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Player blog: Claire Curran
Welcome tennis enthusiasts to my summer blog! I agreed to blog for the LTA websites over a week ago and now, with an empty page in front of me, I'm thinking, ‘not the smartest move Claire!’

In an attempt to find some inspiration I checked out the much talked-about ATP bloggers. I was quickly reminded how different my life is to many on the tour - but then who wants to be RAFA and Fed X! Hmmm, me! Oh well, there's always the tennis to talk about, but then again I just lost my first round doubles match at Surbiton yesterday!

With yesterday’s result in mind, it hasn't been a great start but the good new is it can only get better… and it will!

For those of you that have never met me, never seen me and probably never heard of me - a very, very brief intro is needed. I am Britain's only (I think) female doubles specialist and a member of the GB Fed Cup team for the past two years. Last year I broke the top 100 for the first time and my career high ranking is 89. Over the next few weeks I’m partnering Britain's No.1 Anne Keothavong at Birmingham, Eastbourne and Wimbledon. Although we lost our opening match at Surbiton last night I really do believe that we have the ability as a team to earn some great results in the weeks ahead.

Another really important event for me this summer is the mixed at Wimbledon. I'm very pleased to have secured the services of Mr James Auckland to partner me again! Last year was the first time we played together and what I love about this guy (as well as his very white teeth!) is the pleasure he seems to get at smacking the ball at the girl across the net!

Like me, Aucks wants to win and now that we have the legendary doubles coach Louis Cayer in our corner we have no excuse! It's been 20 years since Jeremy Bates and Jo Durie won the title and I can promise that Aucks and I will be going for it!

So now that Anne and I are out of the doubles at Surbiton it's back to the practice court for me. This is far from a chore as I love hitting tennis balls; I'd just much prefer it to be doing it in a match at Surbiton. Instead I'm off to hit hundreds of first volleys at the Wimbledon practice courts.

There is lots of British interest in Surbiton today and my fingers are crossed that all the British girls' win. Actually, that's not possible as Anne and Natasha Khan are playing against each other. This is a pretty interesting match as they’ve been practising together at Roehampton with their new coach Simon Walsh – hopefully they‘ll still be friends at the end! Or maybe not - nothing like a bit of rivalry in the locker room.

OK, I'm off to practice – my first volley! I'll be blogging as often as possible to keep you updated on life on the tour leading up to and during the world's greatest tournament. I'm not biased… much!

Bye for now.

CC


http://surbiton.lta.org.uk/News/070605Blog.htm
 

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Claire Curran blog: Wednesday 6 June
It’s been two days since Anne K and I lost at Surbiton and when my alarm goes off at 7am my first thought is “how did I miss that forehand volley to drop serve in the third”.

Whoever said, “if you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters both the same, you’ll be a man my son,” obviously has no idea what it’s like to be me!

Anyway, I begin my day with the same routine. Up at 7am, quick shower, brush the teeth and make myself look a lot hotter than that picture on yesterday’s blog!

I like to give myself plenty of time to eat a big breakfast, watch the news and digest before heading to the NTC for practice.

I leave home at 8.30, arrive at the centre just before 9am then head straight to the gym for a one-hour warm up before practice.

You may think that’s a fairly long warm-up but it’s a matter of keeping a good routine and also I find my body needs a really good stretch before I hit the courts.

Today is my lucky day as I am training with “Booty” a.k.a regular doubles partner to Jamie Murray, Eric Butorac. After a quick warm-up I spent the session serve-volleying points to Eric.

We didn’t keep a formal score but I’d like to say I think it was fairly close and I did manage a second serve ace. I hope he doesn’t read this but in case he does …. Eric, thanks for a great practice today!

After a great lunch and a little physio treatment I headed over to Surbiton for practice with Tash Khan, followed by massage.

I don’t really enjoy being at a tournament when I’m no longer involved but when it comes to getting a good massage I’d travel to most places!

I missed watching the British girls play singles but I did see some good ladies doubles and it’s great to see three out of the four semi-final partnerships from Britain.

Of course, I’m still not impressed that one of those teams isn’t Anne and I!

OK, I’m off home to watch England who hopefully will produce a better result than they did against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park last year!

Catch you soon.
CC



http://surbiton.lta.org.uk/News/070607Curran.htm
 

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Claire Curran player diary
I’ve finally arrived in Birmingham for the DFS Classic! One thing I don’t understand about this event is since it’s sponsored by DFS why there aren’t any comfy sofas on court? I can think of nothing more relaxing than a nice “lazyboy” to lie back and sip my Gatorade on during change of ends. Maybe next year!

I’ve arrived here in high spirits following a great week of practice on grass at Roehampton. My training partners have been James Auckland, Stephen Huss, Ross Hutchins, Eric Butorac and in case you think I only train with boys I’ve had my good friend Anna Hawkins to play lots of points against too.

So practice has been perfect and I’d love it to translate that to the match court, when myself and Anne Keothavong play Natalie Dechy and Seville Bremond of France in the first round later on Tuesday.

