26-year old Iryna Bremond, an 11-time singles champion on the ITF Pro Circuit moved to a new career high WTA singles ranking of 139 with the release of the April 4th 2011 rankings list. Recently we were able to catch up with Iryna.
ITF Pro Circuit : Can you tell us where were you born and maybe describe the area where you grew up?
Iryna Bremond : I was born in Minsk, Belarus in 1984. I lived in Minsk for 20 years and then moved out to France, where I have been living now for 6 years.
ITF Pro Circuit : Do any other members of your family play sport?
Iryna Bremond : No
ITF Pro Circuit : So how did you get started in tennis?
Iryna Bremond : I started playing tennis when I was 7 years old. My best friend was a player in Minsk, I just wanted to try with her.
ITF Pro Circuit : What can you tell us about your current coach?
Iryna Bremond : My coach is Norbert Palmier. He is very passionate about everything he does on the tennis court. He has a great deal of expertise (he coached Dick Norman, Karlovic, Gilles Muller, Olivia Sanchez and Mandy Minella as well). He is a great motivator and has been able to give me more confidence and poise.
ITF Pro Circuit : Who were/are your tennis idols?
Iryna Bremond : It has always been David Nalbandian. I love to watch him play. Without so many injuries he would have been one of the greatest!
ITF Pro Circuit : What is your greatest tennis memory either as a player or as a fan?
Iryna Bremond : I will always remember the last match Pete Sampras played; his victory at the 2002 US Open against Agassi. It was his last game and the emotion he brought on the court that day was intense.
ITF Pro Circuit : Away from the tennis court do you have any other interests?
Iryna Bremond : I love reading books (Patrica Cornwell’s detective novels for instance). I also love enjoying the French gastronomy in Paris. There are so many good places in Paris and it is such a pleasure to discover the city through its restaurants
ITF Pro Circuit : Do you have a favourite holiday destination?
Iryna Bremond : Dominican Republic (I went to Punta Cana with my husband last year). My next wish is to visit Thailand
ITF Pro Circuit : If you had not become a tennis player what career path would you have liked to have followed?
Iryna Bremond : I would have tried to work in the fashion industry, as a designer for example. This is something I still have in mind when I’m done playing on the tour.
ITF Pro Circuit : In your opinion, what would you say are the best and worst aspects of being a professional tennis player?
Iryna Bremond : The best thing is that being a professional tennis player allows me to travel and to discover the world. Every week is different and it gives me the opportunity to see diverse cultures and meet new people. The worst thing about it is obviously the fact that I don’t have as much free time as I’d like to spend with my family.
ITF Pro Circuit : So far in your career, what has been the nicest venue that you played at?
Iryna Bremond : Without a doubt the French Open, not only because it’s, in my opinion, the most important tournament in the world, but also because in Paris I can have my friends and family on the court with me.
ITF Pro Circuit : What has been the most bizarre venue that you played at?
Iryna Bremond : It was when I played a $25k in Nigeria in 2007. I never thought tennis could give me the opportunity to be there.
ITF Pro Circuit : What is the best experience that you had on the ITF Pro Circuit?
Iryna Bremond : My first title in Nantes in 2006.
ITF Pro Circuit : Which player(s) are you friends with?
Iryna Bremond :All the French players and especially Claire De Gubernatis, my practice partner. I also have a good relationship with many Russian players.
ITF Pro Circuit : How do players relationships with each other compare on the ITF Pro Circuit to other tournaments you have played?
Iryna Bremond : Despite the intense competition on the ITF Pro Circuit I think there still is a good atmosphere in the tournaments. All the players want to win, it is definitely a very competitive environment, but players see each other all the time, all year long, which helps being more friendly.
ITF Pro Circuit : How has playing on the ITF Pro Circuit helped you as a player?
Iryna Bremond : Once again, the ITF pro Circuit is very competitive. I have to push myself to become better. It has helped me to be more professional.
ITF Pro Circuit : Would you recommend that top juniors play the ITF Pro Circuit?
Iryna Bremond : Of course, it is a wonderful life experience. Top junior players can play in an environment that will prepare them for the rest of their career.
ITF Pro Circuit : What aspect of another players game do you envy?
Iryna Bremond : I envy doubles players because they can do whatever they want with the ball at the net, which is something I am working on.
ITF Pro Circuit : If you could only have one Grand Slam title, which would you choose?
Iryna Bremond : Roland Garros!
ITF Pro Circuit : What has been the best piece of advice you have been given?
Iryna Bremond : NEVER GIVE UP!
ITF Pro Circuit : Finally, have you set yourself any goals for 2011?
Iryna Bremond : I want to get into the WTA Top 100 before the end of the year.
ITF Pro Circuit : Thanks for your time and all the best for 2011.