November 15, 2005
|Anna started the interview with a smile and saying: "I know that you were told not to ask about my relationship with Enrique Iglesias, but ask me whatever you want". I was surprised and I took the opportunity. During her time in Mexico, as an Omega ambassador, we talked about her life, her childhood, about tennis and, of course, her boyfriend.
How did your tennis career start?
Anna: "I started when I was just 5. My parents were always interested in sports; both of them were professional athletes in Russia. Since I was a girl I had a lot of energy, so they decided to find some good sport to keep me busy. They found tennis and I started to play in a local club."
Who had inspired you along in your tennis career?
Anna: "Monica Seles has always been my inspiration. I admire her so much; she is my idol since I was a little girl. I love how she plays and I'm impressed about her athletic capacity. She is a very motivated sportsgirl and knows how to compete. She is the best."
And who do you admire, not just in sports, in life?
Anna: "I admire characteristics from many people. It's hard to mention just one, but I admire the positive things that Ophra Winfrey does, for instance. I also admire deeply Rania from Jordania, she is a wonderful woman and I respect the charity work that she makes in her country and in other Middle East places. There are people from different activities that I admire but principally I admire women who I respect and from whom I can learn."
Do you consider yourself a sensible woman?
Anna: "Sure, after all I'm a girl. Now I can give myself the opportunity to be more sensible and more open. When you are a professional athlete you have to show control and not demonstrate what you feel. You can't show yourself vulnerable because you have to be strong on the court. Tennis is a serious sport where the competition is the most important thing. Now I'm in a point where I feel more free and I can express it."
What do you like the most, playing tennis or modeling?
Anna: "It's so much easy to play tennis, because when I'm playing I feel myself like a 'fish in the water'. Modeling it's more a hobby, because I don't feel it's so natural as tennis. I'm not a professional and it demands a lot of work. I have played tennis since I'm five, so that's my element."
What is your favorite part about the latin culture?
Anna: "I like everything, it's special. It's a culture about feelings, warm and open; people are really friendly. I love that everyone is so expressive and has a lot of energy. Latins are very relaxed and honest people. I also like the food, specially the Mexican. I don't really eat the chile, but I love the cheese, the nachos and quesadillas."
Who is your favorite latin guy?
Anna: "Everyone knows that answer (smile): Enrique Iglesias."
Are you still dating him?
Anna: "Of course, have you heard the opposite?"
How much time have you been together?
Anna: "Long time. At least to me seems like a long time."
Would you like to have a family with him?
Anna: "I'm just 24 years old, and we don't think so much about that, we are just little kids!! We are young and we have very demanding careers, both of us love what we do. At the moment, I'm happy with the relationship and I feel that we have a perfect balance. The only thing that I want right now is to support him in his career. Enrique loves what he does and I want to be there for him. I'm also doing a lot of things that I like, so for now we are both dedicated to our careers and when we have time we are together. It's all about find the balance and find support one on each other. Enrique is a wonderful person, really focused in what he does, he works a lot, but at the same time he is nice and conscious about reality, is a very human man. He has wonderful characteristics."
How do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Anna: "It's hard to answer that. I'm not the kind of people that spend their time planning the future. I try to live the moment. Sure, not in a crazy way. What I want to say is that nobody knows what's going to happen tomorrow, so the important is to be happy and healthy with the people who you love."
Which were your little girl dreams?
Anna: "I always dreamt about to play tennis and I was happy. I was surrounded by friends doing funny things and I loved to learn from other people."
What do you expect from the life right now?
Anna: "I'm in a wonderfull point of my life, and at the same time a weird one because I haven't played tennis for a while. I feel in a transition moment because I'm doing new things. For now, I just want to keep growing up and learning. I'm in a good moment because finally I feel like an adult and I have had really good experiences. My only wish is keep going and live new things, be healthy and happy. I'm ready to receive what life wants to send me."
Which was your biggest satisfaction in your career and how hard was it to reach that point?
Anna: "The satisfaction, for me, you can not measure it by numbers or triumphs. To me, the biggest satisfaction ? until now - was while I was on the court feeling the entire excited crowd, ten thousand people in the third set? Those moments of the game are special, when you are almost dying, with a terrible heat, thinking that you can't do anything else, but you do the extra effort and you win the game. To me those are the special moments, when you are on the court and you can defeat yourself. It's not defeating your opponent, it is to conquer something inside yourself. Those moments happen when you think that you can't have the ball or when you are failing and finally you hit the ball. This is the kind of success that fascinates me. I feel that I'm playing against myself and I want to prove to me something."
What do you miss when you are traveling?
Anna: "Now I'm really good, because I stay at home for long periods. I just travel for a short time, but frequently. Before, when I was playing, I was out two or three months, now it's one or two times a week. Normally I miss that feeling of being at home, with my friends, with my boyfriend. To me it's not hard to travel, I enjoy it. I love to go to new places, and if I go with the indicated people, it doesn't matter where I am."
What about your family?
Anna: "My mother lives in Palm Beach, and my dad lives in Russia, so I don't see them very often."
Find out more at Anna's offical website: