Monday, April 2, 2012

Top seeds talk in Charleston

Vera Zvonareva
The top seeds were all on hand today as main draw play began in Charleston. Here are some of the things I learned from them:

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova's favorite book is Eat, Pray, Love.

Serena Williams' role on Drop Dead Diva will be a recurring one. Williams will play Kelly Stevens, an attorney.

Marion Bartoli is continuing to paint landscapes, though she shows them to only a few individuals.

The person who inspires Jelena Jankovic the most is her mother, Snezana.

Vera Zvonareva is continuing to get treatment for her hip injury, but is feeling fine now.

Pavlyuchenkova is about to get a full-time coach. The Russian player said that she hasn't been able to serve well because of her shoulder injury and that her shoulder is still weak, "but it is getting stronger." Pavlyuchenkova also talked about becoming more psychologically mature and realizing, in full, how difficult it is to be a professional tennis player.

Jankovic, also, is getting closer to hiring a new coach. "To be honest," she said, "it's very difficult to be without a coach....I need someone to push me." Jankovic said that, at her age, motivation doesn't always come naturally to her: "I can be lazy at times; that's my weakness." The former world number 1 said that she likes to have someone around to push her and to be the "voice in my head."

I spoke with Bartoli about the sad reality that she will not play in the Olympic Games, a fact which she has been handling with her usual sense of humor. "I think that's my way to handle it," she said. "If I'm just beating myself on the wall with my head every day, then I'd just kill myself." Bartoli acknowledged, however, that her approach may not work as well as time goes by: "I'm sure, when I'm gonna see everyone playing the Olympics at Wimbledon, it's gonna hurt," she said, "but, so far, I'm not there."

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