It is funny how sometimes a player’s name just doesn’t connect with the public and that player could very well be ranked extremely high and have an impressive record. In my mind Vera Zvonareva is in that...
It is funny how sometimes a player’s name just doesn’t connect with the public and that player could very well be ranked extremely high and have an impressive record. In my mind Vera Zvonareva is in that situation. She is known more for her emotional outbursts on the court. The fact that she is prone to turning on the water works during a change of ends and starts crying into her towel and gesticulating with her arms all over the place. Some could mistake her for being Italian. They have a tendency to waving their arms all over the place. Don’t suggest otherwise. The streets of Rome are notorious for all that. Anyway, I digress. I’m talking about Vera Zvonareva here. Here she is at the 2011 US Open and the second seed behind Caroline Wozniacki and people are not really considering her for the title. Some observers even picked the likes of Agnieszka Radwanska as a title threat. Hello? I think Vera Zvonareva should have been way more of a candidate. I’d have her up there with Serena Williams. What do you think? However, Zvonareva herself couldn’t care less what anyone else says, she’s there to just give it the best shot she has. “I don't care about what's going on around. When I'm in the tournament, all I think about and all I care about is how to prepare myself the best I can for the next match. That's all,” she said. “Those players (Serena, Sharapova), I think they deserve that attention. They are Grand Slam winners. They are great players of all times. So I think it's normal. If I win a Grand Slam or many Grand Slams one day, maybe, yeah, people will talk about me the same way. “But as of the moment, yeah, I don't think about it much. I'm thinking about what can I do so I can perform a little bit better in the next one. That's it.” After winning her third round match she was asked in the press conference: “Which (players) are the favourites to win the tournament, in your opinion?” Ouch! It’s not as if she is out of the tournament and non-existent. She politely responded. “I think the whole draw is very tough,” Zvonareva said, her ice blue eyes directed right at the person who asked her that. “Anyone can win, you know. You know, when I go into the tournament I always believe in myself, and my main goal is to win any tournament I'm at. The rest of the girls, I think they are very good players. “You know, there is such tough competition right now. Anyone out there who is going to be able to produce the best tennis this week, next week, will be winner.” Last year she was runner-up at Wimbledon and backed it up by doing the same two months later at the US Open. She deserves to be seen as one of the absolute primary contenders. Don’t you think? She is open enough to admit there are elements she has to improve on and consistency is the main one. She needs far fewer “roller coaster matches” and needs to jump on more opportunities. She says she needs to be a little bit more aggressive. “Just maybe mixing my game up a little bit more,” said Zvonareva. “I believe I have all kinds of shots and sometimes I'm just not using the whole arsenal. That's something I will need to learn a little bit more.” Learning is not something that she has trouble with. Zvonareva is one of the smartest players on the tour. She is highly educated. She graduated from the Russian State Academy of Physical Education and is in the latter stages of her second degree which is International Economic Relations and that’s being done through the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow. And her favourite book? Leo Tolstoy’s “Peter the First”. That’s one smart ruble.