“My Instagram exploded after the Hobart title with Sania Mirza” – Nadiia Kichenok

Nadiia Kichenok has become a well known name in Indian Tennis over a span of two weeks by partnering with India’s biggest tennis stars in Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna. 

ITD member Balaram Dhulipala caught up with Nadiia after her 2nd round win with Rohan Bopanna in the Mixed Doubles event of the Australian Open 2020. Excerpts of the interview listed below

Thoughts on the match.

It was a good match. Rohan served unbelievably, so I didn’t have to do much when he was serving. When I lost my serve, it was a bit unnecessary as I lost my focus a bit. However, we were able to quickly turn it around and break them back which was key as it gave us the momentum and after that, we were able to close in on the match. 

How did your partnership with Rohan Bopanna come about?

When Sania got injured and decided to play only doubles, Rohan Bopanna was left without a mixed partner and I was also looking for a partner. Though it is unfortunate, it turned out good for me as Rohan is a really good player. 

I am not an intense kind of person and I like it better when my partners are relaxed and easy-going – I am glad that both Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna operate in a similar mould. 

On your partnership with Sania Mirza – what is the future around this. 

We had planned to play till the Australian Open. We had a good start with the title in Hobart. I haven’t spoken to Sania on this topic yet vis-a-vis the future. It also depends on her recovery from the calf injury. 

In Dubai and Doha, probably she will play with someone else. As she is looking for a wild card there, it depends on the organisers too as they might probably want a big name. 

I really hope that I get to play with Sania during the hard court season. 

You played against your sister Lyudmyla Kichenok in Mixed R1 – it was your first time against each other in mixed. 

We played against each other in doubles previously though not in mixed. It is a bit easier in the mixed as all the pressure is on the guys. It was much more relaxed in the mixed match. 

We got used to playing against each other now and whoever wins, buys the dinner!

Playing with a couple of the biggest names in Indian Sports – Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna. Did you see an uptick on social media followers? 

I see the difference – many new followers from India now both on the ground and on social media. My Instagram exploded a bit after the Hobart title. Thanks to Sania Mirza. 

It has been a great experience so far to play with both Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna. Good to be on the same side of the court with them as I know I will have huge support. 

I really want to thank all the Indian fans who have been coming out to support us. 

Where are you playing next?

St. Petersburg and then Dubai and Doha. 

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