The Latvian player Anastasija Sevastova, former No. 36 in the WTA rankings, had announced her retirement from the game after injuries in May 2013. But later, in 2015, she has returned to competitive tennis after 19 month. Sevastova won EMPIRE Women's Indoor 2015 in February and she has received the wild card for the event. She also won the EMPIRE Trnava Cup tournament in 2012, so Latvian has great memories of our club. She is in the top 100 again and there is much more to come for sure. Let´s have a look at her achievements of 2015. And what does she say about it?

One year ago you were barely in the WTA rankings and you are No. 100 now (as of 7th February 2016)... Is it beyond your expectations? What are your goals for this season?
"I think it's quite hard in tennis to plan a year ahead with rankings. I'm very happy with the progress I made tennis wise and ranking wise of course, but it was never a goal to be in the top 100 after one year. This year I would like to establish my tennis on the WTA tour and what is even more important is to stay healthy."

How do you remember the EMPIRE Women's Indoor 2015 final (6-1, 7-6) with Reca Luca Jani in Trnava and how important was this title for you?
"I remember that it was a high quality match, I started well in the first set. But somewhere in the middle of the match it got tricky. She was playing better and better and I lost my nerves. It was important tiebreak in the second and the match was almost finished, but I remember I still managed to save some setpoints."

What is your most memorable win in 2015 in singles and why?
"There were some matches I am proud of in 2015. First one in Marseille against Tatjana Maria, second one against María-Teresa Torró-Flor in Florianopolis. But my most memorable match was the one in Moscow against Karolina Pliskova (Sevastova won 6-3, 7-6 in the second round). Probably the best quality wise tennis match from me."

You have managed to play in the semi-final of Florianopolis and in the quarterfinal in Moscow (both WTA events). Do you think that this year it's time for some singles final at the WTA circuit?
"For sure it would be nice to be in the WTA final again. But the level of women's tennis is very high right now. Let's see how it goes this year."

How's your back, it's everything OK or do you have to be careful in this area?
"I am trying to be careful with my body. For sure there are some niggles here and there and my back hurts sometimes, but everything is under my control."

Do you still train in Better Tennis Academy in Austria? How often are you in Vienna during the year?
"I'm still there. I am in Vienna in between tournaments. This year it will be for sure less time."

There are a lot of young players on the Tour like Bencic, Ostapenko, Kasatkina, Konjuh, Kulichkova... Is it even harder to beat other girls on the WTA Tour or is it the same for you? Are there more talents, compared to the situation in 2010, 2011?
"It's hard to compare in my opinion. Tennis is getting more physical, faster. There are some talented players, I like Kasatkina's tennis. I think she plays smart, not like some other girls who just hit full power. She has good forehand and nice serve. Such a dangerous player! She moves so well." (Kasatkina beat Sevastova 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-4 in June in Minsk in the quarter-final and then won the whole ITF tournament)

Do you know Ostapenko more when we consider that she is from the same country? What do you think about her, her game? Is she one of the best talented players in your country in this decade? Or is she even something more?
"I know her little bit, we are from a different decade (smile). I think she plays well, she has good strokes and she is very young. I hope she isn't the only one talented player from Latvia this decade and some other players will come soon."

Last year's winner Anastasia Sevastova, runner-up Reka Luca-Jani:

sevastova IKO 7256u




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