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Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 10:15 AM   #1
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Anna articles and interviews

The New Hingis: Chakvetadze is Martina With a Twist

http://www.********************/chak...ie_012107.html

Anna on Potential Sharapova Match: 'If I use my game plan right, then I can win'


FROM THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN –There are just two Russians who have lost just one match since October – Maria Sharapova and guess who, Anna Chakvetadze, who after whipping eighth seed Patty Schnyder 6-4, 6-1 on Monday, has won out of her 15 out of her last 16 matches. Tracy Austin calls the creative and clean ball stroker the new Martina Hingis. Not a bad call, although the thin blonde thinks that she packs a little more punch than the once great Swiss.
“Martina is a great player, a former No. 1 and it’s a compliment that they say that, but I think I hit the ball little harder than Martina,” Chakvetadze told TR.net

The label might stick if the 19-year-old continues to display the same intelligence that she’s showed during the past few months. She’s very hard to read, especially when she’s hitting out of an open stance, because she seems to wait until the last second to decide which direction she's going. She plays the angles adeptly, but more importantly, she’s secure in both her crosscourt and down the line game off both wings. Her serve is mediocre and her net game is still a work in progress, but there aren’t many gaping holes in her technique.

“ My groundstroke are okay and when I feel my return, I’m really okay.”

More than okay, apparently.

Not every player can play with such assurance and given that Chakvetadze is quick and is rarely off balance, she has a lot of options at her disposal. Knowing when to use which shot and when will come with more experience.

“I’m trying to play smart but I don’t always do it,” she said.

Seeded No. 12, the Russian has had a bang-up past four months, winning Guangzhou, and then stunning Russia by talking it’s highly coveted national championships, other wise known as Moscow, a Tier I. There, she bested Dinara Safina, Francesca Schiavone, Elena Dementieva and Nadia Petrova. Before the AO, she won Hobart. Here at the Aussie Open, she played one lousy set, against Laura Granville in the second round, but when she’s had to step up and close, she has.

“After I beat Petrova in San Diego, I started to believe I can beat top players,” said Chakvetadze. “Then I started player better and better at every tournament. I didn’t play well against Golovin at the US Open, but she played great. But I already believed by then that when I got on court, that I could win. It’s all confidence.”

The 5-foot 7, 128-pound Chakvetadze can tire out and says that when she’s not training or playing, that she naturally loses weight. When she first came on tour she was a substantial head case and is very hard on herself when she loses. She simply seethed if she made an unforced error.

“I’m concentrating more now, not losing easy points,” she said.

She’s very hard on herself, so much so that she offered that an easy draw was part o the reason for her progress here. She doesn’t smile nearly enough and is more than a bit of a perfectionist.

[I am pretty hard on myself],” she said. “That's how I'm thinking. I don't want to talk, like some of the players, they like to say, ‘I will win a Grand Slam.’ All the players want to win a Grand Slam. I just play.”

Like Kim Clijsters and Roger Federer, Chakvetadze is coach-less. Those two are veterans, but she’s not. She’s at the Aussie Open with her father, Djambuli, and her hitting partner, Australian Andre Roberts. She's not giving her dad lot of props for designing strategies.

“He’s not like my coach, he just my dad,” she said. “He helps a little, but I’m trying to think by myself about my game.”

Chakvetadze will play either Maria Sharapova or Vera Zvonareva in the next round, two players she’s familiar with. She lost to Sharapova at ’05 Roland Garros and then fell to her 7-5 in the third set at ’05 Los Angeles. After that loss, she shed tears. The two are less than a month apart in age and not as far apart as one would think in overall ability. Sharapova has proven herself to be mentally tougher, now it’s up to Chakvetadze to show that her eyes won’t get wet when the going gets tough on the big stage.

