Getting To Know... Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino
Published February 26, 2012 10:00
BOGOTÁ, Colombia - Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino may not be a household name just yet, but if the Spanish teenager continues her steady rise up the rankings then this is sure to change very soon. Last week, she announced herself to the tennis world by winning the Bogotá title - in just her third WTA main draw - and before the tournament we had a quick chat with Arruabarrena-Vecino to get the lowdown on Spain's next star.
Where were you born and where do you live now?
LAV: I was born in San Sebastián, then I lived in Tolosa. But when I was 15 I was asked to move to Barcelona to train with the Spanish Federation and that's where I'm based now.
How did you start playing tennis?
LAV: One summer with a friend, when I was around eight. I took a couple of lessons to see if I liked it and it went from there!
How would you describe your game?
LAV: I play with a lot of topspin because everyone is hitting so flat. I try to be aggressive and I cover a lot of court.
And what's your favorite surface?
LAV: Definitely clay. It's what I'm most used to and I think it suits my game best.
When you are away, who travels with you?
LAV: I always travel with my coach, whose name is Antonio Capella.
Tell us a little bit about your family?
LAV: My father is Juan and he is a lithographer, and my mother, Blanca, is a nurse. I have a younger sister too and she also plays tennis.
Do you play any other sports?
LAV: Occasionally. I have played paddle tennis in the past, but not competitively, just for fun!
Who did you admire as a tennis player?
LAV: When I was younger, I always looked up to Justine Henin. I think she was a great player.
What is the highlight of your career so far?
LAV: In 2010, I played the final of junior doubles at Roland Garros with María-Teresa Torró-Flor. And also qualifying for Marbella last year and then reaching the quarterfinals. That gave me a lot of confidence.
What off-court training do you do?
LAV: We do some resistance work on the track, trying to improve my speed. I also do a bit of weight training to build up the muscle in my arms and legs.
What to do you do to relax away from the tennis court?
LAV: I go to the cinema, listen to music, hang out with friends. As I'm usually away playing tennis, I don't get much free time so it's important to take advantage of it and try and relax and have some fun.
Do you have any favorite cities or places you've visited?
LAV: It would have to be my birth town of San Sebastián. It's a really beautiful place.
If you hadn't been a tennis player, what career would you have chosen?
LAV: I think I would have played another sport because I love sport and it was always my dream to do it professionally.