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post #1 of 74 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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Vania's Blog

I figured that everyone should know about Vania's blog. Here is her latest entry:
Friday, Feb. 27

Hey everyone!

Sorry I missed yesterday. I flew at 11:10 p.m. into Monterrey, so I was too tired to do anything! I guess I'm lucky to even be here, considering my passport fiasco! (Btw, it arrived at 9 a.m.)

Yesterday I slept in a little bit. However, I was nervous waiting for my passport to arrive, so I got up around 8:30 a.m. Alla and Chris had to go back to the Mexican consulate to get her visa, so I waited until they came back around 12:30 p.m., and then we went to practice around 1 p.m. Unfortunately, for them, they had to go back to the consulate after practice to pick up the visa (apparently the morning was just finding the paperwork or something). The good thing is that she got her visa!

It's quite common that players, especially from countries like China or Russia, can't get their visas or can't get them in time to play tournaments because they need to give 4-6 weeks notice and sometimes have to turn in their passport, which is almost impossible if they continue to play tournaments! I admit I take it for granted that I don't have to get visas to most countries!

I was picked up at 4:30 p.m. to go to the airport, and the flights were pretty smooth, no problems. Sometimes the pilot can make up time in the air (I've been on a flight where they made up more than an hour, but it was a long-haul flight), but usually if everything is on time, they don't bother.

I was very glad to get into the hotel room because I was pretty tired (Monterrey is one hour behind Florida, so it was really almost 1 a.m. in Florida).

So today I practiced in the morning for a little bit more than an hour, just trying to get used to the courts and the heat! Wow, it was so hot today. I was here last year, although the tournament was in the fall. I remember the courts were lightning quick, the balls flew, and the center court was orange -- bright orange. This year, the courts are quick, but not as quick as I remember, and the balls only fly to the fence, not to the mountains behind! The center court is now a nice blue.

The cutoff for the main draw was quite high, and I didn't quite make it, so I am playing in the qualifying rounds, starting tomorrow.

Oh, I forgot, we went to dinner (a group of us) to celebrate one of the girl's birthdays (Natalie Grandin) at a nice Mexican restaurant, so that was good fun.

Since my match is early tomorrow, I'm going to go to bed now to get ready for tomorrow! Probably another scorcher!

Cheers everyone!

Daniilidou. Venus. Azarenka. Halep. Wickmayer.
Cornet. Ivanovic. Vesnina.. Vaidisova. Krajicek.
Paszek. Begu. Cirstea. Lisicki. Pavlyuchenkova.
Pironkova. Stephens. Tatishvili. McHale. Flipkens.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
I'm obsessed with the Greek players. Deal with it.

ANNA GERASIMOU-EIRINI GEORGATOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER
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post #2 of 74 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Vania's Blog

Vania's other entries from last week:
Wednesday, Feb. 25

Hey everyone!

I'm so tired right now. It seems like I did a lot today, but I really didn't do that much! I think it's mental exhaustion.

So I got up later this morning (9 a.m. -- sometimes, when I am at home, I can sleep until 12 or 1) because Alla and Chris had to go to the Mexican consulate to get Alla's visa. She ended up not getting her visa (much to her chagrin), and while she was gone, I realized I LEFT MY PASSPORT IN CALIF! I had a flight today at 6:30 p.m. to go to Mexico, and I only just realized today that I left my passport at home!! It is such a stupid mistake, and I've never done that before! I had thought before I had started this trip (from home, I went to Florida for a week of training, Midland, Memphis and this week) that after Memphis I was going to go home to California, so I decided to leave my passport at home.

So I had to change my flight until tomorrow. I had my mom send my passport to arrive tomorrow morning, so hopefully everything goes fine, and I'll be in Mexico tomorrow night!

After I finished wallowing in self-pity (again! for the second day!), Chris and I went to get something to eat at Whole Foods and then went to practice in the afternoon. I played two sets and a tie-break. I thought I played pretty well. Right now, before the tournament, I want to get a lot of sets in so I can be prepared for the matches.

In the evening, Alla, Chris, Aneta and I went to watch [Yen-Hsun] Lu, one of the Taiwanese players play in the Delray Beach men's tournament. Although he lost, at least we got a lot of good pictures in! (Of us, not him! Haha!) I'll put up one of the pictures so you can see

Since I'm a bit tired, I'll leave it at that.

Cheers!

Tuesday, Feb. 24

Hey everyone!

Today was a really long day for me. I went to Tarik's academy to practice in the morning (by the way, I can do some shameless self-promoting since it's my blog, so the website is tarikbenhabiles.com).

I would like to say first, before I talk about the practice, that I know it was unprofessional, and it's not how I should prepare! I had a decent practice. However, I only had 1 1/2 usable racquets -- one good one and one cracked one that I cracked yesterday (I only tapped it... I'm telling you the truth! It was on clay, and I think it hit a rock.) I broke the good one in about five minutes, so for another hour I played with the cracked one (which was already warped -- the reason why you can't use cracked racquets) and then the second one broke! I had broken one yesterday afternoon, and there was no one to string the racquets. After I broke the second one, I stopped practice (well, I had no more racquets) and went running for 30 minutes.

OK, so I have to admit, that for a better part of the day, I was depressed. The coach at the academy told me that I was gaining weight! Oh my gosh, just thinking about it gives me the shivers. And I was thinking about that the whole practice and the rest of the day! I asked him where, and he said, EVERYWHERE. I was so sad. I'm still a little sad. He also said that I ran too slow, so that made me sad, too.

In the afternoon, I practiced at ITA with Alla (well, the next court to her). I played a set and a half, and then Alla and I went for a 20-minute run. Actually, we had to run the road loop around the courts. If I can judge correctly, which I'm quite bad at, it was about 2.5 miles in under 20 minutes. It was SO HARD. So don't make an example out of me, but after the first minute I told Alla I was tired. And then every couple of seconds I groaned or cursed. She was trying to motivate me in all different ways -- thinking about boys, real estate, money, cars. It didn't work, but because she kept talking it somewhat kept me occupied mentally. Long-distance running is the worst type of fitness for me. Alla was awesome, though, to not just snap and smack me.

So I feel better now after I did that run. However, I'm still concerned about my weight -- hey, I'm a girl -- so I'll be cautious for the next few weeks and make sure I don't overeat. Gosh, I'm feeling a bit sad talking about this, especially since I just ate half a bowl of blueberries. Gah! Oh, and when I told Chris about the coach saying I gained weight, he said it's true. I look heavier than when he last saw me, which was in Australia! Not even a month ago!!!!!!!! (That really warranted however many -- OK, eight -- exclamation points!) And you know what? He said that he can't tell by my stomach. He can tell by my neck. MY NECK!! Ahhhhhhh!!!!

OK, so I'm not going to think about it any more. I'm usually not that self conscious, but it hurts when people tell me I'm getting fatter!

Phew, I'm over that, so I'm not going to talk about it any more!

Question time, and this time, these questions are a bit tricky!

What do you think of the case of Shahar Peer? Do you think that the Dubai tournament should be boycotted by the professional tennis players?
--Rolando from CA

Hi Rolando. I think that it was unfair for Shahar to not be able to play in Dubai, since she had qualified by ranking. I've never seen a case like this before in my short career, so I don't think I'm fitted to answer the question. However, I do know that the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour has levied penalties on the tournament, and Shahar (and Anna-Lena, Shahar's doubles partner) received compensation.

In the last year, there has been talk and rumors about players being involved in gambling and possibly throwing matches. Have you ever been approached by anyone wanting you to lose a match intentionally?
--Xiaokuo

Hi Xiaokuo. I have never personally been asked or alluded to winning or losing a match for outside reasons. I have only heard rumors, probably the same ones you are hearing. I haven't heard much of anything about the women's tour, but I know the tour is really trying to crack down to make sure this problem never occurs.

Cheers!
Vania

Monday, Feb. 23

Hey everyone!

Sorry I didn't write yesterday. I was really tired! My day was pretty boring, too.

