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Irina Falconi blogs from Pan Am Games, Entry No. 4

October 18, 2011 09:59 AM
Irina Falconi's newest travels take her to Guadalajara and the Pan American Games.
Rising star Irina Falconi, currently ranked No. 77 in the WTA Rankings, is writing a blog for USTA.com while at the Pan American Games. Check back often for updates!
How about a little patriotic American love for you this morning? 
All I know is that we live in the best nation in the world with some pretty amazing people, opportunities… and we can't forget to mention food. Food is fun. And it's what makes the world go round! I mean, obviously the sun's gravitational pull does have a little to do with it too but you catch my drift... 
Today was the first day of competition for the US Pan American Tennis competition in Guadalajara. I was the only lucky one to play a match today. Christina (McHale) got a bye, and the rest of the boys got byes as well. Pretty sure I didn't get the memo... 
Cool thing about today was the fact that I played at 6 p.m., which meant I got the whole day to myself! Well, not the entire day - because before you know it, the day will have gone by you quicker than you can say 'boom!' 
So last night, I was totally done! What does that mean? It means that I went to sleep before 10 p.m., which is very odd for me. Reason why I am telling you about my sleep patterns is because I went to sleep at 9:45 p.m., and woke up at 5:59 a.m. I'm not trying to say anything about my times but I was hoping I could get a little bit more sleep this morning instead of waking up at dawn. I figured I'd get some work done before the rest of the world was up. I also decided to get some awesome food for breakfast right out of the gates. I mean, who likes food that's been sitting around all day?
After downloading some new apps for my iPad, I headed to breakfast for my usual. Is it weird to have beans for breakfast? I mean, it's a great carb. And we are in Mexico, after all. 
A few minutes later, our main man Gully came to join me. He, of course, brought it like he always does so that made my morning even better. By the time Christina and Elke joined us, we had some serious story time going. We shared about some pretty awesome Davis and Fed Cup stories and Gully shared some backgammon stories from back in the day that brought tears of laughter to our eyes. Quite a morning…
So, you know how it feels like I'm always doing something when I'm writing these blogs? I mean, it feels like I'm constantly busy - which is true - but I don't really talk about my down time much, right? There's a reason. Because there's rarely any of that! Today was different. I had some time from breakfast until lunch where I was able to just chill in my room, get work done, watch some Pan American games on the tube and just hang out. It was really cool. After some fajitas for lunch, it was go time. We headed to the site at 2:30 where Christina was able to have a good hit before warming me up at 4:30. So what was I to do? There weren't any matches going on and I didn't want to sit in the tiny lounge that disappears once you blink. So help me out? What do you do? 
You go to the aquatic center. That's what you do. 
I asked Elke if she wanted to come with me and just walk around to see what's up in the pool and to see whether we could get in just with our credentials. Sure enough, we get to the pool and they let us right in. We see that there's really not much going on until we look closely and see that the synchronized swimming teams are practicing. If you've never seen synchronized swimming, it's definitely something that's worth watching. Elke and I were literally at a loss for words whilst watching these girls tread water for what seemed hours and have a smile on the entire time. Seriously, imagine treading water for hours?! I mean, I know that swimmers are unbelievable athletes - this just took it to another level. The kind of stuff that they were doing was way too impressive for me to believe. It's something you have to see with your own eyes to really believe it.  
After a solid hour and a half of that, I got my act together and warmed up for my match. After about 30 minutes, I had about one hour before my match would start. So I got all my juices flowing with my team, and just hung out in the lounge till 6 p.m.. I was able to exchange more pins today! I got Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Columbia! Yay! We do have some serious pin exchanging to do tomorrow though Christina. We can't let the boys get away with all our pins! Seriously! 
So, for my match, I had the pleasure of playing right next to a court where a Mexican female was playing against a Brazilian. Can you say "intense?" I literally couldn't hear myself think! The people that were sitting in the stands of my match were there just to watch the match on the other court. But hey, it's all good. I was able to get a victory which means the USA is up 1-0! Whoop whoop! LET'S GO USA!!! 
After a little celebratory team dinner, it was sleepy time! Christina plays at 10 a.m. tomorrow, and all the boys play at 4 p.m.! I play at 6 p.m., so stay tuned for that! I'll be primetime again. Fun times! 
-- Irina
  •  When my team was cheering me on today, whenever they said LET'S GO USA, the rest of the crowd would start shooshing them. So at one point, they decided that they were going to start cheering like this: 
  • Needless to say, I laughed out loud in the middle of the match. 
  • I heard a fan today actually say "Come on Venezuela, beat the gringa!" I thought that was pretty funny as well...   
In regards to a player that was playing in a tournament: 
Gully: "Do you know this girl?"   
Us: "Um, nope. Never heard of her." 
Gully: "So you wouldn't be able to pick her out of a one-woman line up..." 


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