Vania & Slava's Istanbul Blog: Wednesday
Published October 26, 2011 12:00
ISTANBUL, Turkey - Fresh off their second Premier-level title of the year in Moscow, Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova come to Istanbul as one of the elite four doubles teams competing at the year-ending TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships. They're also our WTA Bloggers for the week! Read on...
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Hi everyone! It's Vania again. I'm sitting in the room with my mom eating the rest of the roasted chestnuts I bought in the city. My parents went on a historical tour today and they stopped by the Blue Mosque, which was where Slava and I did some filming for Dubai Duty Free's travel show! We didn't bump into my parents, but my mom came into my room raving about the nuts that she bought from the street vendors on their tour, and I took out a pack of chestnuts I had bought for them!
We had an early practice today, at 9am, which meant I had to get up at 6:45am (breakfast 7:30am, taping at 8am, leave the hotel at 8:15am). I think I was awake at about 10am when we started to play some practice games with sparring partners. Prior to that I was pretty much a zombie, and a grumpy one at that. I am not a morning person! It was funny because the sparring partners are both Italian, and when they heard Slava's coach, Emi could speak Italian, they were so excited. This happens everywhere, when my coach hears someone speaks French, it's like a magnet!
Slava: It was a very early practice for us. I saw Vania was sleepy and grumpy so I decided to leave her alone and gave up trying to talk to her till it got a bit later. Then with the hitting partners I tried to motivate her with an ice cream bet! But we decided it was a bad idea because if we win we get to eat ice cream but that's not good because we are trying to eat healthy.
Vania: I went to see the physios after practice -- I think pretty much everyone has the end of season body syndrome where everything is tight and it just doesn't go away. Our bodies are preparing for holidays ;)
Slava: Yes, my body is so tired I've already had two full massages in the first two days here!
Vania: At 2pm Slava and I headed toward the Blue Mosque where we did some filming for the Dubai Duty Free travel show. We explained some facts about the Mosque and Istanbul, for example, the original Red Mosque or Hagia Sophia (which is next to the Blue Mosque) was destroyed in 532 AD and the current mosque was built.
Slava: Well we tried to explain some facts... but I couldn't remember my lines so we had to keep trying again. We were laughing so hard I even started cramping! In the end I think they said it was good just so we could go!
Vania: Before heading home, I bought some chestnuts from a street vendor -- the last time I had chestnuts was in Paris... they are so good freshly roasted. Slava wasn't a fan and said they tasted like sausages! I guess our tastes are really different :)
Slava: They really do taste like sausages! I don't know why. And the video guys agreed with me.
Tonight Vania went to dinner with her parents and I went back to the mall with Emi. I am in a shopping mood this week. I got lots of stuff and I only went into two shops so now I'll have to go back again. And we got another present... today from Turkish Airlines we got a turkish coffee set. So nice...I'm going to start drinking Turkish coffee!
We got some questions on the website and Twitter so here are a few answers for you:
The grunting issue is being brought up again this year. How do you each deal with it on court and what are your thoughts?
Vania: Most players grunt or breathe in a way that's unnoticeable but sometimes it gets too loud and distracting. Personally I'm out there to fight and play hard and I don't worry about the opponent.
Slava: Yes, when you're on court you are concentrating so much and kind of in the zone so you don't really hear it.
Slava, are you playing an ITF in Istanbul after this? And is there anything else after that too?
Slava: Next week I am going to play a $100+H ITF in Taiwan and that's my last tournament of the year. I'm ready for some time off after that!
Do you think indoors help you guys? Good luck!
Vania: I don't think it makes much of a difference for us either way really. We've done well on all surfaces.
Slava: I like playing indoors because there's no wind, no sun, no rain, and always consistent light. One thing though is often the indoor courts are only made for the tournament and normally the stadium is for something else so the surface can be quite different when has something else underneath, compared to if it's always a tennis court. But we just play with what we have so it's no problem!
Vania: Tomorrow is the official draw ceremony where we will find out who we play. We had a great week last week in Moscow and I feel we are ready to play! Of course every team is tough, but we will try our best.
Slava: Yes we will! :)
Hope you enjoy today's photos. Goodnight everyone!
Vania & Slava