The "Go Home, you are so bad, don't talk to me you f*cking idiot" Chat Thread - Page 1752 - MensTennisForums.com

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Old 03-13-2008, 07:52 AM   #26266
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Default Re: The Martin Jaite, Lucho Horna and Malisse's string breaking Appreciation Chat Thr

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Originally Posted by Betty View Post
hey Choupihere again sun, yesterday we stayed in the garden with the other babies for 3 hours so fun
Betty!! I'm longing for some sun.....glad you had fun with Francy yesterday
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:58 AM   #26267
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Default Re: The Martin Jaite, Lucho Horna and Malisse's string breaking Appreciation Chat Thr

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Originally Posted by PMK is Innocent View Post
Betty remember this?
I remember that one too! Those tennis pro episodes always were fun to watch
Only thing is I sometimes felt like being a bit drunk when watching because they always were shaking that camera while filming

This one with Zabala & Lucho is one of my favorites

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Old 03-13-2008, 11:19 AM   #26268
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Default Re: The Martin Jaite, Lucho Horna and Malisse's string breaking Appreciation Chat Thr

Yes Getta, originally I graduated as a teacher(French, English & history to 12-15yr olds).
After graduating I have been teaching for about 1.5 yrs. Problem was that it was very difficult to find a steady job and even though I was working all the time, it all were temporary assignments. This meant always new students and always new colleaugues. Each time I started having a bond with the kids, I had to leave for another assignment and that sucked
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:11 PM   #26269
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Default Re: The Martin Jaite, Lucho Horna and Malisse's string breaking Appreciation Chat Thr

Thought I should pop in and say hello. Haven't been on much the last 2 days because last night I was at a football match and today I had a migraine again... 2nd one in 9 days The manager told me to go home this morning because I wasn't well.

The weather here is ridiculous. We are into autumn now and today was about 38 and tomorrow will be 40 degrees I HATE this heat
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:16 PM   #26270
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Default Re: The Martin Jaite, Lucho Horna and Malisse's string breaking Appreciation Chat Thr

Hey Peta
40 degrees is a bit much indeed

I'm longing for spring which is my favorite season Nature is so beautiful in Aril-May!
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:35 PM   #26271
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Default Re: The Martin Jaite, Lucho Horna and Malisse's string breaking Appreciation Chat Thr

I was watching some old clips and then this interview came to mind.

I figured the old Medvedev interviews could be posted here. This was done in 2000.

The dissolution of the former Soviet Union freed Andrei Medvedev from the chains of Communism but also left the Ukrainian-born teenager confused about his national identity.

I belong to a country that no longer exists, he laments. His intensely Slavic soul is further conflicted by the rootlessness caused by constant globetrotting as a tennis professional. Shakespearean in character, the fascinating Medvedev displays the over- reflective nature of Hamlet. And like the tortured Dane, he is memorably quotable.

Imagine a happy guy playing and a miserable guy playing, he remarked en route to the 1999 French Open final. Who do you think is going to win? When there is love, you are inspired, you can write poems, you can write music, you can play good tennis.

If the tennis court has been Medvedevs most dramatic stage, his performances in press conferences are just as entertaining. There his free-flowing, philosophical Renaissance mind entertains, enlightens and enrages listeners as he forever strives to make sense of his strange but true world.


To play professional sports, especially at the highest level, you are a really lucky one. I had everything going for me when I said this quote. It was at the French Open. I had the person [Anke Huber] that I cared about, that I loved. My career was going well, and my family was healthy. There were no problems. I was playing the sport that I loved and was successful there. Why shouldnít I be the most lucky guy?

Do you still feel that way?

For sure, a few things have changed. (Laughter) Itís not going all that smoothly at the moment. But, yeah, I feel lucky. Probably 90 percent of the population on this earth would love to trade places with me. After beating Gustavo Kuerten in the French Open quarters, you famously said, Imagine a happy guy playing and a miserable guy playing; who do you think is going to win? When there is love, you are inspired, you can write poems, you can write music, you can play good tennis.

Was that happiness the main reason you had a spectacular French Open?

Definitely. Anke was there, we were in love. Everything was going smoothly. I played great tennis. Motivation comes and goes with me. And thatís why Iím not so consistent. Thatís how I am. Thatís my personality. Iíve paid a high price for that. Iíve lost a lot of opportunities, a lot of money. But I donít care. I feel happy.

You credited a chance meeting with Andre Agassi in April 1999 with jump-starting your floundering career and inspiring you to reach the French Open final. You said Andre gave me honest advice. Would you please tell me about that advice?

We had the conversation in a famous nightclub in Monte Carlo, Jimmys. The day before, I had decided to stop [playing] tennis. Anke, my coach and my masseur were there. I said, Listen, Iíve had enough. Iím not having fun practicing. I donít enjoy playing tennis. I donít want to work. Ill stop. Ill do something else.

I saw Andre and we started talking. Heís always been friendly to me. I asked him: What were you doing when you were No. 140 in the world? How did you come back? He gave me honest advice about how to practice and how to approach tennis. He told me that I have experience and all the shots and that I just need three hours a day of practice but 100 percent quality. His advice was perfect for me. I went back with hunger. And my first tournament after that was the French Open.

Are there some personality and career parallels between you and Agassi?

Iím sure there may be some, but no one has been my idol. I try to be my own man. In life, if there is a danger for my family, Ill do anything. But tennis is not life and death. When everything came together in Paris, I had absolutely no worries off the court, and I just wanted to play. Kuerten didnít seem to be so happy at the time. And I really believe that when you are as happy as I was, I could probably even write music then.

You once said that what you like most about the pro tour is the press conferences. Why do you like them so much? You get the chance to talk, and you get the chance to show your personality. I have a lot of things to say. And I believe in what Iím saying. So far people have liked my ideas. Jim Courier once called you a quotes machine.

Jim Courier has had lots of good quotes himself. I show my personality on the court when Iím playing, but off the court people donít know me. In the general press conferences, they ask you how you played, what you think of your opponent. Who gives a damn! Who cares!

To be honest, thatís not interesting. The journalists have to form the questions differently. But the players are also afraid to talk. They have this complex that makes them afraid the ATP will penalize them or what they say will get them in trouble. I donít think anybody can hurt me because I really believe what Iím saying. I will always back up my words. And if someone can prove Iím wrong, good luck to them.

Is the press really that bad? Maybe only two or three press guys give you an interesting question that you have to think about to answer. For the rest, you give answers as if you are on autopilot. Then people say this guy is boring. You have to have an intellect, a charisma to create a good answer from a bad question. Not many people have that talent. A lot of players are smart and interesting, but they just dont know how to talk.

A well-known example of your lighthearted repartee took place at the 1992 ATP Final in Stuttgart when you turned the tables and asked veteran journalist Gianni Clerici if he liked money more or sex more. Do you remember that?

Yeah, that was a funny press conference. But if you asked me now which is more important, Id chose both -- money and sex. I believe I can have both at 25. John McEnroe criticized the guys on the menís tour as a bunch of robots lacking personality.

But you said, there are so many guys with a great personality, if you discover them. Why donít tennis fans know all about these guys?

I think McEnroe should seek some psychological help. What he's claiming is ridiculous. Iím very sad this comment comes from John because heís hanging around the locker room like heís a friend of ours. And then he says shit like this and defends the womenís tour. Heís got power because he gets the microphone [as a TV announcer] when we play. Then he can say whatever he wants. Instead of helping us, he smashes us. Itís not the fault of the players. You cant expect players always to act intelligently when theyíre 18 years old and getting lots of money quickly.

When he was young, what was he doing? He was questioning all the line calls and smashing rackets left and right and criticizing everything and everyone. Thatís personality? I think thatís boring. How should the ATP Tour promote players better to avoid criticisms like McEnroes?

They already do promote players with this Players Zone. They film players doing things outside the court. They ask them interesting questions and find out what they like, where they spend time, what they do. Iíve seen some previews, and the ATP is doing a very good job.

You almost have to put words in the mouths of guys because some of them would not say anything about themselves -- about their childhood, where they come from, the tattoo on their shoulder. The press should be more intelligent than us and put the answers into the mouths of the players.

Voltaire said: Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference. In your opinion, who is the most virtuous person in the tennis world?

Me! Because I am honest and courageous. The other guys keep their mouths shut because they are afraid. Or they say and do things for their own good. I stand up and am critical about things I believe in. And that normally is for the good of the game -- and not just for myself.

Specifically, what have you spoken up about? I havenít won a Grand Slam, and maybe I never will. But I feel that after I leave tennis I will have done something good for the game. And people inside will remember me, for sure.

One thing is that I believe it is because of me that they built the new stadium at the U.S. Open. Because in 1993, when I reached the quarterfinals, I was a hot player and moving into the Top 10, all the eyes were on me. And I was the guy who publicly criticized the U.S. Open for having the worst facilities.

