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This is from the French issue of Tennis Magazine. I made the the translation, sorry for the eventual mistakes :eek:

Evguenia Koulikovskaia, 24 years old, always knows why a journalist is interested in her. And unfortunately, until now, that's not really because of her results on the WTA Tour. Since her professionnal's debuts on 1995 at the Kremlin Cup's event, the Russian only has two 1/4 F to her credits on the principal tournaments of the Tour, and it was at 2 events where the opposition wasn't that though : Luxembourg (1998) and Budapest (1999). Seven participations on the Grand Slam's main Draws, but only three victories. A discretion which didn't prevent her to reach the top 100 (she was 91th in June, her best ranking), thanks to wins on the lower categories of the WTA Tour. "I know pretty well France" smiles Evguenia by enumerating the cities of Saint Gaudens, Dinan or Denain.
However, Koulikhovskaia is an extraordinary player, only of a kind on the Tour, which provokes the curiosity of medias all around the world. For a good reason : we have rarely seen someone who plays like her. When she is on the court, the first surprise of the crowd becomes as the match goes on a real astonishment. Just observe the crowd's reactions during the last Wimbledon, while Evguenia was playing a double with the Croatian Silvija Talaja. The word "Incredible" has been said at several times during the meeting. Incredible, but true.
What's the mistery of Evguenia? Just ask a question : how is her backhand? You'll never know it because she only hits forehands ! She doesn't have a backhand and never had. When she began to play tennis, at 6 years old, the first shot she learnt was the forehand. Ambidextrous, she tried an experience, soon supported by her coach at that time
"First, i was in fact a lefty, but i don't know why, it was judged as a handicap in my German's language's School, where the discipline was very very though for someone like me who had some troubles to stay quiet" remembers the Russian. "So i became a right-handed by obligation, and my first coach at the Lokomotiv's club-Alexei Bekunov- quickly realized that i was able to hit forehands with the left hand and the right hand as well. In fact, he noticed that when i was playing against the wall, and he found funny to see that i was only hitting forehands. He took me on his curses, and didn't push me to abandon to play like that. I never have succeded to let that habit. My following coaches didn't even try to build a backhand. It was too late.", Nobody, really? "Yes, my mother, and more recently my fiancé, Andrei (the brother of Misha Youzhny), but i quickly became crazy."
When she waits the ball of her opponent, Koulikhovskaia, who serves with her left-hand (while she can smash with the 2 hands), has her two hands which are put on the grip of the racket : the right at the top, the left at the bottom. And when she knows in which side the ball is going, she drops the useless' hand. Consequently, her left forehand is doing with the end of the grip of the racket while the right-hand forehand is hitting with the hand which stays on the middle. "I have less allongement with that last forehand, but i have the feeling to control better the ball", she says. "But on that side, i'm obliged to use all the power of my body" . Does she play with the same ability on all the surfaces, clay or hardcourts, where the ball comes back more quickly ? "It changes nothing. Because now, that's only a reflex."
If the crowd can be surprised, her opponent often needs to understand what's happening. Moreover when players are totally discovering Evguenia. "With that girls, that's always funny. They're a little bit lost to see that i'm only hitting forehands, but after a few minutes, they forget that particularity. They laugh about that, and generally, we're talking about that at the end of the match." That strange way of play also produces some jokes on the locker rooms :" I'm asked : how as your backhand today?" she says " That's not disturbing at all, like the crowd's reactions, even if sometimes, it's weird to see people pointed at my direction while i'm playing. Sometimes, when i play, i can hear the comments when i understand the language like : wow, look at how she's playing!" Celine Beigbeder, who lost to her this year in Dinan and Roland Garros says that to face someone who only plays with forehands, "it's quickly forgotten". "I discovered her in Key Biscayne, in 2002, during a practice." she remembers. "My surprise has been total. But then you realize that it's the same thing with someone who plays with two hands. We simply know that she has less allongement on one side."
In the story of the game, Koulikhovskaia is surprisingly not the only player to have that double forehand. According to Bud Collins, who published a rich encyclopedia of tennis, two players at the high level had played like that : the Italian Giorgio de Stefani, who has been semifinalist of the French Open in 1934 (and became later the President of the ITF), and the American Beberly Baker Fleiz, who plays the Wimbledon's final in 1955 versus Louise Brough.
On WTA Tour where everything is improving so faster because of the power, Koulikhovskaia probably won't appear on a Grand Slam's final, but she stays optimistic ("I want to become the Number One" she says), like the image of a enjoyable's character with a good sense of humor : "Sometimes, by joking with other players or friends, i say that i have the best backhand of the world. The proof is that i never miss it!"

Hope you'll appreciate :)
 

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Kuti Kis&Monica said:
This is from the French issue of Tennis
"First, i was in fact a lefty, but i don't know why, it was judged as a handicap in my German's language's School, where the discipline was very very though"

I knew that Kimiko Date had a similar story, because she was a former lefty, but i didn't know Russias or Germans would have the same pre-judgements :confused: But it's past now, as we can see it now with Obata for example.
 

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Nice story,
have Evgenia and Maria Antonio Sanchez Lorenzo ever played she hits Two handed backhands on both sides and has no forehand (she changes the placement of her hands so it looks like a bachand each side) . I guess it would be an interesting match.
 

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Appreciated. :)
 

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Kuti Kis&Monica said:
Kuti Kis&Monica said:
This is from the French issue of Tennis
"First, i was in fact a lefty, but i don't know why, it was judged as a handicap in my German's language's School, where the discipline was very very though"

I knew that Kimiko Date had a similar story, because she was a former lefty, but i didn't know Russias or Germans would have the same pre-judgements :confused: But it's past now, as we can see it now with Obata for example.

Actually, that sort of thing happened in many countries!
 

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thanks for the article .!!
 
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