“I’m happy to play in second week," she said. “ It's different, because the pressure is on. I’m just trying to stay calm because when I don’t, I can’t play tennis. I’m still working on that. I start to think more about the next point, how to beat my opponent and not get frustrated after the point I lost. Now I have more confidence and I know how should I play. If I use my game plan right, then I can win.”
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Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 02:55 PM   #2
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

ANNA Chakvetadze is not like some of the others. Not for her the modern way of talking herself up, laying bare her grand slam dreams and forecasting the spoils that will one day be hers. "I just play. We will see what's happen."
Latterly, she has been just playing very well, with yesterday's 6-4, 6-1 domination of the veteran Swiss Patty Schnyder taking the 19-year-old to 21 wins from her past 22 matches, a deep purple patch that has brought titles at three of her past four tournaments.
Eighteen Russian women began this Australian Open, eight of them seeded. Chakvetadze, the 12th seed, has progressed to the last eight, where she will play the winner of last night's meeting of compatriots Maria Sharapova and Vera Zvonareva. She may not want to talk about it, but her status as a rising force is beyond dispute.
So prevalent is the "Rus" abbreviation in contemporary grand slam draws that it is easy to lump Russia's women together, with Sharapova out in front and a gaggle of wannabes straining at the hem of her corsetted dress. It is too early to pluck Chakvetadze as the one to emerge from the pack, but her game is moving in the right direction.
Barbara Schett, the popular Austrian who played here 11 times, was her first significant victim, falling to the then 17-year-old in the first round at the 2004 US Open. She knew nothing of her at the time, but has taken notice since.
"She's a little bit in the shadow of the others — Sharapova, Petrova, Myskina, Kuznetsova — and that probably suits her. The attention is not that big on her, and she can just quietly slip through the draw," Schett said yesterday.
"When I played against her, her serve was not good, but now it's a lot better. She's a pretty consistent player out there now."
Aggression is a word Chakvetadze uses often, and Schett agrees it is her dominant feature. "That's the Russian game." But yesterday's triumph illustrated there is more to this particular Russian Anna than meets the eye.
She plays a patient game for a teenager with limited guidance from above; Chakvetadze has not officially had a coach for six months, although Schett supports the theory that her father Djambuli, who travels with her, essentially fills the role.
She also reads the game beautifully, as if she's already watched it on TV and knows every line in the script.
Schnyder jumped out to a 4-1 lead, at which point Chakvetadze said she found some rhythm against the Swiss' heavily spun balls.
Schnyder had been to the last eight here in each of the previous three years, but her body language soon smacked of resignation, and the realisation that she was up against a player who was already her equal, perhaps better.
She won just one more game for the match, becoming visibly distressed by the precision of Chakvetadze's anticipation, as if she were tapping into her thoughts. Schnyder turning to her entourage, arms outstretched and asking, "What can I do?" was a telling snapshot.
So now to the quarter-finals, a first for Chakvetadze at this level. Meeting one of her fellows is no cause for concern; most of them are very nice, she said, although noting that you can't be friends with everyone.
"Of course, it's mentally a little bit different because we know each other better. But I'm not thinking like, 'OK, she's Russian, I have to beat her'."
No, being on the other side of the net is reason enough.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/tennis...330831807.html
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Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 03:01 PM   #3
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

CHAKVETADZE/P. Schnyder
6‑4, 6‑1

Q. Not so good early on, but then it all changed very quickly. Anything you can put your finger on that turned it around for you?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yes, I started very slow today. But you have to get used to Patty's game because she play with so much spin. Ball is bouncing so high here. Vodafone is a little bit different court because I played outside courts all my matches.
I just had to get used to it, then I found my rhythm and played better.

Q. Did you step more inside the court? Is that what you did?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yeah, I just started play more aggressive.

Q. So you were pretty composed out there the whole time. How does it feel to be in the quarterfinals?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, I'm happy to be in quarterfinals, for sure. I didn't expect that when I came here because usually I play very bad in Australia (smiling). I'm happy to be in quarterfinals.

Q. Mentally were you nervous at all going into the match knowing you were playing a veteran player?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, I just try go to the court, just to win. I'm not thinking about who is my opponent.
Before the match, of course, I'm thinking. But during the match, I just thinking about how to beat her, and which level.

Q. You might have Sharapova in the next round. You played her twice. Didn't get the chance to play her in Moscow. You almost beat her in 2005.
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yeah, almost. But I lost. She have to beat Zvonareva first. I think it will be very difficult match today. Zvonareva is playing pretty good here. I mean, they both are tough, so we'll see how it goes.

Q. Can you talk about if you have to play either one, what you have to do against each other.
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: They both play pretty similar. They hit very flat, good serve. Better backhand, I think. Well, I played against Vera on grass and I lost very close match. I don't know. They both very tough opponents. I have to be ready.

Q. Do you feel you're a much better player now than you were when you lost to Maria the last time you played her?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yes, I think so because now I have more confidence and I know how should I play. I mean, if I will play ‑‑ if I use my game plan, you know, right, then I can win I think.

