Smashnova article: Tennis star Anna is still Israel's net gain - TennisForum.com

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 2003, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
cynicole's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Somewhere lucky-shotting
Posts: 3,901
                     
Smashnova article: Tennis star Anna is still Israel's net gain

From the Jerusalem Post:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satelli...=1006953079949

Nov. 21, 2003
Tennis star Anna is still Israel's net gain
By FRANKIE SACHS

She's Israel's top female tennis player, and some say the top Israeli woman athlete overall, but Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi wasn't born here, she doesn't live here, and she scarcely visits. Her lack of Israeli grounding has raised the ire of many in the sports world, including Israel's lone member on the International Olympic Committee, Alex Gilady, who recently said that "a tennis player that doesn't compete at the Israeli Championships, isn't worthy of representing Israel at the Olympics."

But Smashnova, who only learned about Gilady's swipe from The Jerusalem Post, stands her ground.
"I have always made myself available for Israel, and I have indeed represented my country in international team competitions such as the [Federations] Cup for many years," she replies via e-mail from her home in Rome.

Smashnova is now taking a break after the 2003 season, during which she won two WTA tournaments and earned a No. 16 world ranking.

Perhaps still smarting from the Israeli Olympic Committee's decision not to send her to the 2000 games in Sydney, despite the fact that she had met the international requirements, Smashnova added, "I am currently the No. 16 player in the world, and deemed eligible to play in the Olympics by the International Tennis Federation and the International Olympic Committee."

That's the kind of blunt retort for which Smashnova has become known. Tennis is clearly number one for her: "A tennis professional has to fully focus on her game and that's the kind of dedication that I have..."

While playing for Israel is an "honor," she isn't running after Israeli fans. Not that she'd turn down their support, either: "I always play under the Israeli flag and represent my country at every tournament. I am happy to see the widespread support that I receive from Israeli fans throughout the world."

Born in Minsk, Smashnova began her tennis career at the young age of six, quickly moving up the Russian ranks to become the No. 1 girl player. She moved to Israel in September 1990 and continued to shine, winning the French Open juniors title in 1991.

In 1994, Tennis magazine named her "Rookie of the Year," but it took a while for Anna to realize her potential, failing to earn a tournament win on the WTA Tour until 1999. Since then, she has scored eight, six of which have come in the last two years.

Despite her growing success, Smashnova has repeatedly stumbled at the Grand Slams. Since 1994, she has been knocked out of the first round of Slams twenty times, including eight straight exits starting at the 2000 US Open and culminating at the 2002 Wimbledon.

This year, it appeared that Smashnova had finally resolved her jinx when she reached the third round at the Australian Open in January and followed that up with a second round appearance at the French Open. But then she was ousted again in the opening round of Wimbledon and the US Open.

Smashnova doesn't seem too concerned with the so-called jinx: "I will of course work on a few improvements in my game that I hope will pay off in the future. But I don't really think that one can talk about a jinx. I am looking forward to playing the majors in 2004 and am confident that I will be able to play my best tennis at the Slams next year."

Her road to the first of the Slams (the Australian Open in January 2004) will start in Auckland and then move to Sydney.

Two tournaments that she won at the start of 2002 helped propel her from 87th at the end of 2001 to 16th by the start of 2003. That jump put her in the big leagues, competing with the likes of world No. 1 Serena Williams.

Smashnova seemed sanguine when asked about Williams: "She's good, but far from invincible. Kim Clijsters had match points and a 5-1 lead in the third set before bowing out to Serena at the Australian; [Amelie] Mauresmo beat her in the semis of the Italian; and Justine Henin-Hardenne beat her at the French."

What Serena and her superstar sister Venus have done, though, is help to dramatically increase the popularity of women's tennis.

Says Smashnova, "In the United States, they say that tennis is the first women's sport to become more popular than its male counterpart. The women's final at the US Open is shown in prime time on a Saturday evening while the men's final is shown on Sunday afternoon."

And how does this growing popularity bode for tennis in Israel – women's or men's? Smashnova sees a "strong future" especially with players like "Shahar Pe'er [who] has a lot of potential. She is ranked Top 17 in the juniors and has a very good attitude."

She is also optimistic about Dudi Sela, who reached the semis of the US Open junior boys event, noting that "they both have a good shot. They have to keep working hard and it's important that they believe in themselves."

Smashnova knows first hand that hard work and self-confidence do pay off.

Now that her world ranking is earning her increased international recognition, she is looking to expand her endorsement deals. But, according to Smashnova, "considering the extensive amount of media visibility that I've been fortunate to enjoy these past two years, [my managers] inform me that they would have expected to see more interest coming from multinational Israeli corporations."

Perhaps they aren't chomping at the bit quite yet because Smashnova still isn't seen as a homespun commodity.

"I believe that the Israeli public might just not know me well enough to embrace me as they may have embraced other Israeli athletes. And if there are people who don't appreciate what I have done, I can only say that I am sorry that I cannot reach out to everyone..."

Other than her annual visit or two to see her parents, who live in Herzliya, don't expect too many Anna sightings in Israel. In fact, when she's not on tour, Smashnova can be found at home with her Italian coach and husband, Claudio Pistolesi.
Certainly not the first female athlete to have a relationship with her coach, Smashnova is adamant about what is important for her: "I didn't marry Claudio because he's my coach but because I'm in love with him."

