In the first of a new series of interviews of Tennis Europe Junior Tour stars, we spoke to Europe’s 14 & Under #1 Diana Shnaider as she prepares to lead the Russian team at the Tennis Europe Winter Cups by HEAD finals in Rakovnik.
Tennis Europe: Congrats on a great start to the season! How did it feel to win the Category 1 ‘O1 Properties Christmas Cup’, and to be ranked #1 in Europe?
Diana Shnaider: I like being the first. It is my accomplishment, but it is also hard work and a responsibility.
How do you prepare yourself for big tournaments like these?
Every month, I choose only one tournament and prepare for it. I try to do my best in training and at the tournament too.
How is your training schedule? Is it difficult to combine school, friends and family with tennis?
I train two hours a day and six days a week, but I always have one weekend which I spend with my family and friends. It is cool.
It is very difficult to complete school, friends and family with my tennis commitments, but I have one weekend and I try to do everything I can then.
Do you like the international experience that playing the Tennis Europe Junior Tour gives? What do you like the most from traveling abroad and in which country do you like to play or train?
Of course, yes. I like to see other countries, make new friends and discover about their culture… and taste local dishes! Of course, I prefer to train in Russia, but I haven’t tried the experience of training in other country. I would like to play where there is the sun and warm weather!
How do you feel about playing in the Tennis Europe Winter Cups by HEAD? Do you prefer to play team events or individual tournaments?
I am glad to play individual tournaments as well as team competitions. Team events are special, I love the ceremonies, being able to stand on the podium and to hear the national anthems.
What does tennis mean to you?
It is my big LOVE and my whole life!
Which are your goals for this year and your career?
I would like to improve the level of my play, show my best tennis and to please my family, team and fans.