Rafa's blogs are always very interesting so I thought that a thread should be started for easy reference. Rafa will be blogging for tennis.com in Miami Open.
THURSDAY, MARCH 27
It is the first time I write a blog on this website and on this country, although I wrote a blog from the US Open for other outlets.
Let me say that I want to thank you for this opportunity and that obviously, someone is helping me with it, with my English, with what I write, since as you all know my English is not that good. So this is not fake, simply I get some help so that you can understand it :-)
I am starting this blog the day before I play and as usual at night when I have the chance at my hotel (now in Miami) to sit down, think and write. Tomorrow I play my first round match and I am excited about it. I arrived to Miami on Monday very early morning and have been getting ready since then. I actually, we, landed at 6.30 am local time since we flew from Palm Springs to Miami that same Sunday night. We were supposed to get to Miami that day since I had to do a photo shoot for the Sony Ericsson Open here in Miami with Serena Williams. For this reason the tournament was so kind to have a private jet to bring me and my team here so that I could be at the shoot on time.
I have had some questions about the passengers in that plane and I think it is no secret that I asked Ana Ivanovic and her team to join us. I knew she had some problems to find a ticket to Miami, she was on a waiting list and we had room left so I thought I could ask them to join us. The tournament also thought it was OK and they actually supported the idea so everyone happy. I remember Roger gave me a ride from Montreal to Cincy last summer and I know how it feels to be stuck in a place when you want/have to leave to play the next tournament. I didn't know much Ana before that but now that I had the chance to meet her during the flight I think she is a very nice person, a really nice person. Also her mother and her physical trainer who all flew with us and it was very nice to meet them too.
So we landed that early and I went straight to sleep. I got up around noon and after having a quick lunch I went to do the gig for the tournament at the Swimming pool in South Beach. I thought it was nice and I enjoyed the time there. I also think that all these gigs benefits our sport and I am happy to do them. I know it is painful sometimes but I know it is important. After this I went to practice to the site since I had not done so on Sunday in Indian Wells (I went to play golf and rested that day).
On Tuesday I had also some work to do but again it was more to support a friend. I practiced in the morning twice and after a very quick lunch I went to Wellington (near Palm Beach) to a charity event with David Nalbandian and his foundation. He had prepared a surprise and we played one set in front of polo players, patrons, team owners, members and general public. I went to the International Polo Club. I didn't know that's the place where the US Open of Polo is played. I actually don't know much that sport but had the chance to meet the "Roger Federer" of the sport, Adolfo Cambiaso. We had some fun playing and also managed to raise some money for David's foundation. It was a nice experience. The only thing is that we drove over two hours on a very heavy traffic and on a busy day since I'd practiced twice. But the cause was good and I am very happy we did it.
On Wednesday I had a lot of motivation for that day. You all know I love to compete, I love the feeling and flavor of competition. I prepared an early double session of practice in the morning since I the Sony Ericsson Open people got me a tee-time on the Blue Monster course at the Doral. Big match against Lleyton Hewitt, Ivan (his physical trainer) and Juan Carlos Ferrero. Two against two and also the one against one, you know...
I better keep for myself the result since we lost badly to them and I personally also played bad and lost :-) Well done Lleyton and Ivan! I will be back, don't worry ! :-). At night we had the players party that I thought was really good and cool. Miami is a special place and one of the best places to do a thing like this.
And Thursday I had another typical tennis day. I practiced at 12 and at 4 and getting ready for tomorrow. I also did some media work that we have to do before a big tournament (press conference, TV interviews, etc.) and got back to the hotel pretty early (around 6.30 pm).
As I say Friday is my first match and I am really excited about it. Hope it goes well.
See you all,