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Old Aug 25th, 2009, 03:50 AM   #61
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Re: Vania's Blog

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hey everyone!

I have to admit that each day that we have off in World TeamTennis becomes more and more precious!! We are so grateful for our days off that we -- at least I -- do nothing all day. OK, nothing productive. We had a tough stretch the last four days. We had four straight matches, and two of the three days we had to get up around 4:30 a.m. to make our early-morning flights. Yesterday we played at home but had a 7 a.m. flight from Albany back to Springfield. We made it through our match, though!

I am so happy for our team -- we are still undefeated! We've played 11 of 14 matches so far, and we have qualified for the Western Conference Championships (basically the semis of the league)! Not bad, for the first time playing for three of five players on our team (Raven, Martin and me).

For my day off, I went shopping and had a massage. I decided to let myself sleep in until whenever I woke up, and usually that is around 8 or 9, since my body clock has been very alert with all the matches we've played, but I woke up at 12:30 p.m.! I was so surprised I missed the whole morning. I was scheduled for a massage at 5 p.m. but decided to switch it to 2 p.m. so I could go shopping after and take my time. I went previously to the Battlefield Mall (apparently the best, or only, mall) in Springfield, Mo., and was very surprised at how well I did. I bought maybe 15 to 20 items! This time, however, I think I cleared out all the stores, so I only came out with six, including three books that I got at Borders.

I did stop by Wal-Mart (there are so many Wal-Marts here... I think there is one per 10 blocks) to buy nail polish. I was debating whether to buy a neon blue, but thought that might be too subtle... even for me. I am currently wearing a sparkly black on my fingernails and have yet to decide about my toes. I think that I am a pretty good nail polish applier, if I may say so myself. I can do tips, one of my favorite is black tips on pink. I now have another shade of hot pink and midnight blue... I'm not sure how I'm going to make that work, but I will.

OK, so I've been doing a bit of singing lately and put some videos up on YouTube, under my alias -- LadyDeadpool. Yep, so I guess it's not my alias any more... but I'm interested in people seeing what I've done!! Truthfully, I'm not comfortable singing in front of people, but being in front of a computer screen -- I am very used to that!

OK, so I did one of the "Prayer": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7SOFL7861I...

One of Faith Hill's "Breathe": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edAVNI8UcrY...

and a French song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbpcWSZfs50

The French song, "Vivre a en Crever," I was persuaded to sing by my friend, Justine.

Anyways, WATCH THE VIDEOS!!! COMMENT AND RATE, PLEASE!! ACTUALLY, ONE COMMENT AND RATE IF YOU THINK THEY ARE REALLY GOOD!! If you have any negative comments or ratings below 5 stars, please don't post. Thank you!

OK, so beyond that... I'm going to take a bit of a break from blogging! My brain is so fried, I just need a little R&R, and then I'll come back. I still love you guys!

Ciaooooo,
Vania
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Old Aug 25th, 2009, 03:56 AM   #62
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Re: Vania's Blog

Her mom's paintings:





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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 09:47 PM   #63
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Cool Re: Vania's Blog

Friday, Oct. 16, 2009

So it's been a long time since Iíve blogged... I think my last blog was sometime before the US Open. Wimbledon maybe?

OK, since Wimbledon, I was able to play directly into the main draw of most of the tournaments, which really helped me ranking-wise, since the points are much bigger in the main draw, and going through three rounds of qualifying is really tough! Not to mention you get almost no points. My ranking will finish in the 70s this year, which I am really happy about because I started the year around 130.

The two years before this year were a struggle for me, mentally, physically and emotionally, in tennis. I lost my drive to play, and the people who wanted me to play were not behind me any more. So Iím really glad I am back on the right track. I would say that the reason for that was because I made the choice to start training in Florida and kind of make a clean sweep of my tennis and mind. I was away from my family, which was difficult at times because it got lonely, but it was also fun because I learned to be myself, and I really enjoy being around my friends.

In the beginning of the year, I went to Brisbane, which is my favorite tournament, and although it was a wonderful tournament, Iím wondering if it was my favorite because it was my first time going to a tournament completely alone.(?) We will see next year, but it was awesome.

But the WTA Tour is a hard place. It is not a place for friends. Some people are just antagonistic, and others will be nice in the front but use you and slander you from behind. I guess it's kind of like women in real life, huh!? I think Iíve learned who my friends are and am understanding myself better in learning how to deal with others.

