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post #1 of 52 (permalink) Old Mar 26th, 2009, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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¡Lisa Raymond 2009 Miami Blog!



http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/1...ContentID=3104

MIAMI, FL, USA - Come along to the Sony Ericsson Open with one of America's most accomplished players of all time, as Lisa Raymond brings us this fortnight's Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Blog straight from Key Biscayne, complete with the wonderful song recommendations that became her trademark when she wrote her first blogs from New Haven a few years ago. Enjoy!

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post #2 of 52 (permalink) Old Mar 26th, 2009, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ¡2009 Miami Blog!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hi everyone :-)

It's been a long time since I last blogged for the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour site, so when asked to blog from Miami, I happily obliged. The Tour takes us to Miami this week, site of the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida. It's a very popular event among the players, a beautiful venue with so much to do in and around the city. I arrived from LA over the weekend, giving myself a few days before the tournament starts to adjust to the new conditions. Coming from the West Coast is always a tough time change for me since I'm an early bird, so I wanted to allow a few days to get used to it, as well as the different playing conditions. My coach, Raj (everyone knows Raj - like Madonna or Cher, no need for a last name. Just Raj!) also arrived on the weekend, so we had a great couple of days of practice, fitness and preparation. He also coaches Jill Craybas, who just qualified for the tournament yesterday, so congrats to her! Raj and I have been working together now for almost a year and it has been such an amazing process. At 35 years old (yes, scary but true!) it's such a neat feeling to be able to experience things on the court for the first time, as well as have the excitement of getting better, and still improving. Raj presents new ideas and challenges to me on a daily basis which keeps this game fun for me even after all these years. What's also fun is that I'm playing doubles this year with Kveta Peschke, who is just a doll. She's a great player but an even better person. We get along great on and off the court and hope to have a good couple of weeks here in Miami.

Players stay all over Miami during the Sony Ericsson Open. For years, I've been staying in Coconut Grove during the tournament. This year I'm staying at a great little boutique hotel in "the Grove". I'm a huge fan of the smaller, more intimate hotels. This one is great because it's like having a small apartment... full kitchen, washer/dryer, separate living area from the bedroom, balcony with great view of harbor, and it's just steps away from the Grove if I decide to venture out to dinner or just grab a coffee. I love being able to come back from a long day at the courts and enjoy where I'm staying, relax and cook. Well let me rephrase that, I dont cook. My friend Sam is here with me and she's a great cook so SHE will be doing the cooking. I pour a mean cup of coffee though :-)

Pesh and I aren't on the schedule today so we had a good practice for a couple hours this morning and then I did my fitness with Raj, and now it's time to relax and enjoy the afternoon! It's all about staying sharp, healthy and happy now. All the real preparation for the event has been done and now I'm eager to get out there and play matches. I always look forward to playing here because I went to college not too far away at UF. There are always plenty of Gator fans around and there is nothing better than winning a big point and hearing a "Go Gators!" after.

Changing gears, the big news yesterday was our CEO Larry Scott announcing he was resigning from the Tour to take a job with the Pac-10 in the NCAA. Larry has brought so much to our tour during his reign as CEO and should be considered one of our best leaders ever. We wish him the best of luck in his new venture.

The last time I blogged, I always talked about the music I was listening to. Several people came up to me and wanted me to make them a CD or a playlist of the songs I'd written about. I've had a few requests to make a short playlist every day comprised of some songs I've either been listening to or just some old faves. Here is the thing... I love music from the '80s and '90s (oldies but goodies!) but I've also found myself addicted to tons of songs from the past few years. Have a listen ;-)

1: Keep on Rolling - REO Speedwagon (some of you have NO idea who these guys are I am sure!). I heard this song recently in an episode of October Road (awesome show!!!) and fell back in love with it. A great tune to turn up loud - you can't help singing to it.
2: You Found Me - The Fray. Just love these guys, period.
3: Gasoline and Cigerettes - Emerson Heart. He use to be the lead singer of the group Tonic, whom I have always loved. This one pulls at your heart strings. A great voice.
4: One of Those Days - Joshua Radin. Heard this one during an episode of Grey's (yes I watch a lot of TV!) and ran right to my computer to look up who sang it. One of those songs you put on repeat and listen to over and over again. LOVE HIM!!!
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post #3 of 52 (permalink) Old Mar 26th, 2009, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ¡2009 Miami Blog!

