Petrova gets ready for Classic -
Dec 21, 2005
By Alan Granville(and peanuts)
The start of the Russian invasion of the ASB Classic began on Wednesday with the arrival of top seed Nadia Petrova in Auckland.
The world number nine has decided to come to New Zealand early to get ready for the January tournament.
The 23-year-old from Moscow will be one of half a dozen Russians to play at the ASB Tennis Centre.
She admitted she was surprised to see so many Russian names on the entry list.
"I chose to come to Auckland because I thought there would be no Russians coming here," said Petrova. :p
"I didn't want to challenge them in the first tournament of the year but when I signed up I saw that so many other Russians were coming out."
Elena Likhovtseva, Maria Kirilenko, Vera Dushevina and Vera Zvonareva are just some of her main rivals for the title.
Petrova admits that the smiles off the court between the Russians are not repeated on the court.
"We try to be friendly with each other but of course it's hard to be friendly when you are playing each other.
"We are all young and we are very competitive with each other and we all want to be number one."
Petrova ended the year on a high with her first ever tournament victory in Linz, Austria and she is hoping to repeat that feat in Auckland.
"It was a great experience for me. I had a hard season with lots of matches. At the end of the season I had seven tournaments in a row and then there was Linz. To win there was just fantastic, it made my year."
But it won't be all tennis for the Russian; the Lord of the Rings fan is also hoping to see a bit of the country as well.
Petrova had previously pinpointed Peter Jackson's movie trilogy as one of her main reasons for coming to New Zealand and she is keen to explore.
"I am going to try and enjoy myself as much as I can. I want to see some of New Zealand, maybe going on a helicopter ride or fishing.
"I enjoyed fishing very much when I was younger but when I started playing tennis there was no time for it so I am looking forward to checking my skills again.
"It's going to be my first time having New Year in New Zealand and it's going to be fun. I have some friends who are playing in the tournament here so we will have a good time."
The tournament, which starts on January 2, will have extensive coverage on TV ONE.
Dec 21st, 2005, 03:54 PM
thanks! good luckk to all Russian girls :kiss:
Dec 21st, 2005, 03:56 PM
Thank God she didn't name Maria K as her best friend.:rolleyes:
Dec 21st, 2005, 05:42 PM
I hope Nadia has a great time here :)
Dec 21st, 2005, 06:34 PM
Yay Nadia! Perhaps I will see her in some of Auckland's bar's tonight :)
Dec 21st, 2005, 06:36 PM
How can you not love this woman? Go for the title Nadia, and good luck in 2006.
Dec 21st, 2005, 07:16 PM
I hope Little Masha wins her second career WTA Tour Singls title. If she can't do it, I hope Vera can win the title.
Dec 21st, 2005, 08:06 PM
Yay Nadia! Perhaps I will see her in some of Auckland's bar's tonight :)
Wish her a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for me :wavey:
Glad to see her getting in early! Good sign :)
Dec 21st, 2005, 11:18 PM
The Russian tennis invasion has begun ahead of next month's ASB Classic in Auckland.
World number nine and top seed Nadia Petrova has arrived in New Zealand, just under two weeks before the opening match, to ensure she's well acclimatised after a 24 hour flight from Moscow.
Petrova says she's had a bit of a break since her last tournament so she is feeling fresh and ready for action.
She has had ten days off recently spending time with her family, and as she has not played competitively in about three weeks she is under no illusions about the challenge that awaits her.
Petrova says some top players are set to line up in the tournament, so it will be difficult to win and, being the first tournament of the year, she says she will have to work hard for every match.
As well as plenty of training, Petrova is also hoping to catch a helicopter ride over Auckland city and, if time allows, a spot of fishing.
Petrova performed well in 2005, achieving her first WTA singles title in October.
The other leading names will start arriving from Boxing Day.
Dec 21st, 2005, 11:32 PM
"I chose to come to Auckland because I thought there would be no Russians coming here," said Petrova. :lol:
Good luck Nadya, she's such a sweetie. :hearts:
Dec 22nd, 2005, 12:11 AM
Nadia :hearts: :hearts:
Dec 22nd, 2005, 12:13 AM
good luck to the russian girls :yeah:
Dec 22nd, 2005, 03:41 AM
good luck :hearts:
Dec 22nd, 2005, 03:32 PM
Here's a short video of Nadia in New Zealand, about 2 minutes -
Good luck Nadia ! I love this girl ! Hope we could see videos or pictures of the tournaments on the broad :p
Dec 23rd, 2005, 02:15 PM
http://media.apn.co.nz/webcontent/image/jpg/23petrova.JPGNadia Petrova is an early arrival. Picture / Martin Sykes
Tennis: Fresh beginning for Petrova starts here
Nadia Petrova knows all about problem dads on the women's circuit but says she came through pretty much unscathed.