Q. Your anticipation seems to be a strength. Is this a natural gift, something you're conscious of that you work on?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yeah, I'm trying to work than it. Sometimes it really happen, but sometimes I have bad days and I just can't play.

Q. Bad days, you mean you guess the wrong way to go?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: What?

Q. You guess the wrong way. You seemed today to guess the right way every time.
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: I'm just trying to watch her racquet, where she want to hit.

Q. I think there are 27 Russian women and girls here competing. It's easy for the media to think of them as a group. Do you look upon the other Russian girls as friends or rivals?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Of course friends because we spend so much time on the tour. You can't be friends with everyone because it's different personalities, all the players. But most of them are very nice. I'm friends with them.

Q. Is it important for you to beat them as rivals and to sort of work your way up, get a profile for yourself?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: I'm not thinking to beat them. I just want to, you know, play one more match and get one more match. I'm not thinking about that she's from my home country.
Of course, it's mentally a little bit different because we know each other better. But I'm not thinking like, Okay, she's Russian, I have to beat her.

Q. Patty didn't fight very much today. Have you been surprised by her behavior?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yes, I actually was surprised. But I was trying to play concentrate second set because I knew that she's a fighter.
If she win like two easy points, she can start to fight. I think I served pretty well. That helped me a lot, especially in the second set.

Q. You're on a real winning streak at the moment. Can you ever remember being as confident going into matches as you are now?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: No.

Q. That's a real noticeable thing to you, very important?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Uh‑huh. I won like 20 matches I think, 19 or something. So, yes, I get more confidence of course. But it's also depends against who are you playing. I mean, I think here I have pretty good draw, especially first two rounds. It can be tricky when you play like first round.
Maybe she's like Mirza or Chinese, maybe she's not seeded, but she's good player. And here I think draw was good for me.

Q. So you're not giving yourself a lot of credit?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: No, not really (smiling).

Q. Are you pretty hard on yourself?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yes, I am.

Q. Is that good or is that bad?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, I don't know. You tell me if it's good or bad. I don't know. I mean, that's how I'm thinking. I don't know.
I don't want to talk, like some of the players, they like to say, I will win a Grand Slam. I mean, all the players want to win a Grand Slam. All the players, they want to win their match.
I don't know. I just play. We will see what's happen.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 03:03 PM   #4
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

For a shot at the semi-finals, top-seeded Sharapova will meet another hard-hitting Russian, 19-year-old Anna Chakvetadze.
They have met three times before but Sharapova had trouble recalling that when interviewed after last night's match.
"I've never played her before. Yes, I have. What am I saying?" Sharapova said.
"She's had some great results in the last couple of months. Another great Russian coming up so I'm looking forward to that."
Chakvetadze, the 12th seed who won at Hobart in a warm-up to this event, has a walkover against Sharapova in last October's Kremlin Cup in Moscow as her only victory.
The last time the pair actually played was in Los Angeles in 2005, when Sharapova won in three sets.
Chakvetadze said she was an improved player.
"Yes, I think so because now I have more confidence and I know how should I play," she said.
"I mean, if I use my game plan, you know, correctly, then I can win I think."

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...4-2722,00.html
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Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 03:17 PM   #5
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenlox View Post
For a shot at the semi-finals, top-seeded Sharapova will meet another hard-hitting Russian, 19-year-old Anna Chakvetadze.
They have met three times before but Sharapova had trouble recalling that when interviewed after last night's match.
"I've never played her before. Yes, I have. What am I saying?" Sharapova said.
"She's had some great results in the last couple of months. Another great Russian coming up so I'm looking forward to that."
Chakvetadze, the 12th seed who won at Hobart in a warm-up to this event, has a walkover against Sharapova in last October's Kremlin Cup in Moscow as her only victory.
The last time the pair actually played was in Los Angeles in 2005, when Sharapova won in three sets.
Chakvetadze said she was an improved player.
"Yes, I think so because now I have more confidence and I know how should I play," she said.
"I mean, if I use my game plan, you know, correctly, then I can win I think."

