Elena Vesnina first won the BNP Paribas Open Women’s Doubles Title with Dinara Safina in 2008. In March, she repeated the effort with Sania Mirza, claiming the BNP Paribas Open championship without dropping a set. She has reached the doubles final of a Grand Slam each of the last three years and is currently sits in the top 10 of the WTA doubles rankings. We caught up with the Russian last week in her home country at the tournament in Moscow, where she reached the singles semifinal.
What do you think sets the BNP Paribas Open apart from other tournaments?
First of all, it’s California and it’s a beautiful place to be. Indian Wells is a beautiful place and this tournament is organized really well and treats players well. We have a great time there, it’s really calm so you can focus on playing your best tennis.
Indian Wells is overflowing with activities and attractions, what do you like to do on your downtime when you are there for the BNP Paribas Open?
I really want to play golf! It’s one of the best activities to do there and I know a lot of other players play golf out there. The Desert is a really fun place to be. I’ve never been in a desert before, so it’s the first time in my life. It’s really beautiful up in the hills and mountains. And of course, it’s really nice to chill in the swimming pool at the hotel after a long day.
What is your favorite memory at the BNP Paribas Open?
Winning the doubles twice. Every time is special. You feel special because it’s such a big tournament and so many great players are playing in it. Especially this year when we were playing doubles and we were playing around Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka against Rafael Nadal and Marc Lopez. We were like “Woah, we are almost, like, close to the stars, close to the legends!” It definitely feels special to win the BNP Paribas Open.
If you could choose any song to play over the loudspeakers to get you pumped up as you walk on Stadium Court in front of 16,000 energized fans at the BNP Paribas Open, which one would you choose and why?
Right now I’m listening to “Party Rock Anthem,” by LMFAO. You can hear it on all music channels, it’s very energizing and catchy. You can’t stop dancing when you hear it. It’s the best song to go on court with a good mood, you know?
- Favorite Band: Adele, Pink and U2
- Best friend on the WTA Tour: Anna Chakvetadze, Maria Kirilenko, Sania Mirza