Tuesday, May 27, 2008

French Open : Harkleroad to Appear in Playboy

Interview with Ashley Harkleroad

Q. I know this is a really weird segue, but ESPN TV reported today that you posed for Playboy.

Q. When did that happen?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: I got — I did that a few weeks ago while I was out, so I’ll just be in the August edition.

Q. Can I just say wow?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Yeah. You can say whatever you want (laughing).

Q. You went through surgery and then posed for Playboy?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Yeah. Like, I don’t know, I was just laying there for three weeks, and, you know, an offer came to me. I thought, Well, I’m not really doing anything right now.
So I thought about it, and, you know, it was something that I did. I’m proud of my body. I was representing a female athlete’s body, you know.
Like Amanda Beard would have done, so, yeah.

Q. I guess the thing that people might be curious about is you had just had surgery, fairly traumatic surgery, so you might not have been in maybe tip top shape.
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Actually, I was like super thin, you know. I was like thinner than I probably would have been like muscle wise. But we did it in a course of like four different days, so I was working out like a week. My body was actually getting back to more muscular.
But, see, when I don’t play tennis I lose all my muscle, so I become like a size smaller in jeans and everything like that. But at the same time, you know, there was really nothing. I wasn’t really doing anything, and like I said, the offer came to me and I thought about it and decided that I would do it.

Q. Are you like the Playmate for the month, or is this just a separate thing with sort of the scope of it?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: I don’t know. I mean, you just, like, check it out. I think it comes out July 13th. It’s the August edition. So you’ll see for yourself. It’s no big deal to me. But, you know, just that’s really all I can really say, you know.

Q. Are you part of the feature with women athletes or something, or is it just you?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Sometimes they put athletes in there. Like Amanda Beard, like I said or Gabriella Reece. So I’ll be the first tennis player ever. That’s kind of cool.

Q. Most of us don’t get that offer. Speaking for myself, anyway, in case you couldn’t tell. But what kind of experience was that? I mean, interesting or different thing to do? What was it like? Play? Hard work?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: It was hard work, but, you know, it was just a completely different experience. It was fun.

Q. Where did you do it?

Q. Where in L.A. was it? What was the venue?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Just a few different places. They set up a few different places here and there in L.A.

Q. Indoors? Outdoors?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Two times outdoors, one time indoors.

Q. With water, no water?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: No. You know, just, you know, check it out. July 13th it comes out, I think. Something like that, July 11 or July 13. It’s the August edition, so…

Q. I mean, Ashley, you’re weighing the pros and cons of doing that. Can you talk about what you thought the pros were and what the cons would be?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: You know, there’s a few reasons why I did it, but I can’t really go into it right now. You know, you can read it and you’ll understand probably more.
But like I said, I really didn’t think it was that big of a deal, you know. I’m proud of my body. I stay in shape and try to stay fit, so like I said, I’m just trying to represent a female athlete and her body. That can be sexy too, you know.

Q. With all due respect, because I heard you talk about this last year, having your career and earnings and money, is money a factor in something like that?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: I mean, Playboy treated me well, you know.

Q. But it wasn’t a determining factor? They didn’t say, We’re going to give you all sorts of money, and you said, Yeah, I’ve got to go?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: There were pros and cons that I had to deal with, and I took a few days to figure out exactly what I wanted to do and how I wanted to go about it.
So, like I said, they treated me well, and it was a fun experience. You know, you can — it’s really no big deal. It comes out in July, so.

Q. It’s a two parter.
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Okay (laughing).

Q. I have to ask, because the men won’t. Were you clothed at all?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Uh huh. I was, sometimes (laughing). You know, it’s Playboy. It’s very classy, so…

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