Eleni Answers Your Emails
Who inspired you to get involved with tennis, since Greece has little tennis tradition?
- Dionisis Charalambopoulos
It was an accident. Our house was near a sports center. I was there every day playing other sports like football and basketball with my family and friends. One day a coach asked me if I’d like to play tennis and I told him that I’d never even touched a racquet. I was about nine and a half. I had some lessons and after one week I bought a racquet. I wasn’t thinking about playing tennis for a career – I wanted to study medicine.
Is it true that still no company sponsors you?
- Dora & Vassilis
My main sponsor is Sanex and I have Wilson for my racquets. But I’m looking for someone for clothes. In Greece tennis isn’t very big. But now that I’ve had some good results and Davis Cup they are starting to help.
Assuming that you stay healthy, what are your goals for 2003, and what for 2004?
It will be a tough year. The first target is to be Top 10. For 2004 the main goal is the Olympic Games in my country and I’m really looking forward to it.
What role will you be playing in the Athens Olympics next year?
- Jenny & Zoe (Aussie fans)
I won’t have any special role. Just to play – and play well.
Of all the players on the WTA circuit, which one would you like to play doubles with the most?
I have been playing with Caroline Vis, but we stopped last week. I’d like to play with any of the top players, but maybe Justine Henin and Jelena Dokic.
In the realm of finesse and power players, where do you believe your game falls and has Kim's rise to No.3 given all top players more confidence to compete with the Williams sisters?
I have good touch but I’m also strong. Venus and Serena are both great players and have so much power and huge serves. We have to be stronger to compete against them.
What aspect of your game do you think that you will need to improve the most to become a Top 10 player?
- J. Spencer
My main goal is to improve my serve. I’ve had some problems in recent months. A better serve will help my whole game. My best results come when I’m really fit and play aggressively.
What was it like to play against Martina Navratilova in the mixed doubles final at the Australian Open?
It was a dream – the best experience of my life in doubles. I had never played mixed doubles before. Playing with such a great player like Todd (Woodbridge), I was really nervous. We had a lot of fun and it was a great experience to play with two players with such great doubles records.
Who do you think will be at the top of women's tennis at the end of 2003?
We’ll all be trying to beat the Williams sisters, but it will be tough to move them from No.1 and No.2.
Is this your first appearance at the Pacific Life Open? How do you feel about the draw this year and your chances to win?
I lost to Ai Sugiyama in my first time here last year. This year I feel great after Scottsdale and I hope to do very well.
Have you seen the web site that an Argentine fan "Catriel" has made for you. I think it’s great, it has thousands of visitors. The URL is www.daniilidou.com
My friends came to me and said that I had a web site, and I had no idea. I’ve seen it and I like it, but I have no idea who does it.
Who are the players you don't like playing against and the ones you do?
- Alex, Belgium
For sure the Williams sisters. It’s really tough to play them. I have a similar style with Kim, Amelie and Justine. Also Dokic. I’ve had great matches against Seles.
How do you feel being the only Greek in the top 450? Does that make you a star in your country?
It’s getting a little bit that way, but I try to be the same person as when I was 300. Everyone in Greece stops me to say congratulations. The media helps a lot. They always carry my results. Hopefully I can inspire some younger players come through in future years.
Who is the best looking player on the men’s tour?
- Jenny, England
Mark Philippoussis and Alex Corretja.
What is the best match you have ever played?
- Rosanna, Spain
Against Seles in Bahia, Brazil, last year after the US Open.
What are your favorite hobbies?
I like a lot of sports, particularly football.