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Old Sep 6th, 2007, 11:31 PM   #31
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

A throwback worth watching


by: Stephen Tignor, TENNIS.com
posted: Thursday, September 6, 2007 | Feedback | Print Entry
filed under: Tennis


NEW YORK -- The bottom half of the women's draw at this year's U.S. Open has been the most maligned in recent Grand Slam memory. And with good reason: There was just one marquee name among its 64 players, Maria Sharapova, and one other player you could call a serious threat for the title as the tournament began, 2004 Open champ Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Buried in between, though, were a few intriguing up-and-comers, most prominently Shahar Peer, Agnes Szavay and the latest in a long line of accomplished young Russian women, 20-year-old Anna Chakvetadze.

After the fall of Sharapova, it's Chakvetadze who has been left standing. That's hardly a surprise; she came into the tournament ranked No. 6 in the world and spent the summer beating Venus Williams and winning two tournaments. But that doesn't mean many U.S. viewers are too excited about Friday's first women's semifinal, between Chakvetadze and Kuznetsova. This is one of the Open's showcase afternoons, a day that has produced some of the event's signature matches, including the 1991 career-changing throwdown between Moncia Seles and Jennifer Capriati; the 1997 "bump" by Irina Spirlea and Venus Williams; and the 2003 midnight tragedy enacted between Capriati and Justine Henin.

This year we start with two Russians, neither of whom are likely to grace any billboards near you in the immediate future. This is a mistake. First, Kuznestsova is one of the sport's all-time great athletes. She moves and hits with more force than anyone this side of Serena Williams. Second, the world will get a good first look at Chakvetadze, who has never reached a Slam semifinal before.

Women's tennis fans have long lamented the demise of Martina Hingis in the face of the sport's big hitters. She was supposedly the last of the naturals: players who won with touch and court sense rather than raw power. Well, those fans have a chance to see a new natural in the form of Chakvetadze.

She's just 5-foot-7 and 128 pounds, but her remarkable timing, all-court guile and surprising feistiness -- she looks more like a figure skater but she's a jock at heart -- allow her to compete with anyone. You can see quiet confidence in her face as she serenely rocks back and forth while waiting to return serve. That self-control extends to her ground strokes, which she rarely aims close to the lines. Instead, she changes directions with the ball relentlessly off both wings and even with her return of serve. It's another echo of Hingis, and the kind of thing you really can't teach. But it is the kind of thing that tennis fans, the ones who profess to love the old ways of the sport, should want to watch.

Chakvetadze is 0-2 against Kuznetsova and will struggle to handle the bigger woman's power. There's no one else out there who has a chance to make that struggle as entertaining as Chakvetadze.
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Old Sep 7th, 2007, 09:34 AM   #32
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

Since for reasons unknown to me, usopen.org had not posted any transcript of Anna's post-match interviews, I'm posting one here from her 4th round match against Paszek. I got this from FastScripts. - LINK

U.S. OPEN

September 3, 2007

Anna Chakvetadze

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. You are not in good preparation for this tournament, but you are in quarterfinal. Can you explain how you are playing.
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, I think I could start better, you know, because first two matches, I mean, I didn't have a tough opponent, but I didn't actually play well. And than I just felt better when I played against Mirza, and also today I think I played good quality test, but a little bit I lost concentration because she called the trainer, and I actually thought she was retired because she didn't move that well in the first set. So I was like 90% sure that she will stop the match, that's why I lost my concentration totally.
She started to play better. She had nothing to lose. Good that I came through that.

Q. So you served for it at 5-4 in the second set and played a little bit sloppy, and got right back and broke her.
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: I was so confident today because I knew that she is a junior, she will be nervous, you know, and I just have more experience than her.
But anyway, I think she's a good player and she will improve a lot.

Q. So now you're in the quarterfinals for the third time this year in a Grand Slam. It's not Maria Sharapova this time, it's Peer. You said on court she played you tough in practice, but an opponent you should be able to do well against. You think you will be able to play your game?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yeah, I actually lost against her this year at Indian Wells. I think she improved her game, and she's very tough opponent.
Actually I was in the same quarter as Maria Sharapova but she didn't get through. Shahar is very tough opponent, also, and I think we both deserve to be in the quarterfinal.

Q. What do you have to do this final to breakthrough?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, I just have to stay focused during all points because Shahar is a great fighter, she is running so fast, screaming "come on" so loud. She's tough. So I have to serve really well. I just to have stay aggressive.

Q. Do you know why young players are playing very well in this tournament?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, you know, it's a lot of year, I don't know why it was here in this tournament, but yeah that's amazing. Like they all took their opportunities, you know. Well, just new generation is a coming, like all the time. It happens.

Q. Some people described you as kind of a Martina Hingis-type player with more power. Do you agree with that opinion?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: I think all players are different, and I respect Martina a lot like a player, but I still think we're different.

Q. You were fan of Milan football club. Are you still a fan of Milan?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yeah, sure I am. I will never change it. Until Kaladze is playing there, another Georgian.

