Q: Do you think that your daughter will become a successful tennis player like yourself one day?
A: Pretty sure not, because she has many interests. She plays tennis once a week, but her big passion is horseback riding. As parents we have our concerns as this sport is not entirely hazard-free. However our main hope for our children is that they enjoy themselves as well as take the opportunity to learn and grow as people – whether its tennis, horseback riding or baseball in our son’s case. If they happen to find a sport that becomes an important part of their lives for a long time, all the better.
Q: Have you ever considered becoming a tennis coach?
A: No, I have never wished to become a tennis coach. My priorities are my family, the foundation and my business projects, which are more than enough to occupy me. However, when players come to the Adidas camp in Las Vegas during the year, I do enjoy watching them, joining in and giving some advice.
Q: Which surface caused most difficulties for your back? Was it clay because of the sliding and its burden on the lower back?
A: As a matter of fact the sliding on sand does put a lot of pressure on one’s back, but for me it was the constant turn from fore- to backhand and vice versa that exerted strongest strain on my torso. So really it was not matter so much which surface I played on. It was more about the rotation during the strokes.
Q: Have you ever had a career aspiration, which did not involve tennis?
A: A few when I was younger: at different times I wanted to become a vet, a documentary filmmaker or photographer. During my trip to Eritrea I was able to gain some valuable insight into photography, when I made a photo documentary for National Geographic about the lives of the children and their families in the slums of Asmara. Photography – standing behind as opposed to the front of the lens – has always been a passion of mine.
Q: Which public figure would you like to meet personally?
A: There are a number of interesting personalities in politics, who I would like to meet. For example my husband had a memorable encounter with Nelson Mandela in Cape Town, which will always stay in his memory and inspires him in his daily work for his foundation. I follow German politics as much as I can and I find Angela Merkel a very interesting leadership personality. Not long ago she was awarded the medal of freedom in Washington and I would have loved to attend the ceremony but unfortunately I was tied up with other appointments. Considering the current unstable situation in European and American credit markets I would find it fascinating to discuss topics like overall monetary stability and politics with Merkel or Obama.
Q: As a mother, wife, professional athlete and successful business woman you have had many experiences. What have you learned from life and what would you have liked to change?
A: My life has been shaped by a rich array of moments including my childhood in Germany, the love of my family, my friendships, my career on the court etc. These and many other experiences made me the person I am today and I don’t think I would change anything. I look forward to learning every day and walking through life with open eyes. I could not possibly be happier than watching our children grow up with my husband.
Q: Are you going to the US. Open?
I will be in the area (Connecticut) a few weeks prior for an appearance at the New Haven Open Tournament, with my partner Teekanne.
I am also scheduled to be in New York while the US Open is happening to participate in Women Who Make a Difference, an event that my partner Longines sponsors each year to recognize several women who make a positive impact on a children’s lives in their communities. The women who’ve been honored the past 2 years were all very driven and inspiring people and I am very excited to meet this year’s honorees.
Of course, I also hope to watch as much of the tournament as I can while I am in the city.