Hello again. Carl Maes, the ex-coach of Kim Clijsters, gave me the nickname “Fly” around 12 or 13 years ago. He went on to work for the Lawn Tennis Association in Britain. Flemish people, Dutch and Germans will understand. Players and friends call me “Fly”. I got a tattoo of it on my back. It’s fun. I like the nickname and when people call out “Fly” I normally turn around.
I got the tattoo in Brussels when I got back from holidays. I had been looking to get one for six years. The guy did a good job. It was only a ten-minute drive from my house. I went with my girlfriend, who likes tattoos. She has a sunshine, sunbird. Everyone seems to have a small tattoo in Belgium, so I’m now part of a club. Janko Tipsarevic has spiritual symbols, related to his family. I think Luis Horna has a couple too. It is always personal to them. I would never have tattoos all over my body though.
Yesterday Olivier [Rochus] and myself were supposed to play doubles, but lucky for us they cancelled it pretty early around 2pm due to rain. We came to the club had some lunch and we were waiting, so we played on the Play Station football game, which was a lot of fun.
In the afternoon we went to the shopping mall, not far from the hotel, and found three Starbucks in the space of 300 meters. We only stopped once for a drink. I always take a cappuccino. It’s the only thing I like – maybe a muffin, too! There aren’t any in Belgium. Every player seems to have come there.
I have still been waking up at 6-6:30am, having not gotten used to the hour here. My girlfriend stops working around that time, so I am able to contact her and catch up on the latest news. My Mum always keeps in contact and follows it on the Internet through the live scoring or sometimes on television. I was not the first to breakfast, as I went down at 8am. Some players have been waking up early too!
Standing alongside a painting of Stefan Edberg playing on Centre Court at Wimbledon.
Whenever I play a match I get my feet taped, so that takes around 15 minutes. Stephane [Vivier] of the ATP helped me. Olivier and I played doubles [against Alberto Martin and Nicolas Massu] at around 2:20pm and were lucky to finish just before the rain. We played really well, winning 6-4, 6-2. Tomorrow I will play two matches, so I will watch what I eat and drink. For sure it is going to be tough, particularly if the weather is bad.
I was talking to Nicolas Mahut today about the Lotto contract he has just signed. I think we signed around the same time. I hang out with the French speakers off the court, as we are all around the same age. Unfortunately Nicolas lost today [against Juan Ignacio Chela], but he is a great player and has a bright future.
Tonight I’ll have dinner with Olivier and our coaches. Yesterday we went to the casino, but didn’t play as I only stayed 15 minutes. Normally I’m a player, but tonight I’m sure I’ll have a go. There will be money on the table, but not too much!
Wish me luck for tomorrow.