Getting To Know... Tereza Smitkova
Published June 29, 2014 12:14
LONDON, England - Twelve months is a long time in tennis. This time last year, Tereza Smitkova was preparing to play an ITF Circuit event on clay in the Polish city of Torun. Her stay in Torun was not a lengthy one, ending in a first round defeat to World No.463 Denisa Allertova.
On Monday morning, she will bid to become the lowest-ranked Wimbledon quarterfinalist in Open Era history when she takes on fellow Czech Lucie Safarova in the intimate surrounds of Court No.18. Before that, though, the 19-year-old sat down for a quick chat with wtatennis.com.
Can you tell us about where you grew up?
TS: I was growing up with my family in Hradec Kralove. I went to school there and still have a lot of friends there when I go back home. I think it's one of the nicest cities in our country and I always look forward to going back home.
When did you start playing tennis?
TS: I started playing when I was seven years old. When my parents first took me to the courts, they saw that I could hit the ball so they sent me to the tennis school.
Can you tell us a little bit about your family?
TS: My father's name is Pavel and he's an English teacher in high school, my mother is called Marketa and works with fabrics. I have an older brother, Jan, who was studying and right now he's looking for a job.
Where do you train at the moment?
TS: I've always trained in the Czech Republic. Two years ago, I moved to the National Tennis Centre in Prostejov where I work with Jaroslav Machovsky.
Does anyone travel with you on tour?
TS: Mainly my coach and sometimes my parents.
Who were your tennis idols when you were growing up?
TS: Novak Djokovic and Kim Clijsters.
What's the best memory of your tennis career?
TS: Probably this tournament, I think!
How would you describe your playing style?
TS: I'm aggressive from both sides, have a good serve. When I can, I like to change the pace.
What's your favorite surface?
TS: Favorite surface would be hard. But now, after this tournament, grass, too!
What are your short and long-term goals?
TS: I'm not sure if it's short or long-term, but I would like to be in the Top 50. Of course, I want to get as high as I can eventually, but to start with I am aiming for the Top 50.
How do you relax away from the court?
TS: I like reading, watching other sports. Also, I like movies and going out with friends when I can.
How far did you go in school?
TS: I haven't finished high school yet - I'm doing my final exams in September.
What would you be doing if you weren't a tennis player?
TS: I don't know, I was studying architecture in high school, so maybe I would do design or something like that. I think that would be interesting for me.