Here are articles about Russians Girls generally speaking. A French Journalist of l'Equipe Magazine interviewed Dementieva, Petrova, Myskina, Zvonareva, Krasnoroutskaya, Bovina, Likhovtseva and Safina (this one interviewed by Marat !) in Moscow. They're talking about their debuts on so on and so forth. Here is my translation. Sorry the girl who translated this forgot to leave her name, if she comes back to Safinator and leaves it I'll add it here.
THE NEW RUSSIAN'S DOLLS
They were five on the last 16 at the last Wimbledon, they won all September's WTA events, nine of them are on the Top 50, and moreover, they're almost as beautiful as Anna Kournikova is. They're the new Russian's dolls,and in contrary to Anna, they already have a palmares! (Note : This guy forget that Lina and Nadia didn't win a WTA Tour's event yet). "L'Equipe Magazine" came to meet them, at home in Moscow. They introduce themselves to you.
Elena Dementieva : Insatiable
"When i was a child, there wasn't a lots of tennis on television. This sport wasn't popular at all in Russia. Then it changed because Boris Eltsine began to play tennis and wished to develop it. Then, the success of some Russian's players helped a lot to popularize this sport. Some parents saw there a mean for their children to work for a better life. Though, that's not the reason why my parents proposed me to play tennis. They weren't expecting to see me playing as a professionnal. They just thought that a good education included to have a sport. They liked tennis, and shared with me their passions. After school, i went to the court, and i loved that. It was only fun, nothing else. That's why it took a long time for me to think that tennis would be my job. Even when i began to win tournaments and to earn money, i found it was great, but i believed it would finish as soon as i would come back to study in University. I liked to study, i have learnt French and a lots of interesting things which will be always useful.
That's also the reason why i had some troubles to stay at the high level after coming on the Top ten in 2000. These incredible debuts provoked a enormous expectations from the sponsors, and when i realized i didn't really satisfy them, i lost confidence. In fact, it was more difficult than at the beginning of my career, when i knew that each match i play could have been the last if i didn't win it. That's my parents who helped me to finance my debuts on the Tour, but it was really expensive. So i had to earn money enough to go to the next tournament. But this pression was positive, it helped me to fight on the and to appreciate the game.
I've lost my fist four finals on the WTA Tour, but i can't say i was a loser. I wasn't just ready to climb that step which connected the newcome to the adult professionnal. I didn't think i would be able to be one of these professionnals, while i had tennistically speaking the potential to do it. But when i won my first tournament, at the beginning of the year, and feel this incredible sensation of joy, i felt it was like the real debut of a new career : i want to feel these emotions, every tournament. When you know that, you automatically change, you want to win more, have again this sensation, to share it with my mother, always near of the court.
My mother has always been there for me. At the beginning,she was my coach, my manager, my only supporter, and my best friend. But she never tried to push me. She didn't want me to become a tennis player, it took some time for her to accept that i would be happy to play tennis. I don't know how we did it, but we always succeeded to forget tennis when we came back at home. I believe i had a standart childhood because of that, even if my mother and I were most of the time abroad, not at home. For my father, it has been more difficult. He stayed at home while we were all around the world. My mother sacrified her woman's life for me, and by consequence, my father sacrified his family's life. Because of that, their relationships were somtimes difficult. My brother must suffer too from the absences of my mother. In fact, that's the only bad point of my life"
Nadia Petrova :Tenacious
" My father and my mother were high level's athletes. My father was trowing th hammer, and my mother ran on the 400 m. So that's logical that i've done athletics as soon as i could do. I really wanted to do the same thing that my parents did, but at those days, tennis began popular in Russia, at the beginning of the 90's. As i took part on a lots of sports, i was a child with a good timing, gifted for the physical's efforts. I fastly showed my predispositions in tennis. When i was 11, my father has been given a job : a post of an athletics' coach in Egypt, and we lived there for five years. I had perfect conditions to practice. Before that period, i only played for fun. In Egypt, i really began to think seriously that tennis could become more than a game. Everything began at my first Junior's event. In 1998, two days before my sixteeth birthday, i won Roland Garros Junior, and became professionnal. I love that tournament : this year, i've beaten Jennifer Capriati and Vera Zvonareva before to lose against Kim Clijsters. I only needed just something more to go more higher. Someday, i will reach it."
