I thought it would be fun to translate her blog in one of the Israeli news site, for all of Shahar's fans who can't understand Hebrew. It's from a few days ago, before today's draw. The comments in BOLD are my own.
"That's it, back in Israel.
Wow, this was the longest time I've spent out of Israel, two months and a half. I really missed the country and what could be more fitting day to come back than independence day.
My dad made a huge effort to bring me back in time for our annual family BBQ. Before getting into the amazing Fed Cup experience that the whole team had been through, lets look back.
O.K, the last time we've "met" I was in training camp in Palm Springs, preparing for clay season. The training camp went very well. As usual, every time I get together with Jose, I feel I'm getting better and better.
Truthfully, I was really looking foward to Charlston, but during one of my routine runs, I bumped into a little metal pipe sticking from the ground. I just flew in the air and crashed on the floor. As a result of my bad attempt in flying, I injured my hand and leg. I got off the floor, all pained, bleeding and pissed off, and decided to go back to see what made me fall. I saw that little metal pipe in the floor and kicked him, all annoyed.
It was stuck so deep in the ground, I nearly fell again! I decided to finish my run properly and went back to show Oded (her coach
) what I've done to myself. I guess that after Oded's injury (BTW, his finger is still broken), I wanted him to feel better, and I'm going to need a matching bandage.
Anyway, the more serious injury was a very deep gash in my left arm, I'll spare you the descriptions, but lets say it wasn't pretty. My biggest problem was that because I had a two-handed backhand, I couldn't practice properly for over a week (if only I had a one-handed backhand like Federer!).
From Palm Springs I flew to Charlson, I really wanted to do well in the tournament, but unfortunaly my rival played a lot better (the injury only had an affect on preperation, not during the match) and I lost. I have to say that the most disappointing and painful loses are in the first round, because you feel the worst - without any victory, plus you have too much time before the begining of the next tournament, so time passes slowly.
Luckily, there were several Israelis there who played Tennis in College, so we met with them for dinners and I went to see them playing a little bit. Plus Tzipi came to the tournament, so I had another friend which always make things a little easier. Me and Tzipi also played doubles in preperation for Fed Cup. Okay, we've lost, but still it felt good to play together after a year we haven't, and it was good preperation.
And now for the main dish, without a doubt, the most exciting thing is to play for the Israeli team. I love representing the country and giving everything for the success of the team.
As you know, last year we got to be among the top 16, and winning against Canada give us the privelidge to play in July (Draw is on Wendsday) for the option to be included among the best 8 teams in the world (it thrills me just to write it!).
I got to the first match all nervous and stressed out. Luckily the athmosphere in the team is positive and supportive - I knew there are people who believe in my. I didn't play that great against Dubois, but on the important points I managed to excell and win 6:4, 6:4. Without a doubt, taking the first point, especially in an 'away' match, give a lot of confidence for later on.
Tzipi went after me to the game against Wozniak, a good young player. I don't have the words to describe how amazing Tzipi is. The girl is 34 years old! It's just amazing, her will power and commitment, an example to every athlthe. In a long, drawnout match Tzipi managed to win and take us to a promising 2:0 lead.
We knew we were in excellent position but it's not over till it's over. I played first again on Sunday, this time I was much calmed and played a lot better, winning 6:0, 6:4.
It was such pure, amazing joy. We all celebrated in the dressing room with champaign, we were so happy that we even started a mini water war - but the best water war there is!
I want to acknowledge and thank the entire team, the trainers - Dadi, Lior and Alex, who prepered us wonderfully for the game and were there for everything we needed, for the 'un-ending Tzipi", for Julia, who will play and win many more matches for the team, and of course for Anna who was there for the team for over 12 years, if it hadn't been for her, we wouldn't be where we are right now.
And thank you for the fans who came from all kinds of places in Canada, and the Peleg family who came all the way from San Francisco.
Now it's time we'll draw a game in Israel, and show the entire world how this crowd is the best there is. (
After we've completed the matches we went to the hotel pool, there was a slide there and Julia and I had so much fun. I did it at least 20 times (My muscles are sore from climbing all those stairs), we all had so much fun and only Anna didn't want to get into the water, so I took the initiative and shoved her in (We're all equal on the team!).
As you know, we've completed the matches on Sunday afternoon. After we've finished celebrating we made sure to have a small, intimate service for soldiors remembrance Day. We gathered around all of us in 8 PM, respectfully dressed and with Israel's flag, Lior read the Yizkor (FYI, It's a prayer said in memorial services in Israel, mostly holocaust rememberence day and soldiors rememberence day)
and we stood a moment of silence. It was emotional and dignified.
I now have 10 days in Israel, I intend to enjoy myself with my friends and family, and celebrate my 20th birthday in Israel with the people closest to me.
Thank you everyone for your support (I read the responses to my column and get emotional every time).