Getting To Know... Anna Tatishvili
Published June 20, 2011 08:27
LONDON, England - Anna Tatishvili was barely in her teens when she left her native Georgia to pursue tennis in the United States. The transition from the juniors hasn't been easy but, with four ITF Circuit titles to her name and her Top 100 debut in sight, that leap of faith looks set to pay off. On Monday at Wimbledon the 21-year-old won her first-ever Grand Slam main draw match, beating Anastasia Pivovarova in three sets. The reward: a chance to test her mettle against No.19 seed Yanina Wickmayer.
We caught up with Anna during the AEGON Classic in Birmingham, where she advanced to the second round before falling to Ana Ivanovic.
How did you get into tennis?
AT: I was four years and eight months. My sister Tamta, who is two years older, started to play tennis - and I said I wanna play too! When I was 13 we moved to the States and I went to the Evert Academy. I'd spent a few months there when I was about seven.
What's your coaching situation at the moment?
AT: I'm coached by Ean Meyer and my dad, Dimitry. My dad travels with me all the time, while my mom stays at home in Florida. I still use the courts at Everts, and my coach works there. They're very nice to let me keep using the facility even though I'm not really with the academy any more.
Did you get to trade groundies with Chris Evert?
AT: Of course! I've known her for a long time, and when I was younger I hit with her a lot. We're good friends.
How do you describe your playing style?
AT: Mostly I stay at the baseline… I don't really like serve and volley but I'm currently working on coming to the net more.
Did you have a tennis idol when you were younger?
AT: Steffi Graf.
If you could steal a shot from another player, what would it be?
AT: I would steal Graf's serve. If we're talking about a current player I would take Federer's serve… or Serena's… I wouldn't mind that either!
How do you like playing on grass courts?
AT: I really like the grass. It can be a bit slippery if it's been raining, but if it's a good grass court I love it. It's really nice, fast.
Who has been your toughest opponent?
AT: I couldn't really name one… but I've had a lot of tough matches. Sometimes I've lost, but they've been 'good' losses.
What's your best tennis memory so far?
AT: I guess when I won my first junior tournament outside of my country, in Italy. That was exciting. And when I won my first WTA match at Key Biscayne. It was a night match against Sania Mirza and all of the kids from the academy where there cheering for me.
What do you miss about Georgia when you are not there?
AT: Oh, absolutely everything - from my relatives, to the streets of the city where I grew up.
What do you like to do to relax?
AT: I like to go to movies, I like shopping and I like to go to the beach. All the regular stuff!
Describe yourself in one word.
AT: That's a tough one. Nice, I guess. I can't believe I just described myself as nice, but my friends say that sometimes I'm too nice.
How far did you go in your education?
AT: I finished high school. I haven't been able to go to university because of my tennis, but I'm looking to do an online course. Definitely not in physics or anything like that. I'm more into history and languages.
What languages do you speak?
AT: I speak Georgian, English and Russian.
You've been in the US for a big part of your life… how American do you feel?
AT: Well of course I'm Georgian - I was born in Georgia, I have Georgian blood in me. But I spent my teenage years in the US and I'm sure there's some American in me now. I enjoy the freedom there; life feels more simple. I've been in Europe a month and a half now and I think it's tougher here. Everything feels easier in the States.
What quality do you most admire in other people?
If you could meet anyone, past or present, who would like to meet?
AT: I was just in Paris, and I visited all the museums, so I would love to meet Leonardo Da Vinci. I saw the Mona Lisa.
What non-tennis skill would you like to have?
AT: I would like to be able to draw as a way of expression. But I have no talent in this area whatsoever.
If you were stuck on a desert island and could have only one luxury item with you, what would it be?
AT: A good book to read so I don't die of boredom. I read a lot of books… the latest that I really enjoyed was The Picture of Dorian Gray.
If you could go on holiday anywhere in the world, where would you go?
AT: I really want to visit Ireland. I've never been, but it's on my list.
What are your goals in tennis?
AT: Currently I'm around 115 on the WTA, so first of all I want to get into the Top 100. And just win the matches - when I'm in front, finish it off. That, and try to stay consistent.
If not tennis, what would you be doing?
AT: I've never really thought about it because since I was four I've been so focused on tennis.