How the way to Doha was born

How the way to Doha was born

Andrea Hlavackova got unexpectedly an opportunity to play on prestigious Qatar Total Open tournament in Doha with $ 2,369,000 grant instead of injured Venus Williams. What such a change of plans meant for her, she told in an interview.

When did you find out that you can play in Doha?
On Sunday in Paris. I was so happy. On the other hand it meant a big intervention in my program. I supposed that after FED CUP I´ll spend some day at home and then I´ll go to Memphis. But of course I couldn´t refuse an opportunity to play in Doha.

In Qatar there is a requirement of visa. How are you solving it?
On Monday my visa was solved. Organizers of tournament help with it a lot of. It´s the same practically everywhere. A positive role in obtaining visas has Czech Tennis Association, which tries to help sometimes at least with it. A player has to take care of the rest things alone.

Do you care about overbooking of air tickets? It must be very difficult.
Many Czech tennis players use the services of travel agent, Mr. Vavrečka. The fact that I got to Doha, I had to change ticket to Memphis. Also it isn´t clear when I´ll be able to fly to the USA. It´s quite complicated, I´ve already had tickets until Indian Wells, and so everything had to change. On Wednesday I had a confirmed ticket and also printed visa, everything worked.

Does an organizer of tournament ensure an accommodation?
Yes, it is usual. But then there is a question of whether the official hotel is still free. I was lucky because Lucie Safarova is also going to Doha. We are great friends, so we´ll be together in a room and we´ll play together doubles. Surely there´ll be a lot of fun. (laughs)

You´ll be gone for quite a few weeks. How was the packing of all stuffs?
That was probably the worst thing! On Sunday we arrived from Paris and on Monday I had to be back in Ostrava. I was packaging until 4 in the morning practically for next two months… I think that maybe almost nobody is so ultraprecise like me and probably put everything into suitcases just simply, but not me, it´s quite complicated with me. (laughs) And so I washed, dried and packed some things still wet on Monday. I hope I have everything. (laughs again)

I heard that you had to change some contracted things, did you?
I should appear in one TV show. But unfortunately I cannot manage it. Mainly I had to cancel a visit at my hairstylist, what is really hard for me… (laughs) I will have to manage somewhere on my ways.

So what is it your another program?
I´m flying to Doha after FED CUP. From Doha I´ll fly to Memphis and then to Florida with my coach Tomas Petera. I´ll live there in a house with my boyfriend, train and hopefully I´ll have some time for my favorite surfing. The tournament in Indian Wells and in Miami is following. Then we´ll see what happens next.

Photo: © Ceska sportovni / Pavel Lebeda (

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