Q. You still play football?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yes, a little bit. In front of my house I have a small garden for soccer and my brother does play soccer a little bit, my younger brother. I play together with him. I love to play soccer. The little boy, like nine years old.

Q. What's more important to you, to be thinking while you're playing or to play with instinct and play from your gut?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, you know, it's better when I'm thinking, but sometimes, you know, when I'm too much, I can't think and that's why I losing. That's why I lost, for example, this year in Wimbledon match. I was so nervous that I couldn't control the game. I couldn't think where should I put the ball. For me much easier to play when I'm thinking and that's I think the way how I should play?

Q. You still play pretty fast though. Some players like Djokovic take ten minutes to serve. You get right up there, right? A couple bounces and boom, right into it.
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yeah. You know, I had problems when I was playing under 14. I never bounce the ball. I serve straightaway. Opponents were not really ready to take my serve so I won a couple matches like that. Then the chair umpire said, You have to take your time a little bit.

Q. Can you describe your team, your small team around you?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, here right now I'm just my dad and because Robert Lansdorp, he left to L.A. because he has some stuff to do there. But he probably will come if I will win the quarterfinal. If, you know. But because he has some stuff to do there.
So it's just my dad, and I have a lot of friends in here and my hitting partner from adidas and coach, Sven Groeneveld also. They help me a lot. That's it.

Q. Can you talk about what type of opportunity this is for you with the bottom half of the draw being so open with Maria losing, and then also what it was like for to you play at night here.
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, I never played a night match on the court, so I was pretty excited. About the draw, yeah, I think, you know, I think Shahar is a very tough opponent for me. I'm not looking -- you know, I'm not looking farther away, like if I will be in the semis, because it will believe really difficult match for me.

Q. Can you talk about the kind of work you've been doing with Lansdorp. Has he been telling you anything different?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yeah, definitely. When he's not here he's calling me all -- you know, every day like twice. He's asking me how I'm practicing and telling me the game plan, what he thinks about the opponent, and how he thinks she's playing.
So he helps me a lot. Even when he's not here he helps me with some instruction.

Q. He's known for having more repetition, and you play with a little more variety. You play a lot different than Maria or Lindsay.
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, he wants me to hit every ball like Maria and I'm just different. I just take some little things what he teach, you know, because I will never play like Maria. I will never have such a powerful shots like Maria, you know, because I'm just smaller and thinner -- or, I mean, I don't have like so many power to hit so I have to play smart. And because I'm shorter I'm moving better, so I have to use that.

Q. Do you work a lot physically and what about mentally?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yeah. I'm working physically and mentally definitely, and I think I improve this year a lot compared to last year.

Q. Just some details.
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, physically I just got a new fitness trainer back in Moscow, and my dad is helping me a lot because he's an exsoccer player and he does know what's, you know, about the fitness a lot of things.
And the mentally part I just, you know, trying to stay more calm on court because -- but not all the time I can do that because sometimes it's too much emotion. But I'm trying to be more calm.

Q. Alone? You are by yourself?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yes.

Q. How did you come to be working with Robert Lansdorp?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: I was trying to find a coach and my agents from SFX, they told me that he's free and if I want to try to work with him. I said yes. I had some time before Indian Wells this year, so I came one week earlier and we start. That's how we started.

Q. Did you find an instant connection and that he was really helping you?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yeah, I think he helps me a lot. He's just a great guy. We have fun on the court. I enjoy to practice with him and enjoy to spend time with him and I like it.

Q. I heard that you used to be a kind of player that's really emotional, but now you look very calm and you stay calm and you're really concentrate on the game. How did you make the transition?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yeah, as I said, that's one of the thing which I working on. You know, and I'm not staying so calm as I wanted to be during all the matches or during all the points. Sometime I go the emotion, you know.
So I just try to stay more calm, as I said, and I'm working on it. And as I said, I improved on this part compared to last year a lot.

End of FastScripts
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Old Sep 7th, 2007, 09:56 AM   #33
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

Another one from her quarterfinal match against Peer. - LINK

U.S. OPEN

September 5, 2007

Anna Chakvetadze

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. We asked your opponent, Peer, what's so good about you. She said, oh, you'd have to ask Anna, but she couldn't figure it out. All you do is you win matches. How are you doing it?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: I'm doing good. I'm doing good. I'm so happy that I got through. The question is how am I playing or what?

Q. Yes. How are you doing it? You're not serve and volleying and you're not explosive, but you keep winning you're and No. 5 in the world.
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: No 6.

Q. Excuse me. You'll be 5.
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yeah, just, you know, I don't have this like powerful groundstrokes and I just, you know, fight until the end and trying to play smart.

Q. You seem to know though where the ball is. You anticipate well I would say, because you're there. When the ball is there you're there.
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yes. And I'm trying to change the pace a lot.

Q. You were talking going into the match that Shahar had given you a very tough match in March. What did you do to change it around? Did you change your tactics?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Actually, I need to say that that match in Indian Wells I played really -- I didn't play well. Today when I was in the rush a little bit from the beginning. I was -- I wanted to hit very hard. Wanted to blow Shahar from the court, but that's not the way how I'm playing.
So I just had to play smart and not easy and not rush myself. So, yeah, then I just started to do less mistakes, easy mistakes, you know. And on the other side also I was aggressive especially on the second set. That's why I think I won it so easy.

