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post #51 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2006, 07:42 PM
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Re: Chat with Dmitry on ESPN

Chat with Dmitry Tursunov

Welcome to The Show! On Tuesday, the ATP will be sending along Dmitry Tursunov, who was a finalist at the Countrywide Classic in Los Angeles. He fell to Tommy Haas, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Tursunov begins play at the Legg Mason Classic in Washington, D.C. He is ranked seventh in the tournament.

This season, Tursunov has climbed to a career high 29th in the INDESIT ATP singles rankings. He is 74th, also a career high, in doubles. He is 28-21 on the year in singles and 13-16 in doubles. Tursunov has earned more than $1.1 million in his career.

So get your questions together and send them now. Then join Dmitry for the chat on Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!

Buzzmaster: (3:03 PM ET ) Dmitry is here!

lauren, CA: who was your favorite tennis player when you were growing up?

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:04 PM ET ) I didn't really didn't have one that I was looking up to, but the ones that I watched was Goran, Michael Stich, Brad Gilbert.

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:05 PM ET ) Brad for his powerful serve and volley and his approach to the game.

Edison NJ: What part of your game are you and your coach working on in preparation for the US Open?

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:06 PM ET ) Well, at this level, you're really not working on technique as much. We're just trying to keep things from breaking down. It's hard to prepare or work on things during tournaments. It's mostly just mental things and stay in shape. In the offseason, that's when you try to work on serve and volley, things like that, things that you wouldn't try to work on during tournaments.

Jennifer (Louisville, KY): Dmitry, what part of your game do you think you have improved the most this year, and how has it contributed to your increased success?

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:08 PM ET ) Physically, I've always had good strokes, but it's been the ability to put them together and know when to use them. The mental aspect of the game is the biggest improvement this year. By mental, I don't mean I'm crazy, but the ability to recognize the ability to go for shots and when to pull off. Part of it has to deal with experience.

Vinny (Cincinnati, Ohio): Congrats on making it to the finals in Los Angeles!! How did it feel making your first career ATP final?

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:09 PM ET ) I was saddened. (laughs) It felt good, obviously. I didn't really celebrate it too much, because I'm already at a different tournament. Hopefully, it's not the last one. Hopefully there will be more. Hopefully, I will be able to win one some day.

John Gordon Toronto Canada: Hi Dmitry, Just read your recent blog which I enjoyed very much & noticed that you have a great command of the English language. Do you speak any other languages? Keep up the good work!

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:10 PM ET ) I'm trying to learn Italian over a computer course, but I haven't been able to get tested on the three lessons. I only speak Russian and English.

Wanda, IW: What is your favorite perk of being a pro tennis player?

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:11 PM ET ) For example today, we were able to play our music on the stadium courts. That's kind of cool to impose our music on the other people and get away with it.

Eric, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Out of all the players on the tour, who is the one you consider to be your nemesis?

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:12 PM ET ) There are quite a few that I've lost to. Roger Federer is one.

Steve Dallas, TX: Will Roger Federer ever measure up to Rafael Nadal on clay courts?

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:13 PM ET ) I think so. It's kind of a weird question because he should have won a couple of times already. Maybe he was thinking too far ahead. Obviously Rafael is better suited to the clay. Eventually, Roger will figure out a way to beat him on clay. Rafael is a very powerful player, but eventually, you can adjust to a powerful player. I think he'll measure up eventually.

Katya: How often do you go back to Russia? Do you miss your family?

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:14 PM ET ) Now, I get to go a lot more often than before. Until 2005, I wasn't in Russia for 9 years. Now I go a lot more often. If I have some free time, I try to split it between my training base in California and my family in Moscow.

Leif (Paris): Do you prefer being double teams or to go solo?

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:16 PM ET ) Obviously, it's singles, because I'm playing more of them. I think doubles is a lot of fun. You rely on another person and that's a different approach. I prefer singles, because that's where you make your living, unless you're a top 5 player.k

Mike (Bronx): Who is the best trash talker on the ATP tour? Does anyone curse in foreign languages?

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:16 PM ET ) No, it's a gentleman's game. We never do that. We wear white clothes, we tuck our shirts in and never swear. (laughs)

Karen New York: A few years ago there was talk about you switching citizenship. Is that still pending, or are you going to stick to Mother Russia? P.S. What do you think of Marat? :-)

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:18 PM ET ) Citizenship is too strong of word. I applied for a green card. I train here in California, so to travel back and forth, it would be easier to have a green card. I don't know what's going on with it. I applied for it. Maybe it disintegrated from old age.

Timmay (Stamford, CT): What's your prediction for the Davis Cup semifinal between the U.S. and Russia in Moscow after the US Open? Both the final result and if you will play.

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:19 PM ET ) That's a good question. I predict one of these teams will win and go on to the finals. On a serious note, it's hard to predict. They are both good teams. I think it will be a difficult match for them being on the road. It's going to be very interesting.