To sum up yesterday, I practiced a long session with Alla in the morning and in the afternoon went car shopping. OK, so I guess it wasn't that boring. I saw some pretty good deals while I was car shopping but decided to wait until a little later to buy a car. Not having a car is really limiting, though! I went with Chris, and I was so mad that I kept getting these "Asian honey" stereotypes! One lady asked me if he was my boyfriend (first of all, he's married, and secondly, I'm 20, and he's 43), and another guy made a vulgar comment, which totally went over my head. Chris only explained it to me later, and I was soo mad! We went to dinner with Chris, Alla and Aneta, Chris's wife, at a very nice Mexican restaurant.

So today I practiced in the morning with Alla again, and later I was picked up and taken to Tarik's academy, where I practiced in the afternoon. The fitness was really hard -- OK, just one exercise -- where you have to sit like a "chair" on the fence for a minute and a half. I couldn't do it all, I must admit. I had to shift up and then go back down. It was soo painful.

For dinner we had some pizza and a nice quiet evening in. Sometimes you just need those!

I'll answer a question now:

How often do you work out, and do you like working out? What do you do to stay in shape in the season and during the off-season?
-A little birdie (she told me to write that to remain anonymous)

Hey there. When I am in training weeks (not at tournaments), I probably do fitness about five days a week, Monday through Friday, and Saturdays I may or may not do fitness. When I'm at tournaments, I'll admit I've been lazy recently, but if I have at least a day in between matches or a few days with no matches, I'll do a long jog, some sprints, some abs and elastics (therabands) for my shoulders. I'm not too keen on getting stronger during tournament times because I figure that all the work should have been done before I got there, and while I am there, I am mostly focusing on injury prevention and maintenence.

I really do not like fitness (running, especially); however, since I started with Tarik, I have done a lot of running, so I'm getting used to it more, and I am traveling alone now, so I feel more responsible for my own tennis, and I know that I need to do fitness to stay in shape. Plus, if I get a bit chubby, I panic and do fitness a few days in a row until I feel normal again!

Cheers!
Vania

Daniilidou. Venus. Azarenka. Halep. Wickmayer.
Cornet. Ivanovic. Vesnina.. Vaidisova. Krajicek.
Paszek. Begu. Cirstea. Lisicki. Pavlyuchenkova.
Pironkova. Stephens. Tatishvili. McHale. Flipkens.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
I'm obsessed with the Greek players. Deal with it.

ANNA GERASIMOU-EIRINI GEORGATOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER
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Re: Vania's Blog

Vania left her passport in California

Daniilidou. Venus. Azarenka. Halep. Wickmayer.
Cornet. Ivanovic. Vesnina.. Vaidisova. Krajicek.
Paszek. Begu. Cirstea. Lisicki. Pavlyuchenkova.
Pironkova. Stephens. Tatishvili. McHale. Flipkens.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
I'm obsessed with the Greek players. Deal with it.

ANNA GERASIMOU-EIRINI GEORGATOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER
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post #4 of 74 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Vania's Blog

Vania's blog from Memphis:

Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009

Hey everyone!

Today I practiced in Delray Beach, at ITA (International Tennis Academy) where Alla trains. I practiced in the morning with one of the boys from the academy (Ethan), and in the afternoon with Alla.

So in the morning, Alla and I were joking with her coach before practice that we wished that the guys would be there practicing, to give us motivation, since we both were really tired. (There is an ATP event in Delray Beach next week)

Little did we know, about 10 male players from the tournament were there to practice! It's really true that you have to be careful what you wish for!

In the afternoon, Alla and I only practiced for a little more than an hour, doing mostly consistency drills (60 straight down the middle, 20 straight cross court, 15 down the line, ect), and serve/returns. Afterwards, I went jogging for about twenty-five minutes. It was the first time I went jogging in about two weeks, since I got sick. I was sick in Midland (I think I mentioned that if you read the blog way back then ) So I really felt out of shape and luckily, my legs got numb after about fifteen minutes, but my brain, unfortunately, did not. My IPod was dead and I had no running partner, so my brain was painfully bored. However, I figure that another three or four more days of longer running and I should be able to lose all the fat I gained in Memphis.

Afterwards, Alla, Chris, and I went to CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) for dinner, and Alla and I went shopping after that. I am sad to report that I spent a lot of money. However, I got some cool stuff from Abercrombie and Victoria's Secret. My favorite is a winter hat with a puff on top--I'm not sure if I'll ever wear it, but it sure is cute!

Okay so now I'll answer a few more questions:

Was it hard to choose pro tennis over going to college? Also, You said your brother was a top junior and you said he is going to business school, will he play any more pro events? Also, I researched your sister Ivana on the ITF site and she played an event in Taipei and did very well (making the final round of qualifying), will she play pro tennis as well? So will we see the King sisters against the Williams sisters?
-Kevin

Hi Kevin. Yes, it was a VERY difficult decision to choose pro tennis over college. Truthfully, I had no plans to turn pro, and it didn't really cross my mind until right before I made the decision. I was already enrolled to Stanford, and was in the college mindset, however I was doing so well in tennis, so it was a very hard decision to make.

My brother decided to stop playing a few months ago and pursue his other interests. He double majored at Duke in computer and political science (he is the genius-literally-of the family), so I'm sure he can do anything he sets his mind to! He is also a licensed real estate broker, so definitely a man of many talents!

Ivana in Taipei is a funny story. It was actually my mom who forced her to sign in--she was too embarrassed since she hadn't played for five months since she graduated college. (And when I say hadn't played, I mean, hadn't touched a racquet, or moved, really) She had no racquets, so she borrowed mine, and no shoes, so we went out at 10pm the night before her match and bought her a pair of shoes. Obviously she's very talented as well, to pull off some amazing wins! (She won her first match 7-6 in the third and I think she was down 5-0 and I remember her telling me that she thought she was going to throw up the first two sets because she was so out of shape!)
So that tournament was kind of just a fun thing for her, so you won't see her playing any pro tournaments soon! She is currently in Beijing interning for Nike.

How was your experience representing the United States on the Fed Cup team?
-Eric Jamison

Hi Eric. Actually, the first time I played, I was 10% excited, and 90% scared. Every time I played it got a little better, but it isn't until after that I really realize what an amazing experience it is, and what an honor to play for my country! I think every time I go, our team really has an amazing bond and we support each other wholeheartedly. And that's what Fed Cup is about!

Which match stands out in your mind as the worst loss you have ever had? Have you ever cried after losing a match as a professional?
-Rebecca Granados

Hi Rebecca. Well, that's not an easy question, because it brings back painful memories! On the top of my head, I can't remember any that I dedicated as the worst, only because I probably suppressed the memory. I think, in general, I feel the worst when I don't give myself the best chance of winning either by giving up (not trying for every point), or being passive and tentative, when my best game is to be aggressive. When I lose but give myself the credit that I tried my best, then I am sad, but not that disappointed, because I know I gave it my best. However, I think that whenever I lose, I have to be able to learn something from it, or else the losing wasn't worth it!

So cheers everyone, send me some more questions!

Friday, Feb. 20, 2009

Hey everyone!

Well I'm on the road again--today was my travel/rest day, even though I really don't think it's fair to make a traveling day a rest day since traveling is really tiring! I'm not sure if I wrote about my weekly schedule, but I usually try to give myself a day off a week. If I have no tournament, I will practice Monday-Friday twice a day, an hour and a half to two hours per session, and a session of fitness, maybe an hour or so. Saturdays I have half days, where I practice one session and maybe some fitness. Sundays off, which works out really well because I can go to church that day as well! However, after tournaments I give myself between one to three days off, and I kind of messed up my schedule by coming back on a Friday! Now I need to practice on the weekend

Oh, and to let you guys know, you can email me questions now (remember I was thinking about that?), so anything you want to know, you can ask. It doesn't necessarily mean I'll answer, because I can pick the questions haha! Okay, kidding, I'll try to answer as many as I can. Oh yeah, and I am allowed to delete mean questions so don't send me any of those please!

