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    Tennis player Petrova believes that Medvedev can again become the first racket of the world

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    — You will take part in the Kremlin Cup. What does this tournament mean for you personally and the opportunity to play in it as a legend? – it was necessary to play, no one wanted to concede. All friends, relatives, relatives came. It was very nice after a long season to play on the home court, with our fans. The Russians have always loved to play in this tournament. So many years have passed since I myself played at the Kremlin Cup, I had good results: I reached the finals in singles, there were several semi-finals, I won in pairs three times with different partners. And now the organizers have an idea to bring together the players of my generation, men and women, and make the Tournament of Legends running in parallel with the main competitions.

    Now it will be called the Tennis Festival. Due to the situation in the world, unfortunately, many foreign players will not come, but there will be many professionals from neighboring countries.

    – Although Russian tennis players can play in almost all major tournaments, they are still forced to do this in a neutral status. In the context of the large-scale isolation of Russian sports at the international level, how do you assess the significance of the Kremlin Cup?

    — I think that the Russians have long fallen in love with the Kremlin Cup. Many came to the country for the sake of it, because often this is the only opportunity to see the athletes live and get in touch with such players. This is also necessary for the tennis players themselves in order to continue to keep themselves in good shape – a good game practice.

    – Nevertheless, Russian tennis players show themselves well at international competitions, Daniil Medvedev until recently held the first line of the ATP rating. How soon do you think he can return to it?

    — Probably, it all depends on the next season. This season he also had an injury, he did not play in any tournaments. I hope that Danya will be able to return to the same peak form in the new season. Now there is a small change of generations in men’s tennis, we saw it at the US Open: young players appeared, charged with results, hungry for victories. You will need to keep yourself in good shape. On the other hand, and some stars are leaving. Roger Federer ended his career, it is not known what plans Rafael Nadal has, the Austrian Dominic Thiem also cannot find himself after injuries.

    — And did the change of generations affect the position of Russians in women’s tennis? Now the best representative of Russia Daria Kasatkina occupies 11th place in the WTA ranking, although a few years ago Russian tennis players were among the leaders, while men, on the contrary, were not so successful.

    — Certainly, the change of generations influences. In the generation to which I belonged, from a young age there was serious competition, then it was transferred to junior tennis, to professional tennis. Maybe we were one of those first bands, and maybe that was doubly energizing and stimulating us.

    — How are men like Medvedev, Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov now?

    – Yes, exactly like men. But everything is ahead. We must actively engage in the development of children’s tennis sports in our country, to educate future champions. I made a decision for myself that this would be my task as well – to pass on the experience to future generations.

    – You mentioned juniors. I understand that it is difficult to give marks, but can you single out someone from the younger generation who could compete for the highest positions?

    — I find it difficult to say by name . But I note that now the problem for young tennis players is movement. Because at their age and with their abilities, they have to play in a lot of international competitions and fight against international class opponents. But I think this is temporary and everything will come into balance.

    — Since we have touched on the problems, I cannot fail to mention one more concerning women’s tennis in general – it was recently identified by Maria Sharapova, appearing in public space for the first time in a long time. She expressed solidarity with Venus Williams, who fought for equal prize money in men’s and women’s tennis for many years. Do you think this is a problem really worthy of attention and solution? Can it somehow slow down the development of women’s tennis?

    — I don’t think so, because this sport is popular all over the world. I would not make this a global problem. In addition, if you look at the women’s and men’s calendars for tournaments, the women’s grid is broken up in a completely different way. In all tournaments, men have a higher prize fund than women. They are equal only in Grand Slam tournaments. I don’t see any problem with that.

    — After the loss at the US Open, Serena Williams announced her retirement, with whom you have met on the courts many times, beat her three times. How do you remember her?

    — My whole career has been parallel to Serena. Of course, it was very difficult to resist her, but despite her strength, determination, anger on the court, in fact, she is a very good, kind and friendly person. And she, of course, changed the course of history a bit: she achieved a colossal number of victories – both Olympic medals and Grand Slams, the only one among both men and women to have a career Golden Slam.

    — You had a rich and eventful career. Can you highlight the highlights? Or, on the contrary, the most difficult?

