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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 10:39 PM   #8
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A. TATISHVILI/S. Mirza
7‑6, 1‑6, 7‑6

An interview with:



ANNA TATISHVILI



THE MODERATOR: Questions for Anna, please.

Q. That was an exciting match. Is that one of your most thrilling moments so far?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah, that was my biggest win. Yeah, very exciting.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself. There's no bio on you or anything. Where did you grow up?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Well, I was born in Georgia. When I was 10 years old ‑‑ well, actually, when I was 7 was when I first came to U.S., but just for like a couple months. Since I was 10, I'm usually mostly practicing here.

Q. Where is "here"?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Chris Evert Academy.

Q. Is that in Boca?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah, Boca Raton. I'm there three years, since I was almost 13.

Q. Who is your main coach over there?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Uhm, John Evert, yeah.

Q. Must be exciting. Does Chris help down there?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah, a lot. Chris, yeah, she helps me a lot.

Q. Obviously, you're an amateur, right? You didn't turn pro?

ANNA TATISHVILI: I don't really know (smiling).

Q. So how many main draws have you been in so far?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Oh, well, I played last year this tournament and I played last week in Indian Wells.

Q. That's it?

ANNA TATISHVILI: And, let's see, that's the biggest ones, yeah.

Q. You played some challengers?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah, just a couple of them. I didn't really play a lot of them.

Q. How did you start playing?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Well, my sister started first and, uhm, then they were just taking me to tennis courts. Then I said I want to play, too, so they bought me a racquet and I started playing tennis when I was four and eight months.

Q. Four and eight months?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah.

Q. That's pretty precise.

ANNA TATISHVILI: (Smiling).

Q. Is your family over here with you?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah, my whole family is with me.

Q. Living in Boca Raton?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yes.

Q. What grade are you in? Do you go to school?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah, I do American home school. I'm in the 10th grade.

Q. You hit the ball so strongly.

ANNA TATISHVILI: Thank you.

Q. Do you do some training off court with weights?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Well, I do fitness, not that much of weights. No, I mostly like running and stuff like that.

But not a lot of weights, no, not yet.

Q. What kept you going? You're up 4‑0 in the third. Suddenly you're down three matchpoints. Then you have matchpoints. What kept you going?

ANNA TATISHVILI: I just really wanted to win. I was like, "You got to win this match," so I kept going, and I won.

Q. You had a good crowd for you.

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah, my whole academy came to watch me (smiling), yeah.

Q. Did that add more to the thrill?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah, that helped me a lot to, like, keep playing. Because in tiebreak, I was already having some cramps, barely moved.

Q. That's got to be the longest match you ever played?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Almost, yeah.

Q. Almost?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Maybe I played one, yeah. I don't know. I don't think so.

Q. You played Juniors?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah, I still play Juniors, but this year I'm gonna mostly play women's tournaments.

Q. What was your best rank in Juniors?

ANNA TATISHVILI: 17.

Q. 17 in what age group?

ANNA TATISHVILI: 18s. Yeah, then I didn't play the tournaments there I won, so I dropped to like 40. But I don't really play Juniors anymore that much.

Q. Have you played any Slams?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Oh, yeah, I played Australia this year.

Q. What was your best result?

ANNA TATISHVILI: I lost in the third round, yeah.

Q. Now you have Elena Dementieva next round. Is that right?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah, yeah.

Q. What are your thoughts on her?

ANNA TATISHVILI: I really didn't have any chance to think about it actually, tell you the truth.

Q. Have you seen her on TV?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah, a lot of times.

Q. What do you notice most about her? What impresses you and what are you, like, thinking about?

ANNA TATISHVILI: I think she's very good mentally because, like, she makes a lot of double‑faults but then she like forgets them and just keeps playing. So I think that's very good.

Q. That's the key maybe, to attack her serve?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah.

Q. When she gets them in.

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah, probably.

Q. What did you think of Sania tonight?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Oh, I think she's a very good player. But in the first set I think, you know, I was nervous, too. I think she was nervous also. She made, like, in the first couple games, like especially the first one, like maybe four unforced errors or something.

But, yeah, I think she's a great player.

Q. Did you even hear of Chris Evert before you went there?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah, obviously, but not that much, though, because she retired before I was even born.