Back to today-well, it was really boring, actually. I woke up at 8:30am to give myself 2 hours and 15 minutes to pack, and I forced myself to finish packing within 2 hours, because if I have a 2 hour deadline, I usually finish at 2 hours and 15 minutes. Basically if you break down the 2 1/4 hours, I spent 30 minutes packing, 20 minutes showering, 1 hour surfing the internet, 15 minutes reading, and 10 minutes frantically trying pick up all the rest of the bits and pieces in the room. I made it downstairs at 10:45am exactly. Alla, Christian (Alla's coach, and my former coach), and I were all on the same flight, and right now I am staying at Chris's house because I am practicing with Alla until I go to Monterrey. (Well, both of us, but since I have to play the qualifying, I will have to leave earlier)

So I'm going to answer a question now, asked by Jason Catron.
He asks: "Do you feel any extra pressure to win as you see your ranking slide? i know it's important to get direct entry in to the main draws so the ranking is pretty important." Also, he asks, "Early in your career you achieved better results than you have been getting recently, do you attribute that to the other players getting bigger and stronger or do you think there is something in your game that has changed?"

Jason, I think I'll answer the second question first since it leads up to the first. I broke onto the Tour 3 years ago and achieved my best ranking at the end of 2006, where I won my first tournament in singles and reached a ranking of 50. Until Wimbledon of '06, I had always been coached by my father. He was the one motivating me and pushing me to play tennis. It got to the point where it was too stressful for both of us, and I decided to start to play tournaments without him. At Wimbledon, I started working with Ray Ruffels, a USTA coach, who really helped bring back my motivation and refine my game. It was with him that I finished the rest of the year on the rise. Actually, my rise started at US Open 2005 where I received a wild card into the qualifying and I qualified and won a round in the main draw. Anyways, to make a long story short, Ray and I parted in early '07, and after that I had no more motivation, because my father had been the one pushing me. I struggled for a long time to find my motivation, and I really think that I only found my direction last November when I started with my new coach, Tarik Benhabiles.

He really sat me down and helped my put a plan, direction, and priorities-something I've never done before. I have to also say that this sort of quick rise and fall from players is not too uncommon, because there is also pressure to hold onto your ranking or do better. I certainly felt expectation of myself to do better, and I put too much pressure on myself.

About the strength of the other players, I certainly think that the game is getting stronger and stronger, however, I don't think that it was the reason why I dropped in the rankings. Look at Justine Henin, for example, she was the same size as I am, and she was able to dominate the sport.

So I really hope that answered your question, because my response was so long!!

So everyone, if you have any questions, feel free to ask

Cheers!

Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009

Hey everyone,

As you may notice, there is no exclamation point after everyone today, as I am really tired! Mentally tired. Physically, I think I've gotten fatter. Truly. I think in Memphis all I do is eat and eat unhealthy foods at that. Okay, that is a choice I made, but there are so many fried choices here that taste soo good!

And I haven't done much fitness--I blame that on being indoors (yes, although it is my responsibility). Being indoors for TWO WEEKS! I am definitely an outdoors girl. I know some people really like running and doing fitness in a gym, but for me, 15 minutes on a treadmill is like 30 minutes outside. (30 minutes outside is still like 30 minutes.)

So, I had a really lazy day, all the way up until our match, where I couldn't be lazy. I woke up at 10:45am, lazed about for about an hour, and then tried to practice my singing and remove my nail polish at the same time. I think I lost about a week of my life breathing in the nail polish remover fumes. It took me almost forty-five minutes to take the polish off! I had five different colors on my nails and I guess the layers were so thick it was like taking off another nail! I really liked my nails though. I had pink, red, yellow, blue, and green. Alla said they were disturbing. Yes, disturbing. I think she said that about five times in one hour the first time she saw them. She's very happy they're gone, I must admit. Although I thought they were really fun!

I went to the site at about 1pm where I had lunch (something fried, again) even though I had a really late breakfast. I played some Rock Band, warmed up at 4:30pm, played some Rock Band, ate dinner, played some Rock Band, and went on court to play our match at 7:30pm. This was because Krajicek, one of our opponents, was playing singles third after 1pm, and we had to wait after suitable rest to play the doubles.

Unfortunately, we lost, and I really can't go into any detail because it's still really painful. I really thought we had a great chance, but what happened, happened, and no use looking back!

So I've booked my flight to go back to Florida (my happy training ground), and I'm also talking to my sister, Ivana. I have to quote her because she is too funny. She says, "Every time I see a loss [when she checks the scores online] it's like a little piece of my soul and heart disappears into nothing-ness."

I replied, "You must have a big soul then. REALLY big." And she said," Yeah, I realized that as the months passed."

Because if she lost a piece of her heart and soul everytime I lost, it's unfortunate, but she's lost many, many pieces! I think that may be partly why I have such a bad memory--I forcefully suppress losses so much that it reflects on my everyday life! So THAT'S why!

My sisters are funny. I have two sisters who are fraternal (non-identical) twins. They are twenty-two right now, so about two and a half years older than me. The elder, Mindy, is 5'7", "supposedly" really sweet (she was, but now she's the mean one to me), and for the most part, more reserved. The younger, Ivana, is 4'11", really outgoing and cheerful (I mean, always smiling), and her head is for the most part, in the clouds. I once asked her how she could smile all the time, I mean, isn't it difficult? She said that it is really difficult sometimes, but people expect her to be happy and it makes them happy, so she does it. I thought that was pretty impressive.

I have an older brother, Phillip, who is twenty-seven, so almost eight years older than me. You may have heard of him, because he was a two-time champ at Kalamazoo (Boy's 18s Harcourts), and the #1 junior player in the U.S. for two years. I can't remember exactly because I may also implant false memories into my brain, but I don't think my brother and I had many conflicts when I was young, as opposed to my sisters and I. We were like the Three Musketeers, except with wayy more arguing and fighting. Whenever my parents would try to sort us out, our mom would ask me, "Vania, what did you do this time?" And I would protest, how could they blame me if they don't know what happened? And she would say, "Because it's always you." Which was for the most part (okay, like 98%) true. Maybe 99%. I was definitely the most bossy, adamant, and stubborn one there.

Anyways, my brother ended up going to college (Duke), my sisters as well (Princeton and UPenn), and now Phillip is traveling and I believe going to go to business school, Mindy is at USC's grad school for architecture, and Ivana is in Beijing interning for Nike. I'm not sure if they are pleased with me giving out all this personal information (Ivana once cautioned me from putting my name on my Myspace page--btw, I don't use it anymore) but I, myself, have nothing to hide!

Okay, so I guess talking about my family made me a bit happier, because I'm not as brain dead as when I started! I realize more and more when I am away from my family, and alone, that I really miss them and love them and appreciate (my parents) how much they do/did for me.

So I think I'm going to end it there, or else I may be giving out my SS number soon!

Cheers everybody!

Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009

Hey everyone!

Well today was another long day--I left to the courts at 8am for an 8:30am warmup. I played my singles match first at 10am against Lucie Safarova. I lost, unfortunately, 7-6, 6-3. I actually thought I played really well--she also played very well too. So I am a bit sad that I lost, but not too disappointed because I felt like I did the best I could. However, since I am playing well and losing--that means (I think) that I need to either have a better game plan, or I just need to improve more. Although both are probably the case, the latter obviously will take longer! Well, usually.

I am happy to report that I was able to eat breakfast today, thanks to my new bowls, forks, spoons, and knives. I have enough in my room to last me a month. Yesterday I was trying to eat my cereal for breakfast (I bought the wholesome, nutritious Reeses Puffs, my favorite ), but I had no spoon! I was already eating out of a glass so I was trying to pour milk down my throat and pop some cereal in, but it didn't work. I bought a box full of bowls and a mixed assortment of eating utensils while at the supermarket yesterday (I forgot to mention that). I must mention that when I asked room service (btw, we are staying at the Hyatt) for a spoon, they said that I had to wait 35 min because I would be put behind five other orders that were before me.