Anastasia Myskina : Ambitious
"At my debuts, i didn't have the support of an enterprise or of the federation. That's a private person who helped me, as a sponsor. I don't remember his name. That's like the story of Marat Safin, moreover, this is a friend of Marat's sponsor who sponsored me. It helped me a lot. Thanks to him, i could play and travel. He gave me a chance, and i took it. I know that this system is different of what's happening in France, where the federation supports their players, but it's something normal in Russia. I didn't have another choice to do. My mother took some contacts with persons who could help me to begin my career, at 14 years old. It was a loan, without any delay for the repayment. I had money to star my career, and when you begin to earn money, you just pay them back.
In my view, it's pretty fair. In contrary to rumoers, there aren't big interest rates. I have payed back what i've been lending, not more, not less. Now, i have nothing to pay to anyone. I prefer that, even if money doesn't really have importance for me. I'm happy to earn money, but that's not a goal to reach. Only my results are interesting for me. I want to be on the Top 5 next year, and i truly believe that i can even be Number One. That's the essential! I see the things pretty simply : i work, i play well, i win matches, so i earn money.
I know how to enjoy my life. I'm extrovert, i've been sometimes comparing to Marat Safin or Andrei Chesnokov. That's right that like them, i can have a hint of madness. That why too i accept to appear on pictures almost nakedon the GQ Magazine. It shocked a little bit people in Russia, they didn't think i would be able to do it. But my friends and my parents liked it, so i'm happy to have done it. I just have been surprised because pictures have been cleaned on computer to give the impression that i'm completly nude, while i wasn't in fact. Finally, it makes me laugh.
I really like to have fun, to laugh, to take the positive of every situations in my life generally speaking. Russians often looks sad, and they have good reasons for that, life is not easy for everyone. But i have no reason to be like that, i've to be happy, to enjoy my life. When i see people on streets,i feel i don't have the right to don't enjoy my life, to make people i love glad to live, and be happy myself. I've a strange relationships with Moscow. I love my city, to come back here, but on the other hand, i find that anyone in Mocow looks like the clouds : they're sad and greys. But hopefully, the sky canaso be beautiful in Moscow, without any clouds."
Vera Zvonareva : Detemined
"To beat Venus Williams this year in Roland Garros is my best souvenir on the Tour. I played on the Central for the first time, against one of the favorites and i've beaten her. It didn't change my life, but i felt the positive of this victory just after, on my confidence. That's exactly the type of victory which indicates you the right way when you're not feeling good while you're practicing. You remember about it, and you fight again. When 'm not good, i think about that match, in particularly about my enthousiasm. That's simple : now i know i can beat anyone on the Tour. I guessed it before, but i still had doubts about it. Not anymore.Until this day, my main souvenir of tennis was a defeat 6/0 6/0 against Nadia Petrova, and it really hurt me for a long time. I Paris, after Williams, i've faced Nadia and she has beaten me again, but in a 3 close sets this time ..."
Lina Krasnoroutskaya : Predestined
"I'm a child of tennis ! Two years old, i already was on the courts. My mother coached other children, it was her job. She had to worry about me too, so she took me with her. I surely touched my first racket at 2 years old. That's the beginning of my career. In my family, everybody says that when i've asking what i wanted to do later, i answered "World's champion". I believe i've soon determined, and my parents coach me for that. It wasn't easy at all, because the problems i had on courts with them kept going when we came ack home. They often were angry about me, and i didn't want to talk to them anymore. They were difficult coach.
I grew up, but when i was a child, they were screaming to me because i didn't manage to do do what i've been asking for. A child stucks, after 4 hours of practice. He doesn't understand what he has to do. But my parents didn't support it. I was 6 or 7, i remember i was very tired, but i only knew that i had to work.
On the same period, i went to the School like every children. : for ten years, i practiced 2 hours on the morning, then i went to school, and i came back for another two hours the evening on court. Results came fastly. At 6, i played my first tournaments in Russia. At 9, i went out of Russia for the first time, i played a French event, without my parents. It was strange to be alone at 9. But i've a great souvenir from that stay in France, i understood there that i'd have to take my responsabilities.
On the other hand, it was occasion to eat a lots of ice creams,as many as i wanted, i remember clearly about that ! I won the tournament by beating girls who were older than me. My mother told me that when she asked me if i had communicate with people, i answered that i spoke English with them, while i didn't speak any word on this language ...
