“Even when I met Sabine personally for the first time I noticed her target-oriented commitment, her overwhelming joy she used to show. She exudes confidence, shows a thrilling match and spectacular rallies.” —Steffi Graf 

German professional tennis player, Sabine Lisicki started at the age of seven. Her serve is 210 km/hour, while Maria Shaparova, ranked first place, serves 190 km/hour. She is ambitious, and she is beautiful. We asked, she answered. Straightforward as her shot.

Do you have a mantra?

Never separate yourself from your dreams and illusions. 

One time you said that you like to have a large audience around you. What did you think when you stepped onto the court at Wimbledon, for example?

I did enjoy it to the fullest! Being able to play on the biggest tennis court in the world, with the public behind me.

Do you also think about yourself during the game or are you absolutely focused?

I’m in my zone, as I call it. That’s how it feels because I can’t bring myself out of it anymore.

Would you describe yourself as egotistical?

Never in my life.

On one hand you totally over-exert yourself, and place yourself under continuous physical pressure. On the other hand, you give your fans an amazing amount in return. How do you feel about that?

It’s a fantastic feeling to know that these people are there to watch you, and that you really give them something, which is the exact reason that they are right where they are to support you. Because of this, I also give my fans the possibility to stay in contact and to get an impression of me off the court. I update my Twitter and Facebook accounts regularly.

What is your biggest goal?

I want to be number one in the world, and to win a Grand Slam title. I don’t accept any compromises.

Do you have any sort of time plan? Are you too old to play at some point? 

No, there is never a timetable. I play tennis because I am passionate about it. No one tells me to do it.

Do you also have a private life on the side?

Of course! I have a lot of friends that have nothing to do with sports.

Could you imagine ever doing something else?

Not at all; it just doesn’t exist.

Interview has been edited and condensed, originally appearing on I Love You