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We recently talked to Ana about her doubles partnership with Maria Kirilenko:
How exactly did you and Maria first start playing together?
In Australia last year we had a couple of practices together after we had lost in singles. We were both waiting to go to Tokyo. She asked me if I’d like to play doubles. At the time I wasn’t planning to play, but then I thought it would be good to get some more matches. We played well and reached the semi-finals. She had a partner at that time, [Gisela] Dulko, but after that we became a team.
Professional tennis coach and researcher Andy Fitzell of the Vic Braden Tennis College has provided a unique first-hand view of Ana’s world-class forehand using his own tools of video analysis.
Left-click here to open it in your default media player or right-click and "Save Target As" to download.
Andrea: What is your favourite movie that you saw lately?
Ana: Probably Little Miss Sunshine. I loved this movie.
Gianni_Bucci: I read that Francesca Schiavone likes to drive her car fast to relax. I also read that you passed your driving test recently. So do you also like to drive fast to relax?
Ana: Definitely not! I am a careful, safe driver.
Matti: Hi Ana, My name is Mateusz and I come from Poland. It's a pity that you won't come to Warsaw this year. Why did you resign from J&S Cup? Love, Mateusz
Joe rosensweig: What different footwear do you have for the different surfaces, such as grass, clay, and hardcourt?
Ana: I have different shoes for each of these surfaces. The soles are different for each, so that they grip the court the best way. The movement is very different on clay compared to grass, for example, so it’s important to wear the right shoes.
rich covell: Ana before a tournament do you ever watch films of opponents on your side of the draw, to get a game plan?
Ana was recently asked for her opinion on the changes to the doubles scoring system that are being trialled by the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour:
No-ad scoring is the biggest alteration: under the new system the point that follows “deuce” is a sudden-death point – whoever wins it wins the game. Additionally, third sets have been abolished; instead, when the first two sets a are split, a first-to-10 points Super Tiebreak takes place.
Rebeka Bischoff: Dear Ana, you are my favourite player, you are always so friendly to your fans. Do you string all your racquets with the same string and tension?
Ana: Thanks! Most of my rackets are strung at the same tension but I always put at least one in my bag that is a little bit tighter, so if I don’t feel I have enough control of the ball I will switch to this record during a match. Strings are always the same: a combination of natural gut string and a synthetic string.
Overall, Ana is happy with the reforms that were announced last month by the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. She is concerned about two issues, but otherwise the 19-year-old welcomes the changes.
“It’s exciting,” said Ana. “Everyone is excited about these changes. For us players it’s exciting because there will be more big tournaments where all the top players are participating and playing each other. Still, it’s very hard to say how it’s going to go until we try.”
Meryl: Hi Ana, I just read a blog by a very popular tennis writer in which he says that tennis is not for people who observe niceties; the champions are self-absorbed. What do you think of that observation, given how nice and considerate you seem to be?