I just played my last tournament in Osaka. Iím actually writing to you from Osaka in my tiny hotel room, which for me isnít so bad, since Iím pretty tiny, too. Which sucks by the wayÖ my friends are always like, why do you think taller is better? Well, not even going into tennis, where you have extra long reach and extra long height, but it's just... you can see people! I go into a crowd, and I just see chests. When Iím walking with my friends, or basically most of the tennis players, I can wear three-inch platforms and almost always will still be shorter than them. Not even the same height! But, hey, if I ever got into a fight with a tall person, I could scramble through their legs and run, right?

Tomorrow I am flying to Taiwan to visit my relatives (my parents are originally from Taiwan), and my mom has arranged for us to go on a tour -- not my original plan, but she thought it was my holidays?? I can't wait to go home, anyways, but I do want to visit my grandparents, who are in Taiwan. By the way, I am half fluent in Mandarin, but I donít speak Taiwanese (Taiwanese and Mandarin are different languages, and both are spoken in Taiwan). Basically, if I was dropped off in Taiwan or China, I wouldnít starve, but I wouldnít come out happily plump. I would probably get ripped off a lot, too.

After visiting Taiwan, I will go home, and I am planning to just rest there for now, but maybe Iíll take a short trip with my sisters and/or my best friend. Iím so excited that Iím going to be home for Halloween! Itís the first year in five years that Iíve been home because Iíve always been in Quebec City during that week, but this year the calendar is shorter, and the tournament in Quebec (Bell Challenge) was played in September. I donít know if Iíll have enough time to pull off a really elaborate costume, but I still have costumes from the anime conventions that I go to. If all else failsÖ I can always go as a tennis player! Cheap and easy.

After Wimbledon, I went straight to World TeamTennis, which honestly could have been so fun, but I was so tired. I really did enjoy the team aspect and was happy for the team that we made the finals! But I only had a week to rest and recover before starting the summer season in LA. I think I had a pretty good summer season, culminating with a third-round finish at the US Open (my farthest result at a Grand Slam!), which I was really happy about. I love New York, by the way. I had the best time. My best friend came with me and we had so much fun. I always have a great time when Iím with her... thatís why we are best friends!

I may have pushed myself too much by going straight to Quebec City and, from Quebec City, straight to Asia because by the time I arrived in Asia, I was already ready to go home. I only had three tournaments, one of my fewest trips this year, and yet it feels like one of the longest!! I was lucky in Beijing. I lost last round of qualies but got in as a lucky loser and won a round. I had a lot of fun in Beijing. I really enjoyed being able to go out and buy the food I like at the supermarket and eat at the street vendors' stalls (none of my friends would eat with me... shocking!). It was also a combined men's and women's event, which was nice. Itís so boring to see women all the time! The same women, no less.

OK, so after my rest (I will have three whole weeks off!!!), I will go back to Florida to train at Tarik Benhabilesís academy in Boynton Beach with my coach, Erwann LeRidant. I will have six weeks to train there before I head off to Brisbane again , this time with my coach, but maybe he will come a few days after me so Iíll have a few days alone... haha!

Ok, Iím going to go back to watching Xena episodes on my computer and NCIS on TV.

Cheers!
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Old Oct 20th, 2009, 02:00 AM   #64
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Re: Vania's Blog

Vania is so cool
Little room for a little person
Tennis player costume is cheap and easy
Vania
Thanks for posting
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Old Oct 20th, 2009, 02:21 AM   #65
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Re: Vania's Blog

Yeah, i love her personality .

These were my 2 faves...



But the WTA Tour is a hard place. It is not a place for friends. Some people are just antagonistic, and others will be nice in the front but use you and slander you from behind. I guess it's kind of like women in real life, huh!? I think Iíve learned who my friends are and am understanding myself better in learning how to deal with others.

and

When Iím walking with my friends, or basically most of the tennis players, I can wear three-inch platforms and almost always will still be shorter than them. Not even the same height! But, hey, if I ever got into a fight with a tall person, I could scramble through their legs and run, right?
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Old Oct 20th, 2009, 02:26 AM   #66
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Re: Vania's Blog


Vania
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Old Oct 24th, 2009, 09:52 PM   #67
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Re: Vania's Blog

Friday, Oct. 23, 2009

Hey everyone!

