Ekaterina Makarova: Sharapova has chemistry with her coach!
Having overcome health issues, Olympic champion Ekaterina Makarova toed the starting line of the Roland Garros and even won the first-round match but was defeated in the tight second round match by Czech Barbora Strycova – 4-6, 2-6.
– The first set was a decisive one. I managed to turn the game round and had chances at 4-4; but first, there was a net-ball, then I failed to finish a well-prepared combination with a winner and the moment was gone. I was to expend my energy reasonable in my situation.
– What kind of situation?
–– In Rome, I had to withdraw from the match and I ended up in hospital – there were some health issues.
– Do you take any medicine?
– No, everything is OK now, I didn’t contact WADA to get permission for medicine.
– How would you assess your state after two matches?
– I am happy with my performance, the main thing here is my health and the fact that I can play. Clay is not my favorite surface; faster surfaces are coming and this is what we are going to prepare to with all the efforts.
– Lena Vesnina said that you are going to play in duo at the Wimbledon.
– Are you surprised?
– Well, we have some unclear situation here and we need to find a way out. However, it’s just the way it is.
– So, do you confirm that you will play in duo at the Wimbledon?
– I guess, yes.
– Why did you chose your current partner Anna Kalinskaya?
– Because Evgeniya Aleksandrovna (Manyukova – translator’s note) helps her.
– Are you working with Manyukova again?
– Yes, I am! After Dubai, I came to her training and said: “Evgeniya Aleksandrovna, I want to work with you again and nothing else matters to me!” We’ve been through so much together, so I thought that she would be happy as well.
– Why did you separate then? ?
– After ten such successful years, I wanted to try something new. But now I know what I need and what will bring me success.
– What do you count on?
– I really want to come close to the Top 10 and to show good results at the Grand Slams.
– Have you gained any new experience while working with foreign coaches? Did they surprise you with anything?
– Yes, but the experience was not that good. When Evgeniya Aleksandrovna tells me something or corrects me, I understand clearly all her comments. It is more difficult for me to understand other coaches. I start fussing as if I try to get rid of the ball. And now I hear: “Approach the ball calm, stand firm and hit the ball!” – and everything is great!
– I guess foreign language is foreign after all.
– Exactly. If I’m told something harsh in Russian, I really understand the criticality of the moment. If I’m told something harsh in English, while I translate it, the intensity is gone and it doesn’t give any help anymore. At the same time, I don’t regret that I tried. Say, it was very interesting to change the racquet. They tried to make it heavier but eventually I returned to my old frame, I have more trust in it. Otherwise, when you are not sure about your racquet, you have unnecessary thought in your head during the match.
– Sharapova returned to Hogstedt as well.
– And they brought back the chemistry they used to have at once. In Rome, Masha demonstrated great play and she managed to turn round a very tough match here. It is very important for the player and the coach to be on the same wavelength.
– Masha complained that she could not have stayed focused after the first set she had won. .
– With age, and it would be better to say, with becoming more experienced, it becomes more difficult to stay focused. I didn’t notice such problem before. But now, sometimes it happens that the match is going on and you simply black out, you start thinking about something else and analyzing at inappropriate times. Although, what is to analyze? - Play the match and analyze afterwards.
– It looks like you’ve accumulated a lot of priceless tennis info.
– And it feels like I should share this experience with someone at soonest so that I could let it go and it would not interfere with my play at crucial moments. Who knows, I might start teaching Anna Kalinskaya and it will help.