One of the best recent additions to the tennis Twittersphere is Alla Kudryavtseva (@AllaK11), whose star turn on Twitter came in July as she live tweeted Elena Dementieva's wedding to Max Afinogenov.
Aside from her successes on Twitter, Kudryavtseva also plays some pretty decent tennis. She won her first WTA title last fall in Tashkent, and has won four career WTA doubles titles, including two in 2011 with partner Olga Govortsova.
Kudryavtseva is playing doubles and singles qualifying at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati this week.
On her way to her third doubles final of 2011 at the Citi Open in College Park, Maryland, Alla talked to SB Nation about her life on Twitter.
Alla Kudryavtseva: Can we keep this pretty short? I think my leg is going to start cramping up...
SBN: Yeah sure, it's pretty light, it's just about your Twitter.
Alla Kudryavtseva: Oh God. (nervous laughter) Oh my.
SBN: You joined Twitter fairly recently...
Alla Kudryavtseva: Yeah...
SBN: Are you enjoying it so far?
Alla Kudryavtseva: Most of the time, yeah. Sometimes I get some rough, rough criticisms. At times it's a little "Oh my God!"
SBN: What's the craziest thing you've ever gotten on there?
Alla Kudryavtseva: It's in my favorites.
SBN: I think I saw that one--about the shark tank?
Alla Kudryavtseva: (Laughs) Yeah, that.
@AllaK11 You should also bring a new brain, a better attitude and a shark tank to have your period in.
Alla Kudryavtseva: "Also bring a better attitude, another brain," and something else. I was like "whaaaa? Thank you!" Actually, it was quite creative so I saved it. I read it before my matches, like "okay, this is what I should do!"
SBN: Your name on there is @AllaK11. Why "11"?
Alla Kudryavtseva: Because Kudryavtseva is "K" and then 11 more letters.
SBN: Awesome, that was my guess. Before this last match, you tweeted your opponents [Heather Watson and Anne Keothavong] a picture of them--was that meant to be intimidation at all, to show you were watching them?
Alla Kudryavtseva: No, no, no, no, no. They're good girls, and we're friends. I just thought it was a good doubles shot of them, as they were walking to the side. It was nothing. And I told Anne and Heather that I posted a picture of them and they should check it out. And they were all "Oh my God!" And I was like "yeah, some guy thought I was scouting you," [Ed. note: (whistles)] and they were like "yeah, like you need that, you've played us five times this year." Olga and I played Heather three times, maybe four, and then against Anne recently at Wimbledon. Not together, but, you know. It was not intimidation or anything, it was more friendly than anything.
SBN: You said today--
Alla Kudryavtseva: I'm surprised some people took it that way.
SBN: People are crazy...
Alla Kudryavtseva: Jesus. Jesus.
SBN: You said that your dad said today that it couldn't get worse against Shahar--is he always that motivational?
My fathers motivational speech:"show some heart today,last time you lost to her 0 and 0,it can't get worst!" Thanks for the reminder Dad!:D
Alla Kudryavtseva: Yeah, I was talking to him, I like to talk to him before matches because he's usually very, you know, tougher. And I've had a couple tough months, so he tries to take the pressure off, and it just came out like "it's okay, 0 and 0, can't get worse, haha," he laughed. And I was like "oh gosh, did you have to remind me about that beautiful day of my life?" And then today I was 5-0 down and I was like "ohhhh, deja vu..."
SBN: But you did play pretty well by the end of that match.
Alla Kudryavtseva: Yeah...I picked it up.
SBN: One thing you tweeted about when you were in The Netherlands was that you were playing Jelena Dokic, and she was making a lot of noise...
P.S.:next time I play Dokic remind me to bring ear plugs.....
Alla Kudryavtseva: Yeah...
SBN: And then I was here, and I heard the noise--
Alla Kudryavtseva: Oh that was you?
SBN: Yup that was me.
Standing behind Jelena Dokic's practice court, I completely understand what @AllaK11 was talking about. Dokic sounds like a steam train.
