Navigation

Skiplink Navigation

Main Features

Rising tennis star keeps her eye on the ball

Bacsinszky has come back after suffering a series of injuries

(Keystone)

Timea Bacsinszky, Switzerland's number two women's tennis player, has just picked up her first tournament title – but she is already thinking ahead to her next match.

The unseeded 20-year-old from Belmont-sur-Lausanne tells swissinfo.ch how her game has improved since her breakthrough tournament at the Zurich Open in 2006, and where she is headed in 2010.

She is also quick to confess her limitations and says she could "never" be the next Martina Hingis.

On Sunday she powered through the WTA Tour final in Luxembourg to beat sixth-seeded Sabine Lisicki of Germany 6-2, 7-5. It was her fourth victory of the week against a higher-seeded opponent.

Born in Switzerland to Hungarian parents, Bacsinszky first stepped onto a court at the age of three. Her highest ranking was number 48 last October. After a year struggling with injuries, her strong performance in Luxembourg moved her to 55 in the women's rankings, up from 70.

Switzerland's top female player, 30-year-old Patty Schnyder, is slowly sliding down the rankings and is now 41.

swissinfo.ch: How does it feel to have won your first WTA Tour singles title?

Timea Bacsinszky: I still haven't really realised it at the moment. We're travelling to Ortisei [in Italy] so I just want to focus on next week's [International Tennis Federation] tournament. It's going to be the last tournament of this year for me. I also want a great result there. I might realise it when I come back to Switzerland – maybe have a little party with friends and celebrate.

swissinfo.ch: Talk me through your approach for the tournament – were you playing differently or just better than ever before?

T.B.: Actually when I arrived at the tournament I wasn't feeling well. I was the last one to get into the draw. So on Friday I had to play "quallies" [qualifying rounds] first and in the end someone pulled out because she was injured and I was really lucky to be in. Every day I was playing better and better and at the end I went for it. It was my first final so I went for the win.

swissinfo.ch: How do you think you have progressed since your professional breakthrough at the Zurich Open in 2006?

T.B.: Every year I've been better and better but still had some injuries all the time which was slowing me down. But I think this year after Roland Garros I was just playing well and being healthy and all the time getting results. I was really constant in what I was doing. I think next year I will be playing a little better and hopefully even better the year after.

swissinfo.ch: Your father is a tennis coach and your mother introduced you to the sport at the age of three. Is tennis in your blood?

T.B.: Somehow. Everyone in the family was playing tennis so of course it helped a lot.

swissinfo.ch: Do you have any other interests, or does tennis take up all your time?

T.B.: I like to do a lot of other things, like other young people aged 20. I like to go to the cinema, sometimes parties with friends. Besides that I like to do all kinds of sport. I really like to snowboard, but I'm not allowed to do it often in case of injury.

swissinfo.ch: You have an interesting background. You were born in Switzerland to Hungarian parents and speak five languages. Do you feel Swiss or more international?

T.B.: I feel Swiss for sure. I grew up here. I've always lived here, my friends are from Lausanne. At the same time I feel very Hungarian because of my family and we all speak Hungarian at home. So I'm kind of international but still proud of my roots. Otherwise [being Swiss] has really helped me to speak other languages, especially German and Italian, and I hope to learn one more language. Why not?

swissinfo.ch: Who were your tennis heroes?

T.B.: There is just Monica Seles and in the men's of course Roger Federer. Seles has Hungarian roots. We talked a bit in Roland Garros when I was playing the Juniors and it was her last Roland Garros. So it was really fun to talk with her in Hungarian. I liked her fighting spirit. It was a little bit like me when I am on track.

swissinfo.ch: On Sunday you said you would never be a Roger Federer or Martina Hingis – why?

T.B.: I think everyone has their own career. I'm never going to have the hand of Hingis, never going to have the hand of Federer so I'm not going to ask myself to be world number one. I just want to be healthy, to really enjoy playing tennis for a long time and have my own career.

swissinfo.ch: What title have you got your eye on next and what are your targets for the 2010?

T.B.: The first tournament next year is going to be Brisbane [January 3-10]. Then Sydney and Melbourne. Of course I want a good result. I'm going to have some good physical preparation this winter so I hope I'll be fit enough to fight for these tournaments. As for other targets, I really want to keep enjoying tennis as much as I do today and climb the rankings.

Jessica Dacey, swissinfo.ch

Key facts

Coach: Erfan Djahangiri for five years. Also previously, Heinz Günthardt (long-time coach of Steffi Graf)
Club: Tennis Club Stade Lausanne
Favourite tournaments: Zurich Open and Roland Garros
Plays: right-handed
Status: Pro (October 2004)
Diet: Sushi and Italian food, and the occasional raclette and fondue although "it's not the best diet for a sportsperson".
Languages: French, German, Italian, Hungarian, English
Her dream in tennis: "To excel to the best of my capacities".

end of infobox

Grand Slam singles performances

Australian Open: second round 2008

French Open: second round in 2007, 2008, 2009

Wimbledon: first round in 2007, second round in 2008 and 2009

US Open: first round in 2007, third round in 2008, second round in 2009

end of infobox


Links

×