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Maria Kirilenko's Bastad Blog

Russian starlet Maria Kirilenko brings us this week's Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Player Blog from beautiful Bastad, Sweden.

Published July 09, 2009 12:00

BASTAD, Sweden - Come along to the inaugural Collector Swedish Open Women with Russia's Maria Kirilenko, who brings us this week's Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Player Blog from the beautiful city of Bastad.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Well, I had so many chances against Caroline today, but I didn't take them. I had set point at 5-4 in the first set but missed a return, and I was up 5-3 in the second set. I lost, 75 76(4). It was a pity, because I feel I played really well. But I can take lots of positives from this. I wasn't pushing the ball, I was trying to play aggressively and make things happen. My problem today was I would lose my concentration sometimes and miss some shots I should make, or at least direct them differently. But I didn't have a good start to this season and now I feel like I'm playing very good tennis again, so I can only be happy :)

Caroline is in very good form. At Wimbledon I felt I didn't have any chances, but here on the clay I feel much better. And I like hardcourts too, so this gives me confidence for the summer hardcourt season. I know I'm playing good tennis again, so now I just have to work on a few things and I think I can do well this summer.

I'm going back home tomorrow morning. We're driving to Copenhagen and I have a flight from there to Moscow. I'll be home for a week and three days. I'm really looking forward to being with my family and seeing my friends. My grandmother and grandfather are there too, so I'm excited to see them. I'm also looking forward to watching more Tudors... the website I am watching them on doesn't have Russian translation so it's hard for me to follow - even when it's in Russian, it can be hard to follow for me sometimes :)

My next tournament is in Stanford in two weeks. I'm going to the US a little bit early, on June 20, a week before Stanford. I have a photo shoot in LA, then I'll go to Stanford to practice for a few days before the tournament. Last time I played on hardcourts was Miami in March, so I'm excited to play on it again. I'm playing a lot of events before the US Open. I miss playing lots of tournaments. I didn't do so well earlier this year so right now I really want more matches.

This was a great week. It was a really nice tournament, a nice atmosphere, and it brought out some nice emotions... I'm very happy I came here this week :) And I had a nice time after my match today, talking to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Supervisor, Laura. We were talking for almost an hour, just about life... I had just gone jogging so it was nice to just sit and talk about everything! Then I grabbed an ice cream on my way out of the player lounge, which is actually in the hotel... I just finished it. At the beginning of the week the fridge was full of them and now it's half-full - I think I may have taken about a quarter of them...

I am waiting until I get home to watch more of The Tudors, but now I'm watching a movie, called The Gift (I think they renamed it Echelon Conspiracy). It's a thriller. This guy got a phone as a gift, but he gets text messages on it that tell him what's going to happen the next day, or in the future. Nobody knows where the phone came from. It's really good.

I'd like to say a little bit about Michael Jackson. He was the greatest singer. We have some friends in London, and when we were at Wimbledon we saw them, and they had tickets for his concert. It's too bad for them. I hear his songs on the radio all the time. It's very sad what happened. Also, a few days ago there was more sad news, as Mathieu Montcourt, who played on the ATP, died. He was only 24. When my friend Marta Domachowska told me about that it was an unbelievable shock. I played juniors with him, I knew him... With things like this, it seems silly to be angry when you're losing a tennis match. It's nothing. To be healthy and alive is the most important thing. My best wishes to Mathieu's family.

Thanks to all of you for reading my blog this week. Sorry I couldn't make it to the final! I will write again soon. You can also go to my official website, at www.mariakirilenko.com. Damien, who updates it, is doing such a great job. I'm happy he's doing it! I have a diary there. I try to update it when I can :)

Also, happy birthday next week to my boyfriend, Igor. I'm preparing a nice present for him. Hopefully he likes it! See you next week!

I'll talk to you all again very soon :)

Maria

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Wednesday, July 9, 2009

Hello again everybody :)

Well I can say I played quite well today. I played Anastasia in Dubai this year and lost, but today I was able to get some revenge. I didn't make easy mistakes and played consistently. We actually didn't have many long points, usually just three or four shots each rally because she hits the ball so hard, and luckily I was able to win most of them with a winner or from her errors.

After the match I did some interviews, then I had a chance to do some painting. They have that here for the players, and I really wanted to, so I painted a Christmas tree with a star on the top and snow on it - a Moscow tree :) They gave me the option of keeping the painting or letting them auction it, and I let them keep it - hopefully it will do well for them. They have lots of things for the players here, but one of them - singing - I didn't try. You can record your own version of an Abba song and get the CD after, but I'm just not good enough. I didn't want everyone to laugh at me! If it was dancing I'd do it for sure, because I can do that, but singing... no :)

I really enjoy doubles, but I decided not to play this week. I'm going home to Moscow when I'm done here, and I haven't been back for about three months, since Barcelona in April, so I didn't want to stay here longer just for doubles. I was planning on going home after the French Open but we gave our passports to the British embassy in Paris and it took them a long time to process our visa, so I ended up staying in Paris until I went to England. Of course, it wasn't so bad being stuck in Paris :) But I miss everything. My house, the people I know, the people who know me, the atmosphere... I have lived in Moscow my whole life, and I just love it, the small things, everything... I feel so happy when I'm there.

