So as you know I have been over in Europe for a couple of weeks now, Barcelona wasn’t a great start for me as I felt very under prepared and really rusty out there and I think it showed as I lost a match I never should have although credit to Elias as he played a great match and he deserved his win. By going out early in Barcelona it allowed me to get some more time on the practice court as I hadn’t had much on court time since my slip, fall and roll in Indian Wells, so every cloud and all that…
I got to Estoril pretty early and hit the practise courts and hard, but not in the way I intended as I fell over again! Luckily it was okay and we slowed down practice for a day to get it treated properly (thanks Ben!!). Before I started up again though I had a birthday to celebrate and as you all know I like to be home at the best of times and being away from home on a birthday is just twice as hard and makes me miss home even more but my agent John Morris and my team really went out of their way to make me feel special, John and the guys at GSC bought me a watch and some other Tottenham Hotspurs shirts and John and Matt James (my fitness coach) decorated my room when I was in the shower with balloons, banners and things and they kept hiding and jumping out and blasting party poppers at me, yeah… I have a mature team!! To top it off the guys arranged with Joao (Esotril Tournament Director) and Maria (ATP Player Services) to present me with a cake at the player party and everyone sang happy birthday, so all in all it was a good day and I really appreciate the effort everyone went to.
My first match was a tough one, I was struggling a little with nerves and the conditions were tough, I didn’t feel comfortable and it all sort of came out in the wrong way and I got a warning, a code violation and my opponent was pushing for me to be defaulted, I know I got lucky there as it could have gone either way and I had a good talk with my team afterwards and I’m pleased to say I put a lot of that right. I also hit everyday after my matches, I was doing around an hour or an hour and a half after each match, including the final. I still feel a little short on court time but I improved in each match and played some really good tennis at different stages through the week and I will head in to Madrid with a lot more confidence than I arrived in Esotril with, I had a blast in Estoril and I really want to thank Joao, his team and all the fans that came out and made it so good, I will definitely be back! Also I must congratulate Richard again on a great week, he was a deserved winner and he is someone I enjoy watching, so to see him back and healthy and winning is great.
Some of you may have seen I was in Vogue this week. I loved how the pictures came out and I think the article was great too. We did the shoot during Indian Wells at a nice retro hotel in Palm Springs, I was a little uncomfortable at first doing a shoot like this but I relaxed and enjoyed it and I think the pictures were great. It’s certainly an honour to appear in the pages of Vogue Magazine and I thank Anna Wintour and her team for inviting me to appear, I’m very grateful.
So we are headed to Madrid this morning, I will arrive there this afternoon and hit with my doubles partner for the week Mr Mahesh Bhupathi which should be fun, I am hoping he can teach me a thing or two on the court too. I am about to check out and head to the airport now guys, so this is where I leave you but thanks again for the support, messages and the encouragement.