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An Argentine Legend's WTA Afterthoughts

Gisela Dulko talks about her father, Flavia, the Williams sisters, the Big Three and much more.

Published December 10, 2012 12:00

An Argentine Legend's WTA Afterthoughts
Gisela Dulko

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Last week, thanks to madrid-open.com, wtatennis.com brought you closer to three of Spain's rising stars, and to wrap the series up today is something a little different - one of the most successful South American players of all time who just wrapped up her career - Gisela Dulko - talks about her past, future and who she thinks is "a step above".

First off, Dulko's retirement capped a long, successful career that included a handful of titles and Top 10 wins in singles, as well as a slew of titles and the No.1 ranking in doubles - what was the Argentine's fondest memory?

"I will take a lot of fond memories with me," Dulko said. "Things have gone better for me than I thought they would. Matches, results, tournaments, the people I've met all these years on the road - I have so many fond memories."

But the Argentine pointed to one person who had the biggest impact on her.

"Flavia had a big impact on my career without a doubt - and the best thing I will take from my time with her is our friendship. We are friends off the court and to have won so many things together has been incredible for us. We enjoyed it even more. In 2010 we decided to play together and that turned out to be better than we ever could have imagined - that was an incredible year where we won seven tournaments, including the Masters and then, soon after, the Australian Open. It was incredible, and being No.1 with my best friend was unforgettable."

In 2012, Dulko partnered with the only other South American ever to hold a No.1 ranking on the WTA - Paola Suárez - to compete at the Olympics together.

"Paola and I decided to prepare for the Olympics. The results didn't go our way as we went out in the first round, but all the same it was a fantastic experience. We really did our best; it was an absolute pleasure to play with Paola."

And another special person in Dulko's heart was her late father, Estanislao.

"I lost him when I was 11 but he was with me throughout my career. When I was young he would always come to watch me play, and come to watch me train too - he would watch me from outside because he didn't like to be on the court. He was really shy. I have always said that my career was for him. I dedicated it to him and he was the person I thought of when I decided to retire."

And what about everyone else still battling it out on the WTA, particularly the Top 3 - Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams?

"Those three have all had an incredible season. They are probably the best in the world at the moment, but there are plenty of talented players out there and I think next year will be even more competitive. However, when those three are on their game, I still think they are a step above everyone else."

For the full interview Dulko and more from Madrid, please click here!

Topics: 2012, news, gisela dulko
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