So after my singles match I had some lunch, played some Rock Band, and then played my doubles. We won our doubles I believe 6-4, 6-4. I have trouble remembering the score. Actually, I have trouble remembering a lot of things. In our first round of doubles, we played a tie-break in the first set, and for some reason, I thought that we could switch servers (like after the first set you can choose who starts to serve), and I was ready to serve when our opponents questioned us. I was so embarrassed. I also went to the chair to sit down after only one game somewhere during that match. Although it sounds quite silly (okay, the first one is a bit much, even for me), but I do these things quite often. I think I have an mediocre intellect if you average all the smart and stupid things I do!

After the doubles it was already around 5:30pm, and I went to see the physios (trainers) for some treatment because I had some pain (which is probably just because my muscles are so tight) in my gluts, back, and wrist. The trainer warned me against playing too much Rock Band, but I really don't think that was why! (Okay, it might be one of the reasons) I was getting really sore trying to do the drums on hard (drums are my worst instrument), because of how much foot pedaling is involved.

By the time I got out of the physios, I was starving, and while a friend wanted to bring me to a restaurant outside, I was just too starving and ate at the site. I must admit the food was terrific. However, I think everyone knows that when you are starving, everything tastes great.

So we are scheduled to play our semi-finals of doubles tomorrow, however, one of our opponents is playing a third match (first match will start at 1pm), and we will follow that after suitable rest, so we are going to be there late, late, late! What I am really hoping to do is to make finals because FRIDAY is a ROCK BAND TOURNAMENT. I know, you guys must think I'm nuts, and I think a lot of the players do too, so you're not alone. Oh, and did you notice the way I said, "make finals?" Yeah, being on Tour is great, but one of the drawbacks is that you start using phrases or substituting phrases for the benefit of non-first language English speakers, so my English not only gets diluted, but I'm afraid that after ten years from now, I may be reduced to an unintelligible garble. It also doesn't help my confidence that my sister tells me I'm stupid because I didn't go to school (as in college). It's okay, I am "life smart." (Haha)

It's glorious to have sisters who tell it to you straight, and sometimes tell it to you mean just because they feel like it. Well, I was mean to them when I was younger, so I guess my sister (she's supposed to be the "nice" one too!) is trying to make up for lost time. However, I am the youngest, so it's not like I had the respect of an older sibling. I guess I'll talk more about my family some other time, because that could take several days at least of blogging!

So at that, I will bid you farewell.

Cheers everyone!

Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009

Hey everyone!

Yes, I know it's a standard, boring greeting but I feel that if I tried to say something different every day, then sooner or later I'm going to run out of ideas, say something stupid, or a combination of both.

Well, I hope my coach isn't reading this, because I am eating Ramen noodles right now. Yes, instant noodles. I'll go through my day, and you'll understand (well, you'll see MY reasoning later on).

Since today I didn't have a match, I figured I would go light (since I played two matches yesterday). Light means, just an hour of practice, and maybe some fitness (which I scratched haha), lunch, and back to the hotel for some rest. I wrote down a schedule yesterday for today, and it went like this:

8:30am: Wakeup
9:30am: Transport to site
10:00am: Practice
11:00: Fitness/luncheon (I was asked to speak at a ladies luncheon at another club, but I forgot what time it was--I remember either 11:20 or 12:20--it turned out to be 11:40)
1:00pm: Back to hotel/rest
5:00pm: Go back to site for dinner/leave for flight simulator

And that was the end of it. I must first say--I forgot the schedule in the hotel in the morning. So what my REAL schedule was:

8:30am: Wakeup
9:15am: Transport to site
9:30am: Rock Band
9:50am: Walk to the practice court
10:00am-10:40am: Practice (yes, it was supposed to be one hour, but it didn't end up that way)
11:00am: Starving, had to get lunch
11:40am: Transport to the other tennis club
12:10pm: (The driver got a bit lost) Ladies luncheon--very fun and entertaining by the way, the ladies were great
1:00pm: Heading back to the site
1:00pm: Massage scheduled at the site (missed it)
1:30pm: Started massage
2:30pm: Ended massage
2:30-3:30pm: Doing something I can't remember what, although it wasn't Rock Band (I would remember that)
3:30pm: Transport takes me to the supermarket where I buy the instant noodles and three books
4:00pm: Back at the hotel
5:00pm: Back to the site, play some Rock Band and then have no time to go to dinner, so I eat a plain bagel because there are no knives to spread the peanut butter
5:30pm: Transport to the FedEx flight simulator (where pilots in training apparently pay $1800/hr to use), where we fly an simulated airplane (we had to take turns and were taken in five at a time so it took a while)
8:20pm: Transport back to the hotel
9:00pm: Here writing to you

So the flight simulator was quite fun--I was first and I got to takeoff, fly the plane (to Taipei ), and land. Landing was definitely the hardest. Liga Dekmejere, who was one of the five in the "plane" went second, and I thought she was great--until the landing. She landed too hard, the plane bounced and was going up again, so she panicked and threw the plane down, and we crashed. So actually, I should be dead, but it's a miracle I'm still here talking to you!

I'm really happy that the USTA let me blog for you again. It's kind of like stress relief--you know when you write in a journal, it's easier to let go of your feelings? Except this is read by a lot of people--or maybe none! It's okay either way

I would love to be able to hear from all the readers and fellow tennis players--I will try to sort that out with the blogging team!! Maybe some comments and questions--however, I will ban all critical comments or questions. I am sensitive, you know.

Well I have a long day tomorrow--another two matches (again!!). I hope to do as well as I did yesterday, but I will try my best, either way!!

Cheers!

Monday, Feb. 16, 2009

Hey everyone!

Today was quite a long day, since I had to play two matches (one singles and one doubles). I was actually thinking that this is the first time I've played two matches in one day this year! This is only my fourth tournament of the year, and because I had to play in the qualifying rounds of some tournaments, I never ended up playing two matches in a day.

I was more concerned about the singles, since singles is my first priority, and then once that was done, I would focus on the doubles.
I am pleased with my effort today--I ended up winning both the singles and the doubles--although I felt I played a bit nervously in the singles...well, the doubles too! We were down at least five set points in the first set of our doubles.

I am playing doubles here with Alla Kudryavtseva, and although we played most of last year together, we hadn't played for about four months, so I think we started a bit rusty. I have to mention that she had an allergic reaction to what I believe are bug bites--this morning she came to the courts and her left eye was almost swollen shut! She ended up getting a cortisone shot, so it was pretty serious. By the time doubles came around, her eye looked almost normal!

I usually don't like to talk a lot about my tennis--tennis in general, because I feel that tennis should be left for the court (however, preparation is different)--and I used to feel that people judged me for my tennis. Which they still do, to a certain extent, but I feel that as long as I feel I'm doing my best, why should I care what critics think? It's a learning process.

So I still get my daily dose of Rock Band in, however, I must admit that I'm getting tired of teaching people how to play. I want to play with good RB players! I don't think I'm THAT good, but (not to be cocky, I'm being realistic) I am the best player out of anyone that I know. I used to play Guitar Hero online, and some of these people were amazing, but for some reason, I can't get online anymore, and RB is a great game for friends!

So looking back, today was really long, and I'm mentally tired, but unfortunately, I didn't get to do much else except tennis. But I guess sometimes these days are okay, when you are a professional tennis player!

But tomorrow should be a busy day, I won't spoil the surprise, but I have no match tomorrow, and my schedule is quite full with non-tennis activities! Just the way I like it!

Cheers!

Sunday, Feb. 15, 2009

Hey everyone! I am now in Memphis, Tennessee. I am writing to you from the tournament's indoor facility and trying to scarf down some Cheez-its because I am starving. I arrived Friday night and this week am staying at the Hilton Hotel. I was worried before I came that I wouldn't enjoy this week, because, in my opinion, when you play indoors, you feel like you are playing in the evening all the time, therefore, I get headaches, sleepy, and grumpy when I am indoors too long. However, I was sick last year when I came to this tournament so that might affect my reasoning! It must be the Cali-girl in me

So I had my first two practices in yesterday, and I felt pretty good out on the court, so hopefully that will translate well for my match tomorrow! I play my first round in singles and doubles tomorrow. However, even BIGGER news, is that this tournament has ROCK BAND. I love Rock Band. I think everyone in this tournament knows that by now. I'm not sure if they think I'm amazing or just crazy, but I wasn't able to play for three months, so I was desperate to play. I have to admit, that no one has the guts to sing! I have convinced some people to buy the game though..a big accomplishment!!

