Back on court and loving every minute

Back on court and loving every minute

It's been a thrilling start to the season. I can't over-emphasis how much I missed competing over the past few months.

I had my longest off-season and simply couldn't wait to get back on court.

I went into the Brisbane International with no expectations, because it was hard to know how I would perform after being away for three months.

I'm happy with my progress, although disappointed with my performance against Justine Henin in the semis.

Justine is such a great player; the fact she and Kim Clijsters contested the final shows its possible to have a long career if you manage it properly - both of them are in their late 20s now.

I don't see myself retiring and then coming back. Without knowing either player particularly well, I think I can still understand why they came back: they love to compete.

The tournament was perfect preparation for a grand slam, because I experienced almost every match situation. I think it will help develop my match nerves, going into Melbourne.

I had a really nice time off the court in Brisbane, too. While my management was not here, my whole family, my coaches and my boyfriend Adam Scott were.

In many ways it was like Wimbledon, which is the tournament where most players rent houses rather than staying in hotels: I stayed in an apartment and was able to relax a lot more than if I had been in a hotel.

I enjoyed my mum's cooking and just taking it easy in the evenings, reading and watching DVDs.

The movie Sliding Doors was fascinating to me. I really love this idea of destiny and things happening for a reason. I dream that one day I'll win the Australian Open, but I know it doesn't have anything to do with fate: it's about hard work and playing my best tennis.

I tend to enjoy tournaments more when my whole team is with me: we have a lot of fun and it helps me relax and actually not think so much about tennis.

This week I did all the things to ensure I was properly prepared, but I was able to take my mind off the tennis a lot better because I spent so much time with Adam and my family, and I think that helped.

Adam's support is helpful: he and I understand what each other goes through in our sports.

I'm looking forward to getting on the court again in Melbourne, but first I have to work on a few things in practice!

Love
Ana

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The above diary was written for the Sunday Herald Sun newspaper

Photo: Manuela Davies / doubleXposure.com