I'm now writing from my uncle's home in the town where my mother grew up in, Lumbay, close to the city of Yuinin. None of the Taiwanese people who ask me seem to know where Lumbay is, since it's a small town.

I arrived in Taipei on Saturday afternoon and stayed at my dad's best friend's house for one night until my mom came Sunday evening. We then moved to a hotel that was provided by the tour my mom booked us on. I have to say that parts of the tour were amazing. We went to a place called Chiao Hsi overlooking the city and the mountains. (Almost half of Taiwan is mountainous, so you get a lot of beautiful views.) The hotel had an amazing spa -- so many different types of baths and aroma rooms. There was a pool where there were little fish that would eat the dead skin off your feet. Apparently I have a lot of dead skin! Yep, disgusting.

That day, before we went to the resort, we went up into the mountains and walked for a total of about three hours. When we got to the hotel, I went for a run (to try to maintain my fitness while in the off season), but I think the combination of my body being run down, the amount of exercise I did (also the previous two days I went hiking up the mountain, once with the tour and once with my dad's best friend), and that my mom was sick, I got sick.

At first I didn't think anything of it -- it was just a little cough -- but we had such a strenuous tour schedule (wake up at 6am, traveling on the bus through twisted mountain roads for at least three or more hours per day and my previous exhaustion) that I quickly got worse. I had a fever the third night, although the next morning I woke up feeling miles better, and a deep cough the fourth. The headaches and weakness I also attribute to homesickness, as well, since I've had headaches, tiredness and mild depression (nothing major, just so tired that even being in a place you love isn't happy for you; you just want to go home) before when I was homesick.

On the fourth day, the tour stopped in Hualien, the city where my father was born. I went to visit my grandpa there and my aunts and uncles on my father's side. We stayed in a hotel on the top of the mountain next to the city with beautiful city views. We took my uncle and two of my aunts there when they helped to drive us back, and they said they had never been to such a nice hotel.

One thing coming to Taiwan has helped me realize is that most people are not as lucky as Americans, or the social status that I am at, although I am nowhere near a high status. The public safety is much lower than in the States... you see construction workers hanging on buildings with a wooden platform and a rope or over a bridge 200 ft. high with no securing. All around, I can see evidence of the lack of public safety, people with severely burned faces, arms cut, faces bashed in, limbs missing. It makes me appreciate living in the States!

The other things I also appreciate:

Cleanliness. Yes, I know LA is not an ideal place to claim cleanliness, but at least I think in Long Beach, trees line the streets, the ocean breeze sweeps away some of the pollution, and people do make an effort to keep their homes clean. All around the cities here, wherever there are buildings clustered together, you see filth. Raised toilets: anyone who has been to Asia has seen those toilets that are basically holes in the ground. I can't stand them. And how do you expect to do some serious business in that thing??

Openness: some of my Russian friends complain that Americans are polite but not friendly, like we will say, "Hi, how are you?" without waiting for a response. However, I think that we may not be wanting to stay for an extended chat, but we do inquire through our genuine concern for others. We hug and kiss when we see people we care about. It's tough in the Chinese culture, where they don't touch each other, and even when seeing people that you haven't seen in years, they register no great emotion.

The last and final thing that makes me appreciate the U.S.: Appearances. First of all, I've noticed that most Taiwanese people are very small. I'm taller than many men here. It kind of sucks. And Chinese people have peculiar ways of defining what is beautiful. Very pale, very skinny, demure. Pluses would be to dress well, be from a good family, etc., etc. Well, the three main factors I fail at. I'm very tan, I am at times skinny, but nowhere near what the Chinese standard is (girls who are 50 kilos want to be 45 kilos; that's like 80 lbs to 72 lbs), and the last, well, I'm not even going to go there.

So I can't wait to go home! I don't need any reasons, actually. I just have had a long season and am ready to take a break.

So yesterday we took the high-speed train from Hualien to Taipei and stayed the night at my father's best friend (Uncle Lin)'s house, and today took the train from Taipei to the city near Lumbay. My uncle and grandparents picked us up from the train station. We drove back to my uncle's house, where my grandparents continuously show their love by offering food. We took a short trip to my grandparent's farm -- they used to own farmland but now just have a smaller plot of land where they grow a variety of fruits and vegetables and have chickens, as well. They used to own the large chickens that didn't fly, but they were quickly eaten by stray dogs. Now they have a smaller variety that can fly.

