ITF Pro Circuit meets... Anna Morgina
We recently had the opportunity to learn more about this 21-year-old Russian currently ranked at 542.
Where did this young Russian grow up playing tennis? What other player's attributes would she take to create a super player? and what revelation is in store for her parents?
Read on to find out the answers to these and other questions.
ITF Pro Circuit: Can you tell us where were you born and maybe describe the area where you grew up?
Anna Morgina: I was born in Moscow, Russia but when I was 13 I moved to Cairo, Egypt and lived there till present. These two places are very different from each other and I prefer Cairo more because I have been there for a long time and climate over there is much better than Moscow, because it gets very cold over there and I don't like that at all.
Do any other members of your family play sport?
Yes my dad used to do professional fencing and my mom was a skier. They both were masters of sports of USSR which was very big in earlier years.
So how did you get started in tennis?
I started in Moscow when I was 7 years old. My dad brought me to a tennis section because I was a very hyper kid, I had too much energy and I need to put it somewhere and since then I never stopped playing.
What can you tell us about your current coach?
My current coach is Egyptian, his name is Karim Zaher and we practice in Gezira club in Cairo. He was the one that helped me to achieve some great results lately [both] mentally and physically which I am very grateful for.
Who were/are your tennis idols?
[Roger] Federer has always been my hero since I was young and until now I believe that he is the best.
What is your greatest tennis memory either as a player or as a fan?
When I was really young I used to skip my last classes of school and run away from the lessons to go watch Kremlin Cup, my sister used to get me tickets for free and until now my parents have no idea that I did that [smiles].
As a player, of course my Pro Circuit title ceremonies are the best memories so far!
Who has been the toughest opponent you have faced on court in an ITF Pro Circuit match?
In USA I played a challenger event, I played a Russian, Olga Puchkova, she used to be WTA number 37. Our second set tiebreaker was 13-11 and I won the match in the end.
In your opinion, what would you say are the best and worst aspects of being a professional tennis player?
I really started playing professionally after I graduated from college in December 2012, which happened recently and my first pro tournament this year was in March, but from what I have experienced so far it's a great opportunity to travel around, see the world, and how tennis life is lived. I would say it’s a lot of fun because you get to know a lot of people from inside and outside of tennis, but it is also very tough because I cannot see people that are close to me a lot, since they live at my hometown.
So far in your career, what has been the nicest ITF Pro Circuit venue that you played at?
Most tournaments I played were in Sharm El Sheikh, and for me that place is a paradise, also because it's in Egypt and that's where I had been living for a lot of years.
What is the best experience that you had on the ITF Pro Circuit?
Probably meeting my best friend Yana Sizikova at one of the tournaments is the best experience I have ever had.
Which player(s) are you friends with?
Yana Sizikova (RUS), Anastasia Kharchenko (UKR) and Basak Eraydin (TUR).
How do players relationships with each other at tournaments compare on the ITF Pro Circuit to other Circuits you may have played (ie ITF Juniors/WTA Tour)?
There is no big difference between Juniors and ITF Pro Circuit, I have been talking to the same people, in the same way and having friends on both tours. But if I compare these circuits with college tennis, I would see a big difference because in college most of the girls do not have good relationships and it is very difficult to communicate with each other due to that.
How has playing on the ITF Pro Circuit helped you as a player?
For sure ITF helped me to gain experience which I never had in college, and I got my first ranking thanks to those tournaments, and if I keep on improving my ranking I can get into bigger level tournaments which will develop me even as a better player.
Would you recommend that juniors go on to play the ITF Pro Circuit?
Of course, that's where everybody gets their first professional rankings which will help to get into higher division tournaments
Regarding other female players (past & present), whose attributes would you take to create your own female super player?
Serve: Serena Williams
Return of Serve: Maria Sharapova
Forehand: Svetlana Kuznetsova
Backhand: Justine Henin
Volley: Martina Navratilova
Positioning: Justine Henin
Speed on court: Caroline Wozniacki
Concentration: Maria Sharapova
Fighting spirit: Jelena Jankovic
If you could only have one Grand Slam title, which would you choose?
Whathas been the best piece of advice you have been given?
Even the darkest night will end, and the sun will rise. So don't be sad now, it will get better later .
Away from the tennis court do you have any other interests
Besides tennis I give my everything to the people I love. That's my biggest interest in life.
Do you have a favourite holiday destination?
Not really, when I have a week off from tennis I usually go to my hometown and spend some time with family and friends.
If you had not become a tennis player what career path would you have liked to have followed?
Probably my family's, because most of the members work, or had been working at advertisement sphere.
Have you set yourself any goals for 2013?
Yes by the end of the year I want to get into 300s and if I do so I will continue playing and getting better.
Finally, tell us something about yourself that possibly not many people already know?
I have that dream place to go, it will probably happen when I retire, it's La Digue Island, Seychelles.