The “Sphinxes“ are ready to win. The players appreciated the concept of North Palmyra Trophies tournament, developed the plan and even visited the Hermitage

- What is your mood coming to the North Palmyra Trophies tournament? How do you like your team, did you manage to meet everyone and communicate with each other?

Nikolay Davydenko: This is already the second year for Anastasia Myskina and me, last year was the first one, it was a warm-up. This year there is a very interesting concept of the tournament. Two teams, two captains and six players in the team. There is a plan who plays against certain players, we will try to show our best result. Players and captains will fight hard.

Adrian Mannarino: Well, I didn’t have a chance to get to know everyone in the team yet but it’s really nice to be here with all these players. I know some of them and I’m happy to share good time with them. I’m sure it’s going to be a good time.

- Do you already have a team motto? The Lions team doesn't have one yet but they are going to think about it. Maybe your team is more prepared?

Anastasia Myskina: We are definitely not prepared better. I can try to come up with one on the fly: “Be patient and work hard!”, but I don’t know if everyone will agree with this, but I’ll take the initiative into my hands.

- Question to Yulia Putintseva, as the reigning champion of the tournament. Did you share with your teammates the secret of success already, how to achieve it here?

- To be honest no (smiles). I’m just glad to come to St. Petersburg again, to this beautiful city. I always enjoy my stay here. I will try to give 100% during my matches and hope to get some points for my team.

- Question to Dusan Lajovic. We know that you have visited Hermitage Museum earlier today. Could you please share your impressions with us?

- I have been there twice but today we visited a Diamond Room and it was incredible. The number of pieces is impressive. The museum is work of art itself. I think you can learn a lot about history of the world there and it’s a rare thing to have so many pieces in one place.

- Question to Veronika Kudermetova and Diana Shnaider. Did you have time to practice here already?

Diana Shnaider: Everything is fine, we practiced a few times already. We are ready to win! And we will make every possible effort to achieve it.

Veronika Kudermetova: I arrived yesterday and practiced earlier today. The courts as always are excellent. I really like everything here. We all arrived in a fighting spirit. We will go there and play.

- Tell us please how was last night? What secrets were there at the party players?

Alexander Medvedev: Secrets are secrets so that you don’t tell anyone about them. It was an evening of introducing the players, getting to know each other. Everyone was talking and discussing preparations for the tournament.

- What did you like at the party for the players?

Dusan Lajovic: Champagne.

Diana Schnaider: I didn’t try champagne but the meat was delicious.

Anastasia Myskina: I really want to thank Alexander Medvedev for tennis events that take place in St. Petersburg. All previous tournaments and tournaments of the new format. I am very glad to meet my old comrades and new comrades here.

- According to the rules the captain can change a player on the court, did you think already what will be the conditions for you to do this?

Anastasia Myskina: I am so confident about my girls. Of all the girls I am probably the weakest so I won’t put myself forward. As for Nikolay, I don’t know, he’s actually in shape, even if he says he is not.

Nikolay Davydenko: I don’t know, I haven’t thought about it yet but I’ll look at the shape. There is no plan yet.

Alexander Medvedev: There is no plan but spontaneity is everything.

Nikolay Davydenko: If suddenly something happens during the practice, then of course there will be a replacement but I think everything will be fine and everyone will play.

- Question to Veronika Kudermetova: The end of the season was excellent; you won the title. Can you please evaluate your collaboration with Dmitry Tursunov?

- We had three weeks when we worked and trained together. Now we don’t work together anymore but we are in touch, we had a good conversation here in St. Petersburg already. Dmitry is a good coach, a former good player, an excellent mentor. But now our paths are different.

- Question to Nikolay Davydenko: What are the advantages the Sphinxes have over the Lions?

- The main thing there is to “break” Khachanov (jokes). Bublik is playing against us today, and on Sunday he will be playing for our team, so we will have a look at the situation. I watched Khachanov practicing today, we will try to beat him. I don’t know what is the shape of the guys in my team after the long season. You need to have a look, someone is already having their rest, someone has just finished the season.

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