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...
Friday, November 2, 2012
Well it was a long match again today, and in the end the same thing as yesterday - I just couldn't finish it off when I had my chances. But overall I have to say I was happy about this week. Other than my first match I felt like I was playing well, the match with Caroline being the highlight. And I was very impressed by the tournament in general - they did a terrific job and treated us awesome. The crowds were great too. I always felt they were behind me.
And the shops here are really cute too. One day I went for a walk in the city - the hotel is right in the center, so it's close to everything - and right near the hotel was a Lindt shop! I was there almost every day picking up sweets for family and friends. They already had their Christmas stuff out so I really had to force myself not to go all the time! I love Lindt - the red ones are my favorite.
I really hope to be back in Sofia one day :)
I'm leaving tomorrow - well, in a few hours actually! I won't get much sleep, but I have holidays in front of me where I can catch up on sleep. It has been a great week. It was fun having my mom and the rest of my family here as well - and my coach - and just everyone who organized the event. The level was so high.
Before I do some more of your questions I want to say thank you for reading my blog this week - it was a pleasure to do it and as always I have to thank all of you for all the support you give me, not just this week but all year.
I appreciate every single one of you!! I'll talk to you all again soon :)
What was your best match of 2012? Julie
Hmm... I would have to say against Peng Shuai in Dubai. That was a long time ago actually! But that was the best I've felt in a match all year. I judge matches on how I play and how I fight, and that was the best one.
As your brother is an architect, do you have favorite buildings? Jason
Good question! I absolutely love architecture, actually. I totally admire the way he's been designing houses and villas and apartments - we're actually very similar as far as what we like. I love fashion and decorating, and I think there's a lot of similarities. But to answer your question, I do have favorite buildings around the world. I'm always amazed when we're in Rome - the Pantheon is incredible, and of course the Colosseum. But also modern places like New York, Singapore and Hong Kong have great architecture as well.
How is the House Of The Smile in Cambodia doing? You deserve so much commendation for this loving effort. Alex, USA
Thank you for the very kind words, that's very sweet of you! It's growing all the time. Hopefully I'll be doing the calendar again next year. Me and my brother had a great reason to get behind it and we just try to help the kids as much as we can. It gives me so much energy when I'm in the gym or playing a match, that the better I do, the better they do. Thank you for asking about it.
What tournaments will you play in Australia? Jessica, Australia
I'm playing in Brisbane, Sydney then Melbourne. I'm really looking forward to being Down Under for sure! I love the Australian season.
How do you manage your diet when you're travelling so much? Elwin
I try to be as professional as I can all the time, but sometimes it's just common sense - like I just stay away from heavy food and fried stuff, especially when I'm at tournaments. But when I'm out of competition I eat more of what I like. I do have a weakness for sweet stuff, obviously! It can be difficult, but I'm professional in everything I do - I'm there to do my work at the end of the day.
How do you feel about tennis development in Slovakia? Mark
I really think tennis has grown over the years in Slovakia. We have had a lot of strong players in the past and so many talented kids, so I hope a lot of Slovak players will be in the Top 100 and Top 50 in the future. The facilities may not be as big as some other countries, but for a small country we've done extremely well, and I'm always proud to represent my country, especially in team competition. Speaking of which... tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of us winning the Fed Cup title in Spain! It was a very special moment for not only myself but the entire team I was there with. I was very, very proud, it's probably one of the biggest highlights of my career so far. The memories will stay with me forever.