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Old Feb 10th, 2014, 02:44 AM   #681
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Re: Goddess in training: Despina Papamichail

No problem
And yeah I think I know who you're talking about. It's sad how some of these girls could be really good but don't have the resources. Especially in countries like Greece with little tennis tradition. There are a lot of courts, but people treat tennis more like a recreational sport/hobby. A lot of girls (and guys) give up because they realize they won't be top 50/100 and it just doesn't pay. I've seen it many times. And obviously Greece isn't the only country that deals with this. You see it with Croatia, Serbia, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, etc. I've seen it many times before though (from Greek players) and to be honest I'm surprised Despina has continued to try to play on tour. For all we know, Despina could come from a rich family and all this talk is irrelevant, but we just don't know

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A quick google search led me to this
http://www.livetennis.it/post/147110...a-papamichail/
I found this interview, from July

It's in Italian (and I don't speak Italian) so I used google translate

She was first asked why she started playing and she said that when she was younger she played many different sports and one of her friends introduced her to tennis.

She said she went to Italy because she met an Italian coach, Massimiliano Albarella. (Before she spent a few years in Spain training with Ferrero)

Off the court, she enjoys movies, shopping, and listening to music.

She now trains in Jesi, Italy (still with Albarella), and she is determined to reach the top 100.

Then there is some stuff lost in translation, but I understood the part where she said she is working hard on her serve and has a lot to improve

Her goal for the rest of the year was to improve and return to the top 350 (she ended the year just outside)

She doesn't know how high she can get but her career goal is to be in the top 50

She said its not easy being away from home, but she's used to it by now.

She said she loves Greece and visiting Greece but the tennis system is more organized in Italy and she loves Italy as well, especially the food

THEN THEY ASKED WHAT HAPPENED THAT CAUSED HER DROP IN THE RANKINGS! She answered by saying that she lost confidence. My interpretation of the rest is that she was doing well and winning because of her fighting, but she wanted to develop her game more (I'm assuming this means she started to change her style of play, but once gain I don't know Italian)

Then I think she said she struggled to win in 25K and 50K tournaments, but once again I don't know

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So that seems like the reason. But of course you never know the real reason. It could be money and she's just embarrassed, but I think I believe her
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Eleni Daniilidou 2014

Wickmayer. Venus. Ivanovic. Cirstea. Halep.
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Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari

Last edited by hellas719 : Feb 10th, 2014 at 02:47 AM. Reason: Interview summary added
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