View Full Version : Reshuffling the top 10 women by interviews they give (Charles Bricker:Sveta's a hit!)

Jun 11th, 2006, 07:03 AM

June 09, 2006
The Women's Top 10 Interviews
PARIS -- Reshuffling the top 10 women by interview:

1. Sveta Kuznetsova (Russia): There are times you feel like she's on a couch in the therapist's office and you're sitting in on the session, but that makes such a great interview. She'll crack you up, but she's more than just a joker. You want to know something? Just ask. She's smart and, aside from her occasional court lapses, she's very confident with herself.

2. Lindsay Davenport (USA): The elder stateswoman of the women's tour is capable of taking you through a match point by point or telling you about her dogs. She once told me with complete candor how she was affected by her parents' divorce. She's an eminently interesting interview and a darn fine human being.

3. Amelie Mauresmo (France): She occasionally flashes a smile and sense of humor, but her stock in trade in interviews is her ability to dissect a match. If you like talking tennis, you'll have an immediate link with her.

4. Kim Clijsters (Belgium): Ask her, "How are you doing?" and she'll give you a 5,000-word answer. Talkative and maybe too talkative at times. The only interview she met she didn't like was the one that wanted to know about her break-up with Lleyton Hewitt. Otherwise, connects beautifully with reporters.

5. Justine Henin-Hardenne (Belgium): She's No. 5 but that doesn't mean she's a mediocre interview. She's very good, but also very serious. I'd like to see her open up with an anecdote or a joke, but you know that's not going to happen.

6. Nadia Petrova (Russia): As she has gotten over the nerves that inhibited her Grand Slams earlier in her career, she's emerged as a pretty good interview. It's probably a useless generalization, but I find most Russians and Eastern Europeans to be great talkers. She's no exception.

7. Maria Sharapova (Russia): Her interviews have a sort of Public Relations 101 feel to them and she has a few interview habits I don't like, such as the way she airily dismisses some questions as if they are too stupid to deal with. At least you can hold a conversation with her, and that's a lot more than you can say about approaching her coach/father.

8. Elena Dementieva (Russia): She's trying. There isn't an evil bone in her body, but she never seems totally comfortable in interviews.

9. Mary Pierce (France*): She's into that nether world thing where life is too good to let bad tennis irritate her. Talking to Mary now feels like you're interviewing someone in Golden Gate Park during the Summer of Love. :lol:

10. Patty Schnyder (Switzerland): She's not terribly interesting and she's not terribly uncooperative. She just "is" and that gets her the No. 10 spot.

* We're still not sure if she's French, Canadian or American.

Posted by Charles Bricker at 04:13 AM | Permalink
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EDIT: And for the Men's Top Ten...
June 09, 2006

Blake Moves To No. 1 (Interview)
PARIS -- The new ATP rankings, officially out Monday, will see James Blake edge from No. 8 to 7, but in my rankings, based on the quality of the players' interviews, he's No. 1.

What I've done is take the new top 10 and rank them by interview.

1. Blake (USA): Expansive, gregarious, thoughtful, insightful, revealing. He's not afraid to talk about his blemishes, plus he has a great sense of humor and is never full of himself. One of the quality people in sports.

2. Ivan Ljubicic (Croatia): Total candor, never holds back. I remember asking him if he felt like killing something after he lost to Roger Federer in the Nasdaq final on a service return that hit the net cord and slopped over on match point. It was just another way to lose, no bit deal, he said. He's never forgotten his humble roots. One word summary: Integrity.

3. Andy Roddick (USA): Funny, spontaneous and passionate about his game. He respects reporters who respect him and he doesn't mind, at least to some reasonable degree, people poking into his private life. But ask him a dumb question and he'll rightly embarrass you. He makes you do your job.

4. Rafael Nadal (Spain): He is great interview, no? OK, we're getting a little tired of hearing him finish every sentence with "no," no? But cut him some slack. He's learning English a lot more quickly than any of us learned Spanish. No? He's not confident enough with the language, though, to break down his matches tactically for reporters and his love of life makes you laugh or smile.

5. Roger Federer (Switzerland): He's talkative and likes getting into match strategy, and that's a good thing for those of us who are more interested in the game than in his favorite flower or how his cow is doing. But there's a touch of arrogance creeping into his patois, and he ought do something about that.

6. Mario Ancic (Croatia): Good guy, but you want a little more of Goran Ivanisevic (the all-time best interview) to slip into his personality. On the other hand, that's probably not possible. There's only one Goran. I would have jacked him up higher if he'd revealed what Paul Capdeville said to him in that near-fight in the second round.

7. Tommy Robredo (Spain): His English is good enough, but that doesn't mean you're going to get a lot out of him. You can feel his suspicion when the probing questions begin. He gives stock answers, right out of the public relations playbook.

8. Gaston Gaudio (Argentina): Shrug. A singularly unspectacular interview.

9. David Nalbandian (Argentina): This really bothers me, because this guy could be a great interview. His English is good enough and he has a very interesting style. But getting any depth out of him is like trying to pull the tusks off an elephant.

10. Nikolay Davydenko (Russia): Deadly. Completely deadly.

Posted by Charles Bricker at 06:37 AM | Permalink

Jun 11th, 2006, 07:15 AM
leaving hingis off the list? im guessing that once, she probably put him in his place :bowdown:

Jun 11th, 2006, 07:16 AM
I like Lindsay's interviews the most. She has such a soothing voice. I could listen to her forever.

Jun 11th, 2006, 07:20 AM
leaving hingis off the list? im guessing that once, she probably put him in his place :bowdown:

Hingis isn't top ten.

Jun 11th, 2006, 07:20 AM
This list is of players in top 10 it seems

its why Martina or Venus or Serena are not there ;)

Jun 11th, 2006, 07:32 AM
great read, very funny :lol:

Jun 11th, 2006, 07:32 AM
This list is of players in top 10 it seems

its why Martina or Venus or Serena are not there ;)

While I'd agree with you on the Martina and Serena bit, I've never seen a press interview with Venus that seems remotely engaging. There's no-one on tour who can dodge a straight answer better than Venus Williams.

But she does put reporters in their places rather nicely :lol:

Does anyone remember the Serena Williams 'definition of the word ghetto' transcript? My all-time favorite press room exchange.

Jun 11th, 2006, 08:14 AM
That was a great read, thanks for posting

Jun 11th, 2006, 08:35 AM
Nice thanks.....

Jun 11th, 2006, 08:46 AM
Leaving out the 'you knows', the answer of Kim would only contain 1000 words ;)

Jun 11th, 2006, 08:50 AM
Lindsay's answers and voice are just :hearts:

Jun 11th, 2006, 08:53 AM
I wonder why he called Lindsay the "elder stateswoman." Does he take that to literally pertain to governmen affairs or more like Lindsay knowing how to give good, wise, general advice?

E. Blackadder
Jun 11th, 2006, 09:01 AM
Actually, Justine does often make a joke

It was in French, but she said she "digested" the Aus Open final well, and then started laughing "oh wait, that's probably not a good choice of words" :p