"Lions" victory roar: Players share brightest impressions of tournament

- Svetlana, at the players’ party you said you were ready to win this year too. And it happen. Share your secret?
Svetlana Kuznetsova: To be honest I was kidding but it’s great I managed to win for the second time. As usual I didn’t expect that even I had already won last year. But it’s always pleasant to win. Why not? Moreover I was a team captain, so it wasn’t as tough as running on the court.

- Please share your brightest and memorable moment of these three days of the North Palmyra Trophies?
Karen Khachanov: To be honest, I had such grandiose plans when I was coming to St. Pete. I was dreaming to go to the Hermitage, to have dinner all together, to go to banya. But I did none of that. I was on the courts for the whole day practicing and playing the matches. I spent all these days with my team [‘Lions’]. I was really happy to see all the spectators who came and gave it all to the tournament.
Vera Zvonareva: I think that the final match between two Alexanders. I was a great match, I enjoyed it a lot.
Viktoriya Tomova: I don’t know what was the most impressive but all of the matches showed really good class and there were really good shots like hotdogs. I can’t do these types of shots but saw really good ones today. Everyone played great and I am just happy to be part of the team.
Laslo Djere: I really enjoyed my time here. It was my second time at this event. I think there were a lot of good matches and I’m also impressed by the organization so I want to say big thanks to Alexander Medvedev and everybody who’s involved in the organization of this event.
Alexander Bublik: For me, it is the trophy. When I came here I asked Natalia Kamelzon if I am playing for two team, I will get the trophy anyway? I was told ‘no’. And today after I won two of my matches Alexander Shevchenko and Anastasia Potapova gave me one of their trophies, as they are a family, one is enough for them. And for me it is a pleasure to come back home with a trophy.
Anastasia Potapova: For me - to play mixed doubles with my husband.
Alexander Shevchenko: And for me, it was great to come back to Russia and to spend some time on the tournament. I got so many emotions that I will keep in memory, especially the ones I had with such a team. I hope I will come back here again.
Janko Tipsarevic: I would definitely say that one of the most impressive things is the organization. We are living at a very challenging time when it comes to organizing the event in Russia. So thanks to all the sponsors, all the players, all the people who helped to organize this event during these challenging time.

- Question to all but especially to Alexander and Karen. Regular tournaments are exhausting, players get tired, including psychologically, but tournaments like this, exhibition ones, probably, on the contrary, add pleasure and relax. Do you agree with this? What was the most enjoyable part of the entertaining tennis you showed?
Karen Khachanov: I would say that due to the fact that we just started training, Sasha and I both cannot walk now and have physically given everything we had. And psychologically this is true, yes, but this is the whole interest of exhibition tournaments, that you can combine serious rallies and show good tennis, and at the same time show some interesting rallies and moments so that the audience enjoys the whole process. Sasha and I thought that we would play in one of the matches here, but apparently we will leave that for another time.
Alexander Bublik: Totally agree with Karen. Physically this tournament was hard for me, probably the most difficult tournament I have ever played. I hadn't played for over twenty days before I took the court here. And I was immediately given an opponent in the person of Roberto Bautista Agut, who refused to play softly, so yes, I gave everything I had, but psychologically being here is a big relief. Just play tennis, just enjoy the game, the spectators, the stadium. It was cool.

- Question to Alexander Shevchenko. At the beginning of the tournament you said you’d like to play v. Alexander Bublik. Your wish came true, share your impressions on this battle please.
- There are a lot of impressions as it’s always interesting to play him either on practice or on the tournament. Especially it was a pleasure to battle with him here in his home town, so I got lots of emotions.

- Question to Svetlana Kuznetsova. You said being a captain is easier than running on the court. But when the camera caught you during the girls match you had no face. Can you share you feelings at that moment?
- Of course, I’m worried too, but this is completely different. A different impression, different emotions. When you play, you are very concentrated on what you need to do, and I am interested in analyzing games, watching girls, advising them on something. It turned out quite fruitfully. Physically, of course, it’s more difficult to play, but it’s also interesting to give hints, it’s just a completely different job.

- Please tell us about the format of the tournament. This is more of a question for Svetlana Kuznetsova, since you also won last year. Last year there was a different format, different teams, this year it seems that it turned out more interesting. Tell me, who came up with the idea to change the format of the tournament? What is better: keep the same format as it is now, or maybe change it once again?
- Last year the tournament was very “fresh”. When we arrived and met with Alexander Medvedev and Natalia Kamelzon, we came up with the format ourselves. This year the format was invented before our arrival and we discussed it before the matches. Anastasia Myskina liked the new format more, I liked last year's format better because you feel more involved and are with only one team. But both formats are interesting. The current format seems to be further developed.

- Svetlana, maybe the example of Vera Zvonareva will inspire you to come back on Tour maybe for playing doubles?
Svetlana Kuznetsova: I will definitely think on this proposal. I admire Vera, of how she is playing, of her physical shape. I won’t say ‘Never’, but at the same time I won’t make you glad by any news of coming back to the tour. I am thinking.
Karen Khachanov: I've been trying to persuade her for a long time, but I can't. I tried to persuade Svetlana to play together at the 2020 Olympics, but it was no use.

© 2022, все права защищены