05 Jul 2013

ITF Pro Circuit meets... Bernarda Pera

Text Interview

By Nick Fishpool

Photo: Bernarda PeraBernarda Pera (USA)

We recently caught up with American teenager Bernarda Pera. Read on to learn more about the, already, seven time singles finalist on the ITF Pro Circuit.


ITF Pro Circuit: Can you tell us where were you born and maybe describe the area where you grew up?

Bernarda Pera: I was born and raised in Zadar, Croatia. It's located on the Adriatic coast, very nice tourist destination, especially in summertime. 


Do any other members of your family play sport?

My dad used to do kick boxing and my older sister used to play tennis.


So how did you get started in tennis?

When I was a kid I used to pick up balls while my sister was practicing and that's how I started. I was five when I went to my first practice in the local tennis club near my house.


What can you tell us about your current coach?

His name is Jorge Aguirre, he is from Spain, I usually go to Spain where I practice in his small academy near Malaga.


Who were/are your tennis idols?

I like to watch Serena Williams playing but I don't really have an idol.


What is your greatest tennis memory either as a player or as a fan?

I really liked the experience of playing at Flushing Meadows.


Who has been the toughest opponent you have faced on court in an ITF Pro Circuit match?

Elina Svitolina


In your opinion, what would you say are the best and worst aspects of being a professional tennis player? 

The best thing is travelling, competing, meeting new people and getting to learn different cultures. Not so good part is not seeing your family as much.


So far in your career, what has been the nicest ITF Pro Circuit venue that you played at?

Bol, Croatia


What is the best experience that you had on the ITF Pro Circuit?

The best experience was playing a $100k in Prague. I qualified but lost first round in a very tight match.


Which player(s) are you friends with?

I have a lot of friends but my closest friend is Neda Koprcina.


How do players relationships with each other at tournaments compare on the ITF Pro Circuit to other Circuits you may have played (ie ITF Juniors/WTA Tour)?

I think that as bigger the tournaments are the tougher it is to have a really good relationship with the other players because we are all rivals.


How has playing on the ITF Pro Circuit helped you as a player?

It has helped me a lot because I'm getting a lot of experience.


Would you recommend that juniors go on to play the ITF Pro Circuit?

Yes of course, it will help them develop their game.


What aspect of another player’s game do you most envy?

I can't think of anything that I envy.


Speaking of other female players (past & present), whose attributes would you take to create your own female super player?

Serve: Venus Williams

Return of Serve: Serena Williams

Forehand: Serena Williams

Backhand: Li Na

Volley: Justine Henin

Positioning: Li Na

Speed on court: Sara Errani

Concentration: Maria Sharapova

Fighting spirit: Victoria Azarenka

 Arthur Ashe Stadium

If you could only have one Grand Slam title, which would you choose?

US Open


What has been the best piece of advice you have been given?

Whatever you do, you can do more and better.


Away from the tennis court do you have any other interests?

I like to ride a bike or go to the beach.


Do you have a favourite holiday destination?

Florida Keys


If you had not become a tennis player what career path would you have liked to have followed?

I always wanted to be a lawyer.


Have you set yourself any goals for 2013?

My goal is to be in WTA’s Top 300 by the end of the year.


Finally, tell us something about yourself that possibly not many people already know?

I have a special diet because I'm allergic on some food.


Thanks for your time Bernarda and congratulations on your first two title wins recently in the Netherlands.