Re: Vera Zvonareva - Interview Thread
2018 - US OPEN - USA, NY
Qualies Quarter: Zvonareva, Bouzkova lead mix of experience, youth into 2018 US Open draw
2010 US Open finalist Vera Zvonareva is back in the main draw in Flushing Meadows for the first time in seven years, junior champion Marie Bouzkova makes it though, and Patty Schnyder makes history. Catch up with qualies right here!
August 25, 2018
NEW YORK, NY, USA - The 2018 US Open Qualifying tournament concluded on Friday with a plethora of feel-good stories to take fans through the first week of the season's final major tournament.
Catch up with some of the most notable results from around the grounds.
Vintage Vera returns to New York: Eight years after World No.2 Vera Zvonareva finished runner-up at the US Open to Kim Clijsters, the 2008 Olympic Bronze medalist qualified for her first main draw appearance in Flushing Meadows since 2011.
I spoke with the Russian from the US Open back in 2016, shortly after she married and gave birth to daughter, Evelyn. At the time, tennis seemed like the furthest thing from her mind, even as she aimed to get back into the gym and planned to run a marathon.
A year later, she returned to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to kick off her her "comeback," winning a round before falling in the second round of qualifying and picking up an ill-timed injury before the season was over.
"I think Iím improving. Even though I started playing last year, I fractured my rib at the end of last year, so I had to stop for three months again. It was on and off over the course of the past year, I was not training a lot, so it was very difficult."
The two-time Grand Slam finalist soon got healthy and kicked things into high gear this summer, qualifying for Wimbledon and making an auspicious coaching hire in Arnuad Decugis. A former ATP player, Decugis is the husband and former coach of Julie Halard-Decugis, a World No.7 in singles and 2000 US Open champion in doubles with Ai Sugiyama.
"For the last two months, I really put an effort on being fit again, and training as much as I can. Physically I was able to do it, which was very good, because before I had too many injuries, and I couldnít put too many hours into training. I think that helps a lot. Right now, I think I have improved compared to the last year -- hopefully it will help me on the court."
That improved physicality was on display Friday, rallying from 2-5 down in the final set against Zhu Lin and saving five match points to triumph, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, in two hours and 46 minutes.
Awaiting her in the main draw is countrywoman Anna Blinkova, a teenager born two years before Zvonareva turned pro in 2000. Still, things seem to be getting easier for the veteran, who took her daughter on tour through the summer swing.
"My daughter is getting older, day by day. I think itís a little bit easier, and then of course I can take her on the road with me. She was with me at Wimbledon, and then Bucharest, so it was very nice. Iím planning to bring her on the road a little bit more in the future."
Serena: "We have great personalities like Jelena (Jankovic) on the tour."
Jelena: "If I had to pick someone after me, I'd pick Serena."