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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Myskina starts Wimbledon with tips from 'Grandpa' Boris

Myskina starts Wimbledon with tips from 'Grandpa' Boris

June 20, 2004 19:08 IST
Anastasia Myskina, the newest member of the grand slam winners' club, will launch her assault on the Wimbledon title with the words of Boris Yeltsin ringing in her ears.

The former Russian president was quick to congratulate Myskina on winning the French Open this month and had a few tips for the Muscovite ahead of next week's grasscourt grand slam.

"Oh, he's like a Grandpa to me," the 22-year-old smiled on Sunday. "He always has tips for me on how to's really nice.

"I had lunch with him at his house last week and he had some tips for me. He is always like 'you should play down the line more'.

"He's coming here for the first week to watch."

Myskina is seeded second for Wimbledon and senses that since her Paris triumph other players are treating her with more respect.

"It is starting to sink in," she said. "I mean the morning after I was jumping in my bed and screaming 'I am a grand slam champion'.


"And now I think some of the other players are maybe a little

more scared of me. I feel different. I feel more confident."

Myskina became the first Russian woman to win a grand slam event when she triumphed at Roland Garros but knows she must put that behind her if she is to succeed at Wimbledon.

"That's in the past," she smiles when reminded of her French glory. "This is a new tournament, and it is going to be a tough one.

"Before Paris I always thought I felt more comfortable on grass than on clay but now I guess I don't know.

"But really I feel comfortable on all surfaces everywhere. You know, if you play right, you can do anything."

That philosophy applies equally to her compatriots. A Russian woman has now won titles in the last three weeks, Maria Sharapova winning Edgbaston the week after Paris and Svetlana Kuznetsova winning at Eastbourne on Saturday.

"It is awesome...really great," Myskina said. "I mean I would love it if there were four of us in the semi-finals.

"For a while everybody has been saying 'the Russians are coming'.

"Well now we are here."

Ossian Shine
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