View Full Version : Ask Alisa

Mar 9th, 2010, 06:37 PM
I thought, if there is fanzone in her website, where she answers on questions of fans, that we should get one in here.

Q: If you could choose to get some present, what would it be? Something simple or?
A: I love sweets and perfumes, so I would always be happy to get something like that. But I don't like to choose presents, it's not so important for me. The most important is that I have people who love and support me, this is always the best present :)

Q: Alisa, I know you are big fan of horses.. When was the last time you got to ride?
A: I'm not such a big fan of horses and last time I was riding was about 5 years ago. I just like animals and horses are beautiful to watch in nature.

Q: Hi Alisa, this is Your fan from Poland. I want to ask You how many hours do You spend in week training tennis ? Isn't it sometimes boring for You ? How do You make Your trainings more interesting ? thanks and GOOD luck in 2010 Tour
A: I train about 4-5 hours 6 days a week. It's very tough sometimes, but I take it as my job, that helps me to win matches. I enjoy working and training hard, it gives me confidence. We have a lot of tournaments during the year, so there is not much time for training at all, so I never get bored :)

Q: Who would be your dream doubles partner?
A: That's a tough question. It's important for me to feel comfortable on the court, for the moment I'm playing doubles with Francesca Schiavone and we are great together. My dream is to win a Grand Slam and I think we can do it :)

Q: Who will you be cheering for at the Olympic Games?
A: I like figure skating and ice hockey a lot, so I'm supporting Evgeny Plyushenko and our Russian hockey team!

Q: Do you like shopping? Is there any shop where you go everytime you can?
A: I like shopping a lot, but only when I'm looking for something specific, when I need something. I don't like it if I'm not planning to get anything :))) I like to shop in Dubai for perfumes and in the US for everything else.

Q: Outside tennis, what is your proudest achievement?
A: One of the things that I'm proud about myself is skiing. For a few years during the winter off-season my dad asked me to go to the mountains to ski with him, but I was always scared. However, 3 years ago, I don't know why, I decided to try and got addicted! I'm very happy because now my best holidays are always in the mountains :)

Q: Do you get homesick when travelling for such a long time? What do you miss most?
A: I don't enjoy travelling very much as my favourite place to stay is home. But travelling is part of my job, so I take it as it is. When I'm away, I miss my family most, but always try to do my best in tennis, so when I come back home I bring some great news and feelings with me! And the good part is that if you don't stay at home a lot, you enjoy your little time there much more than when you live there all the time.

Q: What's your all-time favorite film?
A: I love to watch movies, but I don't have one favourite. At home I collect the movies I like the most, so I can keep them and watch whenever I want with my family. But the best ones are the old classic Soviet movies by Leonid I.Gaidai. There are about six of my favourite ones and they are all full of unique humour - many expressions from these movies are now part of our everyday language.

Apr 3rd, 2010, 09:42 AM
New answers... :)

Q: What's on your ipod these days?
A: I have many kinds of music, depending on my mood. When I'm travelling too long I like to listen to some Russian pop. I have a few friends who are DJs and I love club music.

Q: What is your favorite meal? Do you enjoy cooking?
A: I like to eat good, healthy food. I like Italian, Japanese and Russian food. I don't have time to cook at all, even when I'm back home, because I always come late and tired, but I would love to learn to cook!

Q: Are you satisfied with Alisa's Wonderland for your forum? If you want A: something else, tell us
Many people used to call me Alisa in Wonderland when I was a little kid and I really like it! I feel sometimes that I am living in a Wonderland and that feels great ;)

Nov 14th, 2010, 09:30 PM
We didn't update that thread in a long time,so here are newer Alisa answers during the season

What's your favorite place to go on vacation? Do you go to the same place every year or you love to experiment?
I don't really have one favorite place. I didn't really go to many places for vacations, because I'm travelling all year around and when I have some time off I prefer to stay home. But the place that I really enjoyed to go skiing is in Russia, in Ural mountains. I love the nature in my country.

Would you rather win an Olympic Gold medal or a Grand Slam singles title?
Many players won't agree with me, but it's a dream of my life to win an Olympic Gold. Its much more special for me than a Grand Slam. But anyways, Olympics are onceevery 4 years and Grand Slams we have 4 times each year, so my goal till Olympics is to win a Grand Slam.

Who was your first coach? And do you remember all your coaches?
My first coach was my mother and we worked together for 10 years. After that I had another coach from my club in Moscow for about 1,5 years. But since then, I've been working with my current coach Iulian Vespan. So I definitely remember all of them :)

Alisa, where do you see yourself in one year? What steps do you plan to take to reach that goal? Go girl!
I really see myself as close as possible to the top ten. I still need to improve many things, but the fact that I finally won my first tournament this year gives me a lot of confidence in what I'm doing.

How do you deal with the excitement before the match?
It's normal for all the sportsmen to be excited and a bit stressed before the competition, so I'm not an exception. But we have tournaments almost every week, so I'm used to it. It's part of preparation before the match and it also helps you to go on fire ;)

When was it when you realised you can be successful as a pro tennis player?
When I was a kid nobody wanted me to be a pro tennis player in particular. I did many different sports and activities to see what I like more and where I'm doing better. I started to focus more on tennis around 10 years old. That time I began to play and win tournaments and I loved it. I just wanted to make it my job, I was never thinking if I become a star or not, I just tried to do as good as I can step by step.

Do you get recognised very much when you travel from one place to another?
I don't really get recognized in person when I travel, usually people just see my tennis bag and ask me if I'm a pro tennis player. But it depends on the place where I go, when it's more related to tennis people know me pretty well.

What are your views on "grunting" among female tennis players?
Many players now are grunting... also me. Of course, there are some players that do it too loud without much sense and it's not good at all. But I think grunting is normal within certain limits, when it's coming naturally.

Alisa, you played very well in the juniors, esp in Wimbledon. Don't you think you turned pro too soon?
I played a lot of junior tournaments and had big results not only in Wimbledon... I stopped to compete in the junior events in 2006 when I was already 17, so I can't say that I stepped into the pros too early. Also we have an age eligibility rule in WTA Tour, so till you turn 18 you have a limit of pro tournaments you can play per year. And it was about 7-9 tournaments at the time... so I had to keep playing juniors to get more matches and experience.

How much is mental training important in sports achievements?
Mental strength is very important not just in a sport, I think it's one of the most important things in your life. If you are strong and confident you can achieve your goals and organise your life the way you like. Tennis has become a very mental sport recently, because all the athletes are so good in hitting balls and so physically strong that many times just mental strength decides who will win the match. But it's not easy to have people working with you on that, because every player has to find the right person by himself...

What are your warmest childhood memories? Was your childhood all about tennis or maybe you found time to play with other kids? Do you feel that because of tennis you lost something precious?
My childhood was full of different activities. I did school at home, so I didn't have any friends from there. But I did some other sports like athletics and swimming, also I was singing and went to the art school for a while. But all of that was till about 12 years old, afterwards everything was around tennis. My warmest memories are from the kids tournaments that I have won, and from summer vacations every year in the village with my grandparents. I love to help my grandmother in our big garden and really enjoy it since I was little.

Tell us about your name, Alisa. Is it Russian?
I don't think Alisa is really a Russian name, but my parents liked it a lot. Also because of a novel "Alice in Wonderland," that time it was a very famous book and cartoon for kids.

Tell me how to hit a really fast serve (around 200km/h)? Do you have to relax or rather try hard?
I would love to serve as fast as 200km/h too :))) It's very difficult, but for sure you need to be very relaxed, because you need a very fast speed of your arm. But there are a lot of other things besides velocity that has to be right... You have to push with your legs a lot, work with your back and toss the ball well in the front. Good luck!

iPhone or BlackBerry? And why?
BlackBerry! I don't like sensor things, I prefer to push the buttons :) But the main reason why I use BlackBerry is because of the messenger, I have many people I have to communicate with when I'm on the road and with the SMSes I would really have to pay a lot and BlackBerry is free!

