19 Walking a fine line

Paola checked her watch. She had been late and it had taken a while to get the camera ready, so there was not much time left but for one question or two. She looked up to Gabriella Ozolini, who sat on a lounge chair and smiled politely. She was much easier to work with than her twin, Paola found. The Ozolini twins had had a reputation as being difficult and arrogant, but since the last interview the journalist had felt that this was only true for Lulu. Gaga seemed perfectly nice and affable.
The WTA, Supersport Channel and the twins’ sponsors had come up with the glorious idea to have a series of features with the sisters in which they would function as narrators and presenters for entertaining stories about the WTA tour. Being unique as twins and yet being so different the producers expected a good show, with Lulu as a new Grand Slam champion and extroverted Top 10 player and Gaga as the little sister, who was fighting her way up to equal her sister.

The show would start next season, and Paola’s assignment was to produce a nice teaser. Luella had given her a lot to work with already, but she needed some words from Gabriella as well.
“This is your last tournament of the season,” Paola stated. “Luella will play in Istanbul for the first time. Will you be there to support her?”
“Yes, of course. I will come with her and practice with her and during the matches I will cheer for her.” Gabriella smiled. Paola sighed. She needed more controversy, more spite. Impossible with the nice twin.
“Is there no rivalry between you? You must be jealous of Luella’s big success in Wimbledon.”
Gaga paused. For a moment Paola thought to see a glimpse of anger surfacing, but Gaga only shook her head.
“No, I’m really happy for her.” Gabriella nodded, as if to convince herself.

This was going nowhere. Paola told her cameraman to stop recording and with a little gesture let him know that his service was not needed any longer. He began packing the camera away.
Paola turned back to Gabriella who was just about to get up.
“You had a great season,” Paola remarked. Gaga looked up in surprise.
“Thank you,” she said with a smile.
“I guess, most people only see your sister’s accomplishments or will compare hers to your year, right?”
Gabriella nodded. Even though Lulu seemed to be in a post-Grand Slam slump she had nevertheless won a major and in the end that was all that matters.

“I’m confident that I will win a Grand Slam one day,” Gabriella solemnly said. Paola raised an eyebrow. She wished she hadn’t had the camera turned off now. But then again, Gaga wouldn’t have said it with the camera rolling.
“What will you do to get there? Any adjustments you have in mind?”
“Oh, for sure,” Gabriella smiled. “But it’s too early to say. I’m sure you will find out soon enough with the cameras following us around, right?” She had said it with a snicker.
“This is off the record, Gabriella,” Paola said with a grin. “You can’t leave me here wondering.”
Gabriella laughed. Paola was well-liked among the players and they knew they could trust her with delicate secrets.
“Nothing serious,” Gaga revealed with a smile. But then her face got stern. “I’m thinking of getting my own team. Coach, hitting partner, trainer. I will become more successful than Lulu. I will win more Grand Slams and I will become No. 1 in the world.”
Nothing serious? Flabbergasted, Paola watched the young player leave, unable to get up. Gabriella had sounded dead serious.

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