Jill and Lisa same coach

I would like to see lisa get into tip top shape like jill. that would be unbelievable.
Good Luck Pesh and Lisa!
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post #4 of 52 (permalink) Old Mar 27th, 2009, 02:02 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ¡2009 Miami Blog!

no one here
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post #5 of 52 (permalink) Old Mar 27th, 2009, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ¡2009 Miami Blog!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Welcome back,

It's another beautiful morning here in Miami. And another day of hurry up and wait. That's how it goes on the Tour sometimes - another day, another day off. We are not on the schedule, which means one more practice day. We have a match set up, which is a nice change from the usual drills we do. It's good for us as a team to get out there and practice things we've been working on in more of a match-like situation. Of course there's no substitute for the real thing, but this is a close second.

I'm finally starting to get used to the time change and am not struggling to get up before 7:30. Mornings are my favorite time of day! I love my routine of getting up, having coffee and going online to check the day's news. Like many of you I'm sure, I have four or five favorite websites I read daily: TMZ, Perez, NY Times, Philly.com, and of course, facebook. I think facebook is an amazing tool for getting back in touch with old friends or people that you have completely lost touch with. I've had a blast reconnecting with some of the faces from my past (Kiki, Tish and Co... can't wait to get back home for our little "field trip"!) But someone needs to explain to me the status updates and why people feel the need to tell complete strangers what they're doing at all times? Don't get it.

Last night was a TV bonanza for me! We stayed in and cooked (I put the dishes in the dishwasher, that counts for something, right?) and watched "American Idol" and "Damages" back to back. Cant beat that line-up! Actually I haven't been as into Idol this season because there isn't one contestant that I've truly fallen in love with. But, of course, I still feel compelled to watch it. Meanwhile, "Damages" is my absolute favorite show on television. I got hooked in the first season and now I hang on every word Patty Hewes says. If you haven't seen it, buy the first season DVDs and watch it. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Something else I enjoy doing when traveling is reading. When I'm home, I never seem to find the time to read (a book that is - gossip mags don't really count) so when I am travelling, I catch up on my reading as much as possible. When I'm on the road, I read a lot on planes or at night before I fall asleep. Or should I say I try to read when I am not channel surfing between "House Hunters" and "Diners, Drive-Thru's and Dives." I swear, HDTV has become my new addiction. But back to the books. One of the last books I read that I just loved was "The Middle Place" by Kelly Corrigan, a Philly area native. It's a true story about that place in our lives the author describes as "that sliver of time when parenthood and childhood overlap." My sister and her book club went to one of her readings and had the opportunity to meet her and said she was really neat. So I picked up the book and finished it on a single plane ride from Philly to LA. I highly recommend it.

I have to wrap this up and head to the courts in my fancy VW Bug, compliments of Enterprise Rental Cars. Another great thing about this tournament is that they team up with Enterprise and provide players cars so we don't have to rely on tournament transportation. Whenever I'm in the States playing I always like to have my own car so I can come and go when I please. So I'm off in my Bug!

Have a great day!!

Stereophonics - "Maybe Tomorrow"... awesome song. Again, repeat, repeat, repeat...
Sara Bareilles - "Gravity"... the words to this one hit you. Hard. Great voice.
James Morrison - "Broken Strings"... I've always been a fan of his. This is one of his newer ones with Nelly Furtado. Worth a listen.
The Script - "We Cry" and "The Man Who Can't Be Moved"... I couldn't decide which one of these to tell you about so I picked both. Really cool band from Dublin.
Lifehouse - "First Time"... I love anything these guys do, a constant on any playlist of mine. Turn this one up loud and go...
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post #6 of 52 (permalink) Old Mar 27th, 2009, 02:05 AM
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Re: ¡2009 Miami Blog!

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Originally Posted by ArturoAce. View Post
no one here
I care

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 #7 of 52 (permalink) Old Mar 27th, 2009, 10:22 AM
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Re: ¡2009 Miami Blog!

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no one here
Thanks for posting this.
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post #8 of 52 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 2009, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ¡2009 Miami Blog!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hi there,

"You don't play tomorrow." Four words I'd rather not hear when I'm at a tournament. If I could play the entire event in two days, that would be fine with me. I'm here to play, so let's play! But that's not how it works sometimes.

