Excited about the future

Excited about the future

It's been a very exciting first week with many great matches and storylines to follow. Unfortunately, I became one of them on Friday night.

I didn't find anything close to my best tennis here, but I tried my hardest and I cannot do more than that.

Sometimes your game just isn't there. I'm going to take a few days off, maybe have a holiday somewhere in Australia, think about what went wrong and how I can improve.

Top of my list of priorities is appointing a new full-time coach. I'm excited about working with someone with new ideas and I'm still confident of achieving some good results this year.

That's the great thing about tennis - there is always another tournament just around the corner.

Often when a top seed loses, reporters' questions focus on their performance and people forget about the great play of the victor.

As I said, I didn't play well on Friday, but Alisa Kleybanova deserves great credit for her performance.

She played some unbelievable shots and was very consistent. The better player on the day won.

It was the same thing with the Venus Williams match. It was surprising that such a great champion lost in the second round, but you have to look at how well her opponent played.

Carla Suarez Navarros' victory proves there are no easy matches at grand slams. Every match is tough and there are always several upsets during the early rounds.

I've been watching some matches. Usually I don't watch much tennis and when I do it is men's tennis because I like to see what I can learn from the guys.

But I've seen some women's matches, too, including Jelena Dokic's first two matches.

Jelena has been great to watch. I admit I cried during her interview after her first round match. She has been through so much and I'm happy for her.

I know how important it is to have a supportive team around you and at the core of that is your family.

I can safely say I wouldn't be here without the kind support and understanding of my family. They never once pushed me, in fact, I pushed them!

I loved to hit the ball and compete in kids' tournaments at the weekends. My family was always extremely supportive.

I never stopped believing I would win the match against Kleybanova, which makes it tougher to come to terms with.


This column was written for the Sunday Herald Sun and its sister publications, which are the biggest-selling newspapers in Australia. A donation to UNICEF charities has been made for this column

Photo: Manuela Davies / doubleXposure.com