Sunday, March 17, 2013
As a change, today's blog is going to have two parts - not because I wanted to, but because I was forced to!
I'm writing this first part on Saturday evening, from the plane on my way to Miami.... usually this is my time when I try to catch up with all my writing duties and answer all my e-mails, questions or requirements my agent sends me.
I spend so much time flying that in time I've learned to use it in a nice way and not waste all those hours. I see it as a time for myself where I can write, read, do crosswords - I'm addicted to Romanian crosswords and always have competitions with my coach about who is better and faster at finishing them (of course me), or any other things that relax me. Plus we need to find ways to keep our brains in shape as well, not just our bodies, we don't want our neurons to atrophy
))) When I'm home in Romania I'm sooooo busy that sometimes I feel I don't even have time to breathe. Then in tournaments it can be quite stressful. So I see flying as a time to switch off, not only my phone but also mentally from all the stress, and just relax...
On Thursday after my last practice in Indian Wells we drove to Los Angeles to spend two days with my friends there and get my mind a little peace away from any tournament venue... I still trained hard and did all my workouts but the fact that two days I could be surrounded by friends and have some normal quality time with them made me very happy. They are all Romanians, so it's easier to connect because we all come from the same backgrounds and we see things in the same way. At some point as we were driving we put old Romanian songs on and we all started to sing as hard as we could... I'm sure people around thought we were crazy, but it was one of the best karaokes ever... then we were having a huge discussion on what Romanian food we miss the most and it got quite heated up to that point because we all had different opinions... but in a simple line, we all miss the Romanian customs and the Romanian things. I started tennis when I was four years old and played my first tournament outside of the country when I was eight, and since then I haven't stopped travelling. So I don't let myself get to the point where I'm homesick, but I do miss my country.... I always say, how can you miss someone or something if you've never been away from it??? And sometimes we don't appreciate the presence as much as we appreciate the absence...
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That was what I wrote before the flight started to get quite bumpy, and I stopped because I couldn't focus anymore.
Now as I'm trying to finish this post it's Sunday evening and I'm at my desk in my Miami hotel room.
I used to have zero issues with turbulence, as a kid I actually liked them - I would pretend I was in a rollercoaster... but then as I got older I started to be more aware of the dangers and feel a little uncomfortable. When you are a child life is easy because you can't really understand the world in her true sense and you have no worries, no duties, everything in the world seems sweet and innocent... then later on you start realizing what your responsibilities are, your priorities, you start setting up your values and the things you want to achieve. And I think tennis does a good job of making us mature faster than our age. My dad always used to tell me, 'The earlier you set up your priorities in life, the faster you will get where you want'!!!!!!!! I'm very grateful for the education my parents gave me from very young... in Romania we say the most important years are the first seven years of your life before you start going to school, because that's when your character and personality develop and you learn all the cool things like respect, good behaviour, what's good or bad, how to act properly and many more things.....
I've just had my first day here in Miami and it went well... I had a good practice with my coach in the morning and another good hit with my best friend Ana in the afternoon... I won't play my first match until Thursday or Friday so I still have enough time to adjust to the conditions. And now to give you a little inside scoop, I tend to practice with the same girls before tournaments, and I think all of us are quite similar, we all have our friends or favourite practice partners. So for example I have my practices set for the next days and it looks like this: in the mornings I always hit with my coach but then in the afternoons I will practice with girls. Monday I'm hitting with Pavlyuchenkova, Tuesday with Bartoli and Thursday with Kirilenko, so I'm very organized
... actually it's not me, it's my coach that is setting it all up. He's the one doing all the bookings and stuff, so their job is a little more complicated than just telling us how to hit forehands and backhands!!!!! And now since I'm giving away too much tennis information, let's talk about a different subject
My agent Ben will probably have a heart attack reading this, or he will kill me tomorrow, not sure which one yet... but as I was walking on site today I met Marina Erakovic and her caoch.. so we started talking and we got to the point where her coach Chris told me he lost a bet, because Marina won the Memphis tournament he now has to jump off a plane with her and they are thinking of doing it after Miami... so I said, 'This is perfect timing, let's go together.' My birthday is in three weeks and my wish for this year's birthday is to do my second skydiving jump as soon as I get home after I'm done here in the States... but then she goes, 'Let's try and convince more players so we go as a group.' Soooo if anyone who reads this wants to join us we are happy to welcome you
))) I can't believe I'm advertising this, but I swear it's not my idea, it's Marina's, so don't blame me
What do you think of Monica Niculescu's victory in Florianopolis? Narcis
It was great to see Monica winning that title in Florianopolis... she works very hard and I'm very happy when I see her doing well. I'm actually happy to see any Romanian do well....
How was your practice with Steffi? What did you work on and what does she tell you? Sue, USA
Steffi is amazing, I love her, she is a true inspiration and as I've said before she is the reason why I started tennis.... she has a very intense way of doing the practice and she makes you work hard, but what we talk about stays between me and her
Did you like visiting Serbia? You and Ana Ivanovic are great friends. Did you take her to Romania and did she like it there? Aleksandr
I loved Serbia because I found it very similar to Romania. That's another reason why Ana and I get on so well. We grew up in a similar background and we have a similar education.... she hasn't been to Romania yet, but we are trying to plan that trip
What do you like most: clay (red, green or blue), grass or hardcourts? Adrian, Romania
Definitely hardcourt, I think it suits my game better.
Would you and Ana ever play doubles together? Jakov, Serbia
Never say never
It's my understanding that your parents have a SORANA variety of their ice cream. Question, were you named after the ice cream or was the ice cream named after you? Michael
Yes, my parents have an ice cream business and they produce their own brand, which is called 'Sorana'... I was born in 1990 and my parents' business started in 1992, so I was first, then came the ice cream