Eric Grand Rapids, MI: Out of all the current players on the tour today, who is your favorite one to watch?

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:21 PM ET ) There are quite a few. Besides Roger, he's kind of the most gifted player all around. He seems to play effortlessly. A few players that people that don't know about and some of them are Italian. There's a lot of screaming and moaning and whining on the court. They're entertaining. It's too bad they're not playing main draws, I think people would get a kick out of watching them play.

maria, bulgaria: can you tell us something about your hobbies?

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:23 PM ET ) It kind of seems weird, even though you're practicing for 4-5 hours a day, it seems like you would have time on your hands. A lot of my hobbies has to do with my computers. I'll try to mix electronic music and then force it on people at the stadiums. I like to read about cars. I like design, and I'm a little ashamed to admit it, I do like to watch Home & Garden, to see how people build their houses.

lauren, CA: how'd you deal with nerves on sun. against haas. you came out playing really well, first ATP final and all

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:24 PM ET ) A little bit of butterflies. I know people think that we're professional and all, but we're really not. We're really good actors. You all feel pressure. It's all about how you deal with it. A lot of times when you get nervous, you tighten up and get afraid to miss. But the more matches you play, the more you can deal with it. It's a mental part of the game and you get tight if you don't deal with it properly and then can't perform up to your best potential.

Fumus Albany, NY: What's your favorite kind of breakfast cerial?

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:26 PM ET ) It's not the one I eat every day. If it's during tournaments, I'll have eggs and toast. Generally, it's the most important meal of the deal. Usually I'll have an omelet with some cheese and tomato and bacon in it. I just try to get everything in at the same time, protein, carbs, fruit, milk, yogurt, get it all in my stomach and blend it together.

Mardy, FL: Do you like waffles?

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:27 PM ET ) Only at Waffle House. They're OK, but I like them chocolate covered, but that's a no-no during tournaments. If I could let myself eat anything I want, it would be chocolate ice cream and strawberries.

maria, bulgaria: do you remember if you've always wanted to be a tennis player or you've had a different dream?

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:28 PM ET ) I started playing really early. I was always around tennis so I didn't have any other thoughts. My dad always wanted me to be a tennis player. I just thought, OK, I'll be a tennis player, because my dad says so.

Robby V (Switzerland): Dmitry, in this chat I notice that you are a teller of many jokes. Do you have favorite comic actors or comedians?

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:29 PM ET ) Yeah, I like Will Ferrell. Then there's also Brian Reegan. There are quite a few. Dave Chapelle.

Bill (Long Valley, NJ): It's hot in DC. Do you have an advantage with your conditioning, and how do you deal with it in general?

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:30 PM ET ) It's not just hot, but it's humid. I think it's difficult for everyone. You don't come out and think you feel terrible and the other guys feels great. It's all about who can keep their hand in the fire the longest has a better chance. The way my game is, it's more of a power game and I hit more winners. I can try to finish the point early and I'm not running around a lot.

ficelle: Will you ever blog again? we miss your witty blog so badly!!!!!!! (<- exclamation point abuse)

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:32 PM ET ) If you put more exclamation points, I will think about it. Instead of rounds of applause, I'm going to count by exclamation points.

Lauren, CA: what's your favorite city or tournament to play in?

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:33 PM ET ) My favorite city by far is Rome. I generally like to play in places where you don't have to drive too far to the courts. That makes it difficult to get around. If you forget your shows or your favorite blanket. I would have to pick something right near the tournament.

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:33 PM ET ) I like Rome and old cities with a lot of history.

stella, fl: did you watch the world cup?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:34 PM ET ) I watched the highlights and I think I was much smarter than anyone else. I think watching 90 minutes of football is not a very good idea. Zidane went mortal combat on the players. And I tried to create that in my Wimbledon match.

shaniqua, fl: who is your favorite athlete? !!!!

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:37 PM ET ) It's kind of hard to answer, but I would say Lance Armstrong, but we're still not sure if he's been doping or not. Agassi is a great athlete, and he's brought a lot into the game in general. If you compare him to Pete Sampras, he had this obsession about these records. That was his concern. Whereas Andre tried to do things on the side and promote tennis on the side and used it to promote his ideas. I would have to pick an athlete that's done the same thing. How am I supposed to pick between Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Andre Agassi? You're just picking by personal preference. Out of the great athletes, I think everyone has accomplished something unique that you like.

Tammy - NJ: Are you a fan of any American sports - having lived here for so long??

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:38 PM ET ) Yes, curling. Poker, that's a great sport. Have you ever seen them play in 95 degree weather and 70% humidity? One player brings his own lunch and eats right at the table. I want that for tennis.

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:39 PM ET ) I like a lot of sports, but I like to participate in them, but without the contact. It's not as fun to watch as it is to play.

Dmitry Tursunov: (3:40 PM ET ) Thanks for chatting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!

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