Later, at 11 or 12 years old, Octagon signed me my first contract, i could travel abroad.I think that this is at this moment i realize that my dreams could come true."
Elena Bovina : Persistent
"My father has worked at the Russia's embassy in Maroc during 4 years. That's there that i began to play tennis, by carrying my sister who took 3 lessons by week. I began my career as a ball-girl, at 3 years old ! One day, the coach suggested me to try to play. I liked it. My sister has finally chosen to study law, in the United States. She was borned in Marseille, and speaks a fluent French, like my mother. My father wished that one of his daughters would do a career in tennis, but he never forced us. It was his dream, but i never feel it. I've been fastly convinced by what i wanted to do : i improved a lot, and at 14 years old, IMG began to finance my debuts."
Elena Likhovtseva : Lucid
" When i began to play tennis, the Sovietic Union still was. I was 7 years old, and i lived in Alma Ata, Kazakhstan, more closer to China than Moscow. My family is from Moscow, but my grand father has been stripped of his civil rights, and sent into exile after 10 years of reeducation in Siberia. His crime, i've been told at home, was just to ask the bad question to the bad person... After that, he came in Kazakhstan because he wasn't allowed to come back to Moscow. I am borned in Alma Ata. But even if we were far of Moscow, we felt the consequences of his "crime". My father became Geologist but never had the right to travel abroad while he had several prpositions to work out of Russia. When i began to travel, for tournaments, i was always afraid to be forbidden to gout of Russia, and to lose my passports.
There aren't only bad sides on the Sovietic Union. To start tennis, or more generally, sport, it was easy. Everything was organized, and if the work was difficult, the atmosphere between children and coach was OK. In fact in Alma Ata, i don't know on the other cities. In Sumer we went to holiday's colonies. We woke up at five Am, it was hard sometimes.
But today, it think it's more complicated for a child who wants to be a sportsman of high level. Everything now is expensive. Of course, liberty doesn't have price, and to travel you have to do some sacrifices. Now we have the choice to do what we want to do. And even if this choice is only theric, and that it's conditionned buy financial's means, this choice exists in mentalities now, and that's capital. There is hope, and a sort of freedom.
Since i'm living in Moscow, i really see the gap which is growing between the rare rich and the poor. And in Moscow, the life is less difficult than in countries. That's why now parents are dreaming about a destiny a la Kafelnikov or Kournikova and send their children to play tennis to have a better life. Tennis now is a social elevation. Why not, after all... That's just too bad to keep pression on children who just want to have fun. In Russia, sometimes, the sport is nt a game, even for children."
Dinara Safina : Perfectionnist
(Interviewed by her brother Marat Safin)
Marat :Why are you so impatient? Why do you want everything while you're only 17 years old.
Dinara : I love tennis too much. I practice a lot, i only think about it. So i'm giving everything to tennis, and i work. When i lose, it hurts a lot, i really suffer from it. It's right that i'm only 17 years ld, but Martina Hingis was Number 1 a this point... And that's my character to be like that, when i want something, i really need to have it.
It's only about wins, technical's acquisitions... Nothing is more important than tennis.
And you think that it's good for you?
Yes, because i love it. I want to give my all to tennis, during the 10 or 12 years i will play. Then, i'll see, i'll have children, have another life.
But today, what do yopu like in your player's life? What give you pleasure?
Apart to win matches, i like to earn money. I like to know that i'll have money enough to lead my own life and educate my future children. They won't miss anything. But i don't like to travel, that the bad point, i'm afraid of planes. With defeats. I like too the Player's Lounges : i love to chat with everyone, so stay there almost all my life, and i speak...
Last question : What do you think about me ?
You're my God ! When you play, i love to watch you. When you lose, i'm more sad than when it's me who lose. When you're hurt, i suffer. When you talk to me, i drink your words. I hate to hear or see something bad about you. I know you do all you can to be the Number 1. For me, you're the most talented of every players on the Tour, and don't have the half of your talent. The only thing which is better on me is that i more love to work than you, that's the only thing i can do.Anyway, even if you don't practice for 3 days, you're always the better. But i miss a practice, i will lose my abilities, and i'm unhappy. It made me cried when i went to school and to have bad marks at school. I want everything to be perfect. The approximations drive me crazy."