Yulia Putintseva: "I would like to play against Hingis, Clijsters, Henin, Safina"

- Could you please share which tournaments in the WTA tour you see as best, and which – as worst?
- The tournament in Saint Petersburg is one of the best on tour. I've always loved playing here. The atmosphere is unreal and I have incredible fans. Additionally, I like the tournament in Indian Wells. It's a special place, very beautiful, with mountains and fresh air. There are tournaments in very beautiful locations, but where you don't play very well. That's the case for me with Auckland. It's a very beautiful city, a great tournament, and organization, but I always lose there. I'm not giving up; I'll go there again next year. I want to break that tendency. As for the least favorite tournaments, for example, I was in India, and it was not a very pleasant experience. If there was an opportunity, I wouldn't play that tournament again, but maybe I just happened to be there at the wrong time in the wrong place. I'm sure there are tournaments with good organization there, but I didn't like that particular tournament.

- With whom would you like to play from tennis history?
- It would be interesting to play with Martina Hingis, who coached me. She has a very smart style of tennis, and I would like to play against her. I would also like to play with Kim Clijsters. I'll also mention Justine Henin, Elena Dokic, and Dinara Safina.

- Julia, how do you make a child fall in love with tennis?
- Honestly, I think everyone chooses their own path because some people have abilities in tennis, and some don't. I believe that you can't force anyone; they must enjoy the sport. But for me it was my dad who acted as a motivator. Back then, there were no phones, tablets, or social networks. I remember a moment when we were driving in the car, and he said to me, «If you play well, we'll get to cool tournaments, and there will be Disneyland». I was probably around 7 at that time, and I used to watch cartoons on TV where they always showed Disneyland. I looked at it and thought, «I need to go there; it's my dream».

In the end, I visited Disneyland for the first time when I was 11. My dad always set conditions; if I won something, he did something for me. We always agreed in advance on what it would be. At that time, it was, for example, a PlayStation. I loved video games then, and he said, for instance, «Win two tournaments, and you'll get this». Before the trip to Disneyland, by the way, I didn't win, and I was upset, but my dad still took me to Disneyland. Our coach went with us, and he said, «You don't jump on the court like you jump from one slide to another here». My dad is an incredible motivator; he motivated me very well.

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