Whereas she is currently playing the J&T Banka Prague Open, the Czech player Lucie Hradecka has very kindly accepted to take some of her time to answer my questions. After a really great start of the season, with notably a great win over Ana Ivanovic at the Australian Open and a semifinal at Charleston, Lucie Hradecka has a lot of reasons to be optimistic for the rest of the year. Apart her good first half of the season, Lucie Hradecka, who is now back into the top 100, also talks here about her come back with Andrea Hlavackova in doubles, the key role of Petra Kvitova in the Czech Fed Cup team and many other things… Oh and also, please, never call her again a doubles specialist! As she said, Lucie is a tennis player, that’s all 🙂
First of all, how do you judge the first part of your season ? Big win like the one against Ana Ivanovic at the Australian Open must give you a lot of confidence…
Well, now after Charleston, I can say that this is the best start of the season I ever had. And it’s not only win over Ana. I have been winning lot of matches, was able to turn around quite few of them.
You rather have an aggressive game, what do you consider as your main strength(s) ? And which compartment(s) of your game do you think you still need to improve the most ?
My serve and my forehand. I need to improve everything, but I’m happy I was able to improve my physical conditioning recently. I can stay in long matches now and I’m able to repeat it day by day.
What are your goals at present ?
My goal for the 2015 was to stay healthy. And then to get back to top 100 in singles. Now I’m in good position to get closer to my career best ranking. That should be my goal. In doubles, I want to get back to get a shot at big titles again with Andrea.
I read that 2 years ago you said : “I get quite angry when newspapers back home call me a doubles specialist!”… are you still angry when you heard this ?
Yes, I still hate it. I’m a tennis player. Not singles tennis player, not doubles tennis player. 🙂 And no, I’m not a doubles specialist. I play singles and doubles.
After splitting up at the end of the 2013 season you are now back playing doubles with Andrea Hlavackova… how this reunification get organised ? And how quick the automatisms and alchemy between both of you came back ?
After 2014, we sat down, spoke and we both thought that best think for us is to get back to play together. First tournament in Poitiers felt like we have never stopped. Chemistry was still there, we knew what the other one will do right away.
The Czech team won 3 of the last 4 Fed Cup titles… What’s the secret of this team ? And what’s the secret of your country to produce so many talented players ?
First, we have Petra. She is absolutely amazing and with her, confidence of every player on the team grows. She gives us chance to win every time. And if she has a bad day, others will step up. I’m not sure why we have so many great players. Tradition, lots of clubs, coaches, lot of kids tournaments. Tough to say 😉
You are currently at the J&T Banka Prague Open which is a WTA event for the first time if I’m right… As a native player from Prague and former winner of the tournament I guess it makes you happy ?
It is a new tournament, promoted to WTA Tour. We had WTA event in Prague in past and I always loved to play at home. I’m looking forward to it! Hope we’ll get good weather. I hate to play when it is cold.
And to finish, if you could ask three wishes to the Genie, what would they be ?
Stay healthy and same thing for everyone. If Genie can manage to accomplish this, I need just one wish 🙂