10 questions with Canadian Tennis Star Aleksandra Wozniak, July 27, 2010
1. OTB: You are returning to the place where you won your first WTA title. It must be an amazing memory. How does that make you feel?
It’s so special for me to come back for the third time to Stanford. Of course, it would be fantastic to repeat what I did in 2008 by winning the title! The crowd is very energetic here. I remember 2008 very well, in the final they supported me as if I was playing at home!
2. OTB: You took the first set against Elena Dementieva in Paris and Jelena Jankovic at Wimbledon. You were so close! Are you ready to pull a shocking upset this summer?
Yes! I hope next time I play a close match against a top player it will go my way! Those two great matches in Paris and Wimbledon gave me back my confidence.
3. OTB: You were named the Canadian female athlete of the year for 2009. Has that changed the way people look at you in Canada?
I think more people have started to recognize me across Canada, not because of this award, but because of my success and performances over the last few years. This award is more of an encouragement from my country. I was very honored to receive it and to be mentioned in the company of those other great Canadian athletes.
4. OTB: Is it true that you grew up on hard courts but you prefer to play on clay? How did that happen?.
Yes, I grew up on hard courts, because the seasons change in Quebec, and there is no choice but to play on them. I played inside a lot – because of winter. But I’ve always enjoyed the challenge that clay provides. You have to be physically fit to perform on clay. I also like the variety of the game on clay.
5. OTB: If you could play another professional sport, which one would you choose, and why?
When I was young, I was always skating and skiing, because it’s so cold at home. I enjoyed those sports, but I chose tennis because it was my dream to play it. It was my passion. I don’t see myself as a professional in anything else than tennis.
6. OTB: I understand you are interested in fashion. Is that what you most prefer to do when you aren’t playing tennis?
I totally LOOOOVE fashion! Right now I am focusing on tennis, but after I my career, I would like to design my own clothing collection and open a store in Montreal. In the meantime, if I can get close to a catwalk – like I did in Montreal – I will go and try to see what’s going on.
7. OTB: What would you say is the strongest part of your game and what is the shot that you would most like to improve?
The strongest part is anticipation. I anticipate well, and I read my opponents game well. I am also an offensive player, and I like to hit the ball quickly. For sure, I want to keep improving my serve, because with a serve you can win free points!
8. OTB: Who are some tennis players (either past or present) that you admire the most, and why?
I always admire Monica Seles. I admire her on the court, but also off the court. She was really down to earth. I had the chance to partner up with her at an exhibition double match for the Rogers Cup in Toronto. We played against Serena Williamd and Martina Navratilova. I was pumped to share the same side as her!
9. OTB: Your dad was a soccer player in Poland, then he became your tennis coach in Canada. Your sister was also a No. 1 Canadian tennis player. How did your dad become such a great tennis coach?
I guess that for him it was easier to learn and teach another sport, because he has the athlete’s vision, and skills.
10. OTB: You will turn 23 by the middle of the U.S. Open. What are your goals between now and then?
My confidence is better, and my game is getting back together, so I believe there I can move up the rankings again. I still want to reach top 20, so I will continue to work hard, so I can see my name in this group of fantastic players!