Interview of the day - Anastasia Myskina

15 September 2011

Former World No 2. Anastasia Myskina was a surprise visitor the Tashkent Open 2011 Media center, in the city to participate in the Master Class programme organized by the Uzbekistan Tennis Federation.

Myskina now retired from tennis showed her class at the Olympic Tennis school courts as she hit a few rallies with former colleague and Uzbek star Iroda Tulyagonova . Large number of tennis lovers and students applauded every rally. Showing off her skills she also spent time hitting with kids and enjoying special performances organized on the occasion.

Sunder Iyer Indira Gazeeva and Daur Isaev of the Tashkent Open Media Team spoke to her along with a large number of journalists who had gathered to meet one of the most attractive tennis stars in the game.

Excerpts from the Interaction

Q:You have been here in 1999 as a participant, what has changed from your visit here last time?

Actually Tashkent is a very beautiful city and is one of my favorite ones , the city has changed greatly ,it has grown, it is cleaner. I see many new and impressive buildings. I used to train here a lot in my childhood, I have many relatives in this city, my grandparents are Uzbek, so this city has a special place in my heart.

Q: What are your thoughts about the Tashkent Open and the event this year ?

I can say that the organization of the event is of the highest level. Considering the fact that many high ranked players playing here this year , the car which is going to be presented as a bonus has made the event very attractive . I’m also happy that Ksenia Pervak - a very promising young player from Russia is participating at this tournament.

Q: What is the importance of such master class events for children that you done today?

Of course it is impossible to teach a child to play well in just 10-15 minutes, but it can be a good motivation for young generation. Each child has his own favorite player and when they see their heroes playing in front of them even just for several minutes, it’s might really inspire them.

For instance Maria Sharapova had participated in an event with Martina Navratilova when she was a kid, Maria has sweet memories of this event which she narrates often . As a child I used to take part in such kind of events and I was very happy.

Q. Your presence on the courts and htting with your compatrot iroda , ahs it got back memories of travelling days and what do you miss the most ?

Of course today has been very nostalgic for me , coming back to the courts playing on the centre court with my friend Iroda , made me remember my playing days. I do miss the sports, i love travelling and I miss it a lot

Q: Many tennis players you had played with have made comebacks , do you have any plans to be back?

I cant say for certain that I wont ever play tennis again. Never say “never”. But right at the moment I am not going to do that, cause I have small children and I cant leave them for a long time

Q. Your perspective on the difference in the game today and your time ?

Now tennis is different , its more aggressive , The speed has increased also the younger girls are working hard on fitness levels , also level of events are going up and competition is getting intense and closer

Q: Would you like your children to play tennis?

Well, they are too young to plan something now. Now they are having their best time: they just walk and sleep. But time will tell and if they do I’ll be very happy.

Q: Do young Russian players ask your advice often?

Sometimes they do and I’m always happy to help them. I gave some pieces of advice to Ksenia Pervak when she was playing a big tournament, she reached the quarter-finals, I hope I have helped her. Now I’m also working with Svetlana Kuznecova, sometimes she complains that I’m too tough with her but I just share my experience and want her to be the best.

Q. What do you think about Uzbek tennis players?

I know Akgul well, because she played with Kuznecova at US Open. I can certainly say , she has a good potential and all qualities to be the second Lindsay Davenport.

Q: After you quit , you have started working with television can you tell about your work on TV?

I was lucky to be offered this job, many tennis players don’t know about what the future holds for them after finishing their career. But I was lucky to work for a sport channel and I enjoy it . It also keeps me connected to the sport, I also have some projects that are not connected with tennis.