During the months of July and August 2010 we at Israel Tennis Results have told you in some of our reports about the achievements of the 16 years old Israeli player Deniz Khazaniuk.
At that time, Khazaniuk was playing in 5 tournaments in South America (3 in Bolivia and 2 in Brazil), the first ITF tournaments in Khazaniuk's young career. Therefore, it was a nice surprise when in one of these tournaments (Santa Cruz, Bolivia) she went all the way from being a qualifier to the semi finals stage before she was defeated 6-2 6-2 by the number 1 seed Maria Fernanda Alvarez Teran.
Due to this achievement and others (3 times 2nd round and 1 time 1st round) Khazaniuk made a debut entrance to the WTA world rankings. As of September 27th 2010, Khazaniuk is ranked 957 in the world, and she is the 6th Israeli tennis player in the WTA singles ranking. Her career high ranking was 948, achieved on the August 30th 2010.
We at ITR figured that you probably want to know more about Khazaniuk, so we caught her for an interview:
Israel Tennis Results: Hello Deniz, and thank you for agreeing to do this interview. The first things our readers will probably want to know is when did you start playing tennis, where do you practice, and with whom?
Deniz Khazaniuk: I started playing when I was 5 years old and at the age of 7 I met Yigal Kushmar who was a coach in the Wingate institute at that time and he has been my coach ever since. I would like to thank Yigal who invests a lot of time in me, and is responsible for my achievements. I practice in the Netanya based “Galey Yam” tennis club.
ITR: What sparked your interest in Tennis?
DK: My parents liked this sport very much and signed me in for a tennis course. As a little girl I didn’t know what I want to be, but I discovered real fast the urge to play at a high level and become successful.
ITR: What does your daily routine include?
DK: I wake up very early and depending on the weather, I either jog to the beach or warm up in my room. After that I have a morning practice for an hour and a half. School starts at 9 AM. In the afternoon I eat and do my homework and in the evening I have another tennis practice and physical fitness training. I go to bed at 22:00. An organized day schedule and self-discipline are very important for the life of a sportsman.
ITR: How many times do you practice per week, and what do these practices include?
DK: I practice every day except for Saturday, according to my coach's training plan.
ITR: How many hours a day do you spend practicing?
DK: I have 3 hours of tennis practices each day, and 1 hour of physical fitness training (not including jogging in the morning).
ITR: Are you interested in tennis outside of the court? For instance, do you watch tennis matches on TV?
DK: Tennis occupies a large part of my life. Besides practicing, playing and competing, I also watch matches on TV, follow world tennis news on the internet and correspond with tennis players from abroad.
ITR: What are your futures plans regarding tennis? Do you intend to become a professional player on the WTA tour?
DK: The plan is very simple: work hard, compete as much as I can, make good achievements and progress as much as I can.
ITR: Do you get any help or financial support from sources such as the Israeli Tennis Association or private sponsors?
DK: The only support I get is from a company called “Yakhin". They make an effort to help young sportsmen in any way possible to them.
ITR: Suppose you decide to make a career change, what are your alternatives?
DK: During a man’s life there are many possibilities and different ways. Personally, I find Biology very interesting.
ITR: How does professional competition combine with your studies?
DK: It is no secret that combining professional sports with studies is not simple, but when you have the will anything is possible.
ITR: Do you have time for hobbies and friends?
DK: I am able to make time for everything. Like every normal girl I have friends and I also have time for hobbies. For example, on weekends I like to cook gourmet food for my mother and sister.
ITR: Who are your favourite Tennis players on the WTA and ATP tours?
DK: In the WTA I like Kim Clijsters and in the ATP I like Rafael Nadal.
ITR: What sort of equipment do you use (clothing, shoes, racquet etc.)?
DK: I practice and play with Babolat’s products.
ITR: Tell us about the journey you made to South America. With whom did you travel?
DK: I played 3 tournaments in Bolivia – La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz, and 2 tournaments in Brazil, both of them in Itaparica. My mom travelled with me.
ITR: Was this your first time competing abroad?
DK: No. I started competing abroad at the age of 11, but these were my first WTA tournaments.
ITR: How did you feel during your South American swing? Tell us a bit about how these competitions looked like from the logistic and playing level point of view.
DK: The competitions were at a high level. The organization was excellent and it was a challenge for me to play against high ranked players like Fernanda Alvarez (currently ranked 293 in the WTA ranking – ITR), Daniela Seguel (727 in the WTA ranking – ITR) etc.
ITR: What did you do with the rest of your time, when you weren’t playing or practicing?
DK: I didn’t really have any free time, I was always busy.
ITR: Do you feel that there is a kind of competition between you and other Israeli tennis players, such as Valeria Patyuk? What is the relationship between you and the other Israeli Tennis players?
DK: In Israel there are a lot of respectable tennis players. We sometimes see each other on tournaments. I appreciate them and if we have any kind of rivalry between us it is only on the tennis court.
ITR: What are your plans for the near future? Do you plan to compete in additional tournaments abroad during the school year?
DK: Studying and school are as important to me as tennis but I will try to participate in tournaments in Israel and abroad as much as possible.
ITR: Thank you very much for this interview Deniz. The Israel Tennis Results team wishes you a lot of success and hopes to report about many of your achievements in the future.