Dechy is walking around feeling pretty pleased with herself, but then again I would be if Aucks and I had just won the mixed at the French. Obviously this is a tough match but being a major warm-up event for Wimbledon we expect this and look upon it as a great opportunity.

At 1pm yesterday I got on court for my first practice session and was shocked to see how many photographers and bodyguards had turned up.

Since I wasn’t prepared, I quickly ran to the bathroom to fix my hair and apply some lip gloss. Walking out onto court I was thinking I’m looking pretty good here and when somebody shouted my name I quickly turned to smile. But suddenly my bubble burst! At the precise moment I was smiling a certain Maria Sharapova was bending down to tie her shoe lace.

As Maria vacated our practice court with an ice bag strapped to her shoulder I couldn’t help notice the size of her entourage – her dad, hitting partner, physio’, lady to carry balls and two bodyguards – and they say the tour is a lonely place!

After practice I showered before a 30-minute massage and headed back to my hotel for a quick dinner and an early night.

Anne, Naomi Cavaday and Bally are all playing singles today so I’m expecting a very partisan crowd who will hopefully stay around to make a bit of noise in our doubles.

Get behind the Brits if you’re in Edgbaston this afternoon.

CC




http://birmingham.lta.org.uk/News/070612Curran.htm
 

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At 1pm yesterday I got on court for my first practice session and was shocked to see how many photographers and bodyguards had turned up.

Since I wasn’t prepared, I quickly ran to the bathroom to fix my hair and apply some lip gloss. Walking out onto court I was thinking I’m looking pretty good here and when somebody shouted my name I quickly turned to smile. But suddenly my bubble burst! At the precise moment I was smiling a certain Maria Sharapova was bending down to tie her shoe lace.
:haha:
 

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Claire Curran blog
Tuesday in Birmingham proved to be a tough one for us British girls with the exception of young Naomi Cavaday. Bally [Elena Baltacha] and Anne [Keothavong] were so close to first round wins and while they should take great heart from improved performances I know they will both be mighty disappointed by a missed opportunity.

For me, it’s no different – I came to Birmingham to win matches and although I should take heart in a big improvement from last week for Anne and I, I’m still frustrated at our inability to seize the opportunity during our first round doubles defeat.

Anne and I were scheduled for last match so I was happy to have a little time to watch all my Fed Cup teammates play their singles. I started on a high by watching young Cavaday destroy Bardina in two quick sets. I was even more impressed to see a few serve-volley points thrown in as well!

When I watch Naomi it’s obvious to see that she truly believes she belongs among the best players in the world here in Birmingham. This is something I haven’t always seen in British players and as a tennis fan, as well as a player, I’m looking forward to watching Cav developing and winning over the coming years.

Before my 2pm warm-up I watched some of Bally against Sequera. Firstly, it took me about 15 minutes to get onto Centre Court, as Bally seems very popular with the British crowds. After a bad time with injury and illness Bally is really pleased to be back playing, however, having played all my Fed Cup matches with her and knowing how competitive and determined she is, I think she will be disappointed not to have won that match. Bally lost to the world No.55 7-5 in the third but at least she will know that over the next few weeks she has the game and the potential to win at this level.

After a light lunch and my normal one-hour warm-up I headed over to the practice courts with my old doubles partner Natalie Grandin. We had a good hit and played lots of points so I felt prepared for our match. On the way back from practice I watched Anne play Tamira Paszek of Austria. When I arrived Anne was down 1-4 in the third and the match looked to have slipped away.

However, with her determination not to go down without a fight Anne clawed her way back to 4-4 and the match was in the balance. I thought Anne was playing really well, not giving any cheap points away, running down every ball and attacking Paszek’s forehand. The next two games were so close but Anne didn’t get the result she wished for and went down 6-4 in the third. In the changing rooms after the match Anne was so disappointed and, again, she has the right to be as the opportunity was there to take.

So as I reflect and air opinions on my teammates, I should really do the same with myself. Anne and I lost 6-4, 6-3 to Dechy and Bremond late in the evening. There is no question that this was a tough match against a very experienced team but at the end of the match we both knew we could have got a winning result.

To be brutally honest, at this stage in my career I’m not at tournaments to pick up experience, I’m here to perform to the best of my ability and to win matches. Anne and I lost another match and while our performance was an improvement on Surbiton we have to expect more from ourselves as a team. I know we can do better, I know we can win these matches and it’s time to translate these words into action.

We finished our match at 8.30pm and after a shower and stretch I decided that it was time to leave Birmingham and head home to Wimbledon. If anybody noticed a little black car bombing down the M40 (but within the national speed limit, obviously!) that was me!

It’s back to the practice courts at Roehampton for me, while my fingers are crossed young Cavaday will continue her winning ways up in Birmingham.

CC
 

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thank you for posting this farina elia fan :worship:

i hope you will win some matches soon claire :hug:
 
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