The tournament director twice stopped me at the players lounge and asked me, Whatís the problem? The second time I took him to the playerís locker room and made him smell the toilets there. I said: What do you think if 128 main draw players and 128 doubles players and the juniors later must stay here? There were maybe five toilets you could use before a match. He said, you know what -- we should do something. At that time I thought he was joking. Then five years later we have a new stadium named after Arthur Ashe.

How did the other players react to your criticisms?

Navratilova was saying, Why the hell is this little guy complaining? What does he know about tennis? When I lost in the quarterfinals, the whole tournament was happy. Some people said, Oh, finally this guy is gone. So he wonít give us any more shit. Navratilova kept saying, Why should you listen to a guy who is 18 years old. He should just concentrate on tennis. She was on the side of the organizers. I respect her as a player. But, on this issue, she proved wrong.

Why are the other guys on the tour afraid to speak up and give their opinions?

My opinion is that some of them donít care. If you ask Sampras, heíd say, everything is fine. Iím making my money with the ATP Tour, and Iím happy about that. I was once a representative of the Top 10 players. And when you try to get these guys to work for something, nine out of 10 guys would say, I donít care. Everything is fine. If you explain that this way is better, they reply, we understand, but we donít care. That was at the time of Becker, Edberg, Sampras.

Are there any players who care?

Yeah, I would say Rafter cares. I think Agassi actually cares although he doesnít always show it. He would be willing to step up and do a little revolution and be behind the players and not behind the ATP Tour.

On March 10, 1999 former world No. 1 Thomas Muster told the German newspaper Die Welt: I look at the ATP not so much as a representative of players but as a firm that in marketing even works against the players. I donít like the way tennis is dominated by Americans. The problem is that tennis is governed by the Americans and financed by the Europeans. [ATP Tour CEO] Mark Miles must go, changes must come quickly, and the future of our sport is at stake.

Do you agree with Muster?

I agree with 90 percent of what Muster was saying because in the past the ATP has acted against [the best interests of] the players, and in favour of the tournaments. Thatís a fact. Give me an example of that.

There are plenty of examples, believe me. In Estoril this year, I was to play a semi-final match scheduled not before 2:30, following the women at noon. It rained the whole day until 2:45. Nobody notified me or told me anything. Then rain stopped and 10 minutes later the tour manager tells me, youíre on the court in 10 minutes. I said, Listen, the women have to play first. He says, No, no, we got the TV. You got to go first. So I had no warm-up, no warning. When it was raining, they should have at least said, you guys should warm up, indoors or something, because you might play as soon as the rain stops.

We went on the court cold, and we had to play in a drizzle, and the court became slippery. We talked to the chair umpire, and he said he had orders that we had to continue because we had TV. Now, what if the players got injured? What, instead, if we had striked and refused to go on the court? The ATP doesnít care if somebody breaks his leg. All they care about is the tournament and the TV gets what they want.

The ATP should be defending us because itís an association of tennis professionals, not tournaments. They donít consistently do this. Theyíre becoming better. But when Muster spoke out, it was definitely way in favour of the tournaments. Lets play a word association game. I will name a famous player.

Would please tell me what stands out most in your mind about him as a person.


Pete Sampras : Champion.

Andre Agassi : Showman.

Patrick Rafter : Natural athlete.

Gustavo Kuerten : Flamboyant.

Lleyton Hewitt : Fantastic competitor.

Yevgeny Kafelnikov :You donít want to hear what Iím thinking.

Magnus Norman : Hard worker.

Stefan Edberg :Elegant.

Boris Becker :I think he did a lot of bad things. The way he treated tennis and other people was ridiculous.
__________________
ď On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:37 PM   #26272
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Default Re: The Martin Jaite, Lucho Horna and Malisse's string breaking Appreciation Chat Thr

You have a close relationship with your fans. You e-mail them often with updates about your form and send them photographs. Why do you do that?

Because I like to stay in contact with people. And they were the people, together with Agassi, who didn’t let me quit the tour last year. I have been very surprised to see how many supporters I have, how many people want to see me continue to play and win and continue fighting. I think I’m a good person. Therefore, I felt a responsibility to these people. They ask me questions, and they deserve an answer. When they ask me for a photograph, I send a picture from my computer and write a few words. I have free time. For some people I met through the Internet, I get tickets for my matches and autographed rackets. I like doing that.

