Interview with Piotr Wozniacki
You say "home" and think about...
About Poland. The fact that I spent abroad a half of my life doesn't change it. I still consider myself as Pole, I think in polish. When we were arranging this interview, I was even in Poland.
Not only. I hit on an idea to organize an exhibition tournament in autumn, most likely in Legnica. I came to arrange it.
Who will play there?
I would like this tournament to be a small Open Championships of Poland with Karolina [Wozniacki], Radwanska sisters, Sabine Lisicki and maybe somebody else.
You consider yourself as a Pole but Caroline claims openly that she feels more Danish.
Is it strange? She's a daughter of Poles but she was born and brought up there. She has friends in Denmark so who would she consider herself as? For me it's an honest statement.
Wojciech Fibak claims that despite that fact we should treat her as a compatriot. Lisicki and Wozniak too.
It's nice of him. In fact he's right as they all speak well polish and they are not ashamed where they come from. During Wimbledon my daughter told polish journalists to speak her name Karolina Woźniacka.
She could play for Poland?
She played for Poland! She was a member of Polish Tennis Association. Karolina is the team champion of Poland to 12 years old. Sabine Lisicki was in the same team then.
Some parents of defeated girls didn't like it. They protested and Polish Tennis Association changed the rules and didn't let the players who live abroad participate in Polish Championships. But all affair began when Angelique Kerber became the champion of Poland.
So we lost them all because the genuine envy?
Maybe Caroline would choose Denmark. However it for sure made the decidion easier.
Why you chose Denmark?
I studied on Academy of Physical Education in Biała Podlaska and wrote a master's thesis about Denmark's soccer representation which reached finals during Euro in 1984. I played soccer and I admired Lerby, Larsen and older Laudrup. The most important factor was that they let me go abroad which was not easy then. I went to Denmark, later to Germany where I had propositons from second and third leauge. I couldn't approve as there were senseless rules then. Officialy you could play abroad when you reached 30 y.o. I was 23 then.
So you decided to play 'unofficially'.
Yeah, you can call it so <laugh>. I was oubviously disqualified for two years. I waited and I could play where I wanted. In the end I landed up in Denmark.
You played soccer. Wife was a representant of Poland in volleyball. Why tennis?
We played with wife as amateurs. Karolina since childhood imitaded her older brother Patryk. He played football, so she did. He got interested in tennis, she did it as well.
When you realised that she could make a professional career?
When Karolina became a champion of Denmark to 12 y.o. winning all matches 6:0 6:0. She was nine then! I employed a coach then to teach her technique skills. Until then I was her coach but I realised that it should be changed.
Officially you're still her coach.
Rather someone like the coordinator of training, management and schedule.
You differ from Robert Radwański. The father of Agnieszka and Ula does everything himself.
It looks so when you stay aside. He uses the help of other coaches but he doesn't show off with it. I know that the family of Radwański has a manager, Viktor Archutowski.
But Radwański doesn't want to sign the contract with the management agency. You did it and you seem not to regret it?
Whole world is based on agents. If someone having good contact offers you a help, why not to use it?
Because you would pay a 15-20% commision
If you sign ten contracts and you give back 15-20% from each, you have in sum more than you would have signing none or one or two. But you should remember that Radwańscy had a fantastic contract with Prokom which has expired. They seem not to be prepared for this and they must turn up in the new reality.
In Poland many people say that Agnieszka and Ula will never be so high to negotiate the commercial contract themselves.
People don't have the slightest idea what they are telling about! Let's compare with soccer. The quarterfinal of Major tournament is like the quarterfinal of UEFA Champions Leaugue. How many times polish club reached it?
Many people also say that Agnieszka doesn't use her potential and that her father should hire a good coach and retire.
Agnieszka should make such a decidion herself and I know she doesn't want to change anything. There's no point making her happy if she doesn't want it.
Maybe it's worthwhile? After her defeat to Venus Williams her father said he didn't know how to speak to her. 'I talk to deaf ears' - he stated.
He said it just after the match. I know how it is. You are coming out from stands, you are disappointed, nervous and here suddenly journalists come and turn on dictaphones. I think he wouldn't repeat it if he was calm.
What do you think about Radwańskis conflict with Warsaw Open organizers?
I don't believe that Maria Sharapova played in Warsaw for free. I can add that I don't understand the director of Warsaw Open. I was there during the tournament with Karolina and I saw how he treated Agnieszka. He didn't tell her a word. He behaved as if he wanted to show her: 'I am here a big lord director and you have to do what I want, if you don't, I will show you. And he showed - publishing the fragments of the private correspondention with her father.
He achieved what he wanted. Many polish fans turned away from Radwańskas.
Unfortunately. Again there came out the ignorance of the reality of professional tennis. In my opinion, Agnieszka had a full right to feel offended when she got to know that Sharapova comes, from the point of view of this tournament, someone less important then her.
Don't you exaggerate a bit?
I don't think so. The empty stands during Sharapova's matches confirm it. I am absolutely convinced that if Agnieszka played, more people would come. If you make a tournament in Poland, you should first of all care mainly for players from your country. If it weren't for those games, I'm sure that Agnieszka would play for free, even with injury. Karolina would play in Warsaw Open too.
Princess Ula Radwańska
www.teamula.com. Are YOU team Ula ENOUGH?
Last edited by TeamUla : Jul 10th, 2009 at 12:22 PM.