Hello everyone!Well what a day today has been. I woke up at 7:30 this morning and here I am at 18:15 just finishing my day.
I met Shahar this morning for her match at the club at 10. She warmed up in small garden where all the players warm up with 21 bodyguards around. We had military police today as well. We then moved to our pre-assigned court where we met our partner and warmed up for the customary half an hour.
Shahar was then taken to a special area where she is on her own with her dad and myself. We waited for the match and then went on court at 12. The build up to the match was very tense as there is
so much history behind this match with what happened last year. I have never
seen so much media and photographers on a first round match. It is an
understatement to tell you that by now the news must be all over the world, and
you guys have a personal note from me…. it sure is worth it to be part of this
wonderful site that itusatennis.com is running!
We played Yanina Wickmayer in New Zealand and lost there a very close match. During this match I saw many things in her game and so today I was able to put together and much revised tactic for Shahar. The match began slowly and Shahar did not really play at all the first set losing 6-3. She called me in and I tried to calm her down and get her to refocus. Refocus she did as she started playing the tactic and won the set comfortably 6-2.
Then came the famous final set. Yanina came out strong and broke Shahar on the first game and won her service game building a nice cushion. I knew though that if Shahar hanged in there and could break her she would win the set. The break came at 4-3 and then she went on to win it 7-5.
It is an understatement to say that both her dad and I shouted so loud I think the people around must have though we are in need of psychiatric help…still it was a shout that has been inside us for the last year! After the match as Shahar is not allowed to speak to the press I had to so look out for my comments somewhere. We had some lunch and then got ready for the doubles where she partnered Galina Voskoboeva from Kazhakstan. They beat Caroline Wozniacki and Anabel Medina on a final set tie breaker 10-6 and with this put a cap to a great day and a great start to our campaign here in Dubai.
Tomorrow we have either Selina Sfar or Virginie Razzano who made the final here last year. So once again it is tough and it will not be easy, still we have every reason to be confident and hope for the best.
I hope many of you are following us and you know it would be nice to hear from some of you when you have a chance.
I am on my way to the shower, as you would not believe how much one sweats from the side of court!
Have a great day or evening wherever it might be that you are around the world.
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