This content was published 14 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.
Six of the top eight women’s seeds came to the Foro Italico on Sunday and Monday for press conferences prior to the tournament
Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Venus Williams and Elena Dementieva were all on hand on Sunday, followed by the last two champions Dinara Safina and Jelena Jankovic to discuss their fitness levels and how they have been preparing for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
Serena Williams (No.1 seed): “After Australia I was amazed even how I was able to win the tournament. It was definitely the knee that kept me out and I had to totally recover from that whole Australia bonanza. I’ve been focusing on my rehab: gym practice and sleep, and I’ve been spending a lot of time on the court and a lot of time on clay. I really felt as if I was in Groundhog Day – I was so frustrated and so I’m really glad to be out of the United States for a while.”
Caroline Wozniacki (No. 2 seed): “I’m having a lot of treatment to get 100% fit and these ankle injuries take time but I’m staying positive and trying to do my best. They have told me that it can’t get worse and that it’s OK to play if I wear strong taping and I get treatment every day. It’s getting better every day and I’m just taking it day by day.”
“If you look at the top eight players, then everyone has had small injuries. The cramps that I got against (Vera) Zvonareva (in the 2009 year-ending championships in Doha) affected my next match but it was just because I was tired. I would not change anything from last year and still do the same. Look at me now, I’m playing less tournaments now but I got an ankle injury in Charleston, and so I think it is just important to enjoy what you’re doing and keep working hard. You know your body and you know what you can play and what you can’t play and when it is enough.”
Dinara Safina (No. 3 seed, defending champion): My back is okay now and it doesn’t cause me any problems when I play tennis but it still isn’t 100% healed. The oedema is still there and so I still have to pay a lot of attention to it. Some mornings when I wake up, I feel stiff but I know that this is something to do with the muscles and not the bone. When I play, I am free from any pain.”
“For two months I was not allowed to do anything and so I could only use the bike but I could not run or I could not do aerobics but I still did do some exercises for the shoulders and legs, especially from a sitting position, so leg press and such things that don’t put any strain on the back. I started playing about 3 April on court and any time I had a little discomfort I had to stop immediately. Perhaps I played for two days, 45 minutes each day and then one day off.”
“I am not allowed to do some things any more. It’s more fitness training that I have to be careful about – in tennis, I can do everything but in conditioning, I am not allowed to do any more jumps or do anything that causes me a lot of pressure on the spine. So basically jumping is not allowed. My fitness coach is from athletics and now he has to become more a tennis fitness coach!”
Venus Williams (No. 4 seed): “I’m feeling pretty good. I took some time off and I started hitting some balls a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been doing a lot of fitness. You know what it is — I just like playing a lot and thinking of playing games.”
Elena Dementieva (No.6 seed): “This is my first tournament on the way here so I’m just trying to play more matches as possible to get some practice for the French Open. I think it’s important for anyone to focus on the clay court season and I’m just trying to get my game up and get used to practising by the time that Paris will start and get into good shape. I wasn’t able to play in Stuttgart because of the Fed Cup, and the best preparation is playing matches and that is the reason why I am playing these tournaments (Rome, Warsaw and Madrid).”
Jelena Jankovic (No.7 seed and 2007, 2008 champion): “I feel confident and I’m playing well and hopefully I will continue to play well. I’m playing with intensity and just being motivated. I think I have improved my serve and I’m playing much more aggressively. My game is coming together and it is more complete. I feel more experienced now and things are going well for me in this moment. I have a good family and I am happy and I have a nice boyfriend. I have everything that I need in life and tennis is just a game at the end of the day.”