This is an interview with ana and maria taken from ana's website.
We recently talked to Ana about her doubles partnership with Maria Kirilenko:
How exactly did you and Maria first start playing together?
In Australia last year we had a couple of practices together after we had lost in singles. We were both waiting to go to Tokyo. She asked me if Iíd like to play doubles. At the time I wasnít planning to play, but then I thought it would be good to get some more matches. We played well and reached the semi-finals. She had a partner at that time, [Gisela] Dulko, but after that we became a team.
Itís obvious by looking at photos of you and Maria in action that you are both enjoying your matches. Some doubles teams say that they play for fun and donít take it so seriously. Is this your attitude too?
Of course we always want to win the tournament! We have goals, but for us itís important that we have fun on the court. We realised that when we are smiling and enjoying it, thatís when we are winning; when we get disappointed we start losing. We just want to enjoy and smile and play some good tennis, and practice. But of course our goal is always to win.
Apart from the enjoyment factor and the extra competition, are there any other benefits to playing doubles?
It helps with the serve, volleys and tactics. Itís much faster than singles so itís exciting and very interesting. Sometimes you try different serves or volleys, different angles that you might not use in singles.
Is it more exciting than singles?
Itís a very different game. I would say it is already more entertaining than singles because there are more players on the court and volleys are coming quickly to each player. This can be more entertaining for the crowd.
Following yesterdayís interview with Ana about their doubles partnership, today we talk to Maria Kirilenko about the team game:
You and Ana are usually the team that the crowd supports. Does this add pressure, or does it give you more confidence?
Thatís right, Ana and I have a lot of supporters, which is great. Maybe itís because of our blonde-brunette combination?!
The crowd support for sure provides more confidence and gives us the strength to do better. For sure, I feel no pressure.
You played with Gisela Dulko for some time before you and Ana became a team. Is it difficult to tell a partner who you have played with regularly that you would like to play with someone else?
Of course itís difficult to tell your partner that you are going to play with someone else, especially when you become friends with your long-term doubles partner. Usually my partner and I discuss the calendar and choose the tournaments we will play doubles at well in advance. If during playing together we feel that it is not working well anymore, we make the mutual decision to go ahead and find ourselves other partners. But again, in my history it has always been mutually beneficial changes and there is never any ill feeling.
You have excellent reflexes and have enjoyed a lot of success in doubles. Do you think you can reach the top 10 in doubles?
Thank you! Yes, I enjoy playing doubles very much and I also like the fact that I can practice some areas of my game to use it in singles. At this moment I have agreed to play doubles with Ana and I believe if we do well we have good chances to reach the top 10 and hopefully make it to Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Championships in doubles!
You are still learning English Ė is communication ever a problem on the court? Did you ever have a funny misunderstanding with your partner because you were not speaking your native language?
Ana and I try to speak simple phrases on the court so we donít make our game more complicated. Playing doubles for a number of years now, I do not have any misunderstanding with my partners. Ana and I speak English to each other, but sometimes we can talk Russian-Serbian so our opponents do not understand us.