By Sunder Iyer
On behalf of the Tashkent Open Media Team
Fifteen year old Sabina Sharipova currently the N0.2 women’s player in Uzbekistan was awarded the wild card for the Tashkent WTA by the UTF. Though she did not win the debut match, she won the hearts of many with her fearless display against an much experienced Kathrin Woerle of Germany.
Putting her loss behind her, she answered a volley of questions shot to her by reporters.
How did you feel standing on the centre court and playing your firsts ever WTA tour event?
Sabina : When I entered the centre court I was very nervous, when I hit the first ball on the centre court I was more nervous , but as I started rallying I was normal. I always had a dream to play here as I have been watching the tournament since I started playing seven years ago.
You matched your opponent stroke for stroke and had your chances in both sets, what happened?
Sabina: To tell you, my opponent was very experience and I didn’t have any experience as this is my first tournament on WTA tour. I was excited trying very hard to finish points and made mistakes. I realize that I have to be more patient. I have learnt a lot from the match.
What do you feel after the match, what more you have to learn?
Sabina: At this level it is very difficult; I have to practice hard and have to build my physical strength. I have to learn to play with older girls; this match is surely an eye opener for me.
Where are you training at the moment?
Sabina: I’ve been selected to train at the Republic Tennis School of Tennis Reserve at Tashkent by my Federation. I’m thankful to them for their support in my tennis. I’m currently training with Constantine Tomashevich.
I have learnt a lot of new things, new techniques and have graduated to the next level. I played ITF events last year, but I’m now playing Challengers and now the higher level of events
You are still a junior, so will you continue playing junior events?
Sabina: Yes I still have three more years as juniors and I’m surely playing in junior events also. I’ve some weeks that I’ve kept for junior events. This year I’m planning to play some junior events in US and also participate in the Orange Bowl.
How do you give time for education, when you’re playing so much tennis?
Sabina: My Mother is very strict about my education, and she ensures that I keep up with my studies. I’m also taking classes in English
Whom do you idolize, and what’s your ultimate goal?
Sabina: My favourite player is Kim Clijsters, I was very happy that she won at US Open. I want to be a top 10 player, I know it is very difficult, but I will give my best to achieve it, may be in another 4 years.
You sound so confident, and a professional in answering questions at your first ever Press conference?
Sabina: Yes this is first ever Press Conference and I’m feeling more nervous sitting here than I was on the tennis court before the match.