Alla Kudryavtseva: I retweeted you, yeah.
SBN: It was so loud, I don't know how more players don't complain about it. Have you talked to other players, do others have problems with it as well?
Alla Kudryavtseva: Pretty much everybody. But what are you going to do? I don't know. Nobody really likes it, it's too much. And she does it constantly. It's too much. But what are you going to do? The referee was there, and they didn't say anything. I told the referee there. but did he do anything? No.
SBN: The other thing that your Twitter has become most famous for recently is a lot of wedding coverage...
Alla Kudryavtseva: (Laughs)
SBN: Actually, you were the one who first broke the news that Elena [Dementieva] was getting married at all.
Time to go home and shake off the last couple of months. Going to Dementieva's wedding on saturday! That should help get my mind off things!
Alla Kudryavtseva: Oh Jesus Christ...
SBN: No one knew before you said you were going to the wedding.
Alla Kudryavtseva: I didn't know it was a secret. I actually saw Elena at the second wedding, Katia's wedding, that they wanted to keep it quiet. And then it wasn't really...The next day, they woke up, and there were pictures everywhere. From my Twitter, from [Vera] Dushevina's Twitter. A couple girls tweeted pictures. But she was totally cool with it. I was actually like "oh, nobody knew? Nobody covered it? Oh gosh, was I the only one?" I actually felt really bad, and I wanted to apologize when I saw her. But she was totally cool, she was totally fine. She was like "you posted the good ones, right?" And I was like "yeah, yeah, I tried to make everybody look good. No crazy shots."
SBN: You made it sound like you got invited to the second wedding because you were at the first wedding--is that right?
Alla Kudryavtseva: No, no, no, no, no. I've known Katia since we were like eight years old. She used to play, and we grew up together. Well, not "together together," but we played the same tournaments and I saw her all the time. We played a lot on the challenger level. She's just a lovely person, and she always stays in touch. And then she invited me to her wedding in...January, I want to say? And then I got Elena's invitation in...May, I think? So Katia invited me before Elena did.
SBN: With all this successful wedding coverage, do you see a career for yourself as a sort of social reporter?
Alla Kudryavtseva: Pfft. No. Well..."social reporter"...I have to have a degree for that, right?
SBN: Maybe not, you earned your own credentials through being so good at it at these two weddings.
Alla Kudryavtseva: Hey, you know? If somebody offers me a job on the side, I'm happy to do it. It's fun, it's great. I just have to learn to ask people up front if I can tweet about their weddings or not (laughs).
SBN: When you first broke onto the scene, when you beat Sharapova at Wimbledon, you made some noise for criticizing her outfit...
Alla Kudryavtseva: It wasn't a criticism of her outfit. It was a joke. Everybody laughed. But somehow, the next day...(laughs) It came out like I actually meant it. As if that was the reason I wanted to beat her. Like, come on, this is the second round of Wimbledon, I'm playing on Centre Court. What else do I need? But because of the way they asked the question, I didn't want to sound boring, I wanted to express myself a little bit.
And it came out like that, and at the time I didn't think...I didn't watch the news, I didn't watch the coverage of Wimbledon. So I found out later, watching my tape of me playing against Maria, how much people talked about Serena's outfit, and Roger's outfit, and Maria's outfit. I had no idea. So when I said that I was...clueless. And I guess I had to pay for it. On the front pages.
SBN: Can you capitalize on that though, and make fashion critiques a part of your Twitter?
Alla Kudryavtseva: No. I have no expertise in fashion whatsoever, you know. So no.
SBN: I know you're trying to get to 1,000 followers now with the tickets, it could help...
Alla Kudryavtseva: No, I'm not doing that with the tickets. I just wanted people to know that I appreciate the support, and I appreciate them following me. It's...it's cool. Can I go now? I'm feeling like I'm about to cramp up.
SBN: (Laughs) Sure, sure, no problem. Good luck with your leg and everything.
Alla Kudryavtseva: Thank you...keep following me! (Laughs)
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