Elena Vesnina, Russian, 25 years old, with a two-handed backhand, has gone geek for our interview – in which you will learn that she’s a fan of Adele, that she has a doting father and that one of her Twitter followers once helped her find her way in the London Underground.
You seem rather active on Twitter. Do you run it yourself?
Yes, I write my posts myself. There are days when you feel like sharing everything that’s happening in your life and other times when I can be silent for three to four days. It depends really. I always try to write something interesting. Of course, I have to write "I won 6-1 / 6-2, thank you for everything.
" It’s boring but the fans love it. If they want to hear it, then you write it. But sometimes you just don’t feel like writing at all.
Do you read all the messages that you get on Twitter?
Sometimes there are just too many of them so I can't, but when I have the time I read them and, if they are really funny, I try to answer them. I also retweet the messages which are really kind or smart, whether they be about politics, jokes or news. It's just great to be connected. Sometimes you don't have the chance to watch TV and catch up with what’s going on in the world but now, thanks to Twitter, I can know what is happening in Russia, in my hometown, within the Federation (Russian tennis, Editor's note), hockey games, everything.
Has Twitter changed the relationship between you and your fans?
Well, now I know what they like about me. Sometimes they give me advice. Some are nuts, but others can be quite interesting. So it makes you think: "Why not listen to that person who sees the situation from a different point of view?"
Have you ever thought of leaving Twitter after threats or insults?
There are a lot of aggressive, jealous people who love to write nonsense about you. They try to push you to your limits. They have failed to achieve their goals in life and therefore they try to harm others who have been more successful. Of course I have experienced these situations and I thought about leaving Twitter but I try not to think about these people, because they are a minority. There are always more nice people.
Have you ever had weird experiences with Twitter?
I attended a class with children once. It was 5 years ago. One boy won a racket and he found me on Twitter. He tweeted: "I still have your racket. Thank you very much. I'm following all your games
." Another time, a man recognized me in the underground in London. I couldn’t find the right station, so he came and showed me. I thought he was a stranger who just wanted to help a lost woman, but then he wrote to me on Twitter: "I hope you find your station.
" I thought "Waouuuhhh
" (Laughs). It's funny because people recognize you; they help you out and don't want to bother you with things like: "Can I have your autograph
And between players, do you use Twitter to communicate?
Yeah, we tease each other. In May, there was the Eurovision Song Contest. Many players were tweeting things like: "I love France, Norway, Sweden ..."
And the others were answering: "No, not Sweden, you can't be serious."
Everyone was watching, it wasn't mean or anything but we had a good laugh.
How many times a day do you go online?
Twice a day. In the morning, for less than ten minutes, to check my emails and my Twitter, but at night I can stay on for an hour and a half.
What is your homepage…?
Apple. (Laughs) I never changed it.
…and your desktop wallpaper?
My family. I changed it a month ago. It’s a picture of me, my mother and my brothers. We are in Italy. It was just before Roland Garros, we went on holiday there. We took some great pictures of us in town. Before that, I had a beach with palm trees - a beach where I was dreaming of going to rest.
Your latest favourite video?
You know that TV show... "Britain's Got Talent
"? It was during the Madrid tournament. Our physiotherapist is English and she showed us a video where an overweight teenager with curly hair arrives with a girl on stage. Everyone starts to judge him: "He’s going to be awful
." And when he starts singing... he's like an opera singer. I had goose-bumps.
The last Facebook group you joined?
Adele’s fan group. You know, Adele, the singer.
The 3 websites you visit the most?
A Russian news website either rambler.ru or vesti.ru, Facebook and my website. It’s not true but it will do for the publicity. (Laughs)
Do you type your name into Google?
No (Laughs). I must have done it at the beginning of my career. Why should I? I know all about my career. For the interviews, I know where they are most of the time, so I go directly on the website.
Who wrote your Wikipedia page?
(Worried) Should I go check it?? My father told me that not everything was true on it. So I have to go check it out. My father takes care of that. He must google my name quite often. He looks at the pictures, news, everything about me.
What was your first nickname on Internet?
I think it was something cute. A fruit I think. Something like "strawberry82" Ah... no, it was "whitechocolate". Don't ask me why...
Do you read your spam?
I delete them straightaway.
Your password - is it something simple or something complicated in connection with your life?
It’s something complicated. Besides, I change it all the time because I’ve been hacked once before. Now I have to sign something. Soon I will scan my fingerprints and my eye (Laughs).
Interview by Maxime Marchon