Do you like soccer? If so, which was your favorite team in the World Cup?
I'm not a soccer fan and, honestly, I didn't even watch a single match of the World Cup...

What's your favorite Russian dish?
I'm not staying in Russia a lot at all and even when I'm home I eat European food... I don't like traditional Russian cuisine too much. I like Italian food and sushi :)

What's your perfect climate for playing matches?
Almost all year around we play outside in sunny hot weather and I like it a lot! There are a few tournaments that are really difficult to play like in Australia, Malaysia, Cincinnatti where it's very very hot. For me it's tough just to go on court and start the match, but afterwards I don't think about the heat any more! So I'm good pretty much everywhere :)

Would you like to be a tennis coach one day in future?
I was thinking about it and I'm quite interested in it. If I could organize something good I would like to help young players. But for the moment it's too early, so I'm focused on my tennis first.

What's your favourite season during the year?
I love winter, snow, great time for skiing and mountain holidays! Summer is great too, because I like swimming a lot, so it's great to spend some time in a beautiful beach. But as a tennis player... hmm... it's tough to say, because we have tournaments almost all the year long in different parts of the world, so when I play I don't think which time of the year it is!

Which do you prefer Christmas or Easter and why?
My favorite one is New Years Eve! I don't really celebrate any others :)))

What American celebrities would you like to hang out with?
I would like to spend some time with the actor Paul Walker. I love the movie 'Fast&Furious' and he is great there :)

What is your favourite tennis arena in the world?
My favorite place to play is Australian Open, Rod Laver Arena. That court is amazing!

Who's your biggest rival on the tour ?
The person who is in front of me on the court for that moment is my biggest rival! I don't have anybody in particular... but probably my biggest rivals are the players who are in front of me in the rankings :)))

What non-Russian TV programs do you watch when you're travelling?
Sometimes it's nice to watch some TV or movies from the US, but I don't really have a favorite. There are like 100 channels in America. If I'm tired I'll just go in the room and flip around, I'll even watch Animal Planet... but mostly I enjoy reading books and watching things in Russian. The Russian language is so rich and deep, and although I speak English, it's nice to understand completely what you're reading or watching, and I mostly get that with Russian things.

Tell me, Alisa, which Russian historic places I should see?
Russia is a very big country and has so many places to visit. But I think that the most important cities are Moscow and St. Petersburg, also known as 'the City of Tsars.' St. Petersburg is one of the greatest historical places of Russia. Novgorod, for example, is one of the oldest cities of Russia and is regarded as an ancient Slavic city. The Golden Ring Cities, it refers to a string of cities located towards the northeast of Moscow, these towns have been often referred to open-air museums because they are home to unique monasteries, cathedrals, churches and domes of 12th and 18th centuries which make it one of the beautiful cities of the world. Enjoy :)

Who's travelling with you to Bali?
To Bali I'm going as always just with my coach Iulian Vespan. Maybe there will be coming 1 or 2 of our friends from Italy.

Nov 17th, 2010, 03:16 PM
Great that you've updated this tread! :)

Dec 3rd, 2010, 08:30 PM
Do you have good friendships with other tennis players? If so, with whom?
I have a good relation with almost all the players, but to have a real friendship is very difficult, because it's too much competition between us. But I still have my best friend there, it's Ekaterina Makarova, we are also playing doubles together sometimes.

Who do you think will be next to replace Nadal as No. 1 player in the world rankings?
I'm not following mens tennis that much, but I really like the game of Robin Soderling, he is a very talented player and I think that he has good chances for the number 1 spot.

What are your plans for the off-season this year?
I didn't make my plans clear for the off season yet, because my playing season is not even over yet, and before starting a new one I'm starving for a vacation :)

Dec 13th, 2010, 10:03 PM
As a tennis player you travel the world so much. What is your worst travelling experience?

