The World Snooker Tour returns this weekend with the venue stages of the Kaspersky Riga Masters 2017 from the Arena Riga.
Among those in action will be women’s world number seven Tatjana Vasiljeva, who has received a wild card for the event for the second consecutive year. Awaiting her in the first round (held over match), will be Scotland’s Anthony McGill, a two-time ranking event winner last season and former World Championship quarter-finalist.
Latvia’s Vasiljeva will be hoping to impress once again as she did in 2016 when she competed against Marco Fu at the event and we caught up with her recently to look ahead to her return to a professional tournament…
How excited are you to be returning to compete at the Kaspersky Riga Masters for a second time?
It’s a big honour for me to take part in a professional tournament and I’m very excited and looking forward to it.
How did you find the whole experience last year and playing in professional conditions?
The conditions were perfect, but a bit unusual for me. I felt huge pressure before the match but I wasn’t afraid to lose. I just wanted to play well and enjoy every second being there.
You pushed Marco Fu very close, how much confidence did you take from that and how can that experience help you this time around?
From the beginning I didn’t even dream that I can beat such a great player, but when I won the second frame and was leading in the fourth and fifth frames I started to think about a winning. Maybe that is why I made a few tactical mistakes at the end.
You enjoyed a positive season on the WLBS circuit last year, reaching your first final and reaching a career-high ranking of no.3. Do you have any particular targets for the 2017/18 season?
I started the season very well, but because of some personal problems and changes in my life it was very difficult to focus on my game at the end of the season. I had a few very painful defeats. I will work very hard with my coach M Ali before the next season, so it’s time to win something next year 🙂
Tatjana will be in action at the Kaspersky Riga Masters from 11:00am local time on Friday 23rd June 2017, visit worldsnooker.com for more information.