i like this player! i first noted her when she won Acapulco a couple of years ago. this was the tourny that everyone thought would finally be Kournikova's break thru -- and Katarina showed her otherwise! other than her admiration for the Android, i like a lot of what she has to say, which is why i decided to make it easier for folks to read her interview...
Biofile: Katarina Srebotnik Interview
By Scoop Malinowski
Katarina Srebotnik knows how to make a memorable entrance.
The 21-year-old Srebotnik made a lasting impression in her WTA debut by capturing the 1999 Estoril title to become only the fourth woman to win a championship in her first tournament. In this interview, Srebotnik reveals the reason Monica Seles is her hero, how the smallest trophy holds the biggest place in her heart and why the Hamburglar would make an appropriate doubles partner.
Katarina Srebotnik Biofile
Status: Concluded the 2002 season ranked No. 36.
Height: 5-foot-11 Weight: 137 pounds.
Born On: March 12, 1981 in Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia.
Childhood Heroes: "Monica Seles. She's mine. I always had her like my hero. I had a chance to meet her at the French Open in 1996. I'm lucky. I appreciate it 'cause she's a very nice, kind person. Then she called me the day before the Orange Bowl finals ('98 in Miami), to wish me good luck. It was great from her. Now, every time I see her, we say ‘hi’; we talk. She's very nice."
Hobbies/Interests: "Playing soccer, playing table tennis and skiing in the mountains of Slovenia."
Pre-Match Feeling: "Normally a little bit nervous before the match. But just try to concentrate on the game — the way I will play. Nothing special. Just try to be my best."
Favorite Movie: "Titanic."
Musical Tastes: "Celine Dion. I like pop music. Not like Metallica (smiles)."
Favorite TV Shows: "Comedy Channel, Friends."
Early Tennis Memory: "My first time when I played a tournament. I won it, but there were not so many girls in it. And I got a trophy. And you can immediately see it's the first trophy that I won — it's the smallest one in the house! I have all the trophies together in the house. It's the smallest, but a special one for me."
Favorite Meal: "Pizza. Or McDonalds — Big Mac, large Coke (no ice, too cold!), large fries (smiles)."
Favorite Breakfast Cereal: "Just Right."
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: "Vanilla."
Funny Tennis Memory: "It was when I played with my dad (Joze). I was really small (age 4). I was always screaming, 'You're cheating!' And with my older sister (Urska) it was the same. I was always fighting with her. Couldn't handle it because I always lost (smiles)."
Greatest Sports Moment(s): "Winning my first Tour title in my first tournament. Estoril in '99. (Katarina became the fourth player to win a title in her first tournament.) And I played doubles with Tina Krizan against (top seeded) (Martina) Hingis and (Jana) Novotna on Centre Court at Wimbledon in 1998. We won the first set, 6-4, then lost 6-1, 6-3. When we won the first set, it was a great feeling for me. And I have the tape at home. I watch it. It's a good experience."
Most Painful Moment: "When you lose (laughs)! 'Cause when I lose, I'm really tough for one or two hours. I can't get over it easy. I have to learn it's a part of tennis."
Closest Tennis Friends: "Tina Krizan and juniors from Slovenia."
Toughest Competitors: "I just play my game. The person on the other side doesn't matter. Because if you look at it like you're playing names — no good. Try not to think who's on the other side."
Favorite Vacation Spot: "I haven't been but I would like to go to Hawaii or somewhere with white sand and blue water."
Favorite Athletes To Watch: "Michael Jordan. All athletes. Ronaldo. Seles is the best for me. Pete Sampras — he goes out and plays his best. He never does something stupid on the court. I like him. And Tiger Woods."
People Qualities Most Admired: "I like people who are really honest. They tell you what they mean. They don't hide it."
Career Accomplishments: Won the 1999 French Open mixed doubles title with Piet Norval; won WTA singles titles at Estoril (1999); Acupulco (2002).
Scoop Malinowski is a TennisWeek.com contributor who has published several pieces on tennis and boxing. He has an ongoing debate with the Tennis Week.com staff over his controversial claim that Lennox Lewis is a greater heavyweight champion than Muhammad Ali (which makes about as much sense as arguing Tim Henman is a better big-match player than Rod Laver). Check out his website www.thebiofile.com