Q. How do you learn to play this way? It's almost like Martina Hingis-type tennis.
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Again. Yeah, a lot people compare me with Martina. I don't know. You know, I change it because I never played like this when I was a junior. I was hitting really flat balls, and after that I couldn't just win a match. That's why I change it. I knew that needed to do something else, you know.

Q. Had you watched lost the Martina Hingis when you were a junior?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yes, I did, but not more than all other players.

Q. You've had two matches with Svetlana Kuznetsova. Is there a common theme in both of those matches? Did the matches progress in the same way?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: I think the last time I played her I won -- no, I mean I lost really easy, like 6-2, 61. It was on a clay court in Warsaw. I believe it was one year ago. So, yeah, you know she's a favorites in this game, in this match, so I have nothing to lose and no pressure.
For me it's much easier to play with no pressure, so I will try to do my best.

Q. Is that the way you felt all season, that you have no pressure?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yes.

Q. Can you talk about that a bit, because you've made such a great rise. There must be more expectations?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, I mean, I played top 10 players and I mean, I played maybe top 20 players. Still, you know, it's much easier to play when you have no pressure and you're not thinking about, oh, if I going to win this how will -- which ranking will I have and all this stuff.
Just be more relaxed and think about next point and that's it, and next match.

Q. You also always seem to be in a good mood.
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, today I was a little nervous because all crowd was against me, but I thought to myself, I will die on this court but I wouldn't lose, because the crowd was against me so I have to win. I have to prove that I can win that.

Q. But is there anything this really gets you down? You seem so bubbly and happy.
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, it depends on the mood, you know. Depends when you woke up how you feel. I woke up today with a good mood, very good mood. That's why I won maybe so easy, straight sets.

Q. You were saying no pressure on yourself depending on how the players you play are, but you're also the type of player if you don't play well you get upset with yourself. You have high expectations of your own level, correct?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yeah, that's true, but you can't play good and well during all matches. For example, here I didn't start that well first and second match I didn't play well. But then I just felt better and better with every day.
Today I'm happy with the way I played. I think it was a good quality and good level.

Q. Why did you think the crowd -- or feel -- that the crowd was against you?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: I guess it's so many people from Israel came to New York.

Q. How old were you when you decide that you needed to stop hitting the ball so flat and change tactics a little bit?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: I think I was 15, 16 years.

Q. It a was coach that sat down and talked to you about that?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yeah. Actually, I change my coach after that and I just began to work with coach from Sweden with Aspelin. Yeah, I just want to win some matches. You know, I didn't want to lose all the first round, so that's why I change my game.

Q. How long did it take to you get comfortable with this new style?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: A while, of course. You know, it doesn't change really quickly and really fast. But I was working on it and I'm happy that I improved in that.

Q. You're going into your first Grand Slam semifinal. What does that mean to you? This is as if far as you've got in a Slam before.
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: You know, I should be so excited but it, but I think just pretty normal like always. Of course it's a big match, it's a big win, and I'm so the happy to be in the semifinal. But I just thinking about the next match.

Q. To go out and play under the circumstances you did today with the crowd so in favor of her and you're twenty years of age, to be able to go out in that environment and to play the way that you did and prevail, how do you feel about that in terms of your own development as a player mentally?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, I knew that I have to stay concentrate and confident and I have to stay calm. I knew that Shahar going scream after I losing easy point, like, Come on, like this. The crowd will be like, Oh, come on.
But I knew it will be like this so I was prepared for that. I knew in my mind it was most of the crowd will be against me.

Q. Your probably answered the question, but why do you think the girls from Eastern Europe are so successful?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: First time this question actually. From Eastern Europe, I never thought about that. I never thinking where is my opponent coming from actually. You know, I never thought about that before.

Q. Are you upset that there are so many players in this tournament in the quarterfinal? There are six players in the fourth round from Eastern Europe. Are you upset about this fact?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: You know, I never thought about that. Never thought about that.

Q. Here's something else you probably never thought about. Everybody said there's nobody good in the bottom. Nobody any good down there after Sharapova lost. What do you think of that, to be among the bottom feeders?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Of course she was second seed and she was -- I mean, for sure everyone thought she would be in the quarterfinal, but it just didn't happen. I guess just Radwanska played better that day than her. This girl deserved to be in the fourth round as well because she beat Maria and she can beat top players and win these kind of players. I just took advantage of the draw.

Q. Do you think since Wimbledon you maybe have been playing the best tennis on hard courts all summer long, and if you play to your level you should get to the final?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Yes, I'm thinking that, you know, I'm playing well, but still, you know, I'm not feeling that I'm playing my best.
Because even I think in Stanford I played better. But because these two weeks I'm getting like I'm feeling better the ball with each day, so hopefully I will do well on Friday and I will play even better than today.