My grandpa is over 90 and still goes to the farm every day to check on the plants and feed the chickens. My uncle said that my grandpa and grandma love to sit in the barn and watch the chickens eat. What a simple life! All the food we ate was hand grown and fresh. It made me feel bad taking out my cookies and candies out of my purse (unfortunately, during travel, it's a staple in my purse).

I had some questions asked, which I'll answer now.

Herlindo asks: Who taught you to step in [the 2nd serve return] like that?

My father was the one who coached me up until three years ago, so all the basics I owe to him. I remember I must have been around 10 years old, and we would practice with a woman at the local courts, and my dad made us stand halfway between the service and the baseline to return her serve. It was so scary because she had a kick serve, so we never knew where it would go. From that time on, my dad would make us stand there to return all second serves, and sometimes first serves, as well.

Kimberly writes: Hi Vania, my name is Kimberly. I am 10 years old and am training to be a tennis player. When I read your blog on USTA.com, it seemed interesting! I want to know... Did you overcome any hard challenges that you don't know if you should do it or not?

Hi Kimberly! There was some difficult times, but this is normal for everyone. There is no perfect way to play and become a great tennis player. At times I did want to quit because there are sacrifices to be made, but ultimately I made the decision to continue, and I enjoy my life and my job (which is tennis) now. If you love tennis, keep playing; do something you enjoy! But stay in school I was in public school until 10th grade, and then I went into homeschooling, but I think that an education is necessary no matter what.

The next time I write will probably be when I'm home, so be warned, the usage of CAPS and !!!!! may be prevalent.

Cheers!
Vania
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Old Oct 24th, 2009, 09:53 PM   #68
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Re: Vania's Blog

I love VK's personality!
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Old Oct 25th, 2009, 06:29 AM   #69
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Re: Vania's Blog

Me too
Who doesn't?

And also, Vania doesn't seem to happy in Taiwan
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Old Oct 26th, 2009, 04:14 AM   #70
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Re: Vania's Blog

VK
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 01:45 PM   #71
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Re: Vania's Blog

She's such a wonderful and nice girl. I hope she can get into top 50 next year!
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Old Oct 29th, 2009, 03:48 AM   #72
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Re: Vania's Blog

Quote:
Originally Posted by hdfb View Post
She's such a wonderful and nice girl. I hope she can get into top 50 next year!
She has a wonderful personality to match her beautiful voice .
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Old Jan 26th, 2010, 02:38 AM   #73
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Re: Vania's Blog

From Fed Cup

Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009

Hey everyone!

Well, I've had a bit of an update from the last time I wrote. I was planning to have three weeks of holidays after Osaka, which was the longest time I've ever had a vacation! Alas, the powers that be denied my resting happiness in favor of another blessing -- playing Fed Cup.

I arrived home on Sunday, had Monday and Tuesday off, and got back on the court on Wednesday. So only two days of holidays! I discount the Taiwan week, since it was mostly to visit my relatives (which I had to do, so I don't feel bad about that), and I also got sick there the whole week. So instead of having the longest break ever, I've had the shortest break ever! My coach, Erwann, said that I couldn't have any more time off because I was the one that "chose" to go to Fed Cup... as if it were like I chose to go on vacation! Anyways, he was supposed to come, but he ended up getting sick...but I'm a little suspicious at the timing haha!

I didn't find out until Friday that I was going to be on the team, so I was really excited to go, yet sad that I would not be home for the rest of the year, except for half a day, when I will be stopping over in LA before flying to Taiwan to spend Christmas with my family. My mom keeps telling me that I should "just have my off season at home" and listing all the reasons why I shouldn't leave. I told her I knew, but the only reason I'm training in Florida is because my coach is there! There are other reasons, but if my coach were in LA, I would stay there.

So right now I'm in Reggio Calabria, in the south of Italy, and our hotel overlooks the island of Sicily. We are staying in a resort spa hotel, which is quite nice. The players get to stay in suites when we play Fed Cup, so there's not too much to complain about here!

