Monday, August 21, 2006
It was great to win my first round match against Volandri today but unfortunately my form didn't carry over to the golf course. In fact, if I played tennis the way I played golf, the result would have been like a 6-0, 6-0 loss to Roger Federer. I must have finished 15 or 16 over par for nine holes, so tell Tiger that he has nothing to worry about. More of the golfing disaster in a minute...
After my match I got something to eat in the players' restaurant and while waiting in line for some pasta I talked with Svetlana Kuznetsova. Earlier in her career she trained at the Sánchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona and she now lives in Barcelona, so she speaks very good Spanish. It had been a long time since I had seen her so we basically just asked her what she had been up to. She said that she lost to Hingis last week in her first tournament back since Wimbledon.
Then it was off to the golf course, which was just about 10 minutes away. That's the great thing about the States - you never have to go far to play golf. I really enjoy playing golf and play quite a bit during the year. But today was a very bad performance. The low light came on one of the par fours which had water in front of the tee and also water that came into play if you hit a long slice. So it was kind of a tough shot. (For those of you wondering, although I play tennis left-handed I play golf right-handed.)
I decided to go for safety to begin with and took out the four iron. But you really needed to hit quite a long shot to clear the water, which I didn't. Then I said 'Okay, it's time for the driver.' That was a mistake. It's a tough hole for the driver. Still, that didn't stop me using the driver again to put a third ball in the water. I just picked up my ball and gave up on the hole. Fortunately my playing partners - Luis Horna, my friend David and my coach, Galo Blanco - didn't give me too much of a hard time.
After Wimbledon I started working with both Galo and Albert Costa. As many of you know Albert is the father of twin girls, so he doesn't want to do too much traveling. But hopefully after the US Open you'll see him on the road with me a bit.
Last night I went to the players' party with David Ferrer and his coach but we arrived late - around 8.45 - and didn't stay too long. Although there was some light food we wanted to go to a restaurant and get a big serve of pasta to prepare for today's match. Rafa didn't come to the party. He practiced late so I think he just had room service at the hotel.
Tomorrow I play my second-round match against Jonas Bjorkman. With a Saturday final you have to play every day if you keep winning. Of course I would love to reach the final here like I did last year.