Get even closer. Ana's diary!

Training in California Feb 26th 2010

I’m currently training in California with my new coach Heinz Gunthardt. Things are going well: I am learning a lot from him, and I’m feeling more confident about my game.

The timing of the New York exhibition couldn’t be any better, considering that we have just started working together: it gives us the opportunity to try some things out in a serious setting, but one that is not as pressured as a tournament.

I’m not being drawn into looking ahead Jan 17th 2010

Taking part in Friday morning’s draw was interesting to say the least.

Not only did it throw up many intriguing first-round matches — not to mention many potentially thrilling encounters in the later rounds — but MC Bruce McAvaney kept me firmly on my toes.

‘‘Who do you think is better looking: Maria Sharapova or Maria Kirilenko?’’ is not the kind of question I’m used to being asked, but you can’t say he didn’t make it interesting!

Back on court and loving every minute Jan 10th 2010

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.

Thanks! Nov 16th 2009

I'd like to thank everyone who sent me a birthday message last week. I had a very nice time: a quiet dinner with friends!

It was my brother's 18th birthday last month – now THAT was a celebration! There were over a hundred people and most of them danced all night.

I've already started training again, to be ready for the new season. At the moment it's just fitness, but tennis will start next week, with Sven.

Season review Oct 3rd 2009

I guess having to withdraw from Beijing is an appropriate ending to a very disappointing season. This trip to Asia has been a big disappointment and I have struggled with my health pretty much since I arrived. I am sorry to my supporters who were hoping to see me play here in Beijing. It's very disappointing for me as well, to come here, see the amazing facility they have and not have the energy to be able to step onto court. I can only look forward to coming back here next year.

Short break, then onto Asia Sep 3rd 2009

It's no secret that this is the most difficult time of my career so far. Losing in the first round of the US Open hurt a great deal, I can tell you that.

I feel mentally exhausted. This season has been very difficult in terms of my health and form: even though I'm in great shape in terms of my stamina and speed, I've been picking up so many small injuries. Just when I felt like I was close to getting back into my rhythm, I would feel pain in a new place, and then I'd feel like I'm starting all over again.

Recharged and raring to go Jul 28th 2009

I feel refreshed after an enjoyable holiday. I think it is a great idea to have this mid-season break, as part of the Roadmap, and it has given me time to rest and reflect on my game. More importantly, of course, it has allowed me to get fit again after my injury.

Wimbledon seems like a long time ago. I did some fitness work during my holiday in Scotland and I've been training this past week in Spain. I am now on my way to America for what should be a six-week stay at least. I will play tournaments in LA, Cincinnati, Toronto and then the US Open.

I'm looking forward to getting back on court Jul 3rd 2009

It was a very disappointing end to Wimbledon. I think I have quite a high threshold for pain and have got through quite a few matches when I wasn’t feeling well, but on Monday the pain was too much. I couldn’t carry on.

On the positive side, the injury isn’t very serious. Unfortunately I had to wait almost four hours to see a doctor, which was quite stressful because I didn’t know how serious it was. Luckily it’s just a small tear and I’ll be able to train again in a week.

Halfway point Jun 28th 2009

I’m very pleased with how the first week of the tournament went. I obviously didn’t plan on having to save match points in my first match, but it was a great match to come through and I have improved with each match since then.

I was especially pleased with how I played on Saturday against Samantha Stosur. She’s a very dangerous player but I felt like I did almost everything very well and didn’t give her a chance to play well. It was one of my best performances of the past few months and gives me a lot of confidence for my match against Venus today.

Pleasing victory Jun 24th 2009

I’ve had a lot of tough, close matches in my career and yesterday’s was definitely one of them. It’s always extra satisfying to win a match when you have been match point down.

I’ve done it quite a few times in my career, and a few times here actually. The most important thing in this situation is to try and play without emotions. If you think, “I must win this point” or “I must break her here” then you are putting extra pressure on yourself and that’s never a good thing. Instead, you have to concentrate on your tactics: what you have to do technically to win the point.