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Anne Keothavong Q&A

Anne Keothavong
Keothavong has established herself well inside the top 100 over the last year

British number one Anne Keothavong is enjoying a great run of form and is currently ranked a career-high 48 in the world.

On Monday, the 25-year-old Londoner became the first British woman since Jo Durie in 1993 to break into the top 50.

This year alone she has already reached the semis in Auckland and last week in Memphis, where she eventually lost to top seed Caroline Wozniacki.

We passed on a selection of questions from 606 users and below are Anne's answers.

Does Anne think that getting up to number 32 in the world is a realistic target prior to Wimbledon?

"Absolutely. I have so much more belief in my tennis and that is now one of my goals.

"To be seeded at Wimbledon this year would be an incredible feat considering last year I just made the cut without the help of a wild card for the first time.

Is there a main motivation/inspiration behind your being able to move substantially up the rankings in the last 12 months (which you obviously already had loads of potential to do), and, if so, what is it?

"I'm a very driven person and I enjoy what I do, I want success and that's my motivation. I now have a very good team around me and it's with their help that I'm still improving."

If Anne could play doubles with anyone in the top 10 - who would it be with?

"Serena Williams as she's the best player in the world right now!"

How does it feel to get seeded for the Tier 3 and 4 events on the WTA Tour and does it spur you on to get higher up the rankings to get seeded for a Grand Slam event?

"I have higher expectations of myself now and I know if I focus on my performances the ranking will take care of itself and I'll keep climbing."

Anne Keothavong
Keothavong made her third WTA semi-final in Memphis last week
We all now know that the female players get the same money as the men. Do you really think it is right?

"There's still a lot more money on the men's tour compared to the women's and there's only equal prize money at the big events.

"If the fans still come out and watch the women compete at these events then I don't understand what the problem is."

With the standard of British tennis not that high when you were a child, who did you look up to as a role model?

"Monica Seles was always my favourite tennis player when I was younger."

If you wasn't a tennis player doin so well, wot else would you like to do as a career?

"I've always wanted to be a tennis player so I'm not really sure... Broadcasting interests me and my friends tell me I would've made a really good lawyer so who knows!"

Why do you think that the British women's tennis is on average stronger than the men's - does the competition/rivalry from Katie O'Brien and Melanie South help?

"I can't really answer that as I don't know. Being British number one is nice and it is important to me but in the bigger picture I want to be better than the girls ranked above me.

"I know the other British girls are just as competitive as I am and I guess in a way we all help one another by being so."

Fitness seems the modern weapon in Tennis, and you seem in excellent shape. Do you mainly do SAQ, circuit, or cross train or is your fitness training a combination of methods? And what's your favourite?

"Thank you. I do a combination of everything - weights, circuits, intervals and speed training. Sprint training is probably my favourite."

What do you consider the weakest aspect of your game, that you need to work hardest on to improve?

"Everything always needs to improve!"

The obvious question is exactly what is bouldering?!? [Listed among Anne's interests on her website]
vertigo timbo

"Bouldering is like rock climbing but without the ropes and you don't go up as high."

Huge numbers of Brits are following your progress up the rankings. Does all this hope and expectation add to the pressure on you, or does it help you?

"There will always be pressure and expectations but most of that comes from myself and it's what drives me to want to do better."

First of all, well done for your recent progress, have you ever practised with Laura Robson and if so how good do you think she is? If you're ever in North Wales and need to have a knock, let me know.
Tiger Tim

"Thanks. I've never practiced with Laura but she obviously has a bright future as do a few of the other British juniors like Heather Watson and Tara Moore."

I read somewhere you spent the night sleeping on chairs at Kolkata airport a couple of years ago... is that the most unglamorous few hours you've endured as a tennis pro? Or are there more shocking stories you could share?!

"That's probably one of the worst nights of my life, you have no idea how horrible Kolkata airport is!

"It's a long story as to why we couldn't go to a hotel and sleep but everyone had to wait at the airport and I was on my own. I wrecked my back sleeping on the chairs and no surprise I couldn't play when I got to my destination!

"I once stayed with a family in Mexico with Sarah Borwell on a mattress in the attic and there were cockroaches everywhere. We had our rackets out and I don't think we got much sleep.

"I also spent two weeks in Nigeria and witnessed some terrible things including a dead man whose body was left in the middle of the road. I'm in no rush to go back to any of those places."

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see also
Keothavong wins Auckland opener
06 Jan 09 |  Tennis

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