Aida Nikolaychuk Videochat (14.01.12) (+English subtitles) (part 1)

A. Kirilenko: I came at the invitation of my sister

Andrei Kirilenko , a player of the basketball club Utah Jazz, now playing for CSKA, at the matches of the final of the Federation Cup in tennis sat in the box of the Russian national team. The 30-year-old athlete watched all three Sunday meetings with interest and only after the end

of the game day left the court.

The Championship.com correspondent met with Kirilenko and asked him about his impressions of what he saw. In addition, with a very serious look, without any smiles, the basketball player spoke about his family ties with Maria Kirilenko, his tennis abilities and Vera Zvonareva's charitable work.

- Andrey, what impressions did you have after the pair match?
- I really liked the match. Of course, I don't understand anything about tennis, but I liked how the girls fought. In such matches, it comes to the fore. The Czech, of course, played very well in the last match - either Lucy or Kveta. One of the two (smiles) . I do not distinguish between them. The one that is healthy. She, of course, pulled out the whole match. She crushed our couple. But the girls, of course, are great. We tried, fought - it's a pity, of course, we were all worried about them. But this does not always work out.

- Did you come to tennis at the invitation of your friend Vera Zvonareva?
- At the invitation of your friend Vera, well, my little sister plays here.

- Have you become relatives with Maria Kirilenko?
- Yes, she is my cousin. It's just that no one knows about it, and we try not to advertise this information.

- And what can you say about your cousin's game?
- The girls were overly nervous. At that moment, when the Czechs began to bomb them with powerful blows, ours almost did not play. At the beginning of the match, they caught the rhythm, immediately took three games, and then everyone was in a good mood. But in the end, of course, the Czech women tipped the scales in their favor. Nevertheless, they fought to the end, so we still love them!

- Who exactly do you love?
- Not Czech (laughs) . We do not love Czech women!

- Did you like the meeting between Svetlana Kuznetsova and Petra Kvitova? You watched it so carefully ...
- Yes, a super match! I did not get up even for a second, their game kept me so tense. Again, it's sad that Sveta lost, but she is a fighter, fought for every ball, tried very hard to win. Kvitova on that day turned out to be a little stronger, literally by such a centimeter (points with fingers. - Ed.) .

- Have you ever taken a racket in your hands?
- Well, I normally hold a racket

in my hands.

- Did you get up on the court against your cousin?
- No, she's a professional, and I'm so, an amateur.

- Does she play basketball better or are you tennis?
- I think that I play tennis better than she does basketball. True, I don’t know for sure, since I’ve never seen her playing basketball.

- Vera Zvonaerva periodically puts up various items of athletes for a charity auctionwith their autographs, and you often help her with this by highlighting sneakers or T-shirts. Tell us about it.
- Regarding the fact that I help with things, it is said very loudly. Vera just held an auction and asked to change a lot for her. I helped her with pleasure. If someone buys these things and thereby we help the children's fund, which Vera supervises, then I will be glad and happy.

- Will you continue to cooperate in the future?
- With great pleasure! I support any charity work. I believe that there are many people in the world who really need this help. I am grateful to Vera for her kindness and for the fact that she organizes such events. She does a great job.

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