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...4-2722,00.html
this girl is killing me . her words are so cant that she doesn't listen to questions...
thank you for the articles, goldenlox!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 10:51 AM   #6
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

Latest Russian To Emerge Draws Her Country's Best
Tennis


BY TOM PERROTTA
January 23, 2007


http://www.nysun.com/pf.php?id=47174

MELBOURNE, Australia — Russia has produced yet another fine talent in the world of tennis, and on Wednesday she'll take her chances against her country's reigning queen, Maria Sharapova, in the Australian Open quarterfinals.
The 19-year-old Anna Chakvetadze may be a month older than Sharapova, but she's a novice in terms of Grand Slam success, having reached her first major quarterfinal at this event. She'd prefer her run did not end there.
"If I use my game plan, you know, right, then I can win I think," she said after dumping no. 8 seed Patty Schnyder in the fourth round, 6–4, 6–1.
Unlike many of her Russian counterparts — such as Svetlana Kuznetsova, Elena Dementieva, and Vera Zvonareva, who gave Sharapova a fair challenge on Monday — Chakvetadze is more of a thinker than thumper. She's not too tall (5-foot-7) and her frame is slight. While she hits impressive groundstrokes, she wins because of her speed, anticipation, court positioning, and, on good days, her ability to wait patiently for openings. Tracy Austin, the former world no. 1 who is a commentator for Australian television, said in an interview on Monday that Chakvetadze has much in common with the tour's best tactician, Martina Hingis, minus the volleying expertise.
"It's the way that she uses the court, the way she is always balanced," Austin said. "She doesn't really look rushed."
Chakvetadze was flattered by the comparison but suggested there were some differences between her and Hingis.
"I think I hit the ball a little harder than Martina does," she said. "I'm trying to play smart. It's not all the time I can do that."
Chakvetadze is perhaps quicker around the court, too, and with less effort.
"Some people seem to put a lot of effort into everything they do," Austin said. "Someone like [Jelena] Jankovic, you feel like she is working so hard every point, digging and grinding. Chakvetadze, she just seems to kind of be there."
Since last October, Chakvetadze has won 16 matches (including a walkover against Sharapova in Moscow) and three titles while losing once. In that time, she's beaten Elena Dementieva, Nadia Petrova, Dinara Safina, and Jankovic. But she said her victories over Petrova and Ana Ivanovic, in San Diego last year, convinced her that she could compete against the game's top players. At the moment, she's traveling without a coach, accompanied only by her father, Djambuli.
"He's not like my coach, he's just my dad," she said. "He's helping a little bit. I'm just trying to think by myself."
An injured Sharapova forfeited her match against Chakvetadze in Moscow, but the last time they met before that, in Los Angeles in 2005, Chakvetadze came to tears after letting a winning opportunity slip away in three sets. So far at this year's Australian Open, Sharapova has not overwhelmed her challengers. She nearly lost in the first round to Camille Pin, a pesky scrambler who used 100-degree heat to her advantage. Against Zvonareva, Sharapova almost blew a two-break lead in the second set, but charged back from 0–40 to serve out the match, 7–5, 6–4. If Chakvetadze can stay with Sharapova early, she'll have her chance.
"I'm just trying to stay calm because when I am excited I can't play tennis," she said.
The winner of Sharapova and Chakvetadze will meet the winner of Kim Clijsters and Martina Hingis, a rematch of last year's quarterfinal. Clijsters won that one in three sets and then had to retire in the semifinals against Amelie Mauresmo. The 24-year-old Belgian is playing her last Australian Open, and seems in form to win her second major title.
***
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 10:35 AM   #7
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

After AO QF

THE MODERATOR: Question.

Q. Was it a matter of survival of the fittest at the end, who was the stronger at the end?

ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, definitely Maria was today. She is stronger. I guess she played very well. She's a great fighter. I think she deserve this win. I can just wish her good luck in semis.


Q. Was she a little more aggressive than you?

ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yes. I think I need to improve to be more aggressive on important points especially because, yes, she was a little bit more aggressive than me.


Q. You seemed quite nervous at the start. Did it take you a while to settle down?

ANNA CHAKVETADZE: No, I wasn't nervous at all, not at all. Maybe on the tiebreak because I was up like 5‑3 and I had so many opportunities. I just didn't use it. That's, you know, a little bit strange because on the tiebreak, so many points are lost so easy balls.

I don't think it's because nerves. I just need to be more aggressive on the important points. That's what I think.


Q. What do you do about that? Will that be something you'll pick up on the next tournament, being more aggressive?

ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yeah, definitely I will work on it. But, you know, it's tough to be aggressive because Maria, she's hitting the ball so hard. Especially in the warmup, I thought she will kill me (laughter). I couldn't put one ball on court because she played one ball on me, and the other ball like somewhere. I couldn't, you know, get where is the ball going, she was hitting so hard.