Q. Do you think that you will feel no pressure as well on Friday and maybe even Saturday?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, I hope I will have no pressure. But, I mean, all players I think have a little pressure before the match. But when they go on court it doesn't really matter if they still have that pressure. It's just gone and they concentrate on the match.

Q. If there were just a few Russian girls doing well it might be easier for everyone to be close and social. But there are so many good Russian women on the tour right now. Does that maybe make in more difficult to get close to people from your own country because you're competing against them all the time?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, you know, me I'm such a friendly person and I'm in good relations with everyone. I mean, we are seeing each other every week. We practice together. I don't think that -- I ht ink on court you're fighting against each other, but when you go off court we're in a good relations.

Q. Is Lansdorp coming now?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: I don't know. I didn't speak with him yet. I'll call him and ask if he comes.

Q. How much has he been helping you?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: He help me a lot. He change my serve a little bit before Toronto. It was -- we had just few practices with him and he did change my serve, and I think on this tournament I'm serving much better.
So he helps me a lot. He gives me confidence, you know, and he's a great guy.

Q. Did you visit him or...
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: I visit him in L.A.

End of FastScripts
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Old Sep 7th, 2007, 01:17 PM   #34
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

Russians, ex-champs spice semis
20-year-old Chakvetadze faces first big test of her rising stardom
By Douglas Robson Special for
USA TODAY
NEW YORK — Anna Chakvetadze is the dark horse entering the final stages of the U.S. Open, but there is nothing dim about the Russian's prospects.
"I think she has potential to be No. 1," says famed California coach Robert Lansdorp, who began working with Chakvetadze in March and has helped hone the strokes of top-ranked women ranging from Tracy Austin to Lindsay Davenport to Maria Sharapova.
That might be another year or two away, Lansdorp says. But Chakvetadze — whose cagey style and court sense have earned her comparisons to Martina Hingis — has served notice with a strong summer and an even stronger U.S. Open that Lansdorp's prognostication might not be far off.
Her first big test is today against 2004 U.S. Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first all-Russian semifinal in New York. Former champions Justine Henin and Venus Williams clash in the other.
"The media like to compare my tennis style with Hingis," says No. 6 Chakvetadze, smiling, "and how I look with Mary Pierce. But I don't think it's even close, eh?"
How then does she explain her disruptive change-of-pace tactics and aptitude for staying one step ahead of the ball?
"Because I am trying to run really fast," she laughs. "Maybe it looks easy, but it's never easy."
What looks easy is her march through the draw. Chakvetadze, 20, hasn't dropped a set, logging an average of 1 hour, 6 minutes a match, fewer minutes than any of her fellow semifinalists.
"I feel every day I am playing better," she says. "That quarterfinal (vs. Shahar Peer) was pretty solid, but I still don't think I'm playing my best level."
What Chakvetadze might have conserved in energy she will lack in experience. Between them, Henin, Williams and Kuznetsova own 13 majors and have appeared in 35 Grand Slam semifinals.
Chakvetadze is an undaunted debutante. "I never walk on court and think I may lose," she says.
Something has to give in the high-octane contest between Henin and Williams.
"That's very delicious," Austin, a USA Network analyst, says of the two six-time major winners.
Henin derailed an all-Williams showdown by dismissing Serena in the quarterfinals for the third consecutive time at a Grand Slam.
In the 6-1 Venus, who won Wimbledon in July, the 5-6 Henin faces a different set of challenges. With a larger wingspan, better foot speed and plenty of muscle, Venus can hang in points longer from the baseline and blunt the Belgian's offense.
"Serena and I, we play different, even though we're both very powerful," Williams said after her win vs. No. 3 Jelena Jankovic on Wednesday night. "So I think she'll definitely obviously have to play well. Quite obviously I'll have to play well, too."
Henin and Williams have not met since 2003, before Henin won the first of her six majors.
"I didn't play Venus for a long time, so that will be interesting," Henin says.
Saturday night's champion will likely emerge from the survivor of that stacked upper half of the draw, according to Jankovic.
"Whoever wins from that top will win the whole tournament, from my opinion," Jankovic says.
Like Chakvetadze, Kuznetsova, 22, has been working through the draw efficiently, dropping just one set. After struggling to cope with winning her first major in 2004, fourth-seed Kuznetsova has consistently gone deep in majors, including a runner-up finish at the 2006 French Open.
"I know (I've) grown as a person and as a player," says the hard-hitting but streaky Kuznetsova. "I can see it in the matches."
Chakvetadze, too, has come a long way in a short time. She calls herself a "weak" junior player, who only showed success when she started to add variety to her game, and she credits Lansdorp.
Lansdorp says he's helped her drive the ball with more pace, a la Davenport, and use her change-of-pace strategy more judiciously.
"It looks like it's starting to work," Lansdorp says.
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Old Sep 7th, 2007, 01:29 PM   #35
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Re: Anna articles and interviews


Elise Amendola/Associated Press
Sixth-seeded Anna Chakvetadze will be the only semifinalist who does not have a U.S. Open title.


