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!!!