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Ana, who is defending champion of the Commonwealth Bank International in Bali, recently gave an interview to The Yak, an Indonesian English-language magazine.
The following is an extract from the Q & A session:
Is tennis a sport for the privileged, would you say?
Not really. If you look at the world rankings there are many players from Eastern Europe who did not come from wealthy families. But their talent and determination took them to the top. Of course it's great if you can have the best racket, new strings and balls, but the equipment isn't so expensive compared to golf, for example, so I think tennis is quite accessible. One of the biggest problems is that sometimes there are not enough courts for kids to play on, and that’s where money can be a factor, because obviously you will have a better chance if you can afford to pay for courts and not just use them for free.
What separates a world-class tennis player from other professionals? By which we mean…how do you become a true champion, is it just about talent and drive?
There are many factors and actually talent is just one of them. Discipline, determination and drive are also very important. And it’s important to have supportive people around you, because you can’t achieve it on your own, even though tennis is an individual sport. You maybe need a bit of luck too.
But the most important thing is to have self-belief and to never give up.
Tell us about the lowest point in your career and how you overcame it.
I would say it was probably losing in the first round of the US Open two years ago. I had never lost in the first round of a Grand Slam before and I even had a match point that I did not take. I smashed a few rackets for the first time and it took me some time to get over that loss.
But the great thing about tennis, and other sports, is that there is always a new opportunity coming. I suffered a little with my emotions for a few weeks but then I had another tournament and a chance to put things right, and to forget about that defeat.