Quotable Quotes: From Uzbekistan With Love

The WTA stars loved their time in Tashkent this year and opened up to the press day after day.

Published September 15, 2012 12:00

Quotable Quotes: From Uzbekistan With Love
Karin Knapp

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan - The Tashkent Open has been growing every year and getting to know its players better and better as well - and this year those players opened up to the press like never before. From progression to coming back to changes of heart, here's a taste of what the WTA stars said...

Urszula Radwanska
On making her third appearance in Tashkent...
"I have been coming here for around three years and for sure the event has gotten better - the level of competition has really gone up. I love the surface and the event and that's the reason why I keep coming back to Tashkent."

On coming into Tashkent at No.121 last year and No.40 this year...
"I have worked very hard on my game, my fitness and my mind: for my game I have been practicing every stroke a lot; on the physical side, I'm a lot stronger; and I'm more experienced now, so I know how to handle some situations better than before. All of this has boosted my confidence, which has helped me a lot this year, and because of all that my ranking is much higher."

On playing doubles with sister Agnieszka...
"Yes, me and my sister played Wimbledon as practice for the Olympics, but at the moment both of us are really focusing on our singles results."

Bojana Jovanovski
On playing on the Serbian Fed Cup team with a pair of former No.1s...
"I have learnt a lot from the Fed Cup team the last two years. I've been the youngest member of the team, and it's a pleasure to travel with the likes of Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic. They've taught me a lot of things about professional tennis - they always talk about the sport, and their advice has been very valuable in my progress in my own professional career."

Alexandra Panova
On her progression into the Top 100 this year...
"I was in the Top 140 ranking bracket for nearly three years and the jump to the Top 100 was tough - and now the jump to the Top 50 will be even tougher. But these are milestones every professional wants to achieve in their career.

"This is the first year I've been in the main draws of all the Grand Slams. I need to take one more big step to move into the Top 50. The team of my new coach and my sister, who is my travelling coach, are working on the plans. I've been working hard and will have to keep working hard to achieve my goals."

Irina-Camelia Begu
On the last-minute decision to come to Tashkent...
"I wanted to skip the event, but then five days before I decided to play and applied for the visa and managed to come here. I came without any pressures of ranking or points - my aim was just to have more matches and improve my game and consistency. I'm happy I was able to do that this week!"

On getting to No.38 last year but being No.87 coming into Tashkent...
"I haven't had a good year. I lost a lot of points and my ranking took a tumbling downward. My whole focus was to not fall out of the Top 100, and I've been successful on that front - and my results at the US Open and here this week will help me start my ascent back to where I was on the rankings.

"I want to be No.38 again and even better. I have to improve my fitness, my consistency and my self-belief. Now I'm believing in myself more and the next two months will give me time to work on everything even more."

Karin Knapp
On finding out she was playing the top seed in the first round...
"I was actually at the airport getting ready to take a flight to Tashkent and my coach told me I'm playing the top seed first round. He jokingly asked me if we wanted to go to Tashkent or leave the airport! But I promised him it would not be an easy match for my opponent and said let's go, and here I am."

On overcoming illness and injury since she was once as high as No.35...
"I qualified for the Beijing Olympics in 2008 but couldn't play because I was diagnosed with a heart ailment, then in 2009 I had two surgeries on my knee and was out for nearly four months. I thought I would never play again. But I love tennis, I missed it, and I wanted to come back - and today I'm happy to be back on the court and feeling the same about it as I did when I left. It's a new start.

"From Top 35 and playing in the main draws of Grand Slams to playing the qualifying of $10,000 events, life has been a tough journey. I was depressed and mentally broken sometimes. But when you are in sports, the wins and losses are a part of life. I've learnt to deal with the problems and I'm stronger now. I have had so much support from everyone and I want to thank them all for putting me back on my feet - when I was on crutches for four months they cared for me and it wasn't easy. Now I'm okay and I'm fighting hard to make up for the lost time."

On her goals moving forward...
"My goal right now is to win as many matches as I can, and hopefully I can get into the main draw of the Australian Open in 2013."

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