Honestly traveling is one of the worst parts of tennis... Even if everything is going on schedule you spend so much time and get so tired. For me the most difficult travels are to Asia and Australia, it takes around 20 hours to get there! I don't remember all, but this year the worst experience was when I had to fly from Cincinnati to Montreal and the weather in the connection city was bad. So we stayed in the airport for the whole day, they kept trying to put us on a different flight, but everything was full... After all, we had to go to the hotel to sleep like 6 hours and took a flight next morning. It took us 2 days to get to Montreal! Crazy!!!

^I think I asked this question. :D

What's the first thing that crosses your mind when you hear "Serena Williams"?

When I hear "Serena Williams" I think about power and a spirit of a Champion. She is the greatest tennis player of all time and I have a lot of respect for what she does for our sport. I never got to play against her in singles and I would really like to see her on the other side of the court. It would be a big challenge for me!

Are you going to play the Istanbul tournament in 2011?

I haven't planned my tournament schedule so far yet, for the moment I'm focused on my Australian series. But there might be a chance for me coming to play Istanbul.

Jan 28th, 2011, 09:20 PM
How much time, if any, do you have to do sightseeing in the tournaments you play? Do you have any favourite cities and what do you like about them?

I don't like to go sightseeing. I like the tournaments where you have some nature around, not big cities... for example Indian Wells, San Diego are really nice, then a Bali tournament was great because we stayed in a beautiful resort right on the beach. I love nature, so when I have some time I prefer to go for a walk in some quiet and beautiful place to relax.

What languages do you speak and how long did it take you to become fluent in English?

I speak Russian, English and Italian. As a kid, I was learning English with a private teacher, but at about 11 years old I started to travel a lot, so I kept learning it on the road by talking to people. I don't know how much time it took me learn it, because once I started to travel I was feeling comfortable with it, but for the kids it's always a lot easier to pick up languages :)

Alisa, how long did you train with Sean Abdollahi?

I was coached by my mother for the first 10 years. We often travelled to the US to play tournaments and between them I trained in various academies. One week, I came to visit my friends in California and I practised on the courts with Sean. I had known him before from junior tournaments.

Why do you prefer to live your professional tennis life in Perugia, Italy?

Well, I don't live in Perugia. My coach is from that city, so during summer when I don't play tournaments I go there to train with him. My home is still Moscow, but I'm almost never there, because I travel most of the time during the year.

Feb 15th, 2011, 04:28 PM
What's the secret for this terrific drop-shot you hit when the ball is quite low and you are stretching forward to reach it? It's phenomenal!!! I saw you do it with Clijsters in Sidney (your backhand down the line is also amazing!!!)
Thank you for the compliments! Well, of course we practice a lot all those difficult shots, but at the end in the match it's all about feeling and courage to try them.

How often do you swim when you are on and off the tour?
I don't swim when I play the tournaments, but during my trainings I go to the pool once in a while. I like to swim more when I have some time off, because it's not easy to manage all the trainings with the pool in the same day.

Do you think is okay to have a boyfriend if you are still training to become a pro?
I think it's very important to stay well off court. When you enjoy your life, things work well also when you work. So some people like to be by themselves and some feel great with someone. I think everybody is different, so you have to see and decide for yourself. Good luck ;)

Feb 15th, 2011, 04:31 PM
Have you ever visited Spain? What do you think about this country?
I've been to Spain many times, mostly to play the tournaments. It's a very nice country, warm people and good food :) I like it!

Would you like to play at the WTA Championships tournament in Istanbul in 2011? I'm looking forward to watching your matches there!
Of course, I'd love to get in and play this tournament. But it's very hard, I need to play really well the whole year.

I'm wondering if you travelled to Brisbane from Adelaide on the 30th of December 2010...
No, I came to Brisbane on the 28th of December from the US.