Chat with WTA's Maria Kirilenko
The 20-year-old Kirilenko upset No. 6 seed and Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli Tuesday to reach the Round of 16 at the East West Bank Classic, where she will next face Gisela Dulko.
Kirilenko currently is ranked 35th on the tour and is 16-19 in 2007. She has one career singles title and her best finish in 2007 came last week when she reached the quarterfinals of the Acura Classic.
Join us Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET when Kirilenko will join us from Los Angeles!
Buzzmaster (1:58 PM)
Maria is here!
Maria, first off, congrats on your play the last few weeks. I just want to say that I'm proud how you've turned around your game the last few weeks. What do you think is the difference? Confidence?
Maria Kirilenko (2:00 PM)
Yeah, I think I won a couple of tough matches. I have more confidence right now. I am more calm on the court. It helps me a lot. Last year, in the past, I lost some tough matches but the last few weeks I've been winning tough matches.
Jay (Toronto, Canada)
Will you be coming to compete in the Rogers Cup here in Toronto next week?
Maria Kirilenko (2:01 PM)
Yes, of course. After here, I'm going there. Singles and doubles.
Jim Morris Glasgow Scotland
Do you feel that if you sometimes only played Singles in a tournament, that it might help win another singles title? Good luck!
Maria Kirilenko (2:02 PM)
I don't know. Every time it's different. Sometimes you play singles and you don't play very well and you can work it out with doubles. It's difficult to play both, but I like to play doubles. I'm good in doubles and I have a good time playing. You don't have to use as much energy in doubles, you only have to cover half the court!
What do you do to prepare mentally for a match? Also, when you have to face your friend,Sharapova, what are your thoughts of facing her?
Maria Kirilenko (2:03 PM)
I just do normal things. I practice and get ready. Nothing special, just normal things. I go to bed early the night before and get a good warmup the day of the match.
Troy (New York, NY)
What are your hopes for the Open? Do you have any specific goals for your performance in New York?
Maria Kirilenko (2:04 PM)
Yeah, first of all, I'm trying to be seeded. I still need some points to be seeded. In front of me, I have this tournament and next tournament to earn the points. I want to go as far as I can go.
Seungwon BAEK (Daejeon, Korea)
What is your goal as a Pro Tennis Player and as an ordinary person?
Maria Kirilenko (2:05 PM)
Of course, to go to the top 25, top 15, top 10, 5 and then one. It's tough, but of course, that's my goal.
Hey Maria - have you had any crazy fan experiences lately?
Maria Kirilenko (2:06 PM)
In America, I have a lot of fans. Last week I was in San Diego and they were very loud. I think it's great when you're playing in a difficult match and you have people behind you.
Ron from Pasadena, CA
Congratulations, Maria, on your great summer! Can you tell us how you ended up back with Gisela Dulko as your doubles partner? Thank you, and good luck the rest of the year!
Maria Kirilenko (2:07 PM)
I don't remember how it happened. At Wimbledon, we talked. She said she had nobody for San Diego and LA and I said I had the same problem. So we decided to play together.
How did you feel about Maria's (Sharapova) win last week? Were you able to congratulate her?
Maria Kirilenko (2:08 PM)
I think it's amazing. She won all her matches easy except the final. Of course after the match I congratulated her. She's a nice person. We've known each other from when we were younger.
Hi Maria, congrats on your wins against Jankovic and Bartoli and good luck against Gisela. I read that your coach promised to buy you a dog if you could get a win against Jankovic, so have you gotten it yet or have you decided what you will call it?
Maria Kirilenko (2:09 PM)
Before my match against Jankovic, I saw a woman with a Laborador. I told my coach this was the kind of dog that I wanted. He said if I won, he would give me a dog. At match point, I started to think about that. I think I'll get it at the end of this year.
Dani (New Jersey)
I love your on-court fashion sense! Do you enjoy making statements with your clothes?
Maria Kirilenko (2:10 PM)
Well, I think it's nice what I'm wearing now. We're going to do something cool. What I'm wearing, it's nice clothes, but I feel comfortable too.
Do you ever get bored on tour? Are you excited to go to NYC and party it up?
Maria Kirilenko (2:11 PM)
I never say it's boring. I go to tournaments and I practice before them all. But it can be difficult if you're traveling 5, 6 weeks in a row. But you get used to it. But I like it and I enjoy it. Especially when I'm winning.
Maria Kirilenko (2:12 PM)
Thanks to the fans for your support. The people at the stadium and the people watching online. When I'm winning or losing, you're supportive. I'm trying to get better and better.