Everybody knows my style. Everybody is hitting straight, so I think my style is confusing and it is helping me.
When I was young I didn’t have a coach, so I started to play this shot and suddenly I was playing very good, I was vice European Champion and winning almost everything, and also in doubles I was good, I was number 5 in Juniors or something.
My mom was always watching and the tennis club was two minutes from our house. She was like “I don’t want you to stay indoors all day in front of a computer so you have to do a sport.” We started and suddenly I was winning ITFs and European championships.
To be honest, I think that with my game it is very entertaining, it is nice to watch. The people are always telling me “I love to watch you, because, you know, in these days everyone is hitting the ball hard, bum bum, good serve…and you love to mix it up, you go to the net…”
I’m friends with lots of the players. Marina Erakovic is very nice – we were runners-up in the Wimbledon junior doubles together in 2005. Jankovic is always nice to me too.
I tried so many times to play with more topspin but I came back to this way because I love it. I feel comfortable. I feel relaxed when I can hit many balls without any pressure.
It’s tough when you are young, you make no conditional training, you don’t have a coach, I was always travelling with my mum, my sister, my dad… Suddenly I started to play this shot and I was beating like everybody in Juniors; I was five in the rankings. I started to play like this and now I’m unique. Nobody plays like me.
I just have to stay healthy, this is very important, to get some rest.
Most of my friends are in tennis, so when I’m in Bucharest I like to spend as much time as possible with my family and a couple of good friends I have there.
I have my coach with me now but sometimes it’s good to be alone, because when you have to do everything for yourself it makes you stronger, whether it’s organizing travel or doing stretches.
Right now I like Zürich very much, because I had good wins over Top 50 players in qualies and then beat Chakvetadze in three sets the first round.
Doubles is like a relationship. Sometimes it’s too much and you have to take a break. Maybe it will click with other people, maybe not. That’s it.
I don’t like sightseeing so much – I mean, I don’t like to look at rocks in a museum. But I enjoy a zoo or acquarium… and shopping. A mall is perfect for me.
All the Chinese loved me. I remember one time they asked me to do press or kids day or something. And they were asking: ‘Please, let us know how you play this. It’s amazing, you know.’ It’s great to have people from home around when you are travelling.
We have good players in Romania.
If I could play against one player from the past it would be Steffi Graf. I know she also hit the backhand with a slice, so I think it would be great to play a match against her.
I’ve never played against one of the Williams sisters, and I would love to.
When I was young I was with my sister and with my mom all the time traveling and I just started one day to play like this and I was winning and I was European champion.
When I see frustration I try to play more aggressive.
It (about life on the Tour) is a great opportunity to travel and see the world, and speak other languages – English, French – with the other players. It’s also great just to be near all the top players like Jelena Jankovic and Venus – you can learn a lot from watching them.
Before I came away my dad loaded lots of movies on my laptop and I also like to listen to music.
I didn’t like to play slice when I was four. I was playing normal. Maybe around nine years old I started to change. The players were hitting so hard and I didn’t have a coach, so I just played how it came that day.
I have my coach now, it’s 10 years we are working together, and he started to say to me I had to believe in my shots and in my game. He was often telling me ‘you are so good, don’t worry about anything, just play and be smart’, and I started to believe in myself and that’s because of him.
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