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Moscow-born Maria Kirilenko is one of the most beautiful women on the WTA tour, but she wants the world to recognize that she’s more than a pretty face: “I prefer people talking about my on-court performance for now rather than my catwalk appearances.”
Maria’s match results and Top 20 rankings in singles and Top 10 in doubles reinforce her relevance as a WTA contender and silence the skeptics.
Tennis View caught up with the 24-year- old Russian and found her well-grounded as she shared thoughts of competition, her parents, dating and marriage.
TENNIS VIEW MAGAZINE: At 5-feet- 9 inches and 132 pounds, you’re about as lean as it gets on Tour. Do you follow a strict training and nutrition program?
MARIA KIRILENKO: I have two practice sessions per day – one in the morning and one in the afternoon – that include fitness training. As far as nutrition, I don’t follow a real diet. I usually have breakfast, lunch and dinner. When I’m playing tournaments, I try to eat balanced and healthy food, like veggies, meats, fish and pastas. I also like Asian food, and when I’m traveling in Asia I enjoy authentic restaurants. In terms of beverages, I go with plain water and green tea.
TVM: Last year you had great results in both singles and doubles, and you were a finalist in women’s doubles at the 2011 Australian Open with partner Victoria Azarenka. Do you have a set doubles partner through 2011?
MK: I started playing with Vika Azarenka in Australia and agreed to continue with her through the year.
TVM: Will playing more doubles help – or hurt – your success in singles?
MK: My doubles game always helps my singles because I improve my serve and volley combinations and net game, which are very important when competing against power hitting players in singles. I’ll play doubles this year, but my concentration will be mostly on singles.
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