Google Down the Line!: Svetlana Kuznetsova wants to breakdance her way to World No. 1

Monday, November 19, 2007

Svetlana Kuznetsova wants to breakdance her way to World No. 1

Svetlana Kuznetsova is the No. 2 player in the world, but you wouldn't know it. The Russian has been forced to play second, and sometimes, third fiddle to her more famous compatriots including Maria "Shriek"apova, Anna Kournikova, and even Elena Dementieva. But the former US Open champion says she's okay with it.

In a recent interview with Ace Tennis Magazine, Sveta discusses growing up in an athletic environment, her (un)marketability, her past life as a black woman, and her desire to learn breakdancing.

On growing up around her father's cycling team:

"I was always living with Dad's team. They had to go to bed at 10pm and always get up very early. I wanted to be just like the guys. I remember, in the middle of winter, they would get up and go running at 7am. On Sundays when I had no school I would get up with them. It was very cold. They would say "What are you doing here. Why aren't you sleeping? [...] I looked up to those guys and I liked to do what they were doing."

On becoming World No. 1:

"I'm starting to be much more consistent, [...] It was one step to get to the six finals this year. The next step, next year is to win all these finals and get to No. 1 in the world."

On her lack of sponsorships and marketability:

"Maria [Sharapova] is not getting deals because she was No. 1 in Russia, [...] It's because they've made this image of her. She is a marketing player. I'm different. If I would be sold as she is, I don't know if I could handle it. It's really hard to be always posing and smiling. She deserves this money but, in the end, I think every player should ask themselves this question: 'Are you happy with what you're doing?' I'm not going to answer for Maria or for Anna Kournikova or anyone else. But I can say I'm happy wwith what I'm doing. And I don't have lots of sponssorship deals."

On not receiving a congratulatory call from Russian president Vladimir Putin after winning the '04 US Open:

"[Putin] is from my city and I'm the only (champion) tennis player from St Petersburg. When [Anastasia] Myskina won the French Open and Sharapova won Wimbledon, he called them. But I won the US Open and I had nothing. I was really sad about that. It really hurt me. He never did anything."

On her affinity for black culture:

"I like African people so much, [...] I have a lot of black friends. I feel great with them. I love everything about black culture. You know how sometimes you feel you have a past life? I feel like I was black in mine."

On wanting to learn how to breakdance:

"It's funny because I can play tennis in front of many people, [...] but I cannot start dancing because I have no clue. I would love to dance well, especially breakdancing, but I hate it when people laugh at me. "

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