Monday, June 28, 2010


Ah, El Paso. Didn't stay there long enough to discover anything good. All I know that it was 109 degrees almost every day (probably 118 on court), everyone around us spoke Spanish and altitude didn't let my balls stay in the court.
I lost to the first seed in the tournament and was outta there asap. I played in the hottest hour of the day. My feet were burning and my body was screaming at me to get off the court.
So no El Paso stories. Except for 4 days I was there, newspaper was reporting yet another shooting on the border with Mexico. I didn't know how far it was until the last day, while driving to the airport. "Those houses look like Mexico"-I told the driver. "It is Mexico."-he said. Wow, it was just a few hundred feet away!

Being home was much better. Also hot, people spoke Spanish, but the ball was not flying and there were no border shootings every day.

While in El Paso, I have heard that there is a pre-qualifying tournament for the US Open wild card. And since my ranking of today would not permit me to get into US Open, I have decided to enter the pre-quali.
I have never played anything like this before. Wait, I am laying. I did play the pre-quali of Miami one time. Like in 1998. But it was close to home. This tournament had not much info,except that it was held in Dallas, TX. And it was a bit confusing how the schedule was made. After researching for a while I understood that I was playing on Tuesday at 12pm. I looked at the draw and saw only one familiar name on it.
When I got to Dallas, I didn't know what to expect. I found out that the draw was 64, not 32. There were no referees until the quarters. No water or towels and I had to check in and hour before each match. Hmmm...interesting.
By the time I got to play the "familiar name" girl, I had to win 3 matches and she only won one-60 60. Oh well.
The finals was at 9am. And I am telling you its the earliest finals I have ever played! I got up at 6am that morning. I won the match, and the sectional, but can't say I had it that easy. There was one 3 sets match and 2 well fought ones. Three times I had to get up at 6am, eat the boring oatmeal, and play 3 of my 6 matches. I almost passed out in the semis, because of the heat exhaustion. But I got through it all and was happy about it.
I also won a nice "Olympus" camera, and was instructed to film my preparation for the Playoff finals. It was nice, because most of the tournaments don't even give you a gift anymore. My boyfriend joked, that I got some money back for the trip by getting a camera.
I was exhausted but wanted to fly home asap. Thank God I was able to change my ticket to that same evening. So I said bye to my friends who housed me in Dallas, picked up some peacock feathers from the ground and drove to the airport. I still can't believe my friends had wild peacocks in their back yard! Incredible!

When at the airport I stood in a big crowd outside one of the airport bars and cheered for team USA. I always prefer to play a sport than watch it. I get really nervous. Especially when you want someone to win. They lost. I was sad.

When I landed in Miami, my boyfriend offered to go out. So around 11 pm we hit the Lincoln Rd. in Miami Beach. There were all kinds of people, young, old, with children. All dressed up. "The only time I go out, I am wearing tennis shoes and jeans."-I thought to myself. But I don't think I could wear high heals that evening. I would probably complain with every step I took. (Like I always do when I wear heals) But I have 30 pairs of high heals in my closet. But there is always hope, that some day I will wear them!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Raleigh & LA.

I found some old tennis photos. Wow, I have changed! I was a robot. Winning all that mattered to me back than. I haven't noticed it before, but looking at the photos now I realise how different I am today.
But some things remained. Like my fighting spirit. Doesn't matter what the score is, I will keep fighting. And thats what I did during the last two tournaments.


After getting through the first round I had to face a girl who I played in Indian Harbour Beach. I retired during that match and now I had a chance to show her how I play when I feel good.
And I did. I won 62 63 and was happy with my performance. I did the same thing she did to me, said "common" after a good shot and run to the chair.
In the next round I faced my old rival Lindsay Lee-Waters. I must've played 8 times against her through out my career. I think one year it was either her, Shenay Perry or Laura Granville.
So I went into the match feeling good about myself, but got a bit tight on the important points, which costed me a match. Still, I was happy with my playing, it was getting better.

After the match my housing took me to see Raleigh. I was really impressed how green and cosy the city is. We even stopped at a bridal store and I had fun trying on some beautiful and soooo overpriced dresses. And for the first time in my life visited a consignment boutique.
Over the week I have made new friends and met a lot of tennis fanatics who help to put a nice tournament together.

Los Angeles.

It's cheap and easy to get to LA, but to move from place to place In LA is hard. There is traffic all the time! And after a very stressful, bumpy flight where I let a scream after an unexpected drop in altitude, I was in no mood to be stuck in traffic. And thank God I didn't, but the next morning.....Oh my..... I was just glad I left 2 hrs in advance.

The tournament was held at the Home Depot Center. I played at this venue many times before as a WTA event just before the US Open. It took a while to get used to the big stadium and windy conditions.
I got to the quarterfinals, coming back from 61 41 down in the first match and 41 down in the second. And lost to Lee-Waters again, but this time in three sets. Maybe next time I will win.

Flight home was long. Its was a choice between a red-eye or a change over. I chose the second one and flew all day. At least there is internet and cable inflight. And it makes the flight seem shorter. So I got to watch French Open and check my emails.

Next stop is El Paso, Texas.