There's a very exciting interview with Karina in the Marec (March) 2003 issue of Slovenský Tenis! [http://www.slovenskytenis.sk/
] This is what I've been learning Slovak for, so here's a translation:
Habs'udová: Tennis in sight, I'm getting better at cooking
Former Slovak number one and world number ten, despite injury, still doesn't give up her sporting career
Karina Habs'udová last played a competitive match in last year's Australian Open. An injured Achilles tendon has put the former Slovak number one, who was in 1997 the world number ten, out of professional tennis until now, when she is still tempted to return to the top hundred rankings. She's been rehabilitating her foot for a year, and does not give up the idea that she could still return to the tournament-courts.
> Is the idea of a return realistic?
- ??C'ím d'alej, tým menej = the longer away, the less realistic??.
> So what are you doing now?
- Rehabilitating, keeping in shape, going skiing, also playing tennis, in order not to lose feeling. In truth, the foot isn't in such a state that I could play professionally.
> Do you imagine a return to small tournaments, to qualifying?
- I have a protected ranking, with a ranking of 120 I can play eight tournaments beyond a year. In truth, I don't let go of that, with which I don't have certainty.
> Why do you still try to do that?
- Because my career was so good that I would regret ending it this way.
> Never did you have so much free time as now. What do you do?
- A year without tournaments went quicker than I thought. The tendon gave me a normal life. I used to meet with friends, deliver theatrical performances, learn to write in English. With conversation, understandably, I don't have problems. And I'm getting better at cooking.
> When did you miss tennis the most?
- When I was in Paris at Roland Garros last year, doing reporting for television. I saw the other players, and I saw that I won't play there again.
> For the whole past year you are on tennis, especially at home, they discovered with a television ??s'tábom?? Will you be a journalist?
- I tried external collaboration with television, I enjoyed myself, I would also like to get into the problems of other sports. It was beneficial that people knew me and accepted me, but I still don't know if I will do just this in the future.
> You became vice-president of the commission of sportsmen SOV. Is this a new challenge?
- To be near such problems is for every sportswoman interesting. I have experienced the Olympics. Glimpse a sportswoman on something, connection with preparation and participation on OH, is useful. I am also a member of the ??s'tábu?? OH of Athens 2004.
> You admit that a return to the courts is questionable. Have you a picture of what you would like to do for a career?
- I still don't feel a need to employ myself permanently and I don't want to let go of any projects. I know - at least so far - that I don't want to be even a coach.
> And private life - don't you yearn for marriage, family?
- Up to now I have dedicated my life to tennis. It's been hectic, but also rather stereotypical. Now I am like an ordinary human being. And I let things flow.
> What is your opinion on the top of women's tennis, on what level are the Williams sisters dictating?
- In tennis there are always certain periods. Now they are ??líderkami?? protagonists of strong understanding, but further players will not ??dot'ahovat'??. Power tennis brings the risk of injury, I believe that a new period of technical tennis is coming, like how Martina Hingis played.
> In the past you trained with her a lot. Do you think that her decision to retire is final?
- Martina lacks motivation. I don't think that she will return. Her mum is an excellent coach, but also a realist, she will not push her. She allows her freedom, they communicated a lot together, she knows Martina the best.
> Aren't you sorry with the gap of time, that last year in Fed Cup you did not ??(ne)stihli?? the triumph of Slovakia in that contest?
- I was delighted however from it in the same way. Last year an excellent team went down, it was a unique success, ??ktovie??, if they still ??zopakuje??.
> Daniela Hantuchová is now the number six player in the world. Can she go higher?
- Decidedly. She still has expectations to improve. Everything depends on this, whether she will avoid injuries, and how she organises her schedule, because last year she played very much. It makes a big difference if a player goes from tournament to tournament and plays a round - two. If she wants to go higher, she must choose her tournaments carefully.
> If you were at the beginning of your own tennis-career, what would you do differently?
- I would make more effective use of the period when it was going well for me the most. Up to then I was playing 12 events in a year. Then the ranking-system changed, so I played more tournaments. This was in 1996-97. I played so many tournaments that I neglected to train. Tennis stopped being fun for me, every year I was injured for three months. I didn't have anybody near me then who could tell me not to go from tournament to tournament. Now I would advise every young player to avoid that mistake.
* Hierarchy of success in women's tennis according to Habs'udová:
1. Victory in a Grand-Slam tournament
2. Victory in the Olympic Games
3. Victory in the biggest tournaments (Indian Wells, Miami)
4. World number one in the rankings
5. Reaching the TOP 10 in the world rankings
6. Winning a tournament on the WTA Tour
7. The title of World Champion (WTA Tour and ITF juniors)
* Active players of Habs'udová's generation:
11. Monica Seles (USA, 1973)
20. Silvia Farina Elia (Italy, 1972)
21. Lisa Raymond (USA, 1973)
23. Amanda Coetzer (RSA, 1971)
35. Conchita Martínez (Spain, 1972)
43. Virginia Ruano-Pascual (Spain, 1973)
45. Nicole Pratt (Australia, 1973)
Zuzana WISTEROVÁ, Pravda
Footnote: (??Uvádzame?? active players from the world's top fifty singles-rankings, older or born in the same year as Habs'udová - 1973. The number at the start is their position in the rankings.)
The article is accompanied by one of the photos from S'tartfoto [http://www.startfoto.sk/startfoto/se...arch=habsudova
- second in top row], where she's wearing a jumper and holding a pen, only bigger and in black+white. I must say that Karina has the prettiest face I have ever seen! :-)
I am delighted to hear that Karina still entertains the possibility of a return, and I wish her the best of luck with her comeback.