Erika Andreeva and Nadezda Khalturina have established themselves as one of the leading doubles partnerships on the Tennis Europe Junior Tour, winning three tournaments together, including the Cat.1 Kremlin Cup earlier this year. We spoke to the young Russians about their recent run of form…
Congratulations on winning the Category 1 Kremlin Cup! How did it feel to win a big doubles title in your own country?
Erika Andreeva: Thank you! In your country, you are always very excited to play, and a little nervous, so it is doubly nice to win at home and please your fans.
Erika, Tell us a bit more about yourself. When did you start playing? What are your goals?
EA: I was born and live in Russia, in a big Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. It's at a distance of 4000 km from Moscow! I first came on court at 5 years old. My first tournaments started when I was 6 years old and since then I have never stopped training and playing. Mom, Dad and my younger sister Mirra always help me and support me. My goal is to achieve the highest results in tennis. To do this, I train a lot and gain experience in tournaments.
Nadezda, 18 times, you have been either Winner or Finalist in many different countries in doubles events. What’s the secret to this success? Tell us a bit more about your background…
NK: I really love to play doubles because I like teamwork, also because I like to volley. As for myself, I was born in Moscow. Now I live in Moscow Region with my parents and my sister. Recently I have moved to China to train with Carlos Rodriguez.
Did you enjoy this winning run?
EA: Nadia and I played 4 tournaments together and won 3 tournaments in a row. So, when we play the same tournaments, we are happy to play in doubles. Unfortunately, at Les Petits As Mondial Lacoste our winning streak of matches ended.
NK: I enjoy playing with Erika because she is a good player, and also as a doubles partner. We played together on 4 tournaments and 3 times we were the winners.
Why do you think you combine so well in doubles?
EA: A doubles game is not only a technical and physical opportunity. It is important to have a good relationship with your partner. I can say that we have a fighting atmosphere on the court. We are friends on the court and outside the court, we do not put any pressure on each other, only support each other. This is the success of our partnership.
NK: Before the Kremlin Cup we didn’t play doubles together for long time, so in the first matches we were trying to achieve a teamwork and good connection. But with every next match we were playing better and better. I think that we had a good game together. She has a really good serve, so after her serve I can finish the point with a volley.
You both have great results in singles and doubles. Which do you prefer to play? What are the biggest differences that you see between them?
EA: Of course, singles is always my priority. A doubles game in the tournament for me is always a chance to relax, to enjoy the game and this is a special drive when you play without stress. In a singles match I'm counting only on myself, you cannot undo the stress and strain for two, but you do not divide the victory, it’s all mine!
NK: I like to play both but for me more important are singles matches. Doubles is also important but it’s more fun for me. In singles you are alone and you should do everything by yourself. And in doubles, even if it’s not your day, your partner can help you to win the match.
Are you planning to play more tournaments together?
EA: Of course, if there is such an opportunity, we will definitely play as a team. I think that together we can get some more excellent results.
NK: For sure I would like us to play more tournaments together!