Well today was a long match, that's for sure! I'm happy to say I was able to beat Ai Sugiyama, but it was a tough fight. I thought I played really, really well until I was up a set and 4-2. I had an unbelievable amount of break chances there and didn't take them, got a bit negative on myself and she started playing better and better. She won that set and was up 5-2 in the third, but I kept mentally strong and won it in a tie-break. She has lots of experience and is a great grass court player, so this was a really good win for me. And when I was down a match point serving 4-5, I hit three aces in a row - which felt great. At that point I was so angry with myself and just forced myself to go for it, and it worked! Of course I don't want to play out of anger all the time but it definitely gives me confidence that when I focus, I can survive out there.
Although the match was pretty long I really needed to loosen up, so I went out and hit for about 15 minutes afterwards. My brother Richard and his coach, Rohan Goetzka, who worked with him almost his whole career, were also there today, which is great. After that I did a lot of press, maybe an hour or so... Other than that I watched some of the tennis and unfortunately my fellow Dutch players Haase and Verkerk lost! It was a pity. I thought they played well, though.
Someone you may see me with this week is my new dog... he's so funny. He's a chihuahua
I adpoted him when I was in Amelia Island, from Animals In Need USA. Actually, his back story is really sad. His former owner broke his front legs on purpose and left him in the trash... but he was still alive, and when they found him he needed eight months of rehabilitation... and he's doing really well now. I actually saw him the first day he was up for adoption, and I had to get him. He is very special. His old name was Rudy, but I've renamed him Zorro! I think it's a nice name. He's a little guy but he's pretty strong, just like the character Zorro... well maybe not physically strong, maybe he can't really protect me by attacking anyone... but he does bark really loudly! I never thought I would get a chihuahua but I couldn't pass him up, and he travels with me about half the time I'm away from home. He is very good company! Of course, he's with me a lot this week.
Tomorrow I have my first doubles match of the week with Marina. It's a day off from singles but we're definitely hoping to make a run in doubles this week.
Time for some questions, then I'll talk to you all again tomorrow...
What is your favorite Grand Slam? - Brian, England
Wimbledon. Definitely. I love everything about the tournament. I also love everything about England. It's not far from here and I love English accents. And whereas some people don't enjoy the weather I'm completely fine with it, because it's pretty much the same as it is here in Holland!
What languages do you speak? Simon, Belgium
I speak Dutch, Czech and English. Depending on who I'm with I speak either Dutch or Czech mostly. Like when I'm with my family I speak Czech because most of them are Czech, but with Richard and his kids I speak Dutch, because they speak Dutch to their kids. And of course I speak a lot of English on the Tour.
What is your best memory so far, in tennis or life? - Anne, USA
I would say jumping off a tower when I was in Auckland... sort of like bungee jumping except you're tied from your back, so it feels much more like falling. It's scarier than bungee jumping! The tower is 192 meters high. It's the craziest thing I've ever done for sure, and probably the most memorable. Actually, they didn't have enough people wanting to do it (I'm not surprised!) so I got to go a second time for free. It was such an unbelievable, scary feeling!!