June 15, 2014
Hi, thanks for checking out week three of my blog. It's been a great week for me in England, which has been helped by the weather. It actually reached 28 degrees Celsius (83 Fahrenheit) which has been hottest day of the year so far. After spending six days at home, which was amazing seeing all my friends and family, I've travelled seven hours south to spend the next two weeks in London.
With Wimbledon starting in just over a week there are only a few tournaments on hand (Queens, Eastbourne and Edgbaston), which calls for a little break from competition for me. Over the last few days I have been practicing on the grass with players who are competing in the junior event or are in the senior Wimbledon qualifiers that commence Monday. Unfortunately for the players, the qualifiers aren't played at the main Wimbledon venue but adjacent to the National Tennis Center (NTC) where I train for a large amount of the time when I come home. Luckily I can watch loads of matches easily. In the Men's draw, out of the 128 qualifiers only 16 will reach the main draw, and for the women's only 12 will make it out of 96. So you can imagine how exciting it is to watch.
Over the last few days, in addition to training at the NTC, I've managed to head to Wimbledon to practice before all the players arrive and the annual rush commences. This year I was lucky enough to be there at the same time as Lleyton Hewitt. It's always good to see the players training before the competition starts because they are more relaxed and appear to be enjoying themselves stress-free.
I love this time of year. The weather starts picking up and the whole area seems to come alive for the tournament. Many people presume that Wimbledon is just the name of the tournament but SW19 is an exclusive residential area. I lived in Wimbledon for two years before I arrived at Florida State so I am familiar with the region. And if I'm honest, it is one of my favorite places to be in the summer. There are so many celebs casually walking the streets, and the atmosphere the tournament creates around the village and town is phenomenal. I can only imagine the excitement with the World Cup happening at the same time.
As of now, apart from the players gearing up to play, the site is extremely busy. Tourists taking pictures, gardeners sprucing up flower displays, site tours fully booked all before the crowds arrive and ticket prices increase dramatically. I will be definitely watching qualifying and will also try and head to the Wimbledon during the first week...maybe with Coach Hyde if she's lucky.
I hope you all have a great week, catch up soon. Daneika