Natalija Senić (playing for TK Olimp from Kragujevac, born in 2003) just won the Serbian National Indoor Championship, so we are publishing the interview we made with her one month ago.
She is this year’s winner of U-12 Masters of Tennis Association of Šumadija and Western Serbia. And that’s not all: Natalija won six tournaments this season: 3rd-category tournaments Kragujevac Open, Paraćin Open, Lučani Open, Jagodina Open and Čačak Open, and a 2nd-category U-12 Belgrade Open, played at TK Palilula at Ada Huja. We congratulate this talented and modest girl!
Natalija, what are your impressions after winning the U-12 Masters of Tennis Association of Šumadija and Western Serbia, and after such a successful summer season in general, having in mind that you were not competing much so far?
I am very happy for winning the Masters, and I am a bit surprised at the same time, because I was not expecting to have such results, considering that I played my first official tournament only on June 14 this year. It was Kragujevac Open held at TK Puma. I will always remember that tournament, because I won it while surrendering only one game to my opponents.
Could you think of a final that was hardest for you to play, but the victory was sweet?
This year I was in finals of 8 out of 11 tournaments I played. I won in 7 finals, and I did not have any major problems. But I would like to highlight Belgrade Open finals at Palilula, where my opponent was Ana Vilček, who beat me in three sets the previous two times we played each other. I must admit I was a bit nervous, but still I managed to win the match in two sets.
When did you start practicing tennis and why did you choose an individual sport?
I started practicing tennis when I was five, on Christmas day in 2008 at TK Radnički in Kragujevac. I like to play football, basketball and volleyball, but at that moment I did not have much choice when it comes to group sports.
Could you tell us more about your tennis club, your coach and your teammates?
The club I have been practicing at since 2009 is TK Olimp in Kragujevac. It is small, but very well organized club, with excellent environment for practicing (two clay courts, one carpet court), where all club members feel at home. My coach is Milan MIlekić – Miško Olimp. For me, Miško is the best coach in the world, because, beside tennis, he taught me how to ski. Us, just like all the other tennis players, love skiing.
What are your experiences from international tournaments?
Regarding international tournaments, I still have not played in official „ETA“ tournaments, but in September this year I played in „CITIES’ CUP“ in Banja Luka, with my tennis friend Krsta Petrović, who gave me hope and suggested me to start playing in tournaments. Krsta and myself were representing city of Kragujevac and won the third place, behind Zagreb and Lučani. Regarding this tournament I would like to mention that I beat Lora Kralj, who is 5th-ranked player in Croatia.
Do you prepare yourself before tournaments in any special way?
I don’t have any special practice regime before tournaments, I simply like to practice by sparring with my teammates.
What do you consider to be your biggest strength in tennis, and what would you change or improve in your game?
I could not highlight any element of my game in particular. I like playing doubles because I am good at volleys and drop-shots. What I would like to improve in my game is definitely my first and, especially, my second serve.
What is your favorite book, and do you have enough time for reading, considering school and practices?
My favorite book is „Tom Sawyer“, which I read almost in one reading. In the book I especially liked the cleverness that the main character showed in all difficult situations. It often happens to me that during tournaments I start thinking about things I have to do for school the next day.
What are your plans for the coming season?
My main goal in the next season is to make it to the top-5 in the U-12 category and to make as good results as possible in U-14.
Serbian version of this text