01 November, 2009 | 12:11
Yekshemesh! Greetings from Astana, Kazakhstan!
So, we arrived in twon on Saturday morning at 6:40am which is 12:40am UK time. The journey was not too bad but the time difference is a tough one to get over because you’re going to sleep in the middle of the day and waking up in the middle of the night.
Astana reminds me a lot of the middle east as the land is so flat and there is so much space - they are putting up new buildings everywhere.
The weather here is pretty cold already, but over the next couple days it’s supposed to get very cold. Most of the ground is covered by snow already. Fact of the day for you right here: Astana is the second coldest capital city in the world only beaten by the capital of Mongolia! Like to educate via my blog too.
The tennis centre here is very nice and they have four courts so practice isn't a problem. They even have a retractable roof on the main centre court and then another one covering the three other courts.
I'm not 100% sure, but I do know the roof can open a certain amount and the courts we are playing on have definitely been weather affected...not in a bad way but you just know they have been used as outdoor courts.
If you thought this place was backward, then you’d be wrong. I can see why they don’t think the Borat movie didn’t do them any favours. The tennis centre is a great advert.
We are playing tomorrow on centre court against two local guys around 5pm local time. The doubles final is on Friday so it means if we keep winning we only get one day off which is great! I hate hanging around at tournaments when they could play the doubles matches everyday and be done on Friday or Saturday at the very latest.
I will play with Jonny Marray the next three weeks, followed by Ross Hutchins in Helsinki and that will be my long year done. I want to do as well as I can to give myself a good base to start next year at.
This year has been a long and largely unsuccessful one but I have learnt a lot about myself and a lot about my game and also what I want in a partner.
I realise how important it is to keep improving and maintaining your strengths because that is what wins you tennis matches.
I think I have come to understand my game much better and I am always learning about what it takes for me to perform my best. I really feel like I can make good strides next year and climb the rankings again.
Catch you later