Q. What does she tell you? Is there any advice she's given you that really sticks out?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah, I talked to her before the match.

Q. What did she tell you?

ANNA TATISHVILI: She told me to just ‑‑ 'cause I was nervous, I never played in such a big court and a lot of people. So "Just forget about it" and just "You, ball and opponent, and that's it."

Q. What did she say to you after the match?

ANNA TATISHVILI: I didn't really ‑‑ I didn't talk to her yet.

Q. You seemed to enjoy using the challenge system. You used it a lot?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah, I lost all of them.

Q. But that's new for all the players.

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah.

Q. But you seem quite comfortable in doing it when you wanted to?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah. Actually, yep. I don't know why, though.

Q. What did you think of the last one, the important one, they called it out and then she challenged it and they ruled it good. Were you shocked at that one?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Well, I thought it was out, actually, tell you the truth. Then when I saw it, was kind of surprised. But, you know...

Q. Were you surprised they did a do‑over?

ANNA TATISHVILI: No, when the referee called it out, I let the ball go. Obviously, it was supposed to be out.

Q. You heard the ref call it? We didn't hear it.

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah. Obviously, it was supposed to be a two ball ‑‑ I mean replay.

Q. What's your favorite stroke? You seem to have a really wicked backhand down the line.

ANNA TATISHVILI: I don't really have one. Maybe backhand down the line or forehand angle crosscourt. I don't know.

Q. You won a very important point, I think it might have been matchpoint down.

ANNA TATISHVILI: It was, I think, 6‑All.

Q. You came in on a high ball, charged a high ball and ripped it. Do you remember that one?

ANNA TATISHVILI: I remember, yep.

Q. It was an amazing shot.

ANNA TATISHVILI: Thank you.

Q. You have a bracelet, one of those rubber bracelets, or is that just a rubber band?

ANNA TATISHVILI: This one (pointing to her wrist)?

Q. The orange one.

ANNA TATISHVILI: Oh, just a bracelet. It says "Desire."

Q. "Desire"?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yeah.

Q. You don't seem to lack for that. You have a lot of it.

ANNA TATISHVILI: Excuse me?

Q. You have a lot of desire, it seems like, in your game. You're quite passionate, a lot of emotion.

ANNA TATISHVILI: Thank you.

Q. Have you always been that way?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yes, since I was young, yes.

Q. Do you hate to lose?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yes, I think everyone hates to lose.

Q. What are your goals? You're so young. When did you turn 16?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Last month.

Q. What was the date?

ANNA TATISHVILI: February 3.

Q. What are your goals, immediate goals, and what are your long‑term goals?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Well, I would like to be No. 1 in the world one day, but right now, uhm, I don't know, maybe get to top 80 this year, something like that. I don't really know.

Q. No more Russian accent, huh?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Oh, well, Russian and Georgian is really different. It's like Chinese and English. I never had Russian accent.

Q. When was the last time you were in Georgia?

ANNA TATISHVILI: In October.

Q. Still have relatives over there?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yes.

Q. Aunts and uncles, things like that?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Well, one of my aunts lives in New York for like already 16 years.

Q. New York?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Yes, New York.

Q. What do you do in your spare time? What do you enjoy doing?

ANNA TATISHVILI: I like to go to movies. I like watching movies, and usually I go to the pool or shopping. I really don't have a lot of time, though.

Q. How many hours a day are you practicing?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Maybe like three and a half hours of tennis and two hours of fitness ‑ maybe four hours of tennis actually.

Q. You seem to play better when you're down matchpoints. Is that something inside of you?

ANNA TATISHVILI: I don't know. I think every ‑‑ I don't know. I think everyone does that, when they're down, they have nothing to lose, so they just no more nerves, no more nervous, just playing. And if you win, you win; if you lose, you lose. I don't know.

Q. As you've grown up playing tennis, are there any players in particular who you've admired, modeled yourself on?

ANNA TATISHVILI: Right now it's Federer.

Q. And of the women players?

ANNA TATISHVILI: My favorite is to be Steffi Graf.

Q. Is this the first big interview you've done?

ANNA TATISHVILI: My first, yes, actually.

Q. What do you think of it?

ANNA TATISHVILI: It's kind of cool.

Q. Handled yourself very well.

ANNA TATISHVILI: Thank you.



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