So yesterday, I practiced two hours tennis, two hours eating, and four hours Rock Band. This is the glorious life of a tennis player!
Today I just practiced once so I can have enough rest for tomorrow. I only practiced Rock Band a half an hour this morning, and now the Rock Band is gone, so maybe it's broken?? I would be devastated!

I'm sorry I have to cut this short now, because I'm off to get myself a massage...I'm telling you, this tennis life is tough

Cheers!

Daniilidou. Venus. Azarenka. Halep. Wickmayer.
Cornet. Ivanovic. Vesnina.. Vaidisova. Krajicek.
Paszek. Begu. Cirstea. Lisicki. Pavlyuchenkova.
Pironkova. Stephens. Tatishvili. McHale. Flipkens.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
I'm obsessed with the Greek players. Deal with it.

ANNA GERASIMOU-EIRINI GEORGATOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER
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Re: Vania's Blog

Vania's Blog from Midland 75K:
Friday, Feb. 13, 2009

Hey everyone!

Well, sadly, this will be my last blog here in Midland; however, I will continue my blog next week in Memphis! I've been here exactly one week, and the time really went by quickly. Maybe it was because the first couple of days I was still pretty sick, so my head was disoriented, but I'm sure it's because I had a great time!

So I was going to try to go tubing, but unfortunately, the tubing hill isn't open on Fridays. And then I was going to try shooting with Dave's bow and arrow, but I couldn't pull the bowstring back! Apparently it's about 60 lbs. to pull with one arm, and um, I guess I can only pull... 30? I have no idea; however, I do know that I am weak! For fitness I haven't really done any weights, just a lot of running (my favorite... NOT) and elastics (thera-band type) exercises.

Actually, I had a conversation with Lauren (Albanese) the other day, when she complimented my outfit, saying that she really liked my skirt and how I had it high-waisted. I told her that I only did that because the skirt was too tight, and if I put the skirt under the top, then I looked fat! She thinks I'm nuts. OK, I'm sure she thinks the same way, actually!

If you think that female professional tennis players are different: cool, classy, confident -- well, you're right -- about me. Haha, just kidding! We are just like any other 20-year-old girl (well, for me, since I am 20) -- gossiping, concerned about our looks, our weight, boyfriends, etc. So, sorry to break your pristine image of your idols!

I have to admit, I had no clue what kind of person I was or wanted to be until well, last year. In tennis, sometimes you can get into this bubble, where you only see the tennis world, and it makes your vision very narrow. Sometimes it's good to take a step back -- maybe go home and experience a different world. It definitely helps me to stay grounded. (My sisters will disagree) I am still trying to figure out how I can define tennis, instead of it defining me. I always disliked being known as the "tennis player" because I felt that people automatically lumped me into a certain category, without knowing the true me. However, I'm realizing that tennis really is the biggest part of my life now, so I have to just know the limits on how to define myself.

So, sorry for getting off topic again. As you may or may not tell, I get sidetracked easily.

Anyways, I am leaving tonight for Memphis -- another cold, indoor tournament; however, it is a (Sony Ericsson) WTA Tour event. I'm sad to go because I really had a great time here in Midland (maybe not with the chair umpire!!!!), and it was so fun to do new things.

OK, another off-topic thing, but my sister, Ivana, told me to do this personality test (you can do it on Facebook, too, with the "My Personality" application), and where they explain your personality using the Jungian Typology Estimate. I came out as an ISTJ, so I am introverted, sensing, thinking, judging. It's amazing because it really rings true to what I am like. So because of this, I am trying to be less introverted, more intuitive, more feeling and less judging. It is really hard!!!

So the next time you hear from me, I will be in Memphis. My mom has been requesting to come see me (she was so scared her baby was sick!), and although I am getting tempted sometimes (OK, you have to admit, having Mom there is awesome... sometimes), I am not giving in! I need to learn how to live on my own, so I am determined to travel this year (or at least most of it) alone.

Until then, sayonara, my friends!

Cheers!

Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009

Hey everyone!

Well, I've gotten to a point where the pain of losing has dulled enough -- well, I think I forcibly removed the memory. However, writing this blog, I'm bringing back the memories, so I must steel my heart against the inevitable sadness. I played my match second after 10 a.m., and I went on around 11:30 a.m.

Basically, (in my mind) what happened was, I played a pretty good first set, she picked up her game a lot in the second and came up ith a lead pretty quickly, I had chances to come back even in the second but at 5-4 got a bit nervous, and she closed it out. The third set was pretty up and down for both of us, but I have to say, I really got frustrated with my chair umpire. It is the first time I ever was affected by the umpire. OK, there have been times when it was match point and they made a really bad call, but nothing I can do. For some reason, I just couldn't control my emotions, so it's something I really have to work on! (Well, since it was the first time that has happened to me, I guess I'll see if I need to work on it or not!)

After my match while I was ranting at the very patient tournament supervisors, they informed me that I had moved into the main draw of next week's tournament in Memphis. (I was the first alternate out of the main draw), so that put a little bit of sunshine in my stormy mood. I was also asked after my match if I could sing "America the Beautiful" before the night session. Coincidentally, Alla was playing first match for the night session, and she was the one who told the tournament that I sang!

So I went back to the house, planning to go back to the site at 6:30 p.m. (I was singing at 7 p.m.), and to make a story more vague to make it less embarrassing, at 6 p.m., I was just about to take a shower, and I hear Heidi, the dog, barking, so I went up to see if she had to go out. However, when I went upstairs, I saw two people at the door. Mind you, I had only a towel on! So I went to the door, and it was the driver and one of the USTA media staff (Steve Pratt, I'm naming you here! haha!), who couldn't get a hold of me by phone (because my phone is always on silent, so I never answer), so he came to see if I could do a radio interview with ESPN Radio. So, I had to rush my shower, dry my hair, choose my clothes, fix my makeup, all within 22 minutes. (A girl shouldn't be rushed, I tell you!)

Anyway, I did my interview while I was in the house (over the phone) -- I have no idea how it went because I was pretty distracted, rushing through my shower and thinking about the singing. I think it was OK, though! So I got to the site and did my singing, which I think went well (I got a lot of compliments, at least!). Then I watched the rest of Alla's match, which I won't mention, which I'm sure she'll appreciate.

So right now I'm actually playing Monopoly with Ahsha and Dave, and it's getting pretty intense! Dave just wants to deal, and Ahsha has... nine properties, two hotels and is looking for money right now. I have the red trio, with five houses total, but only Marvin Gardens outside of that, and $100 in cash. So basically I'm banking on someone landing on my houses. But half of my attention is here, so I'm not too concerned (that will be my excuse if I lose ;D).

So at that, I will bid you all adeiu, and see you tomorrow!

P.S. I hope you guys enjoy reading about my life because I will be here next week, too!

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009

Hey everyone!

Well, today was a pretty mundane day. I didn't have a match, so I warmed up Alla in the morning and had a practice and then gave myself the rest of the day off! I have been traveling alone recently, and ever since I got my mental direction back, I've been trying really hard to do the right things to help my tennis!

In regards to that, I don't want to get into too much detail, but when I rose up the ranks so quickly three years ago, it took a lot of time for me to settle down and figure out what I wanted from myself and tennis. A lot of things happened in between then and now, but when I stopped playing carelessly (when I first started, I had no expectation) and started worrying about winning, I lost focus. Anyways, I'm working much harder now (I hope!) and things seem to be getting smoother, and I try to have a very relaxed mentality. If I give my best effort, then I can't be disappointed. I've been much happier too.

