Timea Bacsinszky: “I need time to catch my breath.”

Combined from two interviews in the 14 March 2015 print editions of La Tribune de Genève and Le Matin (Switzerland) by the same journalist, “SI”.

Timea Bacsinszky needs to catch her breath after an explosive beginning to the season.  After the tournament in Indian Wells, the Vaude native won’t take part in the Premier Mandatory event in Miami.

Eighteen wins in 20 matches, three finals, two titles: Timea Bacsinszky couldn’t dream of a better start to the season.  The Vaude native (WTA 26), who started her Indian Wells appearance with a match against the New Zealander Marina Eraković (WTA 80), sums up her 2015 season start.

Is the start of the season like being in a dream?

“I’m delighted by what’s happened.  But it’s not like a dream because I know what I’ve had to go through to get here.  I always felt the investment would pay off.  But that doesn’t mean you can let up.”

How did you celebrate your two titles in Mexico?

“There was nothing special.  In Acapulco, we simply ate at the hotel.  My coach  [Dimitri Zavialoff] and my friend had a glass of wine, but not me.  In Monterrey, the final ended very late and we got back to the hotel at 3:30am.  I just took ten minutes or so to savour what I’d accomplished.”

Have you set new goals for yourself after your flourishing season start?

“I just want to see how far I can go playing my best tennis.  That way, at the end of my career, I can say that those were my limits.”

What’s your recipe for success?

“Besides the fact that you have to work hard without expecting immediate results, I feel I’ve become more professional both on and off the court.  I’ve managed to find a good balance between Timea the player and Timea the woman. In short, I’m at peace with myself.”

You feel fulfilled then?

“Yes.  I’ve never been this happy before in my life—and it’s lasted for two years now.  I feel good about my life, something I’d never felt when I was younger.”

Do you go back and think sometimes about 2013 when you’d almost quit tennis to start an internship in hotel management?

“I was happy at the time to try something new!  I really enjoyed my work in that hotel.  And it’s not impossible that I’ll go back to that in the future.  The big difference is that in 2013 I got no pleasure from playing tennis.  But things have changed in the meantime, and two years later I’m in Indian Wells.”

You said in Monterrey that you wanted not only to become a better player but a better person.  What did you mean by that?

“I didn’t say I was a bad person.  I’m like anyone else.  I just don’t want success to go to my head.  The are a lot of people who mean a lot to me in my life and I don’t want ever to forget them.”

You’ve had difficulties with your father.  Where are you in your relationship with him?

“I haven’t spoken with him in several years.  It’s my decision and I don’t care if he respects it or not.  He has no rights over me and I want to live my life the way I want.”

On the other hand, your relationship with your coach Dimitri Zavialoff is in good shape.

“Yes, he’s a terrific coach.  He adapts very well to the people he works with and allows them to develop.  Working with him is very stimulating.  He started coaching Stan [Wawrinka] at a very young age, bringing him to the top 10 in the world.  And despite his success he’s always stayed grounded.  I could really keep talking for hours about his qualities.”

After Indian Walls, you’re skipping the Miami tournament. Isn’t it a shame to miss such an important tournament considering your current form?

“I’ve played an enormous number of matches since the start of the season.  I need time to catch my breath, but also to prepare the rest of my season, starting with the Fed Cup in the middle of April.”

About the Fed Cup, would you welcome Martina Hingis to the team?

“Of course!  It would be wonderful to have such a great champion on the team. And on a personal level, I think I could learn a lot by being in contact with her. But even if it doesn’t happen, this Swiss team should be able to aim for promotion into the World Group.”

Translated by Mark Nixon.

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