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Aravane Rezai's Istanbul Blog

France's Aravane Rezai blogs for us from one of her favorite stops, the Istanbul Cup.

Published July 30, 2009 12:00

ISTANBUL, Turkey - Two years ago she lit the Istanbul crowds up with a run to her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour final, upsetting Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova along the way. This year, Aravane Rezai returns after a stellar first half of the year that saw her win her first Tour title in Strasbourg and go deep at Roland Garros. She also blogs from the Turkish metropolis for us this week.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hello again everyone :)

I have a lot to catch you up on. Tuesday was a day off from matches. I practiced and also went shopping in the morning, and bought a diamond bracelet (it cost me a fortune!) We came back and watched some of the matches and then I had the pleasure of signing some autographs and taking some pictures with fans. I trained again in the afternoon. My cousin came here from Iran that day and we went to dinner. The whole family is here... we went to sleep early that night.

On Wednesday I had the late match, so for the first part of the day I just stayed at the hotel. We were watching a movie, a new film from Iran, called Ekhrajia 2. It's about the Iran-Iraq war from a long time ago. It's a comedy film but also realistic, with a lot of emotional parts. It's about a group of people who go to war. It shows the sacrifices made by the Iranian people. We grabbed lunch at the hotel then went to the tournament. I couldn't wait to play! I was playing Marta Domachowska and in the middle of the second set the lights went out for about 15 minutes - it was very weird :) We got going again though, and I ended up losing. Marta played very well. I didn't feel like I was playing well, but all the credit to her. I was disappointed because I really wanted to do well here, but tennis has ups and downs, and this time it just wasn't my time. It was an experience and I'll learn from it for next time.

Today I trained and went swimming at the big pool at the tournament, and I also did a few interviews, one for CNN. My family and cousin were with me the whole day, so it was a great day. I spoke with some of my fans, too, which is always great - I always appreciate and am thankful for their support.

My dad, my mom and little sister are all driving back to France, but I'm flying. I need to save as much energy as possible and I don't think I can do another road trip right now :) My next tournament is in Cincinnati, and I leave on August 5.

I want to thank the crowds in Istanbul for being right there with me and cheering me on. I adore them. It's magnificent to play in front of you all. And this tournament is very well organized. I feel like I'm at home here. Everyone is so friendly. I'll hopefully see you all again next year. I adore Istanbul.

And finally thanks for reading my first blog. I'm sorry the last two days I wasn't really able to write. Next time will be different!!

A la prochaine :)

Aravane

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hello everyone,

I have to make this a quick one because it's very late right now! Unfortunately I lost my second round match tonight against Marta Domachowska, who played very well. I'm sorry I couldn't write yesterday, some things came up out of nowhere and I wasn't really in a position to write... anyway I will explain more tomorrow, because even though I'm out of the tournament I definitely want to get you all updated on everything before the blog is over!

Until tomorrow...

Aravane

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Bonjour tout le monde :)

I'm in Istanbul for the Istanbul Cup this week. It's going very well so far. I have some really nice memories from this tournament. There are a lot of people cheering me on here and it's a great feeling to be back here.

My family is here with me - actually, we all came here from France by car! We came in a family-sized van. There were five of us so we needed something big :) It took two and a half days. After we left France we went through Italy and took a boat to Greece, then came over to Turkey. Greece was beautiful. We stayed there for two days and I just adored it. We were right next to the sea. I loved Italy too. I was just there two weeks ago for a tournament in Palermo, where I lost to Flavia Pennetta in the quarterfinals. I was playing very well that day but you can't win them all :) Anyway, I want to do better here, of course!

There was a concert last night for the tournament's opening ceremony. The singer who performed, Hadise, was in the Eurovision Song Contest this year. She sang very well! I thought she was great. The ceremony, the food and the location - which was at the Achaeological Museum of Istanbul - were perfect. It's rare you see an event this good at a tournament. I really enjoyed it.

I didn't play too well today but it was good enough to win. I had beaten Viktoriya twice on clay this year but this was our first match on hardcourts so I was a bit nervous. She hits very hard from the back of the court. Also, ever since I made the final here a few years ago I have lots of support here, and I really wanted to play well for my fans. It's almost like playing in front of my home crowd at Roland Garros :) I didn't feel great during the first set but I won it and then the second set was quick. I'm not sure who I play next yet - my opponents haven't played - and I'm not sure if I'll be playing my second round tomorrow or Wednesday. The schedule hasn't come out yet. But I'll keep you posted!

Thank you for reading my blog - I'm so thankful for all of your support and I'll try to make it good :) It's thanks to all of you that I'm where I am now.

A demain!

Aravane

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