Speaking freely about her career after a welcoming breakfast at the ASB Tennis Centre yesterday morning, Petrova admitted her father Victor "was one of those dads".
But he has now slipped more and more into the background, being retained by his daughter only as her fitness adviser.
"He becomes very emotional when he is watching," said Petrova, who arrived 10 days before the ASB Classic for which she is the top seed. "Like other fathers of Russian players, he travelled with me for some years but has now cut back."
Asked whether he had fallen foul of officialdom, Petrova, 23, with a wry smile, said: "It's been close. I was playing a tournament in Rome against a local girl in the final. All the stadium were screaming against me and my father found that too difficult to take."
Nowadays Petrova, the ninth-ranked player on the WTA end-of-year list, is looking forward to a fresh start in her eighth year on the circuit.
She is playing Auckland for the first time and will do so under new coach Alexsande Mityaev, 31, who has taken over from Petrova's long-time coach, Glen Schaap. Therein lies another story and again one all too familiar on the WTA merry-go-round.
"We were doing quite well on the court but I realised he did not know how to handle me emotionally," said Petrova. "I decided we should split. There were a few issues which needed to be corrected.
"He felt as my coach he had the right to tell me everything. He did not want my parents around. He was overprotective, and when there were changes in my personal life in July when I had a new boyfriend, he became even worse."
It was through her boyfriend Petrova met her new coach.
Why Auckland to start her new season?
"I have gone to the Gold Coast in the past but I wanted to change things. Going back there would bring back memories of my old coach," said Petrova, who also referred to the Lord of the Rings trilogy as one of the reasons she wanted to come to New Zealand.
She was also persuaded to try Auckland by the family she stayed with in San Diego.
"She had been the ballkids coordinator at one time here and said I would enjoy it, so when [tournament director] Richard Palmer asked me if I would like to come I quickly accepted."
Petrova will step on court for the third time as the top seed.
That brings mixed emotions.
"The first time was not very successful," she said. "The second time, in Bangkok in October, I went all the way to the final.
"While there is some pressure in being the No 1 seed, I want to learn to live with it."
She's also learning to live in Moscow again. She was born there but from age 12 moved to Cairo, Egypt, for three years then the United States, Poland and Holland.
She accepts women's tennis does not have an all-imposing No 1 like Roger Federer, who dominates the ATP tour.
"Any player in the top 10 can beat any other," said Petrova, who admitted the only player she struggles to master is Lindsay Davenport. "That makes it more exciting."
And where does she see her ranking come this time next year?
"I would like to be No 5. That is realistic. I have been to No 6 (in April 2004). The Williams sisters are not doing so well and Lindsay Davenport has hinted she might retire."
Petrova, who follows fellow Russian Anna Kournikova and Mary Pierce as high profile and popular visitors to the season-opening tournament, gives herself a further five years on the circuit.
"After that I want a life after tennis," said Petrova who added she has no desire to follow many Russians in living in the US.
"I am not saying I will live in Moscow either - perhaps Australia, but it is so far away, or maybe the south of France.
"I am an only child and would like to have three children.
"In five years I will be 28 and would like to start my family before I reach 30."
* Born: June 8, 1982
* Birthplace: Moscow
* Height: 1.78m
* Weight: 65kg
* Turned pro: September 6, 1999
* WTA Tour singles titles: 1
* WTA Tour doubles titles: 11
* Prizemoney: US$3,637,804 ($5.3 million)
* Career-high singles: No 6 (April 19, 2004). Currently: No 9.
Dec 23rd, 2005, 03:49 PM
Miss Nadia my girl! She finally done did it and won a title this year. Go on girl! :dance:
Dec 23rd, 2005, 06:42 PM
You guys have no idea what it feels like to be reading the paper and then turn the page and see this half page photo of Nadia and then an awesome article! It is such a cool feeling! How can people not love this girl! I know she is going to love this tourney and our country. I love you Nadia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lets win this shite!!!