Ana on front page of Calcutta Times

Ana on front page of Calcutta Times

For the third time in her career, Ana graced the front page of the Calcutta Times, one of the biggest-selling English-language newspapers in the world.

You have had a fantastic start to the year. You reached the finals of the first Grand Slam - The Australian Open. Apart from that, you are already No 2 in WTA ranking. Are you satisfied with your performance so far this year?
Yes, it’s been a very good start to the year. I feel like I continued on the same path that I was on last year. Obviously reaching the final of the Australian Open was a big highlight for me. The tournaments in Doha and Dubai were very frustrating. Getting injured is the most difficult thing about being a professional tennis player and I had a bad experience in Doha.

Now the clay court season is all set to begin and we know that last year you had a great time on this surface winning in Berlin and reaching the finals at Roland Garros. Are you looking forward to the clay court tournaments this year?
Definitely. I really enjoy playing on clay and Berlin last year was a turning point in my career, not just because I won the tournament but because I reached the top 10 during this event.

You started playing tennis at the age of 5 after watching Monica Seles on TV and its commonly known that Seles had won her first career Grand Slam at Roland Garros. Last year you reached the finals there, so do you hope to emulate her feat and get your first Grand Slam trophy in your kitty from there itself?
Of course. It’s the next Grand Slam and my goal is to win it. I have already reached two finals so I know what it takes to get there, and now I need to go one step further and win a Grand Slam. Paris is a special place for me, not just because of last year but I had a great time there three years ago when I reached the quarter-finals.

Just after Roland Garros, you will need to change surface and get into the grass court mode? Do you think that this poses a problem for many players in the circuit as they don't get much time to prepare themselves for the Wimbledon?
It’s definitely one of the most difficult parts of the season. It would be good if there was more time to adjust, and to recover from the French Open. But I see it as a big challenge, and one that I’ll enjoy.

Last year, we saw that you adapt to the grass really fast and reach the semis at the Wimbledon. So how will you rate your chances of winning the BigW this year?
I have a good chance. I feel like my game is well suited to grass, because I have a good serve and I can play at the net and be aggressive. But there are many great players and it’s going to be extremely tough.

Going off court, you are known to be quite superstitious and during some tournaments, you eat at the same restaurant each night. Don't you get bored of the same food?
I don’t eat the same dishes! I try different things from the menu. And actually I don’t do this all the time, just occasionally. Usually I eat at different restaurants. And it’s only on the night before my matches that I will go to the same restaurant at some tournaments, for example last year’s French Open.

You admire Roger Federer for his professionalism on and off the court. During Grand Slams have you ever had the opportunity to meet him? If so, have you spoken only tennis and taken any tips?
Yes, I have met him a few times. Actually I interviewed him last year, at a party just before the U.S. Open for The Tennis Channel. He’s a very nice guy. We talked tennis a little bit and it was very interesting for me to hear what he said, because I can definitely learn from him. I enjoy watching him play a lot.

Finally, India now has Tier II tournaments and this year the Williams sisters were a part of it. Do we expect to see Ana playing here next year?
It’s too early to say. We’ll see. I would definitely like to play in India in the future, because I’ve never visited and I’ve heard very good things about it.