I am 23 years old and I am becoming an old lady, haha! It is so hard to get used to that fact. It’s ok though, it has only been few days since my birthday. Well, I am not in Dubai anymore. I am writing you from Bangalore, India. I landed last night. We arrived here in the middle of the night around 3am, but that did not stop the tournament director to welcome us at the airport in a very traditional way by giving us several gifts. It is so nice to come here and experience a new culture. I have mentioned several times how much I love learning about new ethnicities and I am pleased to experience more about locals here since this is my first time in India. It is also interesting how we need to adjust to the environment. Europeans are not used to certain spices, water, etc. I will tell you what I have been doing since I arrived. I have been washing my teeth and face with Evian water only. I have many bottles prepared in my room so I am all set for the week.
As this week is over, I am can say that I am pleased how I am progressing. Even though I had a chance to make it to the finals, I feel like I am improving my game. I am still far from where I would like to be with my game but I believe that I am on the right track. I have to continue to work hard, especially physically. I struggled in my first match and played badly, but than I was getting my timing back little by little. I felt more and more comfortable in the next two matches. What I lack at this moment is the better conditioning, so I am trying to practice more in the gym to get stronger. The match against Kuznetsova was physically hard for me and I could not keep my focus until the end since I felt very tired and exhausted. In a way this is normal since I had constant injuries that forced me to stop practicing. I feel more matches in Bangalore will help me bring my game to a higher level and keep improving every week.
My birthday was fun even though I wished to be at home with my family and friends. I was so impressed with Serbian fans that came to my match on that day. They sang the birthday songs in two languages: English and Serbian. The organizers were super nice to me as well. They brought the cake for me on the court which I shared with many fans. I did not do much that night. I had to play the following day so I had a nice dinner with my brother and coach.
I just got back from the player’s party. As you can see in the photo, I wore the traditional dress sari that most of the women wear in India. I tried to be as authentic as I could be and off course I had to put a little Indian accessory on my forehead in order to pull the whole look off. At the party, organizers asked us to walk on the runway. They wanted to show all the saris in a brief fashion show. I got many compliments as if I was a truly an Indian woman since I walked in an elegant and confident way in it. It’s not easy if you are wearing it for the first time but I felt very comfortable, and enjoyed the evening very much.
I really look forward to spend some time in India and having the great week on and off the court. I am going to sleep now; it’s already midnight in Bangalore.