It's also tough to play aggressive against these kind of players because they play aggressive and you should mix your game a little bit more. But important balls, of course, you should be more aggressive.


Q. On speed and placement, you were staying with her.

ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yes, but I think she won all the important balls. I didn't use my opportunities in the first as well as second set because it was like two or three games Love‑30 on her serve. I just didn't use them. That's why I lost.

It was close match, but Maria won. I think she played better today than me and she deserve it, definitely.


Q. Your shoulder, what happened?

ANNA CHAKVETADZE: It was tight in the morning. I had some treatment on it. During the match I felt pain, strain from the backside. I definitely should call the trainer earlier, not after first set. I think I should call it before I'm serve on that game at 5‑4. Maybe it would help me.

I got some antiinflammatories and pain gone in second set after few games.


Q. What is the problem?

ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Strain, right shoulder strain.


Q. You hurt it before the match?

ANNA CHAKVETADZE: No, it was really tight before. As I said, I had a treatment on it. I felt it okay. But maybe Maria's hitting so hard, my shoulder was getting tighter.


Q. Was it bothering you in previous matches or only this one?

ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, you know, that's amazing because something is happen when I'm playing important matches. Like against Hingis in Montréal I had injury, again, my right hand. Here, as well. I should do something to myself. Should stay healthy, you know, to beat these kind of players.

I mean, it was my tenth match in a row. I felt tired. I just need to stay healthy and maybe not play tournament before a Grand Slam.


Q. You seemed to be having her running more than you were running a lot of that match. You had her moving a lot. Is that a good sign for your future?

ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, that was my game plan, you know, to move her. If I would play all balls to her, it will be very difficult. Yes, you know, I was running I think well today. But my hands and my arms was little bit sore and stiff. You know, especially those easy shots, I couldn't put it where I wanted. That was the problem, especially important points.


Q. You're the same age as Maria. When did you first know her or meet her?

ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Good question actually. I think I saw her on TV when I played juniors and she played main draw of US Open or something. It was on TV. I think she beat someone the first round. I just remember her dress, that's it (smiling).


Q. Why is that?

ANNA CHAKVETADZE: It was pink dress. I just remember the color actually. Sorry.


Q. Do you remember what year that was?

ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Year?


Q. 2002?

ANNA CHAKVETADZE: I don't really remember. Sorry
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 12:12 PM   #8
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Excellent appreciation of Anna's game in these articles. Except this:

Quote:
Her serve is mediocre.
Anna has a great serve, especially for a girl of 5'7"! It's consistently deep, although she can also hit short-angled serves to the sidelines, which are very effective as they push her opponent way beyond the sideline to hit the return. Anna hits a lot of aces, both out wide and down the middle.

And Anna has a great one-two punch: most of the time, her serve doesn't win the point directly, but sets up a groundstroke-winner on the third stroke of the rally.

[from my Anna Chakvetadze Biography]

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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 05:23 PM   #9
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

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Anna has a great serve, especially for a girl of 5'7"!
I don't think Anna served especially well against Maria, at least not compared to the way she served in Moscow last year. Her serve certainly is more effective on a faster surface.

She hit 12 aces in this tournament which puts her 11th overall on the leaderboard. However, she also hit 12 double faults.
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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 06:21 PM   #10
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Re: Anna articles and interviews



Relive the chat session with Anna Chakvetadze

Here are the highlights of Thursday afternoon’s chat session with Anna Chakvetadze. (Photo: DR)

Tom: People often compare you to Martina Hingis because of your game analysis, what do you think about this comparison?
Martina is an incredible player but I don’t like being compared to others. Each player is unique. We all have different personalities and styles.

titi: What are your goals this season?
To make it in the top 10, then we’ll see…

henry: Who is your best friend on the WTA tour?
I get along well with all Russian players, but my best friend is probably Elena Vesnina, my former doubles partner.