I had planned to have the rest of the day off, but since I get sidetracked easily, basically this is what happened after that. I had planned to leave around 1 p.m. to go back to the house, but I had to see the trainer, get a massage, and watch Alla's match. I was in the trainer's from about 10:30 to 11:30, and just about when she was ready for me (I had to wait for other players), Alla went on, and I also had a massage at noon. So I moved the massage to 12:30, had to skip the trainer (for now), and went to watch Alla's match. It's funny, I think Alla and I are kind of being coaches for one another this week, since we both don't have our coaches here!

By 12:30 p.m., I was on the massage table; 1:30 p.m., I finished watching Alla's (long) match; and 2 p.m., I was at the trainer's. Finally, by 3 p.m., I was finished and got to go home! For some reason, my schedule is always longer than I plan it to be. Probably because I'm so forgetful! Basically I wrote all of that to fill the gap of today, because if I just wrote, "Today I practiced, then went home," it would be boring!

Once I got home, I made myself some spinach and wonton soup and then some beans for dinner. (I can only cook two dishes and vegetables, so that exhausts two thirds of my cooking options right there.) I spent the rest of my time varying between watching anime and "American Idol," and now here I am, writing to you and ready to sleep! As they say, preparation for the match starts the day before! Well, I don't know if they say that, but I say that!

Cheers!

Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009

Hey all,

Just saying hi reminds me that I know how to say "hello," "how are you?" "good, and you?" in French and German now. I learned the German from Anna Groenefeld, and my coach is French, so I hear a lot of French nowadays, but all I am willing to learn is those phrases.

It's funny because France holds Roland Garros, my favorite tournament, you know, being raised on the California hard courts! That was sarcasm, by the way. My sister tells me that she can't tell when I'm being sarcastic, because "...you say a lot of crazy things, but sometimes you actually mean it, so I can't tell."

Anyways, back on track. Today I played my first-round match. It was... hard fought... and that's about all I can say. I played Sunitha Rao, and it's my first time playing against her, and I thought she played quite well. I was down, 6-1, 3-0, and I did think she let me back into the match a little bit, so I was kind of lucky, as well. On match point, I hit an on-the-run, stabbing lob -- indoors -- that just missed the roof and hit the ad corner.

Alla came to watch the match, and we sometimes had some conversations while I was playing because I was so bewildered I kind of had to take a step back and stop thinking. I think a lot of matches are going to happen where both players are not playing their best (or one is playing well, one isn't), and at that point, you just have to fight as hard as you can, and maybe fortune will come your way. That's definitely how I felt out there today.

So I have a day off tomorrow, and I will warm Alla up in the morning, get a practice in and have the afternoon off. Hopefully I'll get to do something interesting again tomorrow. I did forget to mention that Sunday I went to church with Dave and Julie, so I did get to do something every day (Saturday: snowman/snow angel, Sunday: church, Monday: shooting). We were trying to go tubing (apparently you sit in a tube and slide down a hill) on Sunday, but my schedule ran too late, and they are not open on weekdays. We also were talking about skiing, which may happen because they are open on weekdays, so maybe that's what I will be doing to "rest" tomorrow!

Until tomorrow!

Monday, Feb. 9, 2009

Hey, everyone, from snowy Michigan!

This is my first time here in Midland, and I am more than pleasantly surprised at what a warm welcome all the players have received and how the community really comes together to support this tournament. This is the first time I have seen so many players staying at host families, and I haven't heard any complaints!

I arrived Friday from Florida, where I am training (though I am still a Cali girl at heart!). The temperature in Florida was so cold compared to Australia, where I had just come from. My warmest clothing was a three-quarters sweater, and I had lost my warm-up pants (which I later in the week found), so I had no long pants. While I was in Florida, I went to Target three times -- the first to buy pants, and the second two times I just went through all the racks trying to find warm clothes. I was even putting clothes on while in Target, I was so cold!

Anyways, when I came, I was a bit sick; I think because of such a temperature change, my immune system had too much of a shock! Each day I've practiced in Midland, however, I seem to be playing better, so hopefully tomorrow, when I play my first match, I can play well enough to win!

I must add that on Saturday morning, the snow was still piled quite high. My previous experience of snow was in Quebec, where it snowed a little bit, but nothing stayed on the ground, so this was my first time seeing snow on the ground. I asked my housing parents, Dave and Julie, if I could make a snow angel and a snowman. I've attached the pictures so you can see them

Dave taught me the best way to make a snow angel and how to make a snowman. I must say I was quite proud of my achievements, seeing as it was the first time doing both!

So fast forwarding till today, I had a good practice in the afternoon, and in the evening was the player/sponsor party. I went there with Alla Kudryavtseva (a friend and occasional doubles partner), and afterwards, Alla, Ahsha Rolle (who is staying at the same housing family I am), and I went to the Sportsman's Club with Dave and learned how to shoot! We got to shoot .22 and 9mm pistols. (I'm not sure if that's how I write them!) It was the first time I had ever even touched a gun, and I must say, I was pretty inaccurate with the .22, but not so bad with the 9mm! The kick on the 9mm was very hard, though, so I only shot four rounds.

So I must say that I have been getting in a lot of non-tennis experience in Midland! It's perfect because I love trying new things (even if I'm bad at them), and we have a lot of down time as tennis players, so it's great to pass time.

Looking forward to tomorrow, I play my first-round match, and I hope I've gotten enough practice in and my body is 100 percent healthy! I'll try my best, no matter what, so I hope for the best!

Cheers!

Daniilidou. Venus. Azarenka. Halep. Wickmayer.
Cornet. Ivanovic. Vesnina.. Vaidisova. Krajicek.
Paszek. Begu. Cirstea. Lisicki. Pavlyuchenkova.
Pironkova. Stephens. Tatishvili. McHale. Flipkens.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
I'm obsessed with the Greek players. Deal with it.

ANNA GERASIMOU-EIRINI GEORGATOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER
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Re: Vania's Blog



Where did you get this from?
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Re: Vania's Blog

at [email protected] you can ask Vania King any questions that you want, and she might answer them

Daniilidou. Venus. Azarenka. Halep. Wickmayer.
Cornet. Ivanovic. Vesnina.. Vaidisova. Krajicek.
Paszek. Begu. Cirstea. Lisicki. Pavlyuchenkova.
Pironkova. Stephens. Tatishvili. McHale. Flipkens.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
I'm obsessed with the Greek players. Deal with it.

ANNA GERASIMOU-EIRINI GEORGATOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER
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Re: Vania's Blog

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarrymeJie View Post


Where did you get this from?

usta.com

Daniilidou. Venus. Azarenka. Halep. Wickmayer.
Cornet. Ivanovic. Vesnina.. Vaidisova. Krajicek.
Paszek. Begu. Cirstea. Lisicki. Pavlyuchenkova.
Pironkova. Stephens. Tatishvili. McHale. Flipkens.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
I'm obsessed with the Greek players. Deal with it.

ANNA GERASIMOU-EIRINI GEORGATOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER
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post #9 of 74 (permalink) Old Mar 6th, 2009, 02:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Vania's Blog

Wednesday, March 4

Hey everyone!

Just a quick update from Monterrey, since I am on a week's hiatus of blogging! (Don't worry, it's not you, it's me!) I made it through the qualifying draw and won my first round yesterday (I was amazed myself), and finally today I have a day off.

I had a couple of questions, so I wanted to answer those.

I am a high school girl's tennis coach. I often have a hard time getting my athletes to eat well during the season. What advice could you give 15- and 16-year-old girls playing competitive high school sports?
--Daria

Hi Daria. I think every person's body is different, and it is all about experience to find the right balance. However, as an athlete, I think firstly, exercise is the most important because if you don't exercise, you don't burn any calories, and even if you eat only a little bit, you are gaining more than you are losing.

I am not a really healthy eater, but I really try to limit my deep fried food, cakes, sodas, cookies and candy. Actually, candy isn't as bad (for me) since it only has sugar, and sugar has almost no calories. It isn't too good for your teeth and your mood swings, though!

I would suggest instead of eating three large meals, to break it down into five or six smaller meals. I usually eat breakfast, lunch and dinner; however, I don't eat until I am full -- when I stop being hungry, I stop eating. I continue to snack during the day (fruits, crackers, bread).

