Before Moscow I went to Mexico City, Mexico. I love visiting Mexico, I always have great time there.
Usually, during the tournaments I stay at the hotel, but because of lots of kidnappings, and swine flu I asked to stay with a family. Families in Mexico are always friendly and make you fell like you a part of their family.
My "Mom" for a week was Graciela or Grace in English. And although she spoke English I asked her to speak Spanish to me so I could practice it. ( I speak four languages: English, Spanish, Italian and of course Russian).
Grace and I got along very well, speaking about everything in this life. I also told her my life story, how I became a professional tennis player and all the hurdles I had to overcome along the way. Grace listen with tears in her eyes as I was telling her how I got out of Russia and how my family struggled during the Communist Era. And when I told my parents that I must leave Russia in order for to have a future. When I was finished Grace asked if I ever thought about writing a book. "Maybe one day I will"-I answered.
My story is one of many incredible life stories on tennis tour that should be told, so maybe one day I will share it with everyone.
Smaller ITF tournaments are usually not well organized, but people in Mexico really care about their organization. The tournaments are usually held at private clubs and people really come together to put up a great event. All week long we had everything from ball kids to TV commentators.
Mexico City is in high altitude so if you are not in good shape and try to play a long point your lungs will feel it big time! Even for me it was hard to breath for a few days, not talking about putting the ball in the court. But I did ok in the tournament getting to quarters in singles and doubles final.
During the week, my host family took me to different Mexican restaurants where I got to try all kinds of Mexican food. And it was great! I must say though, I was very courageous to eatMexican food the way mexican people do. And I must say it was SPICY!!!!
Here are some pics of the foods I enjoyed during my stay in Mexico City.