Elena Dementieva's Tokyo Blog
- Elena Dementieva has fond memories of Tokyo. A year ago, she won the biggest of her now-six career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour titles in the Japanese capital. This week she returns to the $1.34 million Toray Pan Pacific Open looking to defend one of those titles for the first time; she's also the very first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Player Blogger in 2007. So sit back and enjoy, as one of the world's best brings you along for the Tier I ride in Tokyo this week!
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
I'm excited to be writing my first blog from the wonderful city of Tokyo, where I'm playing in the Toray Pan Pacific Open. I came here from Melbourne Saturday night - no, Friday night - sorry, I had to think about that for a moment! On the Tour we travel quite a bit, moving from tournament to tournament almost every week, so sometimes I lose track of the days.
Right now it's pretty cold here in Tokyo, which was a bit shocking because we were just in Melbourne, where it was scorching hot. It's not as cold here as it was last year, but it's cold enough and we have to play indoors. This is my sixth time coming here and I'm very excited. This tournament is very special to me. I still remember very vividly winning the final last year against Martina Hingis. She's a tough player, a great competitor, and it was such a great experience. I look forward to playing my first match and hope that I can defend my title.
Unfortunately, I haven't been out much yet since I arrived here, not even to go shopping, which is very unusual for me and my mom. I think this is the only city where my mom and I don't go shopping. It's not because we don't like the shops here; it's because it's so hard to find clothes in our size. In general, Japanese people are smaller than me, so the clothes are always too small or too short for me and my mom. It's too bad really, but it doesn't stop us from going to the electronic shops, which are amazing here. I can spend hours just in one shop, checking out the latest cameras and cell phones. Their electronics are like no other; it's fascinating. We haven't bought anything yet but I know my mom has her eye on a new camera. She bought one here last year and wants another one.
Even though we haven't been able to go out too much, I've been busy. Last night, we had the official welcome party for the tournament. It's a tradition here and I think it's one of the best things about the tournament. All of the players are there and everyone always dresses up, which is a nice change from the tennis clothes. It starts out with a press conference with all the players. The tournament is so respectful to the players and makes sure that all of the players are included. Everyone feels appreciated. At the party, they introduce all of us onto a stage and present flowers to us. It really is quite an event, and it's so nice to be able to hang out with my friends on the Tour outside of tennis. The dinner is fantastic – so many different kinds of sushi, my favorite. I think I ate too much because for the first time in my life, I didn't feel like having breakfast this morning!
Today I had practice then All-Access Hour, which is the pre-tournament media roundtables. After that, I met with Yonex. We discussed new collections, which I'm very excited about. I can't say much because it's going to be a surprise, but what I can tell you is that I'll have a very nice dress at the next Grand Slam.
After that, we went to dinner – sushi of course. You can never have enough sushi.
Tomorrow, my mom is going to see the sumo wrestlers, which I'm so jealous of. The tournament has kindly organized a trip to see a practice. She's wanted to see them for so long and has been talking about it since the first day we arrived. I think she wants to go so that she can feel smaller. I really wanted to go but it's in the morning, and I was worried about my doubles match, which is the third match on the schedule. My mom promised to take lots of pictures and I'm sure she'll tell me all about it. Hopefully, I can go next time; it is so interesting. Once my mom tells me about it, I'll make sure to share with all of you tomorrow in my next blog.
Speaking of tomorrow, I'm off to bed - so, good night and talk to you tomorrow!