Seeing a nutritionist may be helpful, even if just once, because you may not realize how much or little you are eating, or maybe you are eating too much of one category of foods. For example, I used to have problems with cramps, and I saw a nutritionist, and she made me go through my day of eating, and I realized some days I would sleep in and miss breakfast. Missing breakfast, she explained, would not give me the proper energy I needed, especially since I am not eating for almost 15 hours.

I hope this helps, and good luck!

So at what age did you start to play tennis, and what are your first memories of that experience?
--Richard

Hi Richard. I picked up a racquet at four years old. However, my mom has a video of me batting around balls when I was not yet two, I believe.

My first memories are with my sisters (the three of us did everything together). Sometimes we would have to wait for our brother to finish practicing at night (after school and he played long hours), and we would lie on the court and try to sleep, listening to the sound of his grunts and the ball being struck. I also remember sometimes our parents would leave us to practice for a few hours, and we would hit for five minutes until they left, and then Ivana would tell stories (she was an amazing story teller), or we would unravel the cords that held the net and try to string them across all the courts (there were four courts).

A memory when we were actually playing tennis... I remember we had this milk crate and trash cans my dad used to hold hundreds of balls, and we were supposed to hand feed and hit the ball ourselves. We were supposed to do 10 baskets, and then practice was over. Everyone wanted the milk crate because it was the smallest, and we would try to cram as many balls in our tiny hands and hit as fast as we could (looking back, we might as well not have hit). Sometimes we would hit two balls at a time if our dad wasn't looking.

Life was pretty interesting back then, and we definitely made it fun! (Except every five minutes when we argued and slapped each other!)

By the way, I received a wild card into the BNP Paripas Open (Indian Wells), so I will be playing in the main draw there! To Marcus, I am going to play in Charleston. And to Darren, or "J" (not sure which), thanks for the support! And "for the record," I'm not dating anyone currently. I'm picky

Cheers everyone!

Daniilidou. Venus. Azarenka. Halep. Wickmayer.
Cornet. Ivanovic. Vesnina.. Vaidisova. Krajicek.
Paszek. Begu. Cirstea. Lisicki. Pavlyuchenkova.
Pironkova. Stephens. Tatishvili. McHale. Flipkens.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
I'm obsessed with the Greek players. Deal with it.

ANNA GERASIMOU-EIRINI GEORGATOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER
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post #10 of 74 (permalink) Old Mar 6th, 2009, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Vania's Blog

MD WC for Indian Wells!

Daniilidou. Venus. Azarenka. Halep. Wickmayer.
Cornet. Ivanovic. Vesnina.. Vaidisova. Krajicek.
Paszek. Begu. Cirstea. Lisicki. Pavlyuchenkova.
Pironkova. Stephens. Tatishvili. McHale. Flipkens.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
I'm obsessed with the Greek players. Deal with it.

ANNA GERASIMOU-EIRINI GEORGATOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER
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Re: Vania's Blog

Sunday, March 8

Hey everyone!

Well, I'm back from my hiatus, although I must say I really enjoyed having some rest. (I do love you guys; it's just that I need some space sometimes.) Last week was a pretty hectic week, and I finally am at home (home, sweet home!!) and loving it.

I had a great run last week in Monterrey, going through the qualifying draw and making it to the quarters in singles and semis of doubles. After each match I won, I was surprised myself! It was pretty difficult conditions, and many days I had to play two matches in one day, so I felt like my energy was being sucked out, day by day. However, I can't complain because I played well!

There was a mall connected to the hotel, so I admit, I did quite a bit of shopping. I am somewhat of a shopaholic. I love clothes, shoes and accessories. I'm not big on purses and hats because I lose things easily (how can you lose your clothes when you are wearing them?), and my head is big. It's funny, but it's true. I don't fit many hats.

I ended up buying a Tempur-pedic pillow on Friday, and I wish I had done it sooner! My back finally had no pain in the morning. I had one before, but I left it somewhere (at a hotel most likely). I was also very cross with myself because I left a whole drawer full of clothing (socks, belts, scarves, stockings) in Memphis, and I spent a long time searching (shopping) for them! I loved the bright retro fashion of Australia, so I found belts and stockings in all assortments of colors (blue, pink, purple, yellow, red, black), and now I have to find them all over again! Alla told me that it was good riddance. Little does she know is that I went shopping again today at home, and I found blue and pink stockings -- the beginning of my collection! Haha!! I also found black and pink belts. She will be very pleased to find out that I bought a pair of high-heeled boots. She thinks anything not heeled is not sexy, and anything not sexy is not attractive.

This morning I got up at 4 a.m. for a 6 a.m. flight. I ended up getting three hours of sleep because I procrastinated (like always) packing. Basically, packing took 45 minutes of effort but four hours to get done. By the time I got home, I was actually not too bad. I slept quite a lot on the flights (I had to change planes in Houston), and I was upgraded on both flights, so I was quite comfortable. My mom was there to pick me up, and I was SO happy to see her. I missed being home so much! I was gone about five weeks, but I only had three days at home, and I was sick after I left home, and I think being sick and alone makes you even more homesick!

After stuffing my face with Chinese food (Mom's cooking), we went shopping. It was only my sixth day straight of shopping (if you count the five days I went to the mall in Monterrey), but I didn't buy anything yesterday, so that shouldn't count! However, about five or six stores in, I began to get a bit woozy, and I started to have stomach aches because I was so tired. (Sometimes when I don't get enough sleep, I get nauseous). I think I did pretty well for the five or six stores, though. (I was very pleased with the boots, and they were on sale, too!)
A lot of players are looking forward to shopping in Indian Wells because there is a very large outlet mall nearby. However, I prefer having a lot of selection so I can mix and match, and I feel like at an outlet mall, you may get great prices on name brands, but the selection is very limited, and you may get things out of fashion. While I love to shop, I don't really go for the name-brand stuff -- if I do, I couldn't possibly buy all the things I do!

SO... after a HUGE break at home, I get to jump in the car tomorrow and drive to Indian Wells! Yay! OK, I do really like the tournament, so I'm not complaining. And the hotel I am staying at (the Renaissance Esmerelda) is amazing. I've stayed there the last three years. I feel pretty close to home, since it's only about an hour and a half away (maybe two hours with my mom's driving).

So I'm going to bring this to a close because it's almost 10 p.m., and I've been up... I don't even have the brain power to calculate it... too long. I'll answer a question before I go, though.

Andrew asks, "What is your goal for 2009?"

Hi Andrew. I've been setting goals the last couple of years, and it seems like my performance doesn't change at all because of them! However, short term, I would like to make it to the main draw of the Grand Slams for the rest of the year. By the end of 2010, I would like to be back to the top 50. However, I hope that goal can be reached by the end of this year!

Cheers everyone!

Daniilidou. Venus. Azarenka. Halep. Wickmayer.
Cornet. Ivanovic. Vesnina.. Vaidisova. Krajicek.
Paszek. Begu. Cirstea. Lisicki. Pavlyuchenkova.
Pironkova. Stephens. Tatishvili. McHale. Flipkens.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
I'm obsessed with the Greek players. Deal with it.

ANNA GERASIMOU-EIRINI GEORGATOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER
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post #12 of 74 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2009, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Vania's Blog

^I'm Andrew that asked that question

Daniilidou. Venus. Azarenka. Halep. Wickmayer.
Cornet. Ivanovic. Vesnina.. Vaidisova. Krajicek.
Paszek. Begu. Cirstea. Lisicki. Pavlyuchenkova.
Pironkova. Stephens. Tatishvili. McHale. Flipkens.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
I'm obsessed with the Greek players. Deal with it.

ANNA GERASIMOU-EIRINI GEORGATOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER
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post #13 of 74 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2009, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Vania's Blog

Monday, March 9

Hey everyone!

I am now in Indian Wells, one of my favorite tournaments of the year. The hotel is amazing, the views are amazing, and the prize money is amazing.

