(INTERVIEW) Errani: “You never feel 100%, that’s sports, but maybe you can pull out before the draw sometimes”



Good way to start your season now with a win under your belt. Talk through the match today. How was it playing in those conditions?

SARA ERRANI: Yeah, it was burning hot outside, I mean, I don’t really know how many degrees, but anyway, it has been equally tough for me and Carla. We have got a similar kind of game, so we know each other and we’ve already played lots of times. I think I’ve played a really good match today.

The heat was obviously a factor in today’s game. Do you strategize in your game plan with the heat in it?

SARA ERRANI: No, not really. You just want to try to recover a little bit more in between points, take your time and not going too fast, even if you don’t really feel the need during a specific moment. Every change over try to ice, drink a lot, eat and such. You want to be careful with all these things, try to do them all and stay focused as much as possible.

Do you train in heat in the off-season? Do you train in Spain or Italy?

SARA ERRANI: In Spain. I guess that’s why I felt it was very tough today. Imagine practicing under cold conditions and then coming here in Australia. Brisbane was not that hot actually, but of course we know that weather can change from city to city so we need to be ready even for these conditions no matter what.

You play in hot weather a lot throughout the year. What make the Australian heat different than, say, Miami or Indian Wells or Europe?

SARA ERRANI: I guess here is strictly hotter. But I’ve played in Rio last year and quite frankly it gained the top of the list in a snap. Whole different kind of heat. It’s humid there. Generally, I like to play under hot conditions, but this is way too far from normal hot, so recovery is not as easy. You may catch a sunstroke and such so you need to be careful.

Talk about your next match against Jelena. Do you have a game plan going into this match already?

SARA ERRANI: Well, I didn’t talk to my coach yet, but of course Jelena is a really tough player. We played last year in my last tournament of the season, it was really tough match. She doesn’t miss any balls, so I think it’s already safe to say it will be a tough one.

Last week sounded like you were maybe a little bit frustrated with how the draw worked out in Brisbane. I was wondering, you could explain what you were frustrated about?

SARA ERRANI: Yes. I think the WTA has to find a solution regarding this particular issue. I think that we, all the players, need to have more respect for the tournaments’ organizations and maybe also for the people who come and pay the ticket to see us play. It can happen to get injured, I mean, it can happen since we are professional players. It might happen to warm-up and break one’s legs right there and then right before the match or whatever. I know it is possible. But it cannot be all the times, there has to be a better regulation to it. There is no question about it, it is not easy to play all the weeks and it goes for every player on Tour. That is why I think both the WTA and us players together have to find a solution for this.

Does that ever go in your mind when you’re about to play a tournament and you know maybe you’re injured or you don’t feel well; it’s before the draw. Does it come into your mind, Well, maybe I should pull out to help other players?

SARA ERRANI: I think it can happen to everybody because we do have many problems each and every week of the year. But yeah, speaking for myself I always try to make it before the draw, that’s what makes the difference. I’ve played with fever or in pain many times during my career, still doing it. And I’m not the only one, many players do this. That’s normal. It’s sports.

You are never 100% but at the same time you can still care about these things. Maybe sometimes you can do it one day before the draw, unlike other times. (E.d. As provided by WTA rules, seeded players are replaced by Q or LL in case their withdrawal is notified after the draw. On the contrary,  in case the withdrawal is submitted earlier, the seeding is revised before the draw ceremony)  I think every player may want to do it before for the people, the tournament and the other players also. It doesn’t only affect the players and the singles draws but everybody on different levels. Maybe WTA will be able talk with the players to find a common solution.

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