By LIZ ROBBINS
Published: September 7, 2007
In a women’s foursome boasting three former United States Open champions, two of whom make up a semifinal worthy of a championship final, one player has quietly slipped into the conversation.

Even her first name and the blond ponytail cascading down her back evoke a more famous tennis player from Russia. But sixth-seeded Anna Chakvetadze, a 20-year-old from Moscow, knows exactly who she is and where she wants to go.
“I should be pretty excited about that, but I’m thinking about the next match already,” she said matter-of-factly. “That’s how I am.”
As the undercard for today’s late afternoon United States Open semifinal — No. 1 Justine Henin versus No. 12 Venus Williams — Chakvetadze will play No. 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova, her friend, Fed Cup teammate from Russia and the 2004 Open champion.
In 2004 at the Open, Chakvetadze was a qualifier who advanced to the third round by upsetting her fellow Russian Anastasia Myskina. She remembered then sitting in the stands to see Kuznetsova crush her second-round opponent. “It was so easy, I was like, Wow, she’s going to do really well this year,” Chakvetadze said yesterday.
Chakvetadze was less prescient about her own career. Her mother, Natalia, started her playing at 8 years old in Moscow. “When I was 10, I was a weak tennis player; I was worst in my group,” she said. “No one really wanted to teach me. My parents always believed in me. I never felt I would be a top-10 player.”
She said she wanted to stay in Moscow to train, comfortable with her coach and her club conditions. A decade later, Chakvetadze ascended to a career-high No. 6 rating and reached the semifinals in the Australian Open and the French Open before losing to Maria Sharapova.
Sharapova, the No. 2 seed, was on track to be Chakvetadze’s quarterfinal opponent this tournament, too. But Agnieszka Radwanska upset her in the fourth round.
It is clear that Chakvetadze and Sharapova, who left Russia at 9 to train in Florida, operate in different worlds.
“No, actually I don’t speak with her, I never speak with her,” Chakvetadze said, adding that Sharapova is very private. Chakvetadze held a relaxed interview yesterday in the garden outside the players’ lounge while her father, Djambuli, was lying happily on a nearby bench, cellphone to his ear.
Chakvetadze, who has spent time in the Russian neighborhood of Brighton Beach this tournament, carries a similar exuberance and innocence after a strong summer on the hardcourts.
She won a tournament at Stanford and then defeated Williams in three sets at San Diego. In California, she connected with Robert Lansdorp, who has coached Sharapova and Lindsay Davenport, and the two worked to improve her serve.
Chakvetadze does not possess a booming serve or powerful ground strokes, relying instead on her slice backhand, and quick feet and mind that draw comparisons to Martina Hingis. As much as she is tired of that comparison, Chakvetadze acknowledges that studying psychology at Moscow University has helped her break down her opponents. Like Henin, she has not dropped a set in this tournament.
But hardly anyone is talking about Chakvetadze. “Of course if I improve my game, people know me,” she said.
Kuznetsova, 22, comes in with the edge of experience, having made three semifinals in Grand Slam tournaments.
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Old Sep 8th, 2007, 08:18 AM   #36
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Transcribed Interview

S. KUZNETSOVA/A. Chakvetadze

3-6, 6-1, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. Where do you think the match got away from you?

ANNA CHAKVETADZE: I just played horrible. I mean, I didn't expect it will be such a turnaround after this first set. You know, just couldn't put the ball in the court. It's very disappointing match for me. I mean, I didn't know what did I do, you know. It was very tough condition because it was very windy. I just couldn't handle with that wind. But I'm very disappointed the way I played today. I mean, I didn't want to, you know, just win in straight sets or something like that, but at least play at least maybe more than 50% that I can. But that didn't happen.

Q. Can you point to any reason why that didn't happen?
ANNA CHAKVETADZE: Well, if I would know why it happened, I would just play better. But it didn't happen, so I don't know why.

Q. When you took that ten minute break between the second and third set, where you able to regroup a little bit?

ANNA CHAKVETADZE: It didn't help, as you saw.

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Old Sep 8th, 2007, 11:00 AM   #37
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

OMG i've just seen the video interview, Anna is so disappointed she couldn't play her best. anna you still have many matches to win ths year
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Old Sep 8th, 2007, 01:54 PM   #38
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

That's why they say experience is important. Anna didn't handle the wind and Sveta, like she would in a smaller event.
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Old Sep 8th, 2007, 02:36 PM   #39
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

She seems so sad on the video...
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Old Nov 13th, 2007, 02:10 AM   #40
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

Sony Ericsson All-Access Hour
Date: 5th November 2007

Q. You will probably be the most improved player of the year. How pleasing is that for you to be here?
A. I’m very excited to be here. I worked a lot this year to be here. Being here is a pleasure the best eight players in the world. This season was the best for me, I think, as you said as well, because I had my highest ranking and I won four titles. So, I’m pleased but of course I want to work more, to improve more as well.

