ESPN

Bodies We Want 2011

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VERA ZVONAREVA

Photograph By Alex Cayley for ESPN The Magazine

"Injuries are a major challenge. I've had back injuries, foot injuries and wrist injuries, and the more you play, the more time it takes to recover. So my workouts are focused on prevention. I've learned to replace heavy weights with bands and use only my body weight or the Pilates ball. I have structural problems with my feet, and I have to wear special orthotics. When I take off my shoes after a match, I can hardly walk; my feet are stiff for a good 10 to 15 minutes. In the mornings, they're basically frozen. But overcoming pain is part of the job. You forget about it when you're playing. Nothing matters until you can't move at all. If I thought about what's hurting, I would never finish a match."