Tennis Forum banner

1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
54,291 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,28910-2237127,00.html

The TimesJune 22, 2006

Tennis: Laughter the only option as demanding coach Kuznetsova wipes me off court
By Katie Scott

Our correspondent finds that a brief session with Russia’s world No 7 is no walk in Devonshire Park

IT IS not every day you get the chance to play tennis with one of the best in the world, so when the call came from the office that I was to have 15 minutes on court with Svetlana Kuznetsova, the Russian ranked No 7 in the Sony Ericsson WTA world rankings, my response was obvious. Yes, please.

A few days later I board the train to Eastbourne, where Kuznetsova is competing in the Hastings Direct International Championships. My nerves are abated by the news that the No 4 seed will merely be passing on a few coaching tips. It means that I will not have to face her serve, which, if you consider that she hit 44 aces when winning the US Open title in 2004, is a relief.

I pull up at Devonshire Park, pull on my whites and hurry to Court No 11, where, to my horror, quite a crowd has gathered. Elena Likhovtseva, the world No 28 from Russia, is practising furiously on the adjacent court and my gut instinct is to head for the hills. Unfortunately, Kuznetsova, who reached the final of the French Open two weeks ago, arrives with a huge smile on her face and I realise that there is no getting out of this now. Having been unable to locate my tennis shoes in the rush to leave, I have only cross trainers with me, the harsh soles of which would reduce the groundstaff, who nurture these courts with tender care, to tears. My only other option is a pair of silver ballet pumps.

So, risking the wrath of the groundsmen, we get down to business. As forehand after forehand flies out, I realise that Kuznetsova is a hard taskmaster. She bombards me with tips such as “move your feet” and “step into the ball” as I scramble about the baseline trying to keep my eye on the ball, which is difficult to do with the intimidating presence of Martina Navratilova practising on the next court.

“What’s going wrong?” I ask. “Nothing,” Kuznetsova says. “Only you no concentrate. You must stop laughing all the time.” The torture lasts all of about five minutes before it is time for photos and for Svetlana (we are on first-name terms by now) to move on to her next victim. I ask about her Wimbledon prospects — “I definitely think I have a better chance this year, but it depends a lot on the draw. There is no easy match at Wimbledon,” she says — before our time is up. As we walk off court, Svetlana shakes my hand before disappearing into the autograph-hunting crowd. I feel a tug on my shorts and turn to see a young boy holding a pen towards me: “Could you sign my ball, please?” he asks. And with that, my day is made.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LH2HBH

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,069 Posts
WOW - what a cute article!!! Wonderful, I wish it was me!
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
Top