A great big interview with Ana...http://sportski.net.hr/tenis/ana-kon...sacica-svijeta
Kid delights the world: Only 15, and already one of the most beautiful Croatian stories of today!
These days the press is all over you, interviews, photoshoots...how do you handle it? Do you find it difficult?
- Not really, I just do it and go home to rest. It's all a part of tennis.
Abroad you've been called Croatian sensation overnight. Was success a surprise to you or something you expected?
- Well I mean, it's not really a surprise. I worked hard in practice, hoped for the best and here, thank god, it happened so I'm hoping I'll have these sorts of results in the future as well. I'm delighted to have won Australian Open, I played well, felt well and now, God rewarded me.
Give us your impressions from Australian Open? Who gave you the most trouble?
- I played 6 singles and 5 doubles matches, so 11 matches, and the toughest singles match was the semis, cause I never played against this girl eventhough I know her. There was some wind, conditions were tough, but I managed a three set win. Maybe I learned the most from that match. In doubles I got along really well with my partner, I'd like to thank her for playing with me and I hope we'll play together again in the future. In the end, in the finals, I faced world's #2 and won.
For months now you don't know about defeat, you won 23 matches in a row, made it to three titles, some in singles, some in doubles...?
- True, a bit at a time I got used to wins. I'm quite confident at the moment, which also helps. I'm in good form and hope things will continue that way.
You turned 15 just recently, while your opponents are usually older than you?
- Yeah, they're all older than me, I'm the youngest there at 15, girls are often 16, 17 and 18. But last year I played some tournaments, before US Open, where girls were 20 or 30 years old, so I got some experience of that kind too and it helped.
How do you react to defeats, are you angry when you're losing? Do you argue with umpires, throw racquets like Goran Ivanisevic?
- (laughs) Well of course I'm unhappy when I'm losing. I try to give it my best every time. If the opponent did better that day than kudos to her, but I'm mad at myself when I play bad. On court I don't get stressed, I'm quite calm and I don't like showing emotions, which seems to help as well, I'm quite tough mentally. And with umpires I sometimes do have an argument, if they happen to make some really wrong decision.
Which are your tennis virtues and flaws?
- Well, I work quite a lot on fitness so eventhough I'm the youngest I can be on level terms with anyone. My shots have quite a lot of speed, which opponents don't usually like. I have quite a good serve and my backhand is possibly better than forehand.
So you've got to work on your forehand more?
- (laughs) I have to practice everything. I don't really have a weakness, and I wouldn't disclose it this publicly anyway. Then everyone would know it (laughs).
What's your favorite surface?
- I love fast surfaces, but for now my results are better on clay. According to my coach clay is my best surface, but I like to play fast, go for short points, so I feel better on hardcourts.
Who are your role models?
- Roger Federer and Kim Clijsters, who retired now so I have to find someone new (laughs). She somehow seems sweet, nice, and she also gave birth to her daughter only to return to the top of tennis, which is amazing.
And of these younger players? Azarenka, Kvitova, Kerber...?
- Well, I'm not exactly crazy about any one. It's like, they all play well, but I wouldn't point someone out particularly.
What do you think about screaching on court, loud tennis played by the likes of Azarenka, Sharapova...?
- (laughs) It's their own thing, maybe it even helps them when they make shots, maybe it's used to irritate the opponent, but no, I'm not one of those.
Why do they compare you to Serena Williams?
- Well maybe because our games are similar, we both go for fast shots and love to play short points, hit winners and win points. And by the sheer strenght of shots I like Serena the most. Honestly, these others did not impress me much.
Why tennis? How did it all begin?
- My older sister Andreja used to practice before and she was quite a good junior, so I followed her to practice, fell in love with tennis and here I am today.
Everybody predicts a great future for you? Where do you see yourself?
- I don't like to predict much and tease the devil (Croatian expresssion), but there are some goals. Of course, there's number 1, winning some majors (laughs)...We'll see what future brings.
How did your colaboration with your coach Kristijan Schneider start?
- When I was 10 I moved to Zagreb (capital), tried to work with several coaches and realised he suits me the best, let's put it like that. I decided to work with him and here we are together to this day.
What does it look like living between Zagreb and your hometown Dubrovnik?
- Well I've been living in Zagreb for the past 4 years, and I go to Dubrovnik to spend holidays with family, maybe also for a week during the summer and such. Since the 5th grade I've been going to school in Zagreb too.
How much do you neglect socializing or schooling because of tennis?
- I have my plan and program, school is a priority, just like tennis. And there's always some time to go to the movies with friends, hang around and such... My social life doesn't suffer.
Your peers probably spend hours on Facebook, how about you?
- (laughs) Well of course I'm there, I have a profile. I'm not online too much, like, that I'm hooked on for a whole day, but I go every now and then to see what's new.
Favorite movie? What sort do you like?
- 10 feet above the skies. Usually I also like action movies, comedies, thrillers, romances, dramas, everything except horrors.
- Hm, book... I'm not really much of a bookworm, here and there I read books assigned for school, but other than that not really (laughs).
Which sport do you like besides tennis?
- I don't really have a favorite one to tell you the truth. Soccer, basketball, those are all kind of masculine sports. Maybe I'd go for dancing.
What sort of music do you listen too?
- Pop. I love music and listen to it all the time. From Justin Bieber to Rihanna, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, that sort of music.
- Rice chicken, but only when mom makes it.
Besides tennis, what would you like or could do in life?
- Well I went with sport, otherwise, mom and dad have some stores, gift shops, exchange offices, so if I don't make it in tennis I have somewhere to work.
Do you see yourself in fashion some day too, like tennis stars Ana Ivanovic, Maria Sharapova, Kournikova?
- That kind of already begun. I mean, I definately don't want that to take center stage, tennis is always #1, but such things go with it. There are those agencies so we'll see in the future.
So the attacks have already started...?
- Well yeah (laughs). Just the other day I was at a photoshoot and it was 3 hours of running around, getting your make-up done, posing and stuff...
So one day you might get your own line of candy under way, like Sharapova?
- (laughs) Sure, no problem.