You enjoy telling amusing stories, but you've also said, I'm not a comedian. I always like to be very serious and philosophical. There are times when I love to be alone. Please tell me about these two very different sides of you.

Its actually one side. I’m not a comedian. If I make people laugh, that’s not because I intend to make them laugh. They ask me questions, and they get answers that come straight from my heart. If they find them amusing, great. But I’m really not a clown. And there are times when I like to be alone because I need to recharge my batteries because I lead a public life and play in front of everybody in a T-shirt and shorts and people want to find out everything they can about me.

People who know me understand this. And they leave me alone. Sometimes I can be rude when I feel empty, and when people ask me for something, I can be very aggressive. But I’m not an evil guy. I don’t mean to hurt anybody.

Michel de Montaigne, the French philosopher, observed: There is no man so good, who, were he to submit all his thoughts and actions to the laws, would not deserve hanging 10 times in his life. What are the worst things you’ve ever thought or done?

To answer this, I would have to reveal the darkest and most disgusting thoughts I’ve had. But I will tell you there was a moment when Becker really behaved badly when we played at Wimbledon in 1994. My first thought was to smash him as hard as I could somewhere in his face. But, instead, I just gave him the finger.

You have said that the women in your life -- your mother, grandmother and sister -- have made you a sensitive, soft person. Would you please tell me more about that?

They brought me up. I don’t know if that explains why I’m a sensitive, soft person. But I think it’s the only explanation. It also comes from my own personal intelligence. Because I know that some teenagers have idols when they grow up, and frankly, some idols are questionable to me. They would not be my idols. My parents gave me an idea of what is good and bad. And then it was up to me to apply these ideas to life. I think I’ve done a good job. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, and some things I wish I had never done. Its life, and I’m learning. I take responsibility for everything I’ve done.

If you’re a soft, sensitive person, does that mean you are too nice a guy for the fiercely competitive, dog-eat-dog world of professional tennis?

Oh, no. No. As I said, if I get inspired, if I want to compete, you cannot get an inch from me. I will give you absolutely nothing. And then after we play the match, I will say [to my opponent], I invite you to join me for the best dinner of your life. You are two different people, a professional tennis player and a normal human being. It doesn’t destroy your competitive hunger when you are a normal person off the court.

Unlike some players, you don't seem to argue over line calls. You once said, "If I have a bad line call, I'm upset for a few moments, and then I forget it.

I cannot blame the linespeople because they are human, too." How does someone who wants to win so much have such a sympathetic attitude? The linespeople are actually doing a job much harder than what we do. They go to work at 9 o’clock and umpire five, six matches a day. They get tired. They’re human.

We get tired from playing an hour and a half of tennis. Even though they are watching only one line, their mistake is only [by] one centimetre. I can’t blame someone for making a mistake like that. Sure, you get upset and think: How couldn’t he see this ball? But you realize they’re entitled to make a mistake just like you.

How is anyone going to judge [perfectly] the serve of Sampras or Ivanisevic or Philippoussis, or Yevgenys hard crosscourt? You cant. Last year Lindsay Davenport criticized the half-hearted play of Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Goran Ivanisevic, Marcelo Rios and other men players, saying: Those guys play 30 weeks a year, get paid 200 grand just to show up, and they don’t give a s--- in the first round. That happens way too much. Half the weeks they don’t even care.

Is Davenport right?

Oh, I love this question. I’ve got some news for Davenport. She should keep her mouth shut. Because she’s starting to piss off everybody. And not only on the men’s tour. I have friends on the women’s tour. But, is Davenport right? She’s not right! She’s jealous. I have no problems with her whatsoever. But I don’t understand how the No. 1 girl in the world, making a lot of money and doing what we do, can blame us for not trying. Has she lost her mind, or what? Who, in a normal state of mind, would come for the tournament and pick up 200 grand guarantees -- and, believe me, that [large sum] does not happen often -- and not try?

But last year Peter Kovarcik, director of the Czech Open, refused to give Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Goran Ivanisevic their six-figure appearance money after listless first-round defeats in which they didn’t run for gettable balls and were jeered by the crowd. Believe me that was the problem of the tournament director. I remember this case particularly well. Yevgeny was trying so hard to win this match as No. 1.

He became No. 1 in Prague, and he was playing the first round [match] against [Richard] Fromberg. He phoned me and said, Listen, I can’t lose anymore. I’ve lost six first-round matches in a row. I’m No. 1 and people are laughing at me. I’m going to try everything to win. Sure enough, he loses 6-4 in the third [set]. Was he tanking? No way!

