ďAnd basically, if you really want to meet people and do whatever itís difficult because you travel all the time so youíre never in the same spot. You travel every week and itís new friends, new people and itís hard to stay in contact with everybody. Also there are lots of things that people donít realise we go through. When you travel you have so many ups and downs and you still have to go out there and take it all out of your head when you come onto the court. And there is an obligation to play all of the tournaments. Thereís no want to rest five months or do whatever. It doesnít matter how you feel. You have a match and you go and you play, and thatís it.Ē
Despite all that, she does enjoy being in Stuttgart. ďI love the site. I love playing in Germany a lot. I donít like so much the sound of the German language but I love playing in Germany. And of course we are driving cars all week long. I love it and always have good memories.Ē
When she does manage to spend a few precious days away from the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, she makes the most of them. ďI love to go to movies. I love to spend time with my friends having an easy dinner and talking. I hang out on the internet, listen to music. Iíve got about 2000 songs on my ipod. I always download the latest songs. I do make myself read, but itís not my favourite thing to do.Ē
If she did take a real holiday, like other people, sheíd head for the sun. ďI wish I can go to Jamaica one day. There are so many places I want to go, but I always try to come back to Russia because I never spend time there. I donít like to lay on the beach. I need activity. Iíd try to do some reggae dancing, learn that at least.Ē
Kuznetsova enjoys cooking, especially Japanese food, but even when sheís not playing tournaments her training programme often leaves her too tired to do much. ďCooking I can do, but when Iím in Barcelona training I come back so, so tired and I donít want to cook so I prefer my mum to cook if sheís staying with me, or Iíll go to restaurants with friends.Ē
Although she is, of course, Russian, she has been based at the Casal/Sanchez Academy in Spain for many years. That is another frustration. ďIím never in Russia,Ē she said. ďI love being in Russia, but I can never be there. There are so many tv shows the Russian girls ask Ďdid you watch this or thatí and Iím not even watching the tv, so itís hard. Anywhere I have Russian tv it makes my life so much easier and having language without translating it to yourself. Itís a different mentality, but Iím pretty used to the other way anyhow.Ē
The Russian mindset is very different from that of the Spaniards, and Kuznetsova can appreciate the best and worst of both. ďRussian, Spanish, itís all different mentalities, but I try to think about the best I like from each of them. With Spain, what I donít like is that theyíre very slow. Itís like tomorrow, weíll finish tomorrow. Theyíre normally late and everything is very easy-going, you know. In Russia itís more positive. Itís faster. You need this, you do that and itís done. Itís more clear. But in Spain I like the respect. They have respect for people. You have to be a person first before a player, for example. Thatís what I got good. Maybe itís from my academy, maybe itís from the club where I train, maybe my coaches. I donít know if itís Spanish or not, but youíve got to have respect for people. And in Russia itís a bit opposite, if youíre somebody, youíre number one or nothing. I donít think itís the right way. You have to respect umpires, linesmen, ballboys, everybody. Even normal people in the hotel, whatever. And Russiaís a little bit the opposite.Ē
Considering she is a top player, one who has been in three Grand Slam finals, it is disappointing that she is less well-known than some of the more glamorous or flashy players. Many people do not know that she has a good sense of humour, for example. ďIím very easy-going,Ē she said. ďIím very friendly with people, very open. Iím very shy actually, but as I grow up Iím getting better and better, but sometimes someone will say a compliment and I wonít take it seriously because I think theyíre just telling me to make me feel good, not because they really think so. I love to make jokes, I love communication, I love to talk with people, I love to listen to people or just have an interesting conversation. Not about politics though. I donít like politics.Ē