Monday, December 21, 2009

Back to USA!

And I am back to USA!
Since my last trip I spent time home in Florida relaxing a bit, training and trying to get rid of remaining symptoms of bronchitis I suffered from the whole European trip.
I played LA on the way home, where I flew in from Istanbul (the last tournament in my European and I guess a bit Asian tour).The decision to play Istanbul was made at the last moment, a night before the tournament start.

I was feeling very sick and haven't hit in fours days. But even though I didn't hit for a while and kept coughing like crazy I did well there. I qualified, beating good players and even coming back from being 3 match points down in my past round of quali. I also got to play doubles, getting in at the last moment with a partner that was also picked at the last moment. I got some points and enjoyed myself. And what not to enjoy! When I stayed in 5 star hotel, ate all day at 5 star buffet and even had time to visit Istanbul a bit. Of course I didn't go alone, I went with two other players.
We visited The Grand Bazaar! So much excitement and anticipation of something GRAND, but when we got there....well...we were not so impressed.
There were rows and rows of stuff! Some was not good quality and some very expensive. And because most of sellers were men they didn't like bargaining with three young women dressed in short shorts. Although we got lots of compliments which came in some sort of invitation to their shops. The best ones were: " Did you come from heaven?" " Are you miss Universe?" and
being call Angelina Jolie and Julia Roberts.
I haven't bought anything at the Bazaar, even though I saw some nice pottery and lamps. I was just happy to find the way out of there, thinking that for me, China is still number one for shopping at the markets and bargaining!

After Istanbul I decided (also at the last moment)to fly to LA and play a big tournament there. I knew I was tired and battling bad cough but I was happy to be playing well again and wanted to continue in this good path.
I bought tickets, reserved hotel and left Istanbul on time thinking I was going to arrive to LA just on time to have a day off and practice too.
But the first hiccup started in Paris where my flight was canceled! "Ok"-I said-" I just fly the next day.
The next day I got to Chicago late and missed my flight to LA. I asked to put me on the next one. It was full. And the flight after and the next day. The only way was to fly to Las Vegas. And from there to LA. "Ok"-I said-" it will take longer but I still get there a night before my match." Haha!
Not a chance! My flight from Chicago to Las Vegas was late and I missed my LA connection. It was the last flight of the day and I was offered to fly at 7am next morning! I wasn't even offered a free hotel room. Just a discount. And there was no food because it was 11.30pm. I was trying to stay calm, it was kinda easy, because I was SO TIRED!
The next day, deprived on sleep but still trying to stay strong I took a flight to LA crossing my fingers to get there on time to play my match!
I got to LA on time and tournament transportation dropped me off at the tennis club 3 hours before my match. One word "Zombie", that's how I felt!
I played Melanie Oudin, who two weeks later got to the quarters of US Open, I had a lot of chances to win the first set but didn't use them. And when the second set started my body just said "enough is enough".
That night I just dropped in bed fully dressed at 7pm and slept for 14 hrs straight. I don't think I ever had such a long travel, even the Bali trip was shorter then this!

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