Q. Remember that in Moscow nobody expected you to win in a shell, because so many Russian players... but you did it. Is your life a surprise? Perhaps you can make it here or you come as a newcomer? What is your mentality?
A. I think it’s a little bit different story here because the tournament is much tougher. As you said, nobody expected me to win. Maybe some of the players didn’t really think that I was going to beat them. That’s why maybe they were a little bit relaxed on court. That’s why I won. But here all players know how I’m playing and I know how they are playing as well. So, we know each other very well already. I’ve been on tour for 2/3 years so we know all the players and I know all the players very well. So, it’s a different story. The tournament is much tougher but I’ll try to do my best.

Q. Ana Ivanovic just said that she’s been working in the mental part, the control of emotions because she got to the final in Paris and she was so nervous. Do you have this problem? Are you working on that?
A. You know, when I was playing under 14 I was very nervous and people who might not have seen me play at that time may think that I’m still not at control, but compared to that time I’m much more in control. Of course, I’m working on it. I want to improve on this part of my game as well.

Q. Does the indoor court suit you? Can you play any surface? Because you’ve won on several surfaces?
A. I don’t think that clay is my favourite surface but here I like the surface. It’s not that fast, is little slow. So, I like it and I hope that I’ll do well here.

Q. Justine talked a little bit about you. She said that you distribute your game very well, that you’re very intelligent on the court. Do you agree with that?
A. I cannot disagree with Justine. Yeah, I’m playing my first match with her and I think is a very tough first round for me. I think I have a very tough group but what can we do. I have to play and show my best tennis here in the last tournament. I wish I will even improve here compared to the last 3 weeks which I played indoor season.

Q. What will you have to do to beat her? What’s the main thing you do?
A. It’s very tough to say because twice I was very easily defeated. Hopefully, this time I will play better than the last time I played against her. I just need to stay more concentrated, to keep playing aggressive because if you’re not playing aggressive against Justine I think is very tough to win.

Q. You used to play doubles with Elena Vesnina but now you separated your career so are you still in touch?
A. Yes, of course we are still in touch. I will see her in one week. We are going to have some meetings in Moscow. We are still good friends but we are not playing doubles together because she wanted to play with Likhovtseva this year and I decided to concentrate more on my singles. I’ve played just a few tournaments with Azarenka and I think next year I’ll play with Isvenoyava (phonetic transcription) for the Olympics. We´ll see how it goes and if it goes well maybe we’ll go to the Olympics as well.

Q. You play Justine in the 1st match. Maybe that’s an advantage because for both of you is the 1st match of the tournament? Maybe is better for you to play immediately against her?
A. You never know with these things. It also depends on how it goes. For me it’s better to play Justine in the 1st round because as you said she didn’t play any matches but, on the other hand, I also didn’t play matches. So, we will see how it goes and I think it will be a very interesting match.

Q. Do you follow any ritual before a match or do you have any superstition?
A. I’m not really a superstition person but before very match I’m always listening to my Ipod, my music and just trying to prepare myself. I don’t really like to talk too much before I go to play. I just like to sit somewhere in the corner and stay concentrated for my match, just keep the energy for the court.

Q. What kind of music do you prefer?
A. It depends on the mood. Sometimes fast, like... maybe R&B but it depends. It’s the mood thing I think.

Q. What do you do in your spare time during a tournament?
A. During the tournaments I usually go home because I always want to be with my family and friends of course it is always nice to have some time off. My hobby, I think is shopping, I have said it a lot of time in my interviews.

Q. Do you like any sport apart from tennis
A. Yeah football

Q. Do you practice it?
A. A little bit. My brother actually is a little soccer player. He is just 9 years old, he has just started to play so he wants to improve. My dad is an ex-soccer player as well so I do like to watch it and I play a little bit because we have a little garden in our house.

Q. How is your relationship with the other eight?
A. Its good. We see each other every week and we keep in touch sometimes. Friendly relations because it’s our work to be on the tournaments every week and we see the same faces all the time. I am not saying that I keep in touch with all the eight players but with Svetlana and with most of the Russian girls we keep in touch a lot.

Q. You have the reputation on the tour as being the player with the most interest in fashion. Is it only for shopping or are you interested in designing or something?
A. I do like to design stuff but usually for models and for people .. I better like shopping because I like to buy everything for myself. That’s how I am.

Q. How did you prepare for this tournament because the last indoor tournaments were not so good for you so did you have time to regroup and refocus on this tournament?
A. I have ten days to practice and I did practiced in Moscow with my hitting partner and with my fitness coach so as I said, hopefully I will play better than I played in those few tournaments because as you said the indoor season wasn’t that great for me but I hope I will get through and we will play better here.

Q. Your results at the indoor season were not as good. Were you a little bit tired or a little bit relaxed after winning the Fed Cup?
A. Yes, It’s actually started after the Fed Cup win but I think you can’t play all the year at 100%, its very tough. Even Federer losing now there two tournaments so for me of course it’s tough and I felt a little bit tired but for this tournament I hope that I will get some extra energy because this is the last tournament and very important one.

