Major Talk #14 – Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova: “I feel like I’m 19 still!”

In the latest episode of Major Talk, hosted by Alizé Lim, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova talks about her return to the Tour after her knee injury, her ambitions for the rest of her career and her complicated relationship with her father

December 22, 2022
The figures

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is back in action after months away from the tour resting a troublesome and painful knee injury – featuring in this week’s World Tennis League exhibition.

And she took time away from the practice court to chat with Alizé Lim in the latest episode of Major Talk.

“This is the first time I’m coming back from a tough and long-term injury,” she revealed, adding that she wasn’t even sure she’d be able to return to her previous level, having never done it before.

She also opened up on her earliest years on court and the difficulty of being coached by her father, plus her continuing ambitions to win a Grand Slam.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Alizé Lim, Major Talk #14 – © Tennis Majors

Key moments of our Major Talk with Pavlyuchenkova

  • 0.26 – “This is the first time I’m coming back from a tough and long-term injury,” says Pavlyuchenkova.
  • 1.17 – Pavlyuchenkova talks about the detail of her injury and how she has recovered from it.
  • 4.47 – “I always put pressure on myself before every match I play,” says the Russian.
  • 6.34 – Pavlyuchenkova agrees with Lim that tennis players are addicted to playing and winning.
  • 8.18 – They discuss the impact of ageing on tennis players, and Pavlyuchenkova adds: “I feel like I’m 19 still!”
  • 10.03 – Lim asks about Pavlyuchenkova’s ranking in 2023 – and she replies that she will drop all her points after the Australian Open.
  • 11.21 – Pavlyuchenkova says she will play ITF events if need be: “Yeah, if I have to, no problem.”
  • 12.29 – Pavlyuchenkova talks about the team that travel with her, including her brother, plus working with a psychologist and physiotherapist.
  • 16.31 – Pavlyuchenkova says she has also been making efforts with her nutrition – but she hasn’t been consulting a dietician because she knows what needs to be done.
  • 17.42 – Lim and Pavlyuchenkova discuss whether Roland-Garros 2021 could have been different had her knee injury been less painful.
  • 21.23 – “Since 2008, when I started to play pro, I’ve never had a break until this year, so maybe over the years I got exhausted and I was hitting the wall,” Pavlyuchenkova says. She talks about being coached her her father as a junior, and the difficulties that caused.
  • 23.54 – Pavlyuchenkova says her goal is still to win Grand Slams. “Of course, I always wanted to be on top of the game and be No 1, but I think that’s like the dream of a little girl.”
  • 25.31 – Pavlyuchenkova talks about how she began playing tennis as a small child, and her family’s sporting background – as well as her dad’s harsh criticism. “He would sometimes throw a ball at me…then I’d take the ball and throw it back at him,” she says.
  • 31.17 – Lim asks Pavlyuchenkova for her plans after she hangs up her racquets – and perhaps a collaboration will follow? “Maybe I’ll be interviewing people!” she says. “I like to talk!”
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