I flew over with Alexa Glatch, a good friend of mine from Orange County, and we met the captain, Mary Joe Fernandez, and the other players, Leizel Huber and Melanie Oudin here. Our team is actually a bit larger than that, comprised of a physio, massage therapist, hitting partners, doctor, manager (along with a few people) and security. There are also two "young guns" -- top juniors who are picked to participate at a Fed Cup tie to improve by watching the professional players and also to serve as hitting partners. I played points against Beatrice Capra this morning and some doubles points against Nicole Gibbs.

We are kind of waiting to see who will play the singles, and it's pretty likely that Leizel and I will play the doubles. I haven't played Fed Cup in over a year, so I'm really excited to be back, and also we are in the finals!!!! I keep teasing Lex about her single-handed upset over Czech Republic. Ok not quite that drastic, but she definitely was instrumental!!

After Fed Cup, I will go straight to Florida to train (*tear) for six weeks. I'm hoping my mom or my sister can come to Florida for a bit to keep me company. Oh, yes, in other news, I just got two kittens before I came here! One's name is Tiramasu, but my mom can't pronounce that, so her nickname is Pudding, and the other is a tortoiseshell, Honey. I have to say, cats are supposed to be solitary animals, but Pudding is such a baby! She needs attention ALL THE TIME. I don't mind giving her attention, but if I'm on my computer, she will come and sit on the keyboard. If I move into another room, she will howl and meow until she finds me or another person who will give her attention. She wants to sleep with me but purrs so loud that I can't sleep until she stops, which is like 10 minutes after, and if I shift even slightly, she starts again. She's got a motor somewhere in that tiny body! Honey is really sweet, though, and calm (thank goodness!), and for the most part doesn't seek attention.

My sister, Ivana, just left for Asia to play a few tournaments, and we were kind of counting on her to be home to help take care of the kittens because, well, she's rather like them. She likes to be around people (well at least us, my other sister and me) and annoy us, sometimes jumping on us when we sleep and giving super random, super hard hugs. We (my other sister and I) are thinking that Ivana and Pudding will make a good match, to keep each other company haha!

Ok, so Ryan says:

Hi, I am 8 years old and have been playing for 3 years with my dad. How did you get started playing tennis?

Hi Ryan! I started when I was four but not seriously. My brother was out late every night with my dad playing tennis, while my two sisters and I would play in the back or on another court for fun.

I basically started because my brother played tennis -- he chose tennis because he was too naughty in school, and the teacher told my mom he needed to start a sport or instrument to keep himself out of trouble. Also, my parents had four kids, so it was something to keep us busy, to make us play!

Good Luck

Cheers everyone!
__________________
Eleni Daniilidou 2014

Wickmayer. Venus. Ivanovic. Cirstea. Halep.
Azarenka. Krajicek. Flipkens. Pironkova. Begu.
Lisicki. Paszek. Vesnina. Pavlyuchenkova. Cornet.
Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
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Old May 1st, 2011, 05:20 AM   #74
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Re: Vania's Blog

Fed Cup

Vania King - April 16

Hey everyone!

Blogging here from Stuttgart, Germany which is a really nice city, and fun fact, is one of the safest in Europe. I haven't been to Germany since I was 13 playing a junior ITF event, so it's really nice to come back as an "adult" (I say that term loosely ) and appreciate the sites in a different perspective.

Team USA had a rough first day, but we are ready to bounce back today! Liezel and I really want it to come down to the doubles, and Mel and Christina are ready to make it happen.

I arrived Wednesday morning from Miami so I had missed the first two practice days, but I feel ready and the team has been practicing well. I got the call on Monday from Mary Joe and had to make a split second decision as I knew she didn't have time, and I really wanted to come! Wednesday afternoon I practiced (very blearily), Thursday we had the official dinner, Friday another practice and Saturday match, so it seems like the days have flown by fast.

Yesterday evening we had another round of games, this time instead of charades, we did Pictionary. I have to admit all the players have become extremely proficient in charades and guessing their team members' thoughts. Pictionary was a bit of a challenge since we usually don't play it and some people are better at drawing than others, but I think we all did fairly well, although I want to say my team won .

Now I'm off to breakfast to get ready for a hopefully long and successful day!
__________________
Eleni Daniilidou 2014

Wickmayer. Venus. Ivanovic. Cirstea. Halep.
Azarenka. Krajicek. Flipkens. Pironkova. Begu.
Lisicki. Paszek. Vesnina. Pavlyuchenkova. Cornet.
Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
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