Q. You are also trained father Djambuli, how do you develop the relationship? Is it difficult?
A. He’s not really my coach, he just helps me outside the court a little bit and he is not all them time telling me sometimes I tell with my mom as well so all my family is here with my little brother but I cannot say that my father is coaching me he is just helping me a bit. It’s more of a psychology thing because when we have bad days it’s very important that we have someone for the team and I think parents are the best people who can help and I am in great relations with my parents. Because of them I am playing tennis and I am playing so well like I am now and it will be very tough without their help.

Q. Do you find it uncomfortable to play with such a long hair?
A. Once when I played in Stanford it got stuck on the racket but it was just one time. I played my back and it just got stuck in the racket. I think I am going to cut it a little bit after Madrid because I cut it every year but before the last tournament I didn’t want to cut it – its a little superstition. But just a little bit, I don’t want to have short hair because I am used to having long hair since I was 8 or 9. It used to be even longer but I get used to it and for me it is comfortable.

Q. Are you still playing the piano?
A. No, not anymore. It’s still in my house. For 10 years I didn’t touch it because I didn’t like it when I was growing up and its very boring and I think when a kid doesn’t like something the after he grows up he still doesn’t like it. I wish I will play; I like to listen to classic music but not playing.

Q. You used to play classical music?
A. Yes.

Q. Did the Martina Hingis case surprise you or do you think these are things that can happen in tennis?
A. It’s a tough question but I think nothing has been proved for 100%. I support the anti-doping programme as well but Martina is a great champion and I hope she will get through that and as I said it’s still not proven 100%.


Chakvetadze takes the psychological approach

Tue Nov 13, 2007 1:17am GMT

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By Simon Baskett
MADRID (Reuters) - Anna Chakvetadze, the latest woman to emerge from the Russian tennis production line, says her time as a psychology student has helped her to break into the top 10 this year.
"I studied psychology at university, although I've not yet finished. At first I thought it was boring but it got more and more interesting when I started to read the books and it definitely helps me when I'm playing," she told Reuters at a promotional event.
"It helps you prepare properly for the match and when I'm playing I try to think about the next point and not the last one. I also make a point of fighting all the time as it puts pressure on your opponent when they see you don't want to give them any free points.
"For me it is important not just in sport but in life in general."
Chakvetadze started the year outside the top 10, but four tour titles and a debut grand slam semi-final appearance at the U.S. Open have helped the 20-year-old to rise to number six.
BEST SEASON
Her performances earned her a place in the season-ending WTA Championships in Madrid for the first time. She fell at the semi-final stage to compatriot Maria Sharapova but showed plenty of evidence of the talent that is likely to make her a fixture in the top 10.
"It is definitely my best season but I've still got plenty of room to improve my tennis and my ranking," she said.
The Moscow-born player, who is one of six Russians in the world's top 15 and a member of the country's victorious Fed Cup team, admits she took up tennis only because she was desperate to find an excuse to give up piano lessons.
"I started with piano and I didn't like it and when I started with tennis I really liked it," she said. "One day I said to my parents I wanted to stop piano and just play tennis. I was just eight years old and I had to stop one of the two.
"My parents were playing a little bit and my mum was watching tennis on TV and she really liked it and she said 'Why don't you try tennis and if you like it you can continue it'.
"My parents never pushed me and that's good because if kids don't want to do something like that they shouldn't have to do it. My mum pushed me for piano and because I didn't like it I'm not playing right now.
"Maybe if I had started a little later I would be a good piano player but it didn't happen and I'm pleased I'm a good tennis player."
SWITCH OFF
Her determination and strength of character were evident in her victory over world number three Jelena Jankovic in her final round-robin match in Madrid.
She won the first set 6-4, then lost seven games in a row to trail 1-0 in the third but hung on to clinch the decider 6-3 and book her place in the semi-finals.
One thing she believes helps her to keep her focus is the fact that she can switch off from the sport when she is not on the circuit.
"My friends who I grew up with have nothing to do with tennis," she said. "They don't know the sport and that makes things easier when I go home. We just go out and because they don't really follow the sport we can talk about anything except tennis.
"During the summer I relax and stay fit by playing soccer in the garden with my friends and my little brother who is nine. You need that sort of freedom."
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Old Nov 17th, 2007, 02:33 PM   #41
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

Queen of the cortex

From Russia, with a lovely bit of topspin ... Anna Chakvetadze, tennis star and psychology student, returns during the WTA Championships in Madrid this month.
Photo: Reuters