Olivier: Given the number of excellent Russian players, maybe throughout your career you won’t have the opportunity to make it to the Olympic Games or the Fed Cup… Don’t you feel like taking on Norwegian of Bahamian citizenship?
It’s true that several of us have the opportunity to play in Russian teams. For the Fed Cup, you have to keep in mind that the coach decides. As for the Olympics, I still have enough time to improve my ranking.

anna: Who is the player you dread most on the circuit?
Nobody. The top 10 players are obviously very hard to play, but I’m not scared.

mymycoucou: Even if you play against a Frenchwoman, either Amélie or Nathalie, I hope that you will have a good match and that the public won’t be too much against you, because you’re a sweet player.
Thanks, it’s true that it’s going to be very difficult for me in these conditions, but I also think it will be a very interesting game.

vic: Who were your idols when you were younger?
Steffi Graf, I admired her a lot, and also Mary Pierce.

rafa: Apart from Federer, who do you enjoy watching on the men’s circuit?
I really like to watch Marat Safin, but only when he wins because when he looses, he gets angry and sometimes it’s not pretty to watch…

Tennis: Why do so many Russians play so well at the moment? Do you have a secret?
Of course we have a secret, but I won’t tell you! (laughs)

jearmy: If you have to pick a tournament, which one would you like to win?
One of the Grand Slams, any one…

Coach: If you could steal a shot from your opponents, whose serve would you take? Whose forehand? Whose Backhand? Whose volley?
I’d like to take Roddick’s serve, Gonzales’s forehand… As well as Federer’s backhand and mental. Then I’d be world number 1, easy! No one could beat me. (laughs)

go anna: How do you deal with the stress before a crucial match?
I listen to music, I isolate myself, I think about my game plan and the way I have to play.

momo: What is your favourite city in the world?
My native town, Moscow.

MariaKirilenko: Anna, do you have a boyfriend?
No I don’t but if you would like to introduce me to someone… No problem! (laughs)

Tony K: What are your hobbies?
Unfortunately I don’t have much time for a hobby. I know it sounds boring, but really, it’s not…

Lator: According to you, who is the sexiest player?
Errr… Fernando Gonzalez!

paulo: Apart from tennis, who are your favourite athletes or who is your favourite team?
I love football, especially Chelsea and Milan AC. I also like wrestling because a lot of my friends practise this sport.

Dudu: Who is your favourite actor?
I have no favourite actress, but among the actors, it’s Johnny Depp.

bob: What kind of music do you like?
Depends on my mood but when I go out I like R&B better… Before a match I like to listen to Prodigy to wake up!!!
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Old Feb 17th, 2007, 05:00 PM   #11
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

Russia's newest wonder girl; Chakvetadze breaks Top 10

To face Mauresmo; Clijsters v. Golovin

FROM THE PROXIMUS DIAMOND GAMES IN ANTWERP – Anna Chakvetadze keeps on churning and after her 6-3, 6-4 win over Nadia Petrova in the quarterfinals, cracked the Top 10 for the first time.
Amazingly, the 19-year-old is 4-0 against her elder Russian, who has been a solid Top-10 player for two years.

"I don't know if her game suits me, I think she made a lot of unforced errors today," Chakvetadze told TRnet. "But she played a lot of matches lately so she could be tired. I didn't know I could reach the Top 10 today. It's nice, but I won't play in Dubai and Doha the next weeks so I will drop out again. I don't really care that much about my ranking anyway. I just want to improve my game, win matches and then my ranking will take care of itself."

Petrova came off a title run in Paris last week, where she beat red-hot Czech Lucie Safarova in the final. Chakvetadze lost in the French capital against Amelie Mauresmo in the quarters, but will have a chance to get her revenge on Saturday, when the two square off for a final berth.
Mauresmo convincingly brushed aside Dinara Safina, 6-3, 6-1.

The '07 Hobart champion looks forward to face Mauresmo in a neutral ambiance. "In Paris, the atmosphere was not nice," Chakvetadze said. "You know that the crowd will support Amelie, but they were not fair to both players. Here in Antwerp everyone is supporting Kim, but they show respect for the others as well."

Chakvetadze is not your average up-and-comer. Where most talented youngsters bring a flat-out power game to the court, Anna C. plays a little more with her head.

"First of all, I'm not as tall as [Nicole] Vaidisova or [Ana] Ivanovic," she says. "I can't hit as hard, so I need to find other ways to win. I try to look for weaknesses in my opponent's game and play accordingly."

The inventive and quick Russian, so reminiscent of Martina Hingis, had her breakthrough year in 2006, starting the season just inside the Top 40, but finishing strong with a career first title at the Tier III in Guangzhou and a Tier I win in Moscow. Her impressive year end run put the 19-year-old among the world's best 15 players.

