Getting To Know... Ekaterina Makarova
Published July 29, 2012 07:35
Sometimes, life's not fair. Most players with a WTA title, a career-best ranking inside the Top 30 and a win over one of the greatest tennis players ever to hold a racquet would be household names in their homeland. That is, unless you come from Russia.
With seven (yes, seven!) players inside the Top 50, Russia is spoilt for choice in terms of tennis talent like no other country. So pity poor Ekaterina Makarova, who despite the aforementioned achievements, sees six of her compatriots sitting above her in the rankings. She's not even the best player from her own city.
However, despite this fact the 24-year-old has managed to bag herself a spot on the Olympic team alongside Elena Vesnina in the doubles. And that's just as well, because she loves the Olympics. As wtatennis.com found out when it sat down with Russia's seventh best player. Sorry, Ekaterina.
How did you get into tennis?
EM: I began playing when I was about six. My friend was playing at the Luzhniki club in the Olympic park in Moscow and I came along one time. I really liked it and asked my parents if I could go back and then just started to play more and more.
Can you tell us about your family?
EM: We are just a normal family. My brother, Andrey, works in a bank, my father, Valery, is a businessman and my mother is called Olga and is a housewife who does everything for all of us!
Who coaches you at the moment?
EM: I'm working with Evgenia Manyukova and we have been working together for five years already. I also have a fitness coach and a physio who are also really important in getting me in shape and keeping me that way.
How would you describe your game?
EM: I'm playing pretty aggressive tennis and I really enjoy to play on fast surfaces, especially grass.
Who has been your toughest opponent?
EM: All of them are tough! It is difficult to pick out just one because there are so many good players that I have come up against. I can't choose!
Did you have a tennis idol growing up?
EM: I can say that my idol was Anastasia Myskina. I really love her game. I didn't try to base my game on her, but just watching her made me want to play because I just love her game. She's working with the Federation Cup now and I'm so happy sometimes when I'm also on the team and she's happy like to talk to me. That's an amazing feeling.
What has been you best memory in tennis so far?
EM: That would be beating Serena Williams at the Australian Open this year. She's a great player and it's really tough to play against her. But on that day, I don't know, I felt so comfortable and I really thought that I could beat her. I played so well that day and to beat such a great player at a Grand Slam was just an amazing feeling.
What are your goals for this year and your career?
EM: The Olympics are really important to me so for me it would be a dream to win an Olympic medal here in London. I don't really like to make too many goals as all I want to do is concentrate on my tennis and try and enjoy it. But if I had to choose one thing it would be the Olympics.
How far did you go in your education?
EM: I finished school and now I am studying at university. It's quite difficult to fit it around tennis because I am travelling so often, but I think it's an important and I try to study hard.
What do you like to do to for fun?
EM: I really like to dance! My favorite types of music are hip hop and R&B, although I also have another slightly embarrassing one: Roxette! Other than that I just like to do the usual things, like watching movies, meeting with friends and spending time with my family.
If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
If you could meet anyone in the world who would you like it to be?
EM: I've never thought about that. It's an interesting question. And a difficult one. I don't know the answer. I'll think about it and tell you another day!
If you weren't a tennis player what would you be doing now?
EM: I think I really wanted to be a dancer when I was younger, so I'd love to be a hip hop dancer or something like that.