This year, my European Tour started with two weeks in Moscow. I was born there, and spent 20 years of my life calling it permanent home. But because of the difficult conditions and always changing country in '90's I had to leave my city to be able to pursue my dream of being a pro-tennis player.
But my whole family still lives there and I go visit them three or four times a year. I love Moscow and maybe one day in the future I will go back to live there.
My every visit starts with a table full of Russian food. My mother starts cooking a week before my arrival, and my poor father has to visit the supermarket as many as five times a day. He says it's his fitness training for the day.
You have to understand the Russian mentality, when guests are coming to your house, the table has to be prepared with the best Russian dishes. I always say, that to get to the hearts of the Russians you have to eat with them.
This time around I brought my boyfriend Sascha with me. He came to Moscow once before, but because I got badly hurt during the match, all he got to see were Russian hospitals. And believe me, it's not something you want to see.
But a year ago my parents moved an hour away from Moscow to a quite town named Chernogolovka, it's not as busy as Moscow and is very picturestic, so this time Sascha was hoping for a better experience.
Our 3 hrs lunch-dinner was accompanied by my nephew playing the guitar. He is going to a music school and has prepared a small "repertoire" especially for our arrival. I love listening to him play the guitar, and I really hope he will continue his education.
As tired as we were, we decided to go for a walk around a near by lake. And as my mother said "will take only 20 min"....... An hour and a half later, barely dragging our feet and eaten by very agressive Russian mosquitos, we were invited to the table again. This time to drink tea with an apple pie. I looked at Sascha. He had a pleading look on his face.
Going to sleep very itchy, tired and very full, Sascha asked me if we were going to eat as much tomorrow? "Food is the most important thing in my family." I answered.