middle of 2005
Do you miss Tennis?
How's your back doing?
Anna: "Sometimes it feels very bad, even so bad that I cannot bend over to put on my shoes. This happens normally when I practised 2 weeks in a row 6 hours a day. That kind of practise you need before a pro tournament. But when I train so hard I don't want to worry about that one additional hour would prevent me from training the next day. And I cannot compete in a tournament as long as I have this problem in the back of my mind. I have to be able to focus 100% on the game - and the way I play it - without having to be worried all the time about my body."
What elso do you do to have fun?
Anna: "I am a water rat. Since I live in Miami on the beach, I spend much time on the boat or the jetski. I also try to learn waterskiing right now. What else? I love rollerblading and cycling. I've always been very sportive and I do spend much time outside."
Do you like to go out in the evening?
Anna: "I like to go out to dance, but sometimes I just dance at home when I want to have fun with my friends. I don't have to be at a specific location to feel what I want to feel. For me it's like that I am in a good mood when I feel happy inside. When I want to dance or want to have fun it can happen that I simply turn on the music and start dancing."
What's the best on being a professional athlete?
Anna: "Being able to do what you want to do. I love playing tennis and travelling around the world. I love meeting and seeing other people. And I love the opportunity to bring kids to do sports. The older I get, the more experiences I have and this experience I can share with other people. I hope kids can learn from what I experienced."
Are there any bad sides?
Anna: "There are no bad sides in sports. But one bad thing about being famous is that you're always in the spotlight and people judge you without knowing or having seen you. Just in this moment someone in Alaska might write a story about me, other people read it and think that's the real Anna."
Will you play Tennis forever?
Anna: "When I was 7 and still lived in Russia, do you believe I knew what a Dollar is? You even wouldn't have put me off the court if you would have pulled me at my ears. This attitude I still have today. I wish I had the body to play until I'm 100 years old, but I have to listen more carefully to my body right now because I already play Tennis for 18 years. Whenever I will retire - in how many years this will be - I will continue to play and stay informed. What is a body good for when it's just looking fine but you cannot use it for anything?"
Are you sad that you are not playing in the Olympics?
Anna: "I already played at the Olympics in 1996 when I was 15 years old and it felt really strange. I thought all the time 'What's going on here?'"
How long do you think will it take until you're back?
Anna: "Look, if I had trained for a month, I could play a tournament tomorrow. And I would feel fine until the fourth day. But after 4 matches, 3 sets and 3 hours on the court I would die. I would have to withdraw from the tournament in the semis and I don't want that. I want to be able to concentrate 100% on the match and don't have to be worried about if I 'survive' the match."
Find out more at Anna's offical website: