Catching Up With... Anastasia Myskina

Russia's first Grand Slam champion made a special visit to the Tashkent Open on Thursday.

Published September 16, 2011 12:00

Catching Up With... Anastasia Myskina
Anastasia Myskina

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan - There's no doubt Russia has been one of the most dominant nations on the WTA over the last decade, but many have forgotten about the player that made almost all of the initial breakthroughs - first to win a Grand Slam, first to crack the Top 5, eventually making it up to No.2...

Anastasia Myskina, who hasn't played on the WTA since the French Open in 2007 and who turned 30 this summer, made a special visit to the Tashkent Open on Thursday, taking part in a clinic organized by the Uzbekistan Tennis Federation, hitting with fellow WTA star Iroda Tulyaganova and groups kids. She also chatted with the local press - here's some of what she said...

On Tashkent...
"Tashkent has a special place in my heart. I used to train here in my childhood and I have many relatives in this city - my grandparents are Uzbek."

On how Tashkent has changed since she last played there in 1999...
"The city has changed a lot. It has grown - I see many new and impressive buildings. Tashkent is beautiful - it's one of my favorite cities."

On the Tashkent Open...
"The organization of the tournament is of the highest level. A lot of high-ranked players are playing here this year, and the car that will be given to the winner as a bonus is beautiful. I'm also very happy Ksenia Pervak, a very promising young player from Russia, is competing in the tournament this year."

On hitting with Tulyaganova, a former Top 20 player, at the clinic...
"Today was very nostalgic for me, coming back to these courts and playing with my friend Iroda. It made me think back to my playing days. I miss the sport."

On the possibility of coming back to the WTA...
"I can't say for certain I won't ever play tennis again - never say never. But at the moment I won't do that. I have small children and I can't leave them alone!"

On whether she wants her children to play tennis...
"They're too young now, but time will tell, and if they do play tennis I'll be very happy. Right now they're having their best time - just walking and sleeping!"

On how the game has changed since she stopped playing...
"It's more aggressive - there's more power. Also, the younger players are all working on their fitness. The competition is getting more intense."

On whether young Russian players go to her for advice...
"Sometimes they do, and I'm always happy to help them. I've given advice to Ksenia Pervak, I hope I've helped. Now I'm also working with Svetlana Kuznetsova. Sometimes she says I'm too tough on her but I just share my experiences and want her to be the best player she can be!"

On players from Uzbekistan...
"I know Akgul well, she played against Kuznetsova at the US Open. She has good potential and all the qualities to be the second Lindsay Davenport."

On working in television since she stopped playing...
"Many players don't know what they'll do after their tennis career, but I was lucky to be offered to work for a sports channel. I'm really enjoying it. It keeps me connected to the sport. I also have some projects not connected with tennis."

Anastasia Myskina

Tashkent Open

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