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 I.Andreev - It starts with the right shot 
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Post I.Andreev - It starts with the right shot
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TAT: Igor, can you clarify your coaching situation? You’ve been alone for over a year now. Are you looking?
IA: I’m alone for now. It’s possible that for the period up to Roland Garros someone will be traveling with me, either a physio or someone from Valencia. But so far, I’m OK alone. So, really, I’m not “on a hunt,” such that I must find someone.

Of course, there are moments when you need training, help getting into playing shape, but overall, I’m still pretty satisfied as is.

TAT: And when you’re training in Valencia are you alone there also, or you have someone there?
IA: Well, in Valencia, it’s an academy. I’ve been there a long time, and there are coaches there, guys you can practice with. Same in Moscow. So, things like practices and such, there are no problems with that.

TAT: It’s your first time in Morocco. In general, are there any places you are more comfortable playing, or is it all the same to you?
IA: Well, of course, there are. You’re comfortable where you win. There are many good tournaments, it’s hard to say.

TAT: And do you like playing at home? Is it easier or more difficult to play in Moscow?
IA: It depends. In Moscow, on the one hand, the atmosphere is really good. The crowd is behind you. And, of course, there are lots of people you have to say hello to…

TAT: Does that create pressure?
IA: Not really pressure. It’s just your concentration, it sort of gets dispersed. When you are walking down the hallway, and you just know everyone. So, you have to… you can’t walk by, because the people will get upset with you. So, you start saying hello, and then you’re late somewhere. All the players have to deal with this and you have to find a way to escape it or find some sort of middle ground, so that it doesn’t affect your game..

TAT: You did not play in South America this year, whereas you have in the last couple of years. Why did you decide on that?
IA: There are many reasons. First of all, there are technical things like getting visas, and of course, all the traveling, it takes a lot of time. Possibly, next year I will play there, I don’t know. Actually, the tournaments there are really good.

TAT: Can we talk about the transition to the clay season? How long does this process usually take for you? You’ve had difficulties with the first two matches here, is that related to the surface switch?
IA: Well, of course, the surface transition is difficult. Actually, switching to clay is probably even a little more difficult, because it’s a demanding surface. You have to move a lot and really well, and in the beginning, you end up stumbling trying to get the positioning right. Of course, you need time to adjust, and, ideally, time off to train. But, with the schedule we have, I decided to play here; I didn’t have time to train. As I got here, I had to play right away, so it was a little difficult. But, the most important thing is winning, and I can still see some progress.

TAT: Clay is the surface where you’ve had the most success. Do you feel more comfortable on it?
IA: Well, really, these days, I would not say clay is my best surface. I’ve had some good results on hard for awhile. Really, with time, as you play on tour for several years, you get used to all kinds of courts.

TAT: You’ve been ranked around the Top-20 for the last year or so. Do you have any sort of goal for this year?
IA: Well, the goal is just to improve my game. You can’t just look at rankings. It starts with the right shot, and then you’ve won the point, then the game, the match, and so on. Of course, it would be good to get the ranking higher, but you can’t just think about that. What you should be thinking about are just things that will help you hit the ball right, and the rest may come from that.

TAT: As you’ve mentioned, you’ve been playing for several years. You are approaching the stage where you are considered a veteran. With this experience, can you still change things in your game?
IA: Of course you can. First of all, you have to see what you are not doing well. You have to be able to recognize and not be afraid accept your mistakes. Then, you have to see what you can do about them, work on some improvements. Some people disagree and say, “You play the way you play, and you can no longer do anything about it.” That’s a completely wrong approach.

TAT: So, are there any specific things you are working on?
IA: Yeah, there are many technical details that I can improve, like some aspects of my return game, just little things.

TAT: Thank you and good luck.
IA: Thanks.

Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:43 am
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