"I never thought I would win a Tier I last year. When I won my first tournament in Guangzhou, that gave me a lot of confidence. This helped me to do well in Moscow."

In her early days on tour, Chakvetadze frequently lost control of her emotions on court, breaking into tears when a match didn't go her way. She starts laughing and says, "You haven't seen me play in the Under -14s."

On the Sony Ericsson Tour website, Chakvetadze has said she wants to break the Top 5 within three years. "No, no, that's not true," she said. "The WTA wanted to know my goals so I just said 'Top 5 would be nice,' but it's not something I'm really aiming for."

In order to settle in amongst the elite, Chakvetadze knows she still has work to do. She's 14-2 in 2007, and has won 24 out of her last 27 matches. "I need to further improve my confidence so I can play well on the important moments. And my serve and fitness need to get better, too."

At the Australian Open, Chakvetadze faced top-seeded compatriot Maria Sharapova in her first ever Grand Slam quarterfinal. She served for the first set at 5-4, but eventually went down in straight sets. She moved the ball around nicely, but couldn't hit her spots when it counted.

"People said I played well that match, but I didn't win the important points. Maria played better than I did that day, but it was good I made the quarters."

One might think that Chakvetadze would have Parisian dreams, but likes the bright big Apple better.
"I would love to win the US Open. It was the first Grand Slam I played in 2004 and I beat [the then No. 3 Anastasia] Myskina when I was just coming up. I just love the whole atmosphere in New York. I also have a lot of friends there."

http://www.tennis reporters.net/chakvetadze_antwerp_021607_c.html
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Old Feb 19th, 2007, 03:06 PM   #12
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

Russia's Chakvetadze realises 2007 ambition
By Emma Davis

ANTWERP, Belgium, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Russia's Anna Chakvetadze has realised her 2007 ambition of breaking into the women's top 10 rankings for the first time after a strong showing at the Diamond Games.

The 19 year-old, who went out in the semi-finals of the tournament in Antwerp to eventual winner Amelie Mauresmo, moved up two places on Monday to number 10 in the world.

Having achieved that ambition, she said she wanted to gain more confidence in matches against top-flight players.

"Before, I had said I wanted to be in the top 10," the Moscow-born player told Reuters. "For me, it's more important now to improve my game and to win some matches and tournaments.

"The first thing is my fitness. I'm working on it. I have some parts of my game which I know I have to work on too. My serve and a couple of things I don't want to tell you about. We will see," added Chakvetadze, who has won three tour titles.

In Antwerp, she gave world number three Mauresmo a tough game in parts, breaking her serve and holding off two break points to take the second set. But the Frenchwoman took advantage of a string of unforced errors from Chakvetadze.

"I lost concentration for three or four games in the third set and that's why I lost the match. I just have to gain more confidence when I play more important players," said Chakvetadze.

"To win, you have to play all important balls with a bit more aggression," added the wrestling fan, who prepares for matches by listening to tunes by The Prodigy.

Chakvetadze's breakthrough means five of the women's top 10 are now Russian, led by world number one Maria Sharapova.

But while Chakvetadze has previously stated she wanted to be in the world's top five within three years, the Australian Open quarter-finalist declined to put a time limit on winning a grand slam title.

"A lot of players will talk about it. It's a dream for everyone. Of course I would like to win a grand slam but I don't know when and I don't want to talk about it," the Chelsea and AC Milan soccer fan said.

She was wary of playing too many tournaments and the problems with injury that can bring.

"For me, I'm getting tired if I play too many matches. I need some rest afterwards so I think I will play three tournaments on clay this year," said the Russian, who plans to compete on the surface in Warsaw, Berlin and Rome
"Hopefully I will be ready for three in a row," she said.

http://sport.guardian.co.uk/breaking...426163,00.html
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Old May 14th, 2007, 05:03 PM   #13
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

There is a feature interview with Anna in the new Ace Tennis magazine. A lot of it seems to be a retread of stuff I've read before but if you're in the UK it might be worth picking up a copy.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 07:36 AM   #14
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

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There is a feature interview with Anna in the new Ace Tennis magazine. A lot of it seems to be a retread of stuff I've read before but if you're in the UK it might be worth picking up a copy.
Someone will hopefully scan it and post it here (hint, hint )
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Old May 16th, 2007, 05:07 PM   #15
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

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Someone will hopefully scan it and post it here (hint, hint )
I might be able to scan it but not until the end of next week at the earliest.
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