Simon Baskett
November 18, 2007


ANNA Chakvetadze, the latest woman to emerge from the Russian tennis production line, says her time as a psychology student has helped her break into the top 10 this year.
"I studied psychology at university, although I've not yet finished," she said. "At first I thought it was boring but it got more and more interesting when I started to read the books and it definitely helps me when I'm playing.
"It helps you prepare properly for the match and when I'm playing I try to think about the next point and not the last one. I also make a point of fighting all the time as it puts pressure on your opponent when they see you don't want to give them any free points.
"For me it is important not just in sport but in life in general."
Chakvetadze started the year outside the top 10, but four tour titles and a debut grand slam semi-final appearance at the US Open have helped the 20-year-old to rise to number six.
Her performances earned her a place in the season-ending WTA Championships in Madrid for the first time. She fell at the semi-final stage to compatriot Maria Sharapova but showed plenty of evidence of the talent that is likely to make her a fixture in the top 10.
"It is definitely my best season but I've still got plenty of room to improve my tennis and my ranking," said Chakvetadze.
The Moscow-born player, who is one of six Russians in the world's top 15 and a member of the country's victorious Fed Cup team, admits she took up tennis only because she was desperate to find an excuse to give up piano lessons.
"I started with piano and I didn't like it and when I started with tennis I really liked it," she said. "One day I said to my parents I wanted to stop piano and just play tennis. I was just eight years old and I had to stop one of the two.
"My parents were playing a little bit and my mum was watching tennis on TV and she really liked it and she said, 'Why don't you try tennis and if you like it you can continue it'.
"My parents never pushed me and that's good because if kids don't want to do something like that they shouldn't have to do it. My mum pushed me for piano and because I didn't like it I'm not playing right now.
"Maybe if I had started a little later I would be a good piano player but it didn't happen and I'm pleased I'm a good tennis player."
Her determination and strength of character were evident in her victory over world No.3 Jelena Jankovic in her final round-robin match in Madrid.
She won the first set 6-4, then lost seven games in a row to trail 1-0 in the third but hung on to clinch the decider 6-3 and book her place in the semi-finals.
One thing she believes helps her to keep her focus is the fact that she can switch off from the sport when she is not on the circuit.
"My friends who I grew up with have nothing to do with tennis," she said. "They don't know the sport and that makes things easier when I go home. We just go out and because they don't really follow the sport we can talk about anything except tennis.
"During the summer I relax and stay fit by playing soccer in the garden with my friends and my little brother who is nine. You need that sort of freedom."
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Old Nov 17th, 2007, 09:04 PM   #42
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

Anna awarded tonight Player of the year in Russia.

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Old Nov 17th, 2007, 11:34 PM   #43
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

Anyone got pictures?
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Old Jan 12th, 2008, 03:58 PM   #44
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

Chakvetadze's lost time



http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegrap...012689,00.html
THE pain is still raw for world No.6 Anna Chakvetadze, the Russian tennis queen held up at gunpoint by masked bandits and robbed of $250,000 during a home invasion last month.
By comparison, the Australian sun beating down on Melbourne's centre court is a welcome distraction.
With snow covering the outskirts of Moscow on December 18 last year, Chakvetadze's preparations for the opening grand slam of this year were rocked by a chilling reality.
Masked men burst into her mansion. Her father Dzhamal was pistol-whipped. The Russian tennis star was tied-up.
"We actually didn't want anyone to know about that but the same day it was everywhere on the internet and in the newspapers,'' Chakvetadze said.
"Everywhere was information about what happened.
"I'm so happy we have a lot of friends and people who helped us because it was a tough time for me and my family, what we went through.''
By the time the bandits had finished the Chakvetadze family were missing $250,000 worth of cash, jewellery and other assets.
The Russian tennis queen's lead-in to the Australian Open was in tatters, having been scheduled to fly to Hong Kong the day of the ordeal to begin preparing for a hot summer.
Instead she sought refuge with family friends. Now Chakvetadze must start tomorrow's Open on a limited and disrupted preparation.
"It's tough to say how I will perform because my preparation was disrupted because I had some troubles with me and my family before my flight, said Chakvetadze in understatement.
"So the preparation was not that good. It's very hot in Australia, I have to get used to it, in Russia at the moment it's minus 15.
"In Australia the first time is tough because of the heat but once you get used to it it starts to get good.
"All the top 10 players are dangerous but it's very difficult to say because you don't know what shape each player is going to be in.''
On the court, 2007 was a watershed year for the latest female Russian tennis star.
Chakvetadze won four singles titles on the Women's Tennis Association tour, amassed $1.6 million in prizemoney and made the semi-finals of the US Open.
Now she's aiming even higher.
"The new generation is always coming, every year there is someone new so you have to be ready for that,'' she said.
"I want to get better all the time, challenge the best players, beat some of the others in the top 10.''
Knocked out of the Sydney International in the opening round last week, Chakvetadze has been honing her game in on the new plexicushion courts in Melbourne.
"It's much slower than it used to be last year but if you practice on it then you get used to it.
"I like it, it's all right.''
Meanwhile compatriot Vera Zvonareva's Australian Open campaign is now in doubt after a warm-up mishap forced her to withdraw from the Hobart International final, handing the title to Greece's Eleni Daniilidou.
Daniilidou won her fifth WTA tour event with the walkover after second seed Zvonareva badly rolled her left ankle in practise.
The Russian world No.23 had an MRI scan in Melbourne yesterday to determine the extent of the damage, but concedes her grand slam hopes are in danger.
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Old Jan 12th, 2008, 04:12 PM   #45
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Re: Anna articles and interviews

What's strange is that Anna said "We actually didn't want anyone to know about that but the same day it was everywhere on the internet and in the newspapers,''

But her dad was on tv a few hours afterwards taking off his hat and showing the marks on his forehead.
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