She is still yet to turn 17, but has already played in the main draw at two Grand Slams – the Australian Open and Wimbledon, where she got to the 3rd round this year. Former World Junior number 1 Ana Konjuh is one of the brightest female tennis hopes to come out of Croatia in a long time, with Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanišević saying that he ‘would be very surprised if one day she was not among the top ten women’s tennis players in the world’. Croatia Week caught up this weekend with the former junior Australian and US Open champion…
So Ana, when did you first start playing tennis?
I started playing when I was 5, I have an older sister who played tennis and when she had a practice I would always go with her so I kinda fell in love with it and I played it since than : )
Did you have an idol growing up?
Yes, Roger Federer was and still is my idol, he’s the person I look up to and I really wish that I would get a chance to play with him somewhere in the near future.
The great Roger Federer
Tennis has taken you all around the world, what is your favourite stadium/court that you have played at?
Uum , I would say Wimbledon show court, even though I played at some bigger stadiums. I just love Wimbledon, its my favourite Grand Slam and I think that its special just to be part of it and when I got a chance to play on the show court it was a dream come true : )
Do you have any rituals or superstitions before you play?
Uf, at every tournament its something different, but usually I’m trying to do the same things as I did on the first day when I played, like sit at the same table during meals haha, or eat the same thing at breakfast etc..
How many hours a week do you train?
I usually train for like 3 and a half hours every day except Sunday, so that is around 21 hours of tennis and then I have fitness every day for an hour and a half.
We know there are plenty more to come, but what is your most memorable victory so far?
That is probably when I won against (Roberta) Vinci in Auckland, that was my first WTA tournament and my first top 20 win, so its kind of special to me : )
Do you have any tennis goals for 2015 that you want to achieve?
Well I’m still young so I have so much room to improve and experience so many different things, but maybe I wanna get in the top 50 : ) that would be nice
Ana at this year’s Wimbledon – her favourite venue
How do you relax away from the court?
Usually I go to the cinema, I love movies , and I just hang out with my friends and I’m trying to live the life of a normal teenager haha.
What do you miss the most about home when your away on tour?
My bed !! Ahhaa I love my bed and each time I come home ,the first thing I’m gonna do I’m gonna lay on my bed ; )
Do you have any close friends on the tour?
Well not really , I’m still new but I’m good with all the Croatian girls so we usually hang out when we are at the same tournament : )
Ana relaxing off court with fellow Croatian tour player Jana Fett in New York
Chicken with rice
Most admired Croatian sportsperson of all time?
Favourite place in Croatia?
My hometown, Dubrovnik
Ana’s hometown and favourite place – Dubrovnik
Favourite city in the world?
If you were not a tennis player what would you be doing?
Uff that’s tough question hahha, I always wanted to be a professional tennis player, you know, to be remembered for something good : ) so I’m kind of living my dream . But if I wasn’t able to do that I guess I would be just a normal teenager, trying to figure out who I am and who I wanna be in the future because now I’m not so sure haha : )
Ana with the US Junior Open trophy – one of what promises to be many for the talented teen