Elena & The Coupe des Mousquetaires
Published July 24, 2013 12:01
This week, wtatennis.com will be revisiting some of the fairytales from the spring, where players overcame obstacles to achieve their dreams... today: Elena & The Coupe des Mousquetaires.
Outlandish predictions of greatness are a dime a dozen from within the hyperbolic bubble of junior sport. Yet for every Maria Sharapova there are plenty more Freddy Adus.
"It gave me so much confidence and happiness when we won it," Vesnina said of her Roland Garros victory. "When I finally lifted the trophy with Ekaterina, I felt such a relief. I felt that all the work that I was doing all my life had paid off - since I was a little kid, all I was thinking about was winning a Grand Slam."
That work began under the tutelage of former World No.1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov's father, Alexandre, back in her hometown of Sochi in southern Russia. Despite her tender years, Kafelnikov Senior spotted something in the young Vesnina.
"Yevgeny Kafelnikov, he's from Sochi, he's from my home city, and when he won Roland Garros many years ago I was coached by his dad," she added. "I came to his house and his dad showed me the trophy.
"He told me that it's going to be your first Grand Slam title, believe me. And it happened!
"A Grand Slam is a Grand Slam. You know, not that many players are able to play in that final. It's even harder to win it."
So how has life changed for the Russian since she gained admission to this most exclusive of clubs? "Everybody is joking right now about me, 'Oh, like you're a Grand Slam champion, you can say whatever you want, like you can do whatever you want.'
"But it's not true! It's just title that I was waiting for. Yeah, it changed a little bit about my confidence. It gave me that confidence, gave myself belief even more. But I didn't change as a person."