I just got back from an early morning practice session with Raj. Sometimes doubles partners hit with their coaches instead of always hitting with each other. Pesh and I have been hitting together for almost a week now and it's been great, but it's good for me to be on the court with my coach and focus on some things just for me. Pesh and I both have the luxury of having our coaches with us - Pesh's coach, Torsten, just so happens to be her husband as well. After a solid hit and a tough hour in the gym I'm now finished for the day. The early bird in me loves getting all my business done by mid-morning. When I'm home during the off-weeks, my practices begin at 7:30, I'm in the gym by 10, and by 11:30 my workday is done, leaving me the rest of the day to enjoy.

Speaking of home, what a great way to wake up this morning and see the NCAA men's basketball results. Villanova crushed Duke! That's awesome for my fellow Philadelphia boys. On to the Final 8 and hopefully they can keep it going. My Gators aren't in the NCAA tournament this year so since I don't have them to root for, it's always nice to see the local schools get through.

Now, what to do the rest of the afternoon??? Possibly sit by the pool with a book, or maybe walk around to The Grove for a lunch and sneak in some shopping at some of the cute boutiques. There are so many great places to eat in the Grove: Le Bouchon du Grove for French, Bici Bistro for Italian, Anokha if you like Indian, or Green Street Cafe for a little bit of everything, just to name a few. A great new addition this year is Chili's, which is just upstairs from a great and reliable staple, Cheesecake Factory. And of course, who can resist Starbucks. But the place I'm most excited about is Yogurbella. It gives Pinkberry a run for its money! Refreshing and delish, especially in the Miami heat! The Grove also has a lot to offer if you want to window shop.

Hope your day is as relaxing as mine! Enjoy...

Howie Day - "She Says"... The original, acoustic version. One of my all time favorite songs. This is another one that ends up on so many of my play lists so it had to be included on this one too.
Better Than Ezra - "In The Blood"... It's an oldie but I love working out to this song. It makes you push yourself just that little bit more.
Anything by David Grey... need I say more?
Graham Colton - "Best Days"... Love his voice, great words.
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post #9 of 52 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 2009, 06:07 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ¡2009 Miami Blog!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hello again everyone...

I swear I really am playing in this event! The powers that be just don't seem to want to put us on the schedule just yet. That's okay, what is one more day before our first round match, right?

Speaking of our first round match, we play Kudryavtseva/Rodionova, a very solid team. Both girls are strong singles players who've had some good results in doubles as a team. Amazing how much the doubles game, both on the women's and the men's side, has changed through the years. So many more baseline rallies, as if singles matches are being played with four players on the court. Even my partner, Kveta, plays more of a baseline style. And then there's me: a total throwback to the days of the serve and volley/chip and charge style of play. There are two, maybe three other players on Tour who play that style as well, the rest very content to battle from the baseline. The other thing that's changed about doubles is that the Tour switched to the men's format a year ago, eliminating ad points and implementing no-ad scoring and a 10 point tie-break in lieu of a third set. With this format, every point is critical. Because of these two things - the baseline ralliers and the new scoring format - doubles is now a much different game.

What to do on another free afternoon? I'll probably go meet some friends for a coffee, and then maybe try to even out my tan by the pool (although I'm not sure I'll even be able to bronze my feet or my powder-white right wrist!), or check out the movies playing at Cocowalk. What I don't generally do during my time off is linger at the courts. Some players spend morning, noon and night at the courts, but not me! I like to get in and get out. Unless I have a friend playing who I want to go watch, I don't like hanging out at the site, especially on days when I am not playing.

Hopefully tomorrow I will have a match to write about!

I'm always looking for new music, but I have so many old favorites I can't help playing over and over. I was just looking through some of my older playlists and stumbled upon a few songs I'm reintroducing to my rotation.

October Project - "Something More Than This"... this is an older band, one of those hidden gems that not many people know about but should discover. My favorite song of theirs.
Kansas - "Carry On My Wayward Son"... still when I hear this on the radio it automatically puts me in the best mood. Those college day memories...
Big Head Todd - "Bittersweet"... the lead singer can hypnotize you with his voice. I love this song just as much today as when I first heard it years ago.
Jackson Brown - "Somebody's Baby"... Fast Times at Ridgemont High! Gotta love the '80s!
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post #10 of 52 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 2009, 07:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ¡2009 Miami Blog!

