5 Minutes With Marie Bouzkova and Ann LiBy Jul 29, 2022
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5 Minutes With Marie Bouzkova and Ann Li
Find out how Bouzkova uses a little Mozart to get hyped for big matches, plus which country-western emoji Li texts most often.
Published Jul 29, 2022
WATCH: Bouzkova is fresh off a first major quarterfinal finish at Wimbledon.
What does your pre-match playlist look like?
Marie Bouzkova: I listen to all sorts of things. I like some Czech songs but I also love the classics, especially The Beatles. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with “Where is the Love?” by the Black Eyed Peas, but interestingly I’ve gotten into Mozart because I know Rafa listens to that. I’m trying to follow his model of listening to classical music before going on court, just to calm the mind!
Ann Li: When I need a little more energy, it’ll either be rap or some kind of dance music, EDM. I’ve been actually listening to a lot of throwbacks recently: Jason Derulo, Ne-Yo, T-Pain. I also love country music, so it’s kind of all over the place.
Is there a match you watched when younger that inspired you to take tennis more seriously?
MB: I feel like I’ve been watching Tennis Channel 24/7 forever, so I’m very familiar with so many players! In particular, I have a lot of Serena’s big matches in mind. There’s a lot I remember from the US Open, like when Juan Martin del Potro won the title in 2009. He was always my favorite player, but there are other moments, like between Nadal and Djokovic, or Federer and Sampras. I can feel the atmosphere, how much the crowd got into the matches, and the emotions from the players.
AL: Our family was in China when I was 8, so we went to see the Beijing Olympics when Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka were playing doubles. I’m a huge Federer fan, but I think my mom may be an even bigger fan than me. Their match went past 2 a.m. and I told her, “I love this, but I kind of want to go home because I’m tired!” She was so into it that we had to stay and watch to the end. It was so cool to see the Olympics but even cooler to see Federer, who has been my idol since the beginning of time.
I’m a huge Federer fan, but I think my mom may be an even bigger fan than me. Their match went past 2 a.m. and I told her, “I love this, but I kind of want to go home because I’m tired!” She was so into it that we had to stay and watch to the end. Ann Li
What’s your favorite way to spend a free day when you’re in a new city?
MB: I always look for parks. I love to be in nature or at a botanical garden. It allows me to have a quiet, peaceful day, so I can draw, read or listen to an audiobook. And play Wordle!
AL: I might be the worst person to ask, because that’s something I’m trying to get better at, exploring cities I’m in more. A lot of times when I have an off day, I’ll go to site, eat and maybe watch some matches, but usually I’ll want to rest and relax so I’ll just stay in the hotel room. When I’m somewhere new, I really need to be taking advantage and seeing the world. I’m working on it.
What kind of social media accounts do you follow most often?
MB: When I open Instagram, the first things that pop up are posts from a few Burmese Mountain Dog accounts; that’s a dog I want to have after my tennis career is over. I also follow the Discovery Channel, so anything with nature and animals. And NHL and TennisTV, for sure.
AL: I have a lot of funny animal videos on my feed, along with some tennis. I’ve actually been seeing a lot of Christmas posts, weirdly enough for this time of year. I love Christmas—I can probably listen to a little Christmas music right now. The clips bring good vibes all year.
What are the go-to emojis that you send to friends and family?
MB: The cry-laugh and kissing face, the one smiling with two hands outstretched, and maybe the dolphin. And whenever we’re on grass, I send the strawberry!
AL: My favorite is the smiley face wearing a cowboy hat. That’s one I use a lot, and I’ve also been using one of the newer releases, the two hands making a heart. Otherwise, I don’t use emojis that much.