    Probably the most difficult thing was that throughout my career I had many injuries that held back my full potential. But despite this, I managed to play with several generations, I played with Monica Seles, Steffi Graff, Aranta Sanchez. Then the Williams sisters appeared, I witnessed the confrontation between the Belgians Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin, the rivalry of Jennifer K apriati and Lindsay Davenport. Of course, I have a rather colorful career; together with Maria Kirilenko, I won a bronze Olympic medal on the Wimbledon grass courts. There were also very offensive defeats, unexpected failures. But I am grateful to tennis, including the fact that I was able to see the world – it’s very interesting. helmet, did not conquer everything that they could?

    — Of course!

    I could not withdraw from the tournament, I tried to leave in the first round, but I realized that there was no chance. And in a couple of times there was an opportunity to win the Grand Slam, but literally “from the racket” this opportunity flew off. There were disappointing defeats in the finals.

    — You have your own tennis school for children — at what point did you realize that you were ready to share your experience with young athletes? And did the ambitious task spur you on so that your pupils achieve what you could not achieve? he leaves me in the sport. I was born in a family of athletes, I have always been in sports, and my parents were an example for me. I was constantly at training camps and competitions, and the training process was a natural environment for me.

    – Your daughter is growing – following in your footsteps?

    —Not yet, although her grandfather had already taught her how to hold a racket and hit the ball. But for now, she has completely different interests. Still, it’s too early to play tennis at four years old. I would develop it in some other sports field.

    – And if it happens that the child does not want to realize himself in the sports field?

    – To be honest, I would like her to play tennis well. But to be professional? This is her choice. She is quite active, so I don’t see her without sports. And we have a sports dynasty, on the female line – Olympic medalists (Nadezhda Petrova’s mother Nadezhda Ilyina won bronze in Montreal – 1976 in the 4×400 m cross-country relay – Gazeta). Of course, it would be great if she extended this dynasty, intercepted the baton.

    – How did your parents train you and how much of what you received from them do you now use in coaching?

    — From my parents, I probably adopted the approach – they always found a common language, knew how to interest, motivate the child. I also trained with many tennis experts from different countries, I got something special from everyone. She came to something. I put all the experience gained into the training process so that the children like the classes, they are different, rich, motivated to achieve results. Developed discipline, diligence, leadership qualities. At my school, in the Premier Sport club, there is a pleasant family atmosphere, in addition to sports skills, children communicate, share emotions and impressions.

    — Are there many pupils in your school now?

    — Now there are about 40 people. We have good specialists, we are charged for success. I work with each group and the coach, everything goes under my control. This season, guys have been added who participate in various tournaments in Russia. At their level, it’s a very interesting job, two of my pupils, aged 10 and 12, have already entered the top 50 in Russia in their age category. But it’s also fun to watch young children get their first skills, how happy they are when they get something.

    — Now from 6 to 12 years old. Initially, we took the very young, because we wanted to give the first skills, the foundation to the kids who have never held rackets in their hands. Probably six years old is the best age to start playing tennis. This is the preschool period, they are already consciously approaching this, they understand what is required of them, they have higher understanding and concentration.

    — Do many specialists work with you?

    — Of course, we have tennis coaches, psychologists, general physical training is taught by my dad, an honored coach of the USSR. Speaking about specialists, I would like to say separately that we are now actively working on launching an international lecture hall with famous athletes who will be able to act as mentors for children and share their experience. But I’ll talk about this a little later. For now, all school news can be viewed in social networks.

    – At the beginning of our conversation, you mentioned the costs – many parents are afraid to send their children to sports, because this implies the cost of equipment, trips. How expensive is tennis in this regard?

    — Tennis is an individual sport. Initially, the education of the child occurs at the expense of the family budget. And this is an important question for parents. But tennis, like golf, has always been a prestigious sport for people who have the financial means. Then tennis turns into a sports habit, families constantly play, for some clubs – in particular, in Europe there are closed clubs with membership cards. But if you take your child to a professional level, parents need to think in advance whether they will pull it off or not.

    But when international trips begin, there will be more costs – tickets, hotels, playgrounds, the coach must be taken. But not all children need to play tennis just to become champions, it is basically a good sport for a child, it develops concentration, dynamics, strength, dexterity, builds confidence in the child.

    — What do you see as the main task for your school and for yourself personally as a leader and trainer?

    — My goal is to bring tennis players to the international level, so that children from different regions of our country come to our school to receive professional training, and our students were the best not only in our country, but also showed very good results at the world level. We are developing and open to dialogue with investors, partners and like-minded people. But separately, I would like to note once again that it is also important to develop children’s tennis in Russia and instill sports habits in children.


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