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Fed Cup. RUSSIA - FRANCE
COACH Sharapova Thomas HOGSTEDT: "IN OUR BUNCH BOSS - MARIA
In the Olympic Sports Complex continuing training teams of Russia and France, which tomorrow and Sunday, will meet in the quarterfinals of the Federation Cup. Yesterday, an interview with Sport Express gave Thomas Hogstedt - 47-year-old Swedish coach of former top-ranked and the first issue of the Russian team of Maria Sharapova.
- If not a secret, how long you think before accepting the invitation to work with Mary?
- In fact, the question is not how much time it took me. Just before I was busy - coached by Li Na of China, but when I finished working with it, then switched to cooperation with Sharapova. This is a great honor for me and I will do everything to Mary returned to the leadership position. We will move forward gradually - step by step.
- Learn the Russian language have not started yet?
- So far I know only "thanks" and a few words. I guess I should really sit down for textbooks. (Laughs).
- What do you think about Sharapova, when there were not familiar with it and watch the game on the part of Mary?
- It is - a true champion, and I always liked the way she plays. Of course, there are things on which to work, and we both know it. However, while I went with Mary to just one tournament ...
- When you started working with Sharapova, already knew that its long-term coach, Michael Joyce, will soon leave the team of Mary?
- The decision to leave Michael took I did not. Personally, I'm all arranged. More on this subject I have nothing to say.
- What are first of all you have to work with Sharapova?
- To return to a leadership position, it is necessary to improve all components of the game. As banal as it may sound, it is not in any one stroke.
- What kind of problem is posed in front of him as a coach?
- It is important, of course, and position in the ranking and winning Grand Slams. " And if, in general, my goal - re-do champion Maria, I hope that together we will get there. See how the desire to work with Sharapova, and I'm sure her a lot on the shoulder. And as will happen with me or not - see. In any case, I get great pleasure from our cooperation.
- Probably, you are now experiencing a strong psychological pressure?
- I always felt it - with whomever he worked. However, the same thing happened when he played. I even like it.
- The schedule Sharapova in February, worth three tournaments. Not too much?
- In the last couple of years she played not so many matches as she wanted. However, this moment, we concentrate only on the Fed Cup. It was only after a speech in Moscow will decide where we go next. So it is not necessary that we play all the tournaments that are on the schedule.
- Many are worried about the physical state of Sharapova.
<---------- ZOMG that's like totally my question!
- It's all right, but, again, we are working with her was not so long. On such matters is better to speak six months or a year of cooperation. Food for thought will be more and more until I was a novelty.
- And yet - what is currently the main problem of Maria? In psychology, or physical condition?
<---------- ZOMG that's like totally my question 2.0!
- There is no other. It has long been traumatized, and for any tennis player is not an easy situation. Return is always difficult, but Sharapova well motivated, and she will return to its former level.
- During training with Sharapova, you are using already proven over the years to come up with exercises or her something special?
- I combine. That is, use what is, in my opinion, fits the style of her game. Of course, I have a time-tested exercises, but do not forget that our boss is a bundle - that Sharapova, and we must build on its status. On what exactly it comfortably.
- In preparation for the Fed Cup match your role as a change?
- No, no difference. All the usual way: players train, advise coaches. The atmosphere is very good, I have respect for everyone who is present here. I know many long time - at work in the WTA Tour. So no problem.
- Thomas, you're not the first time in Moscow ...
- Yes, been there many times. Still active players spoke at the first Kremlin Cup (in 1990. - Note. "SE"), and then came in as coach, the German Nicolas Kiefer and Tommy Haas, and Li Na.
- Nevertheless, when follow you from the outside, it seems that you are still wondering the dimensions of the "Olympic".
- I remember all those times when the central court was in another corner of the stadium ... Fantastic building, I was here many times - and always amazed anew.
- Who's your favorite Russian tennis player?
- Perhaps I'll call Kafelnikov and Safin, a great player. Eugene, by the way, I once won, when he was very young and just starting their careers, and recently met him at the Australian Open. Safin, when spoken, is often practiced with Haas. I still have very good relations with Nastya Myskina - it played in our tournament in Stockholm. You are lucky that they all now work for the benefit of Russian tennis.
- Who, in your opinion, now is the clear leader among the women?
- Best of all is Belgian Kim Clijsters, but soon the situation, it is likely to change. The level of play increases, since the first round matches at major tournaments got very heavy. To break into the elite can anyone. I hope that will not be long - and Sharapova will be the leaders.