You’ve earned about $10 million in prize money and endorsements during your career. Since Ukraine is one of Europe’s poorest countries, is it hard for you to fit in there?

No, because I would never show that I make a lot of money, especially to my people. I don’t make a big deal out of money. I respect and I’m grateful for the chance that life gave me. I really consider myself Russian and Ukrainian, and it’s hard to see the people there struggling because they earn $20 a month for working eight hours a day. All they can do is pay their rent, get some food and not much more. It’s very sad. No way am I going there and start throwing around money. Never.

Because I feel the emotions of the people. There have been a series of attacks on high-profile athletes -- such as Natalia Gorelova, Aleandru Curtianu and Maria Butyrskaya -- in Russian cities in the past year.

When you stay in Ukraine and Russia, are you worried about your safety?

I actually had some kidnapping threats at the end of last year. But normally people don’t come to you and say we want your money, or we want your life or anything like that. You must be doing something bad. I would bet that nine out of ten people who get in trouble, they did something personal, outside of sports that they had no right to do.

But you didn’t do anything wrong, and you were the victim of kidnapping threats.

Yeah but the point is, there are some mentally sick people anyway. To claim that in Russia, attacks on athletes have become common, that’s wrong. No way! You sound like you’re blaming the victim. Id say it’s their fault. Why? It makes sense because the difference between poor and rich people is very great in Russia and Ukraine.

There are lots of rich people, but the vast majority are very poor. If you are rich, that means you are a multi-millionaire. And if you are poor, you really have nothing. That creates jealousy. The point is, I would not get into cheap trouble. The kidnapping threats have been handled very professionally by our secret service. It turned it they were just flim-flam threats, nothing serious.

For several years you have helped several promising teenage players from the Ukraine. Would you please tell me about that?

Everything in my life revolves around tennis. My mother is a [tennis] coach. My stepfather is a coach. My sister was a professional player. When I come to Kiev, my parents talk about tennis all the time because they have students, players. They say, we have this young, promising kid, but his parents are poor.

He needs this and that. Of course, I help him. If one of 50 kids I help actually benefit from it and make it to the pro tour and earn a living there, I would be very proud of that. And I don’t want anything in return. It is my sympathy for my countrymen.

Specifically, what did you do for them?

I brought some of them to Germany and America and paid for their room and board and training. I have also organized clinics in Kiev and Moscow and given more than 500 Prince rackets to kids. Were planning more clinics with Fischer, my current racket sponsor.

Does Ukraine have a lot of tennis potential?

No, because the economic situation is very poor now. There aren’t enough stadiums, staff, balls, rackets -- not enough product. Because I’m the only [world-class] tennis player in Ukraine, people look up to me. But they also look up to great soccer guys, to Sergey Bubka, to our great gymnasts, the Klitschko boxing brothers. So they have a wide choice of sports, and tennis is the most expensive sport.

When the parents realize this, tennis loses out to other sports. Last year Shamil Tarpishchev, the new president of the Russian Tennis Federation, vowed: One of my main goals is to help tennis to become the number one sport in Russia and for Russia to be the number one tennis power in the world in the near future.''

Do you think Tarpishchev can achieve either or both goals

I think Tarpishchev has done a fantastic job for Russian tennis. Because he was the right-hand man of [former president Boris] Yeltsin, a lot of money went into tennis development. The Russian girls are playing better and better. The young guys are playing better, too, but it’s much harder to make it on the men’s tour. Imagine if tennis becomes the No. 1 sport in Russia, which has 220 million people.

They will have a lot of players in the Top 100 -- just like the United States and Spain -- and the Top 10 as well. Russia can dominate the tour, if not in five or 10 years, then in 20 years.

Who are the best girls?

Kournikova is not going to make the cut anymore. There are much prettier girls. (Laughter) They hit harder, they play better, and they have the instincts of winners. I would pick Lina [Krasnoroutskaya], instead of Kournikova.
__________________
ď On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:38 PM   #26273
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Default Re: The Martin Jaite, Lucho Horna and Malisse's string breaking Appreciation Chat Thr

Of all the rising stars on the pro tour -- such as Hewitt, Federer, Ferrerro, Vinciguerra -- which ones have the most potential to become No. 1?

Federer has the most chance theoretically because he’s athletic and can play an all-court game. Hewitt is a fighter, like a tiger on the court. He has the will to win and all the confidence. So far he’s been doing unbelievably well, much better than I expected. Today dominance in men’s tennis is physical, and it will become more physical. Hewitt is small. But if he proves me wrong, God bless him. He’s a great guy. I hope he achieves all the goals he sets.

Vinciguerra and Ferrerro are very good players, but they are, more or less, one-dimensional. Moya proved you can become No. 1 by playing a simple game, but Federer and Hewitt have the best chance.

In 1993 McEnroe called you a tremendous athlete and Ion Tiriac predicted that you would be "a superstar for the next 10 years." In 1994 you achieved your highest ranking of No. 4 at age 19. What has kept you from reaching your potential?

Lack of motivation. I had injuries and surgeries, but I wouldn’t like to blame it on that. People come back from injuries very quickly, if they are willing to do that. Somehow, I’ve lost motivation. I’ve lost interest. And I’ve paid a high price for that. I don’t regret it.

But, you’re 25. It’s not too late for you

It’s not too late. That’s the whole point. For sure, I will not be a superstar in the next 10 years and dominate tennis. (Laughter) If I have another couple good years and maybe I will reach my potential, that’s great but I had a good career. I didn’t achieve everything I wanted or realized all my potential. But, in the end, I’m the one who has to be happy with myself, not other people.

As a junior player you served and volleyed quite a bit and you admired McEnroe's aggressiveness. In 1997, talking about your determination to come to net more, you said, I'd rather die like a man than live like a chicken. But, to be a great player on hard courts and grass, will you have to do more and better serving and volleying?

Definitely. I feel the same way now. I do a lot of things people might not agree with, but I do them aggressively, and I believe in them. Some people still think I’m a chicken. But, believe me, I don’t feel that way. (Laughter) I serve and volley every time at Wimbledon anyway.

But I just hate Wimbledon. Why do you hate Wimbledon? Because they do nothing for the players. It’s a joke. I come with my coach and masseur, and they refuse my masseur accreditation. He only gets daily tickets. And then you want to eat in the restaurant, and you have to wait 30 minutes because all the dogs and agents and parents and kids and brothers and sisters all come.

Last year I’m the finalist at the French Open, and I’m playing in the [Wimbledon] second round against [Daniel] Nestor on Court 7. From locker room No. 2 to Court 7, without security, it took me exactly 13 minutes to walk a distance of 150 meters because there were so many people. And nobody cares. I was 15 minutes late for my match. There should be a security guard with me, and there should be a clear path to the court where you’re playing.

You’ve said winning a Grand Slam title is my dream. Since you’re still only 25, do you feel confident you will achieve your dream some day?

I’m confident that I’m going to give it a good try. I’m going to have at least one more good run at one of the Grand Slam tournaments. Whether Ill win it or not, I don’t know. Last year I was sure I was going to win [the French Open] after I reached the final. But it didn’t happen. So you cannot be confident. Even Sampras can’t be confident that he’s going to win another Grand Slam. Its best-of-five sets, seven matches. Anything can happen in those two weeks.

You have said you consider yourself a leader and really enjoy the camaraderie of team sports and the Davis Cup. So are you very much a social animal, too?

I love the camaraderie of Davis Cup. But I hate public places. I don’t like to go to discos, nightclubs. I go there sometimes, but I’m definitely not going out all the time. You can ask my friends. I am not an extrovert like one reporter wrote. I have more [hotel] room service [meals] than everyone on the ATP Tour combined.

The truth is I enjoy being the leader in sports, in any team sport we play. I enjoy people looking up to me and following me. It gives me an incredible amount of energy, which is the reason why I play well in Davis Cup. You have excelled in Davis Cup, racking up a 20-3 singles record.

Has that success and your reaching the 1999 French Open final made you a sports hero in the Ukraine?

We have a lot of athletes who are heroes. We have Andrei Schevchenko, the striker for A.C. Milan. He won the Golden Foot award in the Italian Championships this year with 24 goals. We have a legend in sports, Sergey Bubka, six-time world pole vault champion. We have the Klitschko brothers, the heavyweight boxers that people are praying for. They are bigger than God in Ukraine. We have gymnasts, figure skaters. We have lots of heroes, and I am just one of them. It feels nice.

In 1996 you said you would ask permission to play Davis Cup for Russia even though you are a Ukrainian citizen. Then you changed your mind and said, I belong to a country that no longer exists.

I hope one day the republics get reunited and then I would be proud to play for this country. I would be ready to die for it.

What is your attitude now?

I strongly feel the same way now. It’s a controversial point of view because Ukraine separated [from the Soviet Union] for some reason that is not known to me. I disagree with it. But what do I know? I’m just a young guy. Maybe when I’m 50 years old, Ill understand why. But when you’re a little kid and in school they tell you that your capital is Moscow and your heart is the Kremlin, and the city where you’re born is Kiev. They tell you that you have to love these things, you have to love your Motherland. I believed in that. The capital for me, in my heart, was Moscow.

But weren’t many ex-USSR nationals happy to get out from under Russian domination?

That’s such rubbish! The problem is that it’s much easier to make it in your sport in your own republic because, of course, you will be No. 1 immediately in your country. I would be [ranked] No. 3 in the [former] Soviet Union at the moment. But I don’t care because you have a chance to become better. The problem is that the country where I was born does not exist anymore.

It’s difficult to change everything and start a new life and find a new relationship between you and Ukraine or Russia or any other country. I did not change my citizenship. It was changed for me. And I don’t appreciate it. You admitted to crying while watching while watching the movie The Barber of Siberia.

Please tell about this movie and what it says about the Russian soul.

The movie was directed by a friend of mine, [Oscar winner] Niki Mikhalkov. When he portrayed the Russian soul, he did it through the eyes of a foreigner. And as a Russian, I live, due to my career in the West, in Monte Carlo and places all over the world. Often I sense in these places that people respect us, but they don’t understand us. You cannot blame them because they don’t know our culture, where we came from. They don’t know anything about us except what they see on television now. I don’t think television portrays accurately the Russian soul today.

What’s wrong with that picture?

You see all the crimes, the bribery scandals, the instability and the politicians who don’t always have the best outlook. Things are improving, but this misrepresentation of our country emphasizes the disgraces. After the Soviet Union split up, the [newly independent] countries are young. We have to establish our own identity and image, although the souls of the people did not change. We all still feel, more or less, in the same country.

In The Barber of Siberia, the director portrayed the Russian soul perfectly. How did he portray it? There was an American woman who fell in love with a Russian officer. Throughout her life, she could not understand what he had done for her. If she had fallen in love with anybody but a Russian or a Ukrainian, that would not have happened to her. It’s a very long, intense and deep movie. Every time I see it, I discover something new and appreciate it more and more.

What does the movie demonstrate about the Russian people?

They believe in principles. Even if everybody tries to convince you that your principles may be wrong, if you strongly believe in them, you’ll still defend them. And you go against everybody. That stubbornness, that pride, that determination to defend your own beliefs and also that you are responsible for everything you do show the Russian soul.

You said: The Slavs have such a deep soul that foreigners cannot even be compared to us in this. Foreigners have other good traits. But only Slavs can love like we do it. Would you please explain why?

I’ve had relationships with Western girls and Russian girls. I would say the Russians love deeper. (Laughter) Slav people show their love more. They’re more relaxed, they’re not afraid to show it. To be honest, I don’t know why people in the West are often shy about showing their feelings.

In Russia and Ukraine, if you love, you love. If you celebrate, you celebrate, and everybody knows you celebrate. If you’re sad, everybody knows you’re sad. You revealed that you and Anke Huber, a German, broke up after six years because of her misunderstanding of the Russian soul.

What exactly did you mean?

We spent six beautiful years together, and I wished her only the best when we broke up. But I think the reason she left was that she couldn’t understand me. She couldn’t understand that I’m different. I don’t look back, and I don’t think about what’s going to happen tomorrow. If I celebrate, I celebrate. And if I cry, I cry. I don’t care if people see me crying. And if I’m happy, I’m happy. And if I don’t want to see anybody, I let everybody know. And that’s not how it works in Germany or in the West.

There you have to watch how you behave and always be nice to everybody and all that bullshit. And I don’t believe in it.

What was it like growing up in Kiev in the radioactive shadow of the 1986 Chernobyl reactor explosion, the world’s worst nuclear disaster?

I didn’t feel it. I was in Kiev when it happened and after it happened. So far I’m still alive. I was too young to analyse it and understand what was happening. And I’m too young still to understand the magnitude of the disaster.

Since no one ever warned you how dangerous the Chernobyl nuclear radiation would be, do you consider that a betrayal?

Yeah, it’s a betrayal. But, on the other hand, if you told the 3.5 million people in Kiev and the people in the surrounding areas about the dangers, imagine the chaos and panic. I don’t know what the best policy would have been. I’m not a politician. I know a lot of people died. When a disaster of this magnitude happens, you’ve got to expect the worst.

If someone told me right now I was going to win the French Open as many times as I wanted and give me this other choice of getting rid of all nuclear weapons and making everyone healthy, I would change the world immediately. It’s obvious you care deeply about the world and other people.

Tennis is a game. It’s not a matter of life and death. What am I going to do with all the cups? What am I going to do with all the money if you see poverty, if you see people struggling? Why do you need all this money? To feel better about yourself that you made it and other people didn’t? Isn’t it better to see everybody making it?
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ď On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

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I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:15 PM   #26274
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Default Re: The Martin Jaite, Lucho Horna and Malisse's string breaking Appreciation Chat Thr

Thanks.

A small thing to add: The Russian soul, as described by Medvedev, has many things in common with the Balkan soul.

I edited my post in the previous page.
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:56 PM   #26275
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Default Re: The Martin Jaite, Lucho Horna and Malisse's string breaking Appreciation Chat Thr

Thanks for that interview

This part really struck me because that's how I am and how I like other people to be too. So honest.

I don’t look back, and I don’t think about what’s going to happen tomorrow. If I celebrate, I celebrate. And if I cry, I cry. I don’t care if people see me crying. And if I’m happy, I’m happy. And if I don’t want to see anybody, I let everybody know
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:13 PM   #26276
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Default Re: The Martin Jaite, Lucho Horna and Malisse's string breaking Appreciation Chat Thr

I'd prefer all people to be like that.
I can't stand fake personalities. Dealing with them is like trying to walk on shifting sand.
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:25 PM   #26277
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Default Re: The Martin Jaite, Lucho Horna and Malisse's string breaking Appreciation Chat Thr

You all are most likely gone but popping in to say hello. Thanks for the article. I think I can also say that I like honesty as well ( as long as it isn't hurtful then one should just keep their mouth shut )
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:40 AM   #26278
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Default Re: The Martin Jaite, Lucho Horna and Malisse's string breaking Appreciation Chat Thr

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thk
yes blonde curly hairs i like them too but i don't think they 'll remaine so
he's 14 months
Then when you see Francy's face, you feel all the joy the world contains.

Do you live in North Italy?
I'm asking you because you said elsewhere that you live not far from Monza.

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Yes Getta, originally I graduated as a teacher(French, English & history to 12-15yr olds).
After graduating I have been teaching for about 1.5 yrs. Problem was that it was very difficult to find a steady job and even though I was working all the time, it all were temporary assignments. This meant always new students and always new colleaugues. Each time I started having a bond with the kids, I had to leave for another assignment and that sucked
That's really annoying. Once you established a good relationship with teenagers, you didn't have the chance to cultivate it.
The educational system, in most cases, doesn't care about creating strong and healthy personalities. Lucky kids are influenced by inspiring mentors outside the formal system or sometimes by difficult situations they have to handle... Huge topic...

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Thought I should pop in and say hello. Haven't been on much the last 2 days because last night I was at a football match and today I had a migraine again... 2nd one in 9 days The manager told me to go home this morning because I wasn't well.

The weather here is ridiculous. We are into autumn now and today was about 38 and tomorrow will be 40 degrees I HATE this heat
Hope you'll be feeling better soon and won't suffer from migraine again for the rest of the year.

If it makes you feel better, in the sense that there are worse cases, over here we have heat waves (45 C) at least twice every summer.

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You all are most likely gone but popping in to say hello. Thanks for the article. I think I can also say that I like honesty as well ( as long as it isn't hurtful then one should just keep their mouth shut )
As it's quite difficult for me to keep my mouth shut , I prefer to chat about random superficial topics with people not close to me. I reveal my real virtues as well as vices only to the special ones. The ones who expect me to do so.
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Old 03-14-2008, 04:29 AM   #26279
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Default Re: The Martin Jaite, Lucho Horna and Malisse's string breaking Appreciation Chat Thr

Nice to wake up and see Seppi & Stan won their matches but I can't find Xavier's result anywhere. IW homepage doesn't seem to care about updates too much
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Old 03-14-2008, 04:42 AM   #26280
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Default Re: The Martin Jaite, Lucho Horna and Malisse's string breaking Appreciation Chat Thr

Xavier defeated Serra 6-7(5) 6-2 6-0.
Stan's win was not a convincing one.
Fortunately Dudi won a match. His last win happened in ancient times.
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