Interview of the Day - Karin Knapp

11 September 2012

Once ranked 35 in the world Karin Knapp , was out of tennis for a good two years due to heart ailment and a knee injury , but this fighter from Italy wants to make her place in the Top 50 , but has had to go through a grind which saw her playing ITF $10000 events.

Making her debut at Tashkent Open this year , the Italian upset top seeded Monica Niculescu of Romania in the first round and causing the biggest upset of the event .

Knapp spoke to Sunder Iyer of the Tashkent Open Media team after her win today

Q. When you saw the draw and realized you were to take on the top seed what did you think?

I was actually at the airport taking a flight to Tashkent and my coach told me tht I’m playing the top seed , he jokingly asked me if we wanted to go to Tashkent or go back from the airport , promised him that it will not be easy match for my opponent , let’s go and here I am

Q. About your match today ?

Me and Monica Niculescu are of the same age and have played some close matches before , She is a very unusual player , I knew I had to push myself and go for my strokes . Also I came here on Monday morning and didn’t find any rhythm , but as the match progressed I managed to get a hang of the match and managed to win .

Q. Your opponent is ranked 33 and you enjoyed the same ranking just a couple of years back , how did it feel today?

I was ranked 35 in 2008 and qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics but unfortunately could not take part as I was diagnosed with a heart ailment , then in 2009 I went through two surgeries on my knee and was cippled for nearly four months . I thought I would never play again . But I wanted to play and come back as I love tennis and I missed it. Today I’m happy to be back on the court and feeling the same when I left. It’s a new start for me

Q. You have some good wins this year ?

I have had some top 50 wins , scoring over Maria Kirilenko , Roberta Vinci on clay , but the summer has also not been good, but I won a $50000 event last week before coming here and feel more confident, I’m trying to give my best in every match and make as many points as I can.

Q. Before coming here to Tashkent, did you set any goal ?

Yes my goal is to win as many matches now , my first priority is to get into the main draw of the Australian Open in 2013 .

Q. About the last two years you spent off court?

From top 35 playing in the main draws of the Grand Slams to know playing qualifiers in the $10000 events, life has been tough journey , I have been depressed and mentally broken sometimes, but you are into sports and wins and losses are part of life.

I have learnt to deal with the problems and become stronger , when I go the court I want to play well . I would like to thank my coach, my boy friend , My trainer , my family for putting me back on my feet. I was on crutches on nearly four months and they cared for me when it was not easy. But now I’m ok and will fight hard at every event and try to make up for the lost time