Tennis.Life spoke to both Sebov and her mother, Oksana Petrovska, by phone on Saturday night.
On realizing that the incident had become big news
Sebov: “I was very surprised that it went on Fox News. Today I was told TMZ took it. And Russian national news. I didn’t think it would be such a crazy event. All I did was have a world-class handshake. I didn’t say anything,” Sebov said.
“I don’t have Twitter. I saw the Tweets because they’re everywhere. What Parks said is pure lies, and I’d like to emphasize that. If people are taking her side, it’s just that they don’t know the whole story.”
On the handshake
Sebov: “What you guys didn’t see was that (as Parks arrived at the net) she was mocking my celebrating in a very disrespectful manner, with the head bob. That was her imitating me … She wanted to give me the limp fish (handshake).
I just took her hand firmly, gave her a professional handshake, and walked away to my bag. I didn’t realize she was charging at me until she was very close on my side. The refs and line umpires were having trouble holding her back. As a reflex I just blocked her, to defend myself.”
On the physical contact
Sebov: “She was saying things (at the net), but it was kind of hard to understand her because she was so blind with anger. When she was coming at me I was surprised, because I didn’t know that was going to happen. I sort of blocked her, but that was about it.
“I wasn’t scared. I just thought the whole situation was ridiculous. Because I didn’t do anything to her. I didn’t irritate her in any way during the match. It was all her.”
Very mature attitude from Sebov :yeah:An experience Sebov will take as positive
Meanwhile, Sebov has determined to take the positives out of the situation.
“I just think that if I’m so tough to keep my cool in the match that I had a couple of days ago, nothing can hurt me. That was the most extreme thing that could have happened. I think this experience only made me tougher,” she said.
“I’m a very fair player. I always have been. I pride myself on that. I treat everyone with respect. All of these girls, even though they’re my competitors, I look them in the eye and tell them good morning. I saw (Parks) in the change room (before the match). She looked me in the eye and didn’t say anything, and I said, ‘Good morning’. I have a clear conscience, because I know I didn’t do anything wrong.”
And if she meets Parks again on the ITF circuit?
“I’m going to prepare, just like I do any other match. I’ll be cool, just play my game. And do the best that I can that day. I’m not going to feel any anger towards her. Or try to do anything out of the ordinary,” Sebov said.
“I don’t care about the drama. I’m here to play tennis. I don’t need all this crap around me. I don’t have the energy and time to deal with this. I have much bigger plans on my plate.”