MELBOURNE, Australia - The off-season is a strange time of year for a tennis player. Having spent the previous 10 months travelling the globe in search of fortune and glory, the WTA's great and good are suddenly presented with two months where their movements are not dictated by the tennis calendar.
So, how does your average player spend the off-season? Vacationing in some exotic location? Exhibitions? Living on the practice court? Or just a few weeks with the family watching re-runs of Friends and Judge Judy?
Actually, it's a bit of everything. And before heading Down Under for the start of the season, wtatennis.com caught up with a few players to get all the details about what they did in their time off and their thoughts ahead of the year's first Grand Slam.
"I was planning on going to New York with my brother Milos, Sorana Cirstea and a family friend of ours. Obviously the weather was catastrophic, so we cancelled that plan. Instead Sorana and I visited Milos in London for a few days. I also spent a lot of time visiting my parents in Belgrade. And prior to the Fed Cup Final I visited Milan."
"I had a couple of really long matches in Istanbul so it was great to take a holiday at the end of the season. I went to Cuba with my sister, Urszula, and a couple of friends. It was awesome and you can check out some of the pictures on my Facebook page. I then went to Toronto to play and exo with Serena, Roddick and Milos Raonic which was great fun."
"I didn't get much time off because I was very busy getting all the visas I need to travel in 2013! I was like a secretary during the off-season doing so much admin work! I stayed some days in Moscow with my family and played with my little niece, Zoya. When I was in Kazakhstan I went to Borovoe with some friends for a few days. It's quite far out of the city so it was nice and relaxing."
"I am doing similar training to past years. I really enjoy cross-training and doing as many activities as possible, like kayaking, swimming, boxing. I also go the gym every day and play lots of tennis. It is a busy time of the year, but since we are staying in the one place it does not seem as tiring."
"I have been doing a lot of beach runs, speed work and power drills to make me quicker and more explosive around the court. It is the biggest time we have all year for training and to work on things specifically on court and in the gym without having to worry about an upcoming tournament or match. It is the best time for us to make real changes and gains in our physical strength, speed and in our game."
"I have been combining physical therapy with fitness this off-season. I have been doing fitness and physical therapy with Athletes Performance at the Home Depot Center. Chang Lee, who also works with David Beckham and Derrick Rose, has been running my fitness and physical therapy sessions - he is incredible at his job and I am definitely ready for the 2013 season!"
Thoughts On The Australian Open
"The Australian Open is one of my very favorite tournaments. I have always done well in Melbourne but have never captured the title. Hopefully this will be my year. I love the city, the weather and most especially the Aussie people - they are so fun to perform in front of."
"I always love to play in the Australian Open. Being Australian we are very lucky to have our own Grand Slam, and to have the home fans cheering for me is so much fun. It is fun being in Melbourne also as they have many great restaurants and coffee shops!"
"Along with the French Open, it's my favorite tournament. It's always been a very special tournament, and a special place because I have family in Melbourne. So I will have a lot of family around this year and I love that. We always have a traditional Serbian barbecue at my uncle's house after the tournament."