The French has opened
I lost in the first round of the French Open on Tuesday, 6-2, 2-6, 2-6, 5-7, against Igor Andrejev. He is strong on clay and in good form, he beat Rafael Nadal and then won the whole tournament in Valencia recently, but there still is a few points in our match that is bugging me a little bit. I had 0-30 and 0-40 in his serve in second and third set, and I was 4-2 up in the fourth. But still, I forced him to play his best tennis, and I was close to taking the match to a uncertain fifth set. That is OK.
Max Mirnyi did also lose, which means that we can focuse totally on the doubles (I will also play mixed together with Anastasia Myskina).
I´ve been knocked out early in the tournament the last couple of years. This time around, I really want to reach the second week, and hopefully go all the way since this is the only Grand Slam title that I still haven´t won. Max and I are in good form. We will meet Almagro (Spain) and Monaco (Argentina) in the first round.
Awarded in Düsseldorf
I was rewarded with World Team Cups Fair Play Trophy in Düsseldorf yesterday. It is the WTC´s organisation, the players and all present media that each year is putting their vote on the player they think has shown the best sportmanship and professionality, both on and off the court. This is certainly a very flattering award to receive, especially when the other players also are voting. It tells you that you are doing a good job. To have an honest and fair attitude is as important as winning new ranking points to me. Everybody wants to win every match they play, of course, but the way you act on every level through a tournament is equally important. Previous years Stefan Edberg, Pat Rafter, Pete Sampras, and Alex Corretja have received the award, so it is a great crowd to belong to.
Thomas shines in Düsseldorf
We didn´t manage to go through to the final in World Team Cup in Düsseldorf. We lost against both Spain and Germany with 2-1, so if we beat USA on Friday we will end up third in our group. Thomas Johansson has been the positive factor in Düsseldorf. He has done his best season ever on clay so far this year - he has also won both his matches here in Düsseldorf - and if ge gets a good start in Paris, I think he will do his best French Open ever this year
50 weeks anniversary
I celebrate my 50th week ranked as the no. 1 doubles player in the world this week. That places me 9th over all since 1983. Todd Woodbridge is superior with his 203 weeks ranked as no. 1, with Anders Järryd on 2nd place with 107 weeks.
Prestige in World Team Cup
World Team Cup starts in Düsseldorf today. We have Spain, USA, and Germany in our group. I will play against David Ferrer, Spain, today, and Thomas Johansson will play against Tommy Robredo.
Spain are big favourites on the clay, but I think we have a fair chance. With a little luck we can win our group and reach the final.
World Team Cup is a perfect preparation for the French Open. But there is also some prestige involved in the tournament. Chile have won two years in a row, and I am sure that there is more than one nation that feels that enough is enough!
A fantastic final!
Max Mirnyi and I have won our second title of the year! We beat Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro in the doubles final in Hamburg - 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-3) - in a match that is the most fantastic that I have ever played.
They won in Rome, and this became a match with many long, almost unbelievable duels, in point after point. It was only 7-8 degrees warm, so it was hard to "kill" the points. They served for the match at 5-4 in the second set. We had 3-0 and a double break in the third. Finally, after three hours and very good and entertaining tennis (that got standing ovations...), we could win through aggressive tennis in both tiebreaks.
It felt so good to win this. Max and I won in Miami, but we have lost in the semi finals in the Australian Open, Indian Wells, and Rome. This was the perfect preparation for the French Open in Paris, which is the only Grand Slam that I still haven´t won.
Close in Rome
I am content with my week in Rome. Clay is, as you know, not quite my cup of tea,
but I played two really good singles matches, and I was very close to reaching the final together with Max Mirnyi in the doubles. We lost to Bob and Mike Bryan in the semi final, 3-6, 6-4, 2-6. They took their changes in a few decisive points, while we didn´t. It was close, and I think that we would have had a good chance against Llodra and Santoro in the final, but we will do our best to correct that this week in Hamburg instead!
at the italic text!!!
New section on my site!
I will create another new section on the web site this week. Under "Personal", the new headline "Top 5" will appear, where I will pick my five favourites in different categories, from movies and restaurants to fashion brands and locker rooms. My first five choices is my favourite hotels around the world. Check it in!