No longer a newlywed, Smashnova is philosophical about the effects of love on her game.

She said, "I think that marriage has balanced my life more. It makes it easier for me to positively focus on tennis and it's nice to have someone to depend on, no matter what happens at an event."

Perhaps as a nod to coach-cum-husband's balancing influence, Anna announced that now that her first year of marriage is behind her, she will be hyphenating her last name professionally, rather than just using Pistolesi, as she did all of 2003.
"You know, measuring by the number of e-mails I received on the matter [regarding my last name], it's nice to know that I do indeed have a little bit of a following."

I browse once in a while.
cynicole is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 2003, 01:24 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: britain
Posts: 1,299
             
that was a wonderful article .... and i do think the israeli olympic federation should definitely send her to the olympics ... she's played fed cup, she's done all she has to. what do they want her to do? move to israel and drive a tank through ramallah?
hey_britney is offline  
post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 2003, 01:41 AM
Team WTAworld
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: PA
Posts: 8,179
                     
Go Anna

I hope that the Federation changes their mind because Anna would certainly be a positive addition to the Israeli Olympic Team.

Lindsay Davenport - Anna Smashnova - Lisa Raymond - Sandrine Testud - Paola Suarez - Amelie Mauresmo - Virginia Ruano-Pascual - Nadia Petrova - Chanda Rubin - Cara Black - Tathiana Garbin - Anne Kremer - Monica Seles - Fabiola Zuluaga - Maria Sanchez-Lorenzo - Amanda Coetzer - Rita Grande - Meghann Shaughnessy - Magui Serna - Nathalie Dechy - Kim Clijsters - Elena Tatarkova - Maria Sharapova - Alicia Molik - Julia Vakulenko - Elena Likhovtseva - Anastasia Myskina - Emilie Loit
Mikey is offline  
post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 2003, 01:44 AM
Senior Member
 
skanky~skanketta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Not paradise thats fo sho
Posts: 15,459
                     
go anna!i hope shahar does well when she hits the protour. i love her name.

skanky~skanketta is offline  
post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 2003, 06:48 AM
Senior Member
 
oren987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Israel haifa
Posts: 6,283
                     
Thanks for the article

2013 Here we go

good luck to all the Israeli girls

Shahar, Its time to have a good year
oren987 is offline  
post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 2003, 08:37 AM
Senior Member
 
jimbo mack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: London
Posts: 8,675
                     
thanks for the artilcle

she should definitely play the olympics!!!!
jimbo mack is offline  
post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 2003, 09:17 AM
Senior Member
 
azza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: EVIES THROAT CHOKING.....
Posts: 24,931
                     
so where does Anna live?
azza is offline  
post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 2003, 09:23 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Helvética
Posts: 3,888
                     
Read the Article Aaron
Rothes is offline  
post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 2003, 10:14 AM
Senior Member
 
Mateo Mathieu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Cockatoo Island
Posts: 60,028
                     
Quote:
Originally Posted by azza
so where does Anna live?
Read the article again


Inspiration is for amateurs


Faves: Mona Barthel / Samantha Stosur / Roberta Vinci
Mateo Mathieu is offline  
post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 2003, 12:00 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: earth
Posts: 171
               
That 5-1 lost that Kim had in the AO should never be mentioned in any article. Personally speaking I think it is embarrasing on Kim's part to lose like that. Do they think mentioning that is a feather in Kim's cap. It's down right shameless. In all of these articles why do they have to draw the Williams into them. Geeze give me a break.
space is offline  
post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 2003, 12:29 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: London
Posts: 6,725
                     
Nice article Anna really should be allowed to play @ the Olympics.

Dementieva Keothavong Clijsters V. Williams Mattek
Sammm is offline  
post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 2003, 08:16 AM
Team WTAworld
Senior Member
 
PointBlank's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Nine-Oh-One.
Posts: 16,154
                     
Anna lives in Italy!

fuck.
PointBlank is offline  
post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 2003, 08:27 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: britain
Posts: 1,299
             
Quote:
Originally Posted by space
That 5-1 lost that Kim had in the AO should never be mentioned in any article. Personally speaking I think it is embarrasing on Kim's part to lose like that. Do they think mentioning that is a feather in Kim's cap. It's down right shameless. In all of these articles why do they have to draw the Williams into them. Geeze give me a break.
LOL. If you'll notice, ANNA BRINGS IT UP. What do you want them to do? Excise her comments?

And is it presented as a feather in Kim's cap? no.... it's just used (by Anna) as an example of Serena's vulnerability (according to Anna).

Get a grip.
hey_britney is offline  
post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 2003, 08:32 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: britain
Posts: 1,299
             
Quote:
Originally Posted by PointBlank
You must really hate Anna Brittney ...
Do you know how to read?
hey_britney is offline  
post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 2003, 08:37 AM
Team WTAworld
Senior Member
 
PointBlank's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Nine-Oh-One.
Posts: 16,154
                     
If they are even worth 2 cents

fuck.
PointBlank is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the TennisForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Image Verification
Please enter the six letters or digits that appear in the image opposite.

Registration Image

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome