Interview of the day - ELENA VESNINA (RUSSIA)

20 September 2010

By Sunder Iyer and Micky Aigner
On behalf of the Tashkent Open Media Team.

Elena Vesnina once ranked as high as 22 in the world, she slipped down in the rankings due to nagging injuries. ranked 72 currently she is ranked No 4 at Tashkent Open. Trying hard to finish top 50 by the end of 2010, Elena looked determined to give out her best in the very first match of the Main draw.
Being the first and seeded player in action this year she looked much relaxed and took on a volley of questions after recording a one sided victory over Lesya Tsurenko

Q: You opened against Lesya Tsurenko whom you ran into for the first time, your views on today’s match?
It is always tough to play the opening game in any tournament. This one was no different. Moreover, I must add that I had a crazy flight to Tashkent wherein a normal two and half hour flight from Moscow turned out to be a six hour flight. It seemed as if I came via New York!. I felt tired but have recovered now. So it’s good to go on court and get into rhythm.

Q: How do you read into the draw at the Tashkent Open?
Very frankly I am not trying to read into anything. I am not really concerned. All that I have in my mind is to take it one match at a time even my coach has advised me to take one match at a time and prepare well for the same.

Q: Can you describe the 50 point drop in rankings – from No. 22 to 72 before the start of this week?
Throughout the year I’ve had a few niggling injuries, the injuries got worse and kept me out for nearly two months. I would not say I am injury free because I do have injuries that have been with me for long. In the bargain I have not managed to defend points as well. Also, I’ve been unlucky with the draw in many tournaments. I missed making lot of main draws and play qualifying which is very tough for someone not used to for a long time.

Q: Your performance this year does not show any big results?
Nothing has gone well. In fact I even played the qualifiers twice – in New Haven where I went through three rounds and lost in Round 1 of main draw and then in Montreal where I lost in the second round
Q. Has playing in the qualifying rounds helped you?
Surely all this is making me stronger, playing many more matches, tough opponents is making me tougher mentally. Also one has to admit that it’s tough to be at the top than getting there (Laughs).

Q: This is nearly the end of the season, have you set any goals for the next year?
I want to get into the Top-50 ranking, that is my target for the end of the year. Moreover, I hope to forget this year now that it is almost over and start afresh. Much will depend on the rankings I end up with. And then it will be my coach will be with the job of planning out my tournaments.

Q: Against Samanta Stosur at the US Open you ended up playing with same dress as your opponent…Stosur it seems did not like the whole idea of the same out fit…
Yes, it was odd. In fact it so happened that her dress did not arrive. I was to wear white and she was supposed to wear purple. It’s a forgotten thing now.

Q. You have played here before your thoughts about the Tashkent Open?
The city scape is changing, On the way to the courts I’ve seen a beautiful park come up, also the tournament is getting better. I love playing at the event as it seems I’m playing at home. The courts are relaid and I think the surface is like those at the US open series. I like the courts and hope to do well .Also I love the people here they are warm and friendly