Not an easy win, but a win
I've had one match so far at the French Open, and to be honest, it was a tough first round on Sunday. My opponent, Andrea Hlavackova, played aggressively from the very first point, and I give her a lot of credit for that. I didn't really expect that. When I dropped the first set, I just said to myself, I've got to stay strong and hang in there, and if she kept playing that way all three sets, I'd just shake her hand and say congrats.
My coach, Martina Hingis, was not very happy with my performance -- in fact, I think she was really angry with me. But in the end, I did manage to win. I definitely could have started the match off better, but a win is a win, so I don't really mind how long the match was or the score. I believed in myself, and was fighting for every point.
After Sunday's match I had a few days to rest, and it's a lot of fun being here in Paris, a city that I am just in love with. I like the people and think their mentality and humor are quite close to those of Russians. There are so many things you can do here, but I love walking down the Champs-Élysées with my mom and with Martina. I know it's very touristy and Paris has a lot of other good spots, but I love just walking around doing some shopping. I also want to go to the Louvre, since I always try to educate myself a bit as well. I've even been giving interviews in French, though I'm a little shy because I don't want to say something crazy by accident.
We also had a lot of fun at the players’ party on Friday night. It was at the U.S. ambassador’s residence here in Paris, and it was so amazing. I got to meet the ambassador, Charles Rivkin, and it was an opportunity to wear a very nice dress! I got mine here in Paris, delivered a few days before the party. It's great for all of the players to get away from tennis, chat with each other and do something a little different. The residence actually reminded me of the Louvre inside because it's like a castle. It was huge, with enormous gardens. It was absolutely beautiful.
Martina went to the players’ party as well. We are working hard on court and having fun off court, so we are becoming friends now. She's been coaching me since early this year, and not only is she a good coach, but she's also someone I trust and have a good relationship with. I think she understands me better than a man would; I think men think differently on the court than women. And she understands how I feel during and after the match because she has so much experience playing. She still plays, and in fact, hits perfectly still!
I always look ahead in the draw, so I've known that I'll be playing Petra Cetkovska on Wednesday. I try to take it match by match, but you can't help but look ahead. I don't expect an easy match ever, because this is a Grand Slam and everyone deserves to be here and is working hard. I'm doing my best to prepare for that one and play better, right from the start. Wish me luck!