Interview of Maria after the first round of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow won against Agnieszka Radwanska wednesday (6-3, 6-3).
« Maria, are there any inconvenient players in this tournament?
That’s tough to say. All players showed their best tennis from 1 till 100. I played Agnieszka three times. First time I lost and then two times I won. She is an inconvenient player. She doesn’t show aggressive tennis and I always have time to attack. Maybe that’s the reason why I beat her twice.
Are there any opponents who you are afraid of?
I am afraid of no one. Every time I am on the court I show my best tennis. I try to win every match. But of course sometimes I fail. Sometimes I face a serious opponent, sometimes you are not on the top of the game. But in general I’m not afraid of anyone.
This season wasn’t very successful for you. How can you explain that? And the second question concerns your coach team: who is there?
Really the beginning of this year was not very successful. This year is one of the worst in my career? I worked with my coach who visited Kremlin Cup last year. We parted with him after the Australian Open at the beginning of this year. And our training process wasn’t on the high level. That’s why I wasn’t in my best shape and lost my confidence. Moreover I had a knee injury. And all these factors resulted in a bad season. After we parted I tried to find a sparring partner. I found two spanish guys. I want to practice with someone with who I can hit my shots. My coach couldn’t play me. He could only throw balls to me. After Wimbledon I was exhausted from all coaches and sparring partners. And I asked my father to assist me while he assists me since childhood. He knows me better than any coach. After Wimbledon we started working together. Now I feel much more confident and show good tennis not like I used to.
You said that Agnieszka is a convenient player for you. Could you please clarify that?
I always have time before shots. We played doubles this year and more or less I am aware of her weak points. But while playing with her it’s important to avoid unforced errors. Last two times I played her. I made few unforced errors and a lot of aces. That’s why I beat her twice. If you make many errors you can easily lose.
You retired from the Osaka tournament. What was the reason?
During the match my knee ached and I decided not to tense before the Kremlin Cup tournament. So I made up my mind to retire to treat my knee and to have time to prepare for the Kremlin Cup.
And what about your knee? Does it hurt?
Everything is ok.
How well do you know your opponent Alexandra Wozniak?
I know that she shows good tennis for the last time. But I never played her, only trained with her couple of times. She plays aggressive tennis. We’ll see. I can’t say anything more. I’ll try to show my best tennis.
Have you come up with your tactical plans or you react during the match?
If my tactics don’t work out during the match I try to change something in my play and to do something leading to success. Otherwise I play either backhand or try to advance to the net. I play resultative tennis.
Are you influenced by the fact that you never played second rounds at the Kremlin Cup?
The fact is that every year I play top tennis players. Twice I played Vera Zvonareva and Francesca Schiavone when she was in top 20 as well as Agnieszka Radwanska. Yesterday I played doubles and felt myself in a good shape. So I was more or less confident in my shots as yesterday we won the doubles quite easily. Yesterday we were on the top that’s why I was confident.
How do you estimate the role of physiologists in tennis? Do you personally need their help?
I know a lot of players working with physiologists. I think that’s good. But I still think that one should cope with his/her emotions and develop himself/herself. Because it doesn’t work like a magic. A conjurer won’t come and say: “Everything is done. You are going to win now.” Such miracles are impossible. First of all you should believe in yourself to find the right direction and trust what you do. Then you’ll see the result.
Could you please comment on the situation with Adidas?
I don’t see any trouble with Adidas as I knew that my contract is expiring after the US Open. But after the US Open I maintain our cooperation with them. We had a shooting session with David Beckham together. So I was moved to another division. And I would even say that it is better than was. We had a fruitful partnership with Adidas. They support me and I am not upset at all.
Is it your first play here? Did you gain an extra confidence? How do you rate your chances to go through to reach the final?
This is nice to beat the seed player in the 1st round and I can say I am always a little bit nervous. Especially in Moscow in front of your own crowd. Agnieszka is a good top player and I beat her in a tough match at US Open, it was hard to play her. »