Daniela Hantuchova's Sofia Blog: Thursday
Published November 01, 2012 12:00
SOFIA, Bulgaria - The WTA's International Series has its season finale this week at the Qatar Airways Tournament Of Champions Sofia, and who better to blog from the event than former World No.5 Daniela Hantuchova? The classy Slovak gets back into the blogosphere in Bulgaria this week...
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Hello again everyone :)
Well, I thought both Caroline and I played a great match today, and it was very close, but unfortunately I didn't win. It was one of those days where you're playing great and giving your best but it's just not meant to happen. The fact that I won more points in the match shows how many chances I had - but I can take a lot of positives out of it, like it was 100% better for me than the match before, and the crowd enjoyed it and gave us so much support, which meant a lot.
The fans in Sofia are great. They've been so nice to me all week and I feel very welcome here. I think they've really been getting into the matches and I'm sure over the weekend it will be even more packed here. It's the first year of the tournament being here and I think people are starting to really realize it's a great event to have here in Bulgaria - and hopefully it will bring more attention to tennis in the country and more kids will pick up a racquet and start playing this sport!
Oh and also, I had a day off yesterday and I went to the Slovak embassy, and we met the Slovak ambassador and spent some time with him. It was nice to go there, when you're in another country it always feels like going home :)
Today was quite a late night for me, as the matches went very long today, but now I'm back and I'm going to try and recover as much as I can for the last match of the season tomorrow. There's no pressure so I will enjoy it!
One other thing I need to mention - obviously it's all over the news. I want to say how sad it is to see what has happened in the US with Hurricane Sandy. It's so unfortunate what they have had to deal with, not just what happened when it hit, but everything that's happening now, all of the damage and millions without power. I've been watching it very closely. New York is one of my favorite places in the world. The people there are wonderful and I hope they can recover...
Thanks for all of your fan questions too - I'll do a few more now.
Will you come to Monterrey in 2013? Fede, Mexico
I've absolutely loved spending time in Mexico, not just playing the tournament in Monterrey but also training in San Luis Potosi. I love the people there and the food is just fantastic, of course. I would love to come back there soon!
How does it feel to play against a friend like Caroline? Mari, Japan
Caroline is a great friend of mine. We enjoy practicing together and trying to improve our games. But when we are on the court we don't give anything to each other - we just give everything and fight hard. It's all about the win.
Do you do yoga or any other stretching exercises? Sandy
I do love yoga very, very much. I also love my adidas yoga outfits for it because they are amazing and make it more enjoyable! But yoga is not only enjoyable for the body, but the mind too. I started really getting into it a couple of years ago and I try to do it as much as I can. It helps me keep fit and healthy.
What tension do you usually use on your racquets? JC, London
Hi JC - well, it usually depends on the balls, the surface, and like here, the altitude. For instance, here I'm stringing 6kg more than usual because of how much the balls are flying. But it varies depending on where you are.
What is your favorite city to visit in the USA? Alex, USA
Obviously New York is my favorite, and like I mentioned earlier, I feel so sorry for what has happened there. As for other places, I love California - especially the San Diego area. Rancho Santa Fe as well. I just love being out there, not just for tennis, but also golf, surfing... And of course, Indian Wells will be a special place for me for the rest of my life. And I really enjoy Miami too.
How much do you practice, and do you enjoy media activities? Erik
All of my training depends whether I'm in a tournament week or not - of course it's more when I'm not at a tournament and less when I'm playing a tournament. It can go up and down and there are a lot of factors, but in general it's four hours of tennis and two hours of fitness. As for the media activities, I enjoy them more in my training weeks and weeks off, just because in a tournament I try to stay focused on the matches as much as possible - but it's a part of my job and I've gotten more used to it after all these years, so it's all fine!
What's the court speed and texture like in Sofia? Torben
That's actually a very good question. The first thing is the altitude - it's about 600m here, so it's kind of like Madrid, where the balls are flying really fast. It makes it very hard to control your shots, so I think that's why in the first few matches here the rallies weren't that long. On the other hand, the court surface is quite slow, so overall it's tricky, because when the ball comes slowly, it can just stop; but then you have to be careful not to overhit it. But aside from that, the stadium is beautiful and we all have our own locker rooms, personalized cars and so on, and we're all really enjoying everything here :)