I don't feel homesick because I brought my mother along this week! I know I said I was trying to go alone most of the year, but since this tournament is so close to home, I feel obligated to bring some family. I booked a lavender body treatment for her at the spa tomorrow, so don't worry, I keep her busy! The site is so big that I feel kind of like I'm in a Grand Slam, except a more tranquil Grand Slam.

Today was a pretty good day for me -- I think being so close to home makes me very happy. We drove (my mom drove) two hours in the morning to the hotel, and then we headed off to the site for some lunch and a 3 p.m. practice with Zheng Jie. The courts are quite different than Monterrey -- slow and bouncing higher but not skidding through the court. We had a good hour practice, where we hit a lot of balls (I usually just hit a lot of balls the first practice to get used to the court), and afterwards, I went to the gym for a little jog. Because I willingly went there, I must be in a good mood!

Afterwards, I went to the physio and did my annual physical. Every year the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour requires players to complete a physical to make sure we are in tip-top shape. If we are not, we are cut from the tournaments. Haha, just kidding! If we are not, then we are probably prone to getting injuries, which is what they are trying to prevent. I remember last year my physical took four hours, spanning across three days. However, this time, once the hour-long paperwork was filled, it only took about an hour! I was one of their last customers, though.

There is one part of the physical where they test your -- I would say vulnerability -- to getting injured. A perfect score is 21. Last year, I got 14, so I would have gotten a "D," and this year, I got an 18!! I was very proud. I still am terrible at squats, though.

So here I am now, eating Chinese take out (taken out by my mother, whom I asked to get me food, as I was still doing the physicals).

I want to post an email in it's entirety because it's pretty funny.

Brandon writes:

OMGGGGG IS THIS REALLY VANIA KING!!...i am your biggest fan :P

i was just wondering..(and could you please answer this question on your blog) how it feels to be so good at tennis?

thank you soo much!..you are my hero :P haha

Hahaha! Hey Brandon! Well, it feels pretty good actually. It feels good to know you are making money, and then you can spend that money at the malls! And as the good TSA officer told me when I was explaining how I spent my money abroad, when you buy things, you are putting money back into the economy, therefore, helping us in this recession! It feels pretty good to gossip with your friends (who are also professional tennis players) about the latest clothing, the hot guys and which match you are playing tomorrow! So you see, being a good tennis player is pretty awesome! ;D And thanks for being my fan. You are too cool.

Cheers everyone!

Daniilidou. Venus. Azarenka. Halep. Wickmayer.
Cornet. Ivanovic. Vesnina.. Vaidisova. Krajicek.
Paszek. Begu. Cirstea. Lisicki. Pavlyuchenkova.
Pironkova. Stephens. Tatishvili. McHale. Flipkens.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
I'm obsessed with the Greek players. Deal with it.

ANNA GERASIMOU-EIRINI GEORGATOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER
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post #14 of 74 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2009, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Vania's Blog

Tuesday, March 10

Hey everyone!

I'm a bit tired today, so I will keep this one short. There isn't too much to report today, anyway!

All I've got to say is that I can probably open a snack shop with all the food that my mom brought from home! I'm looking around me, and there is dried seaweed, dried mangos, Chinese egg cookies, Chinese seaweed cookies, Chinese powdered cookies, bananas, pork jerky and apple juice. And that's just what I've opened! My mom went home for a bit this afternoon and is coming back now, tonight, and she informed me that she brought my microwave with her. So if I'm desperate for food, I can heat something if my snacks aren't enough.

I practiced early in the morning with Alla at 9 a.m. for an hour (apparently so early that I mistook it for yesterday when talking about it at dinner). We had a good practice, although I must say these courts are certainly very different to Monterrey! I know I've mentioned it before, but I think it warrants another mention.

After that I had lunch, played some ping pong (after losing the first game, I went on to win three games -- it was the good paddle, I think) and was going to attempt to play some soccer but chickened out when I saw all the players on the field. (There is a grassy field where the players run, stretch, do fitness and sometimes band up to play soccer.) I don't know a tennis player who can't play soccer, except me. I'm actually pretty terrible at all sports -- except tennis. Oh, and ping pong, too, if I can beat Alla, haha!

At this time, my mom was taking a "Lavender Dreams" body treatment at the hotel spa, so I didn't want to bother her while she was enjoying herself! After lunch I went back to the hotel to rest.

In the late afternoon I came back at 5 p.m. to practice with Zheng Jie and afterwards did a little jogging and stretching with her. For dinner, Alla, Chris and I went to an Italian place, which was quite busy but quite good. I don't think I should eat too much there because their food is heavy, and if I am to not get fat again, I need to eat healthy.

So, by the way, Brandon, who wrote to me yesterday, was my good luck charm last week. He wrote me on Facebook to wish me luck, and I played well. He'll be pleased to hear it. I couldn't resist putting the whole message in there yesterday, though!

And thanks, everyone, for writing, and I'm sorry if I can't get to all of your questions. Sometimes it's difficult to respond when you ask me, "How are you?" and things like that. To Linda, thanks for your message, and I'll keep a lookout for Bill and Barbara. To Joshua, I'm sorry you're bored. Does reading my blog make you less bored or more?? If you are bored, I suggest you play Word Challenge on Facebook. It's my new addiction (one day old). I believe I was in Newport, R.I., for the Maureen Connolly Cup against England when I was maybe 14? I think it's the same place. To Ivana, I try to eat regular Chinese (not fast-food type) food, and usually it is pretty healthy. I try to avoid deep fried in general, and if you can see oil spots on your noodles, maybe it isn't too good for you.

Cheers everyone!

Daniilidou. Venus. Azarenka. Halep. Wickmayer.
Cornet. Ivanovic. Vesnina.. Vaidisova. Krajicek.
Paszek. Begu. Cirstea. Lisicki. Pavlyuchenkova.
Pironkova. Stephens. Tatishvili. McHale. Flipkens.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
I'm obsessed with the Greek players. Deal with it.

ANNA GERASIMOU-EIRINI GEORGATOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER
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post #15 of 74 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2009, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Vania's Blog

Wednesday, March 11

Hey everyone!

I finally remembered Pandora (a website where you can listen to different stations based on your favorite song/artist), so I finally am listening to a wide variety of music again! I only seem to remember when I am overseas, and it doesn't work overseas.

Today I just had doubles third match, first match starting at 11 a.m. We warmed up at 11:30 a.m., but the matches before us went soo long, so we ended up not going on the court until around 4:30 p.m.! Unfortunately, we lost, but I felt like I played pretty well. Actually, reading that doesn't make me feel much better... because I lost but thought I played well! It's OK. Sometimes you just have those days.

After the doubles match, I had the privilege of being tested for doping. NOT! Well, I remember being tested here last year, so it's not a big deal. I was only worried that I wouldn't be able to go enough the first time because you need a certain amount, and there were times I couldn't finish the first time and had to wait another hour or so. It can get really time consuming that way. The doping officer has to accompany you from the time you finish your match until after you are tested. I usually am pretty stressed and ignore the officer, but this time I talked to her a lot, made jokes and did my own thing. It was easier that way! She had to follow me while I jogged around the field, begged Chuang Chia-jung to jog with me, begged her to jog more laps, begged her to stretch with me (as you can see, I am TOTALLY fine with being alone), complained about my match, and plopped down and stared at the sky.

After that, she had to accompany me while I put my stuff in the locker, talked to various players, changed clothes, gave laundry and booked a warmup for tomorrow. As you can see, her time with me was a breeze! It has got to be more interesting this way for her, though!

After successfully completing my test (well, successful means quickly), I headed back to the hotel. My mom bought some pasta for me (my mom is the best! ), and now I am just relaxing, listening to Coldplay.

I have singles tomorrow, so I will bid you all adeiu until then!

Cheers everyone!

Daniilidou. Venus. Azarenka. Halep. Wickmayer.
Cornet. Ivanovic. Vesnina.. Vaidisova. Krajicek.
Paszek. Begu. Cirstea. Lisicki. Pavlyuchenkova.
Pironkova. Stephens. Tatishvili. McHale. Flipkens.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
I'm obsessed with the Greek players. Deal with it.

ANNA GERASIMOU-EIRINI GEORGATOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER
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