Catching Up With... Anastasia Myskina
Published October 24, 2007 12:00
With six players in the Top 20 Russia is undoubtedly the preeminent tennis nation on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and were it not for a long-term left-foot injury to Anastasia Myskina the number would undoubtedly be higher. In 2004 the Muscovite became the first player from her homeland to lift a Grand Slam title when she defeated compatriot Elena Dementieva at Roland Garros. This achievement is, to date, the pinnacle of a career which has brought the 26-year-old 10 Tour titles - two of these at the Kremlin Cup - and despite her injury the former world No.2 returned to Moscow once again this year to carry out her role as interviewer for Russian TV station NTV+.
sonyericssonwtatour.com caught up with Anastasia in-between interviews in the Russian capital to talk television, comebacks and soccer!
What have you been up to while you have been away from the Tour?
I've been doing quite a lot of TV work in Moscow, mostly with tennis and I've enjoyed it so far. It's great fun because I get to see lots of friends involved in the sport and in a more relaxed way and I still feel I'm in touch with the girls on Tour. Also recently I've been hosting a soccer talk show and even though I'm not the most knowledgeable fan it's been great fun to get involved in another sport.
How did you get involved in the television work?
One of my close friends has been working for a tennis channel in Russia for a while and after I had surgery on my foot she suggested I get involved in some TV work. As I was scheduled for quite a long break to recover from the operation, I thought, 'why not?' It's difficult just sitting at home recovering from injuries and having no real schedule so I thought it would be an ideal way to use this free time.
How does it feel to be off the Tour recovering from injury?
Like I said before, it's strange not having a schedule and it's an unusual feeling for a tennis player as we are so used to that schedule taking up our time. It feels a little sad to be off Tour and out of that routine and it definitely takes some getting used to and at the moment I still miss it a lot, but perhaps it would have been worse if I hadn't kept myself so busy!
How did your surgery go?
The surgery on my foot went well, but I think I rushed back from it a little too quickly and when I appeared at Roland Garros I don't think I was 100 percent ready. Part of the reason I play was just that I wanted to appear in Paris so much, but perhaps looking back I maybe should have waited a little longer. The problem is I still feel some discomfort when I play and so I can't play to my full potential and I think I need to wait until that is possible before I make another comeback.
How much do you miss the game?
There are certain parts of being a tennis player that I don't miss at all like the travelling, but at the same time I miss the game as a whole and so I'm really hopeful of making a comeback sometime soon. I don't really want to have to play through the pain, but I'm still practicing quite regularly and although it still doesn't feel perfect yet I think it's improving. I also miss the girls on Tour a lot as you become quite close when you travel all over the world together, so it's nice when I see them at tournaments I do TV work for.
How does the injury affect your play?
I still have scars from the surgery and they have not fully healed yet and because of this there is some slight numbness on my big toe. Unfortunately this affects my movement quite a lot and when I practice I don't feel my mobility around the court is as good as perhaps it was or should be. I'm still optimistic that in time they will heal fully though and I will be able to play to my maximum again.
What is it like being back at the Kremlin Cup?
It's nice to be back here at the tournament venue as I got the trophy in 2004 and 2003 and it brings back lots of good memories. It's great to see lot of old friends as well and I'm happy to meet up with the girls on Tour as I haven't seen some of them for quite a while. Our relationship is a bit different now as I don't think they see me as a rival anymore so we can talk and chat like friends and trust each other more. Whereas before we were rivals and didn't want to give away our secrets!