Translation of the interview
At 16, Ana Bogdan is one of the most promising players in the world. Evidence is given by her second place at ITF Juniors rankings in 2008. The beautiful Romanian, who loves France, is determined to go far.
Ana Bogdan, you are one of the best junior players in the world. What memories do you keep of 2008?
I am really pleased to have finished the year at the number two rank. It is a very important rank to me. I recall very tough matches where I held on, even when things went wrong for me. I remember my victory at the Osaka Mayor's Cup which is my first major title. Finally, my two tournaments in Mexico that took place during my birthday and I played two finals in singles and doubles.
Do you feel that you have particularly progressed during 2008?
Yes, I feel I have accumulated more experience than in previous years. I have also added more variety in my game. It is very important to me.
Tell us about your early days in tennis ...
I started playing at 8. My father was a ski instructor and he wanted to make me a champion of skiing. A winter without snow was enough to turn to another sport and it was tennis. That's how it began. One of my peculiarities is that I am left-handed but I play with the right hand on the advice of my coach.
How does your training go?
I'm training at home in Romania, Sinaia, often with a ball machine because there are no opponents. I'm the only professional player in my town. My father has been my trainer for four years. It's really at the age of nine that I had the desire to make tennis my job. Initially, I did not have very good results and since I’m 13, I only played ITF tournaments. It is from there that I started to play my best tennis.
Is this particular train with your father?
It's nice to work with him, even if sometimes we annoy each other (laughs). It must be the same for players who work with their father or mother! He knows me perfectly. He is a very good father and a very good coach. I admire him a lot.
Do you think you will stay in Romania for training in the following years?
Yes, and every year I spend three months in France to train. I also went to Bradenton in November 2008 to spend five weeks at the Bollettieri Academy. I do not know yet my program in 2009.
What goals have you set for this year?
I want to win a Grand Slam tournament and be number one in juniors. I'm aiming for a place in the top 300 in the WTA rankings. In juniors, I'll play only Grand Slams and also ITF tournaments.
What is the program for the beginning of your season?
I will play the Australian Open Juniors and then return home for two months. Then spend two and a half months in Nice and I think playing the ITF tournament of Cagnes-sur-Mer. Then there will be Roland Garros that I love, I can not wait to be there.
"My idols? Federer et Jankovic”
There are many promising players in Romania: what do you think the players of Team GDF SUEZ Sorana Cirstea and Raluca Olaru?
Sorana really had a good progress in 2008; it was a good year for her. She’s a very strong player and is likely to climb in the WTA rankings. I congratulate her for her excellent results. Unfortunately, I know less Raluca Olaru. She’s 130 in the WTA rankings and is one of the best Romanian players.
What are the players that you admire most?
I love Roger Federer, his way of being on the court, the king of tennis! I also like Feliciano Lopez for his combativeness. He has progressed a lot. He is a very strong player and someone good. And among women, Jelena Jankovic because she has a varied game. She’s always relaxed on the court. She is a nice and funny.
Who are your best friends on the tour?
I have many friends in tennis, many French, Belgian, English, Danes and Romanians of course. I will not mention anyone; I’m too scared to forget someone (Smile).
What do you do with your time outside of tennis?
I do not have much free time after tennis so most of the time, I study. But as soon as I find time I go out with my friends, I go to the movies, I read or I practice other sports such as basketball, football, skiing or swimming. For now, I have no boyfriend, I prefer to focus on my career and my studies. This will be later (smile).
What do you think of France?
I love this country. Nice, Monaco and Paris are beautiful cities full of life. I love to spend time there. It is a stylish and warm country. This is the first foreign country where I went with my parents when I was two. My father came to France to teach skiing. We have many friends in France. Indeed, I speak French, I studied it at school.