Finally!!!

We played today and had a win. It was nice to get out there and compete, and also get a win under our belts. First rounds are always tough these days and the team we played was dangerous. The conditions were challenging as well, a lot of wind and a few rain drops. We played well and fought through both our opponents and the conditions. The schedule for tomorrow isn't out yet, so I'm not sure if we play. Have to wait and see.

By the way, did any of you basketball fans catch the end of Villanova game last night? AMAZING!!! The first Final Four for Nova since their dream run in '85. Hope they keep it going.

Going to go grab dinner with Sam, Raj and Jill and then come back and settle in for a great night of TV. "Cold Case" and then "Brothers and Sisters". Nothing like solving an unsolved murder and a little family dysfunction on a Sunday night.

Okay, so I've gotten some grief about my song recommendations. My mother might really question my taste in music if I don't suggest something by Céline Dion or even just "Hotel California" by the Eagles. My aunt is a diehard Smokey Robinson fan, so she thinks all playlists should include at least one song by Smokey. And my friend Sam loves country so she's wondering where the twang is in the rotation. Looks like I have my work cut out for me, researching all their faves on iTunes, but for now I'm sticking to what I know.

John Mayer - "Say"... He makes such good music, so many to choose from. This is one of my faves.
O.A.R. - "Shattered"... Great lyrics + great music = great song!
Ray LaMontagne - "Hold You in my Arms"... I love his music.
Sister Hazel - "Feel It"(Live & Acoustic)... This is a Gainesville band from my college days. If I had a dollar for every time I danced on stage to this one...
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post #11 of 52 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2009, 01:58 AM
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Re: ¡2009 Miami Blog!

OMG people actually post here then!

Thanks for posting, I've been enjoying her blog so much this week

I love the way she calls Kveta "Pesh"
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post #12 of 52 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2009, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ¡2009 Miami Blog!

trying to get the activity in her thread back!
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post #13 of 52 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2009, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ¡2009 Miami Blog!

Monday, March 30, 2009

11:00am and my work day is over!

It's a perfect day for tennis today - but we aren't on the schedule. After an early wake-up call and a strong cup of coffee (or two), I was on the court hitting by 8. It's nice to be finished with practice and fitness so early, and now its playtime for Lisa. A couple gossip mags by the pool sounds like a prefect way to spend a few hours. After that, I'll look forward to a call home to talk to my three little nieces: 2 1/2 year old twins and a 5 year old who I just adore. My cell phone is filled with pictures of them from recent visits. I am very fortunate that I get to see them as much as I do given my travel schedule. Lucky for me (and even luckier for my sister) I only live 10 minutes from my nieces, so when back home I babysit as much as possible. I'm not sure who has more fun, the kids or me!

On a different note, one of the nice things about this event for me is seeing old friends and faces. I ran into my old coach Andy Brandi and his wife Nancy yesterday at the courts and it was great seeing them both. Andy was my coach at UF, and also when I first started on the Tour. Not too many people know me as well as Andy... not sure if that's a good thing or not! But an Andy sighting always makes me smile.

Oh... the results are in! After dinner last night, we took Raj and Jill to Yogurbella (although people as fit as they are shouldn't be allowed to eat frozen yogurt!) and they both agreed that it's the best frozen yogurt around. They even introduced us to a new topping: mochi. I have to admit I was skeptical at first, but after a taste, I decided I was a little jealous that I didn't have any in my cup. Sam was more than just a little jealous. We're both mochi converts!

Speaking of food, maybe I can convince Sam to run to Fresh Market with me and pick up something to cook again tonight. I'm thinking either tilapia or tuna.

Have a good one!

Fuel - "Shimmer"... I work out to this song, drive to this song, and dance to this song. LOVE THIS SONG!
Bruce Springsteen - "Secret Garden"... Jerry Maguire: great movie, great song.
38 Special - "Caught up in You"... One of those songs that brings back memories from so many periods of my life: high school, college and today. Timeless.
U2 - "Walk On"... U2, need I say more?
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post #14 of 52 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2009, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ¡2009 Miami Blog!

i love lisa's blog. she's such a genuine and great person

enjoy your tilapia
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post #15 of 52 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2009, 03:15 AM
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Re: ¡2009 Miami Blog!

Yeah. She's so kind.

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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