Welcome to The Falconi Files, a column run by former World No. 73 and American blogger extraordinaire, Irina Falconi. Fresh off her dramatic win over Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi in the first round Down Under, Irina gets you up to speed ahead of her second round match against fellow American, Madison Brengle (last on Court 8) and her first round doubles match with Croatia’s Petra Martic. Check out Episode I here.
So, here I am writing from the comfort of my housing’s living room couch, watching the Australian men just take over every single sporting channel on television.
Before I tell you about my day today, let’s start with yesterday’s hell of a day.
Yesterday, I played Kaia Kanepi: highest ranking of No. 15 in the world Estonian player that has been around for a very long time and has gotten Elite 8 in at least three out of the four slams. She is a fantastic player and when I found out I was playing her (just the day before I played, mind you**) I knew that it was going to be a tough match.
You might be wondering why I only found out I was playing her ’til the day before. Well, let me have you dive into the mind of the Irina tennis psyche for one sec. So, let’s say the draw comes out: you’re playing a top seed, that happens to be a crowd favorite and is going to be tough competition. So let’s say the draw comes out about five days before you get to play your first match – can you imagine knowing that information just crowding your head? All of a sudden you start thinking about who you’re playing instead of actually focusing on your game and your practices.
That’s the reason why I wait till the last minute to find out; I’d rather focus on doing everything under my control instead of focusing on what they could possibly do.
Anyway! I played a tough three-setter yesterday that was high-quality, in really tough conditions, and with an absolutely thrilling crowd! It was super intense!!! After the match, after all the autographs, hugs and pictures, it was time to recover – meaning I went into the gym, got some food in my belly, and saw the physio for treatment and a solid stretch.
Another day on the grind!!!
Near the end of the night, my coach tells me that I am one out of the doubles main draw with my partner, Petra Martic. So that means that a team has to withdraw and then we would have to play. So, we signed in the morning by 10:30, and then we went about our days.
I wanted to do just an hour practice at around 2 o’clock, so I got some lunch before heading to the courts. Once I got there, I get a text message from my doubles partner’s coach saying:
“THE GIRLS ARE IN! THEY ARE NEXT ON SHOWCOURT 2!”
Did I mention that I hadn’t hit a ball yet? Just a couple of hours earlier, I had eaten a leisurely breakfast with some tennis highlights on the television. I also had to get a car sent to my place when I found out we were first on.
Why? Because there were two doubles matches on at 11!
So yes, we had thirty minutes before we were called to the court! Can you imagine having to just turn that on right away? And guess what? We were on a big court due to the fact that Serena and Venus Williams were scheduled, which means we had a big crowd, and we were going to be on TV. #ballin
Short of the long of it: we didn’t come out victorious in doubles, but it was definitely great to have been on the court and get another match here in Australia.
Tomorrow is another competition day. Let’s get behind the Americans in the Aussie! Did I mention we had 17 girls competing in the main draw of the Aussie Open? And 12 of them made it to the second round!!!