About the show I was talking about yesterday, The Tudors, today I got a text message from Edina Gallovits saying she read my blog, and that I could find the second season on the internet - and she gave me the website. Thank you Edina! I've already started watching them since dinner, and I'll probably watch some more before bed... I can't say history was my favorite subject in school, well, it's hard to really have a favorite subject in school because you're forced to do your work... but when you choose to learn about something yourself it's very interesting, and I find the history in this show really interesting. Nothing is really fun if you HAVE to do it.

I saw something strange but beautiful this evening. I heard heavy rain outside so I went to close my window, because I didn't want water to come in the room. But there was no rain outside my window... it was about 30 meters away. It was raining over the sea and the bridge - people were running away so fast! But the rain wasn't near the hotel, I saw people just sitting on their balconies. It was just a big wall of rain. And it was just for a short time, just like every day, just five minutes. And now it's blue sky again. Very interesting!

Tomorrow I play Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinals. I just played her at Wimbledon and lost to her, so I guess I'm trying to take revenge for the second day in a row :) I just want to show my best tennis. If I play well, I can win. If not, I will lose. It gives me confidence I've beaten Top 10 players before, and I really believe in myself, but there are some really good players in the Top 10 now, so it's not easy. I'll try my best!

Until tomorrow :)

Maria

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hello from Bastad :)

I arrived here on Saturday. It's actually my first time in Sweden. The set-up here is great. The hotel is right next to the club and the courts, so it's just a one minute walk. We don't need to take a car to the tournament each day. Also, from my window I can see the beach. It was the first thing I saw when I came up here. I like it very much when everything is close together. My first impression was that this would be a super tournament!

I haven't really seen the city yet. Because everything is so close together, I've just been practicing and spending time at the hotel mostly. I went for a walk on the beach too, and I've jogged in the forest next to the hotel too. It's just beautiful here. On one side of the hotel it's the sea, on the other side it's a forest and nice houses. There's one very big, beautiful house I saw too. The weather here is perfect too - sometimes there's five or 10 minutes of rain but then it's back to blue skies right away so for most of the time it's perfect!

I had my first match today against a qualifier and I won, 60 64. The first set seems easy from the score but every game was tight, so I was a bit lucky to win it like that. In the second set I was down 4-1, so I was happy to recover and win it in two sets. I really didn't want to play a third set! For my first match back on clay I was happy. We just came from grass. Actually, something funny happened in my first practice session here. When someone serves to you on grass, you take one step and you're there; on clay there's so much kick, you need three steps. So the first time I practiced here I mis-hit my first return and told my father, 'It looks like I'm still playing on grass,' and he said, 'You don't have to tell me, I can see it!'

I brought some nice Russian magazines and crosswords with me, also a set of DVDs, in English it's called "The Tudors". There are two sets of 10 episodes and I finished the first 10 episodes here already, but the second set is still back at home! I'm very disappointed I didn't bring that with me. It's so interesting, it's about the king and queen of England, and I'm really enjoying learning about how they lived so many years ago. It's one of my favorite shows right now.

Tonight we had the player party - it was one of the best I've ever been to! They organized it so well, I'm really happy I went. There were some things that made it really unique. First they brought all the players to one room and were teaching us how to dance. Then, after they brought some really nice food out, they brought out some professional dancers, a man and a Russian woman, who were great. Then there was a guy who was doing tricks with a soccer ball, some unbelievable tricks. He had to be a pro. Then two singers who were really good. The best thing came at the end. There was a magician who was doing some really funny tricks with some of the players, and Caroline Wozniacki had to kiss him for him to do the final trick, and when she did, he pulled a card out of his mouth! It was really funny.

There was one other funny thing I've done here... I did an interview with a men's fashion magazine and they were asking me how I felt about men who take a lot of time to make themselves look nice, and then they asked me about men who shave their legs... I said for me, it's not a very manly thing to do! Haha. I know they're trying to look very nice but for me, I guess men should just have hairy legs. It's the first time I've ever been asked something like this!

I have my second match tomorrow, against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. I played her once before, on hardcourt in Dubai this year, and I lost that match to her. This time it's clay, so it'll be a different match. Hopefully I can get revenge. That's why it's always nice to play someone you lost to, so you can figure out different things and try and do better the next time.

I'm going to bed soon... I'll talk to you all again tomorrow :)

Maria

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