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Irina Falconi blogs from Vancouver, BC: Entry No. 5

August 6, 2011 12:33 AM
Rising star Irina Falconi enjoys the tennis and the sights in western Canada.
Rising star Irina Falconi of Atlanta, currently ranked No. 81 in the WTA Rankings, is writing a blog this summer while she is competing in Olympus US Open Series events. Check back often for updates!
Hello friends. Irina here; sitting back, just enjoying another perfect day in Vancouver.
Yes, I said it, perfect. Because it truly is. We have yet to find something bad about our stay in Canada thus far.
Oh wait, there is one thing. In the upper courts of the Hollyburn Country Club, there is a rock trail behind the courts to get to the last court. The rock dispersement and separation between each one is not great. You feel a little off balance every time you step onto one rock, and the next one is either too far or too close. I mean, the club would obviously be perfectly perfect if that piece were fixed - but yeah, another two beautiful days here in "The Van."
Let's start off with Thursday: I woke up and made breakfast - which is, by the way, different from y'all are used to. Instead of the brown rice action this week, oatmeal decided to make it's way into my life, with a couple of berries that asked to join the party. I let them all in. Since we are in Canada and all...

I got to the club, warmed up, saw Matt again (which was no biggie), and then made my way to the match. I played against a Canadian which obviously meant I had the entire crowd cheering for me - NOT. I was able to get a victory by executing the game plan.vAll those coaches out there, don't you wish that your players were able to say that in every single match? "We had a game plan, and I executed." Must be nice. Trust me, Jeff always tells me that everyone can be the greatest coach in the world, but it's all on the player at the end of the day. Ain't that the truth?

After that, Jeff and I did scouting for the next match, then off we were for an early dinner. Unfortunately, my fellow college friend, Steve Johnson, lost in a tight one to the third seed and left us a tad too early, but not to worry. I'm sure ya'll will hear a lot more about Mr. Johnson during this year's US Open. You just wait and see.

So where do you think we went? Yup, you guessed right. The Cactus Club Cafe again. I mean, it was obviously very difficult to have to go to this restaurant again with the outdoor patio, the amazing music, the nice waitresses, the cool restrooms and the awesome food - but hey, everybody makes sacrifices. Speaking of sacrifices, Jeff made the sacrifice of going across the street from the Club to Pinkberry, a frozen yogurt place where you can get toppings from coconut shavings, to fruity pebbles. Don't worry Kimbo! Sticking to the nutrient densed and clean plan! Heck yeah!

Alright, so Friday. I mean, let me start off with the fact that who doesn't love Fridays? I mean, isn't the word just awesome? And it's obviously the day that comes before the weekend. Gosh, the little things are the ones that count, aren't they? I had breakfast with a new friend that we made, a very large and majestic Bald Eagle. I mean, from fish to seals to eagles, Rodney the dog, the Doggles dog, the crows, the gulls, and some hawks...Oh Nature! You can call me Noah.

After breakfast, it was quarterfinals time. We went to the gym, said hello to Matt and all, but it was game time. For all of y'all that don't know, I played this tournament last year and made it to the semis. The WTA rankings work on a yearly cycle which means you have to do just as good or better the following year during that week to maintain your ranking. Since it was just a 75K last year, I got 56 points for semifinals through qualifying. Which meant, I had to get to at least the semis at this tournament to get 70 points, which meant a +14 for me. Who doesn't love a positive?! So yeah, I got the victory! That's cool right?
I play a Canadian tomorrow in the semis which will mean I won't have a very large crowd for me, since I'm in Canada and all, but not to worry. As long as Jim, Gail and Jeff are there, what more could you ask for?

Off to Cactus Club cafe again tonight. Jeez. Why is the tour so much fun? *Because we make it fun!* A lot of people can assume that it's much more fun or funn-er (haha) because we're winning (of course it helps), but winning is a product of all the little things. We take an extreme amount of pride to do things the right way.
That's what makes it so much fun. Holler peeps. And stay classy.

  • Today, we saw a seagull and a crow fighting over a wine cork. Jeez, even the birds have good taste here in Canada. Jeff assures me it was a cork from a 95' Silver Oak. Duh.
  • I'm going to take a second to discuss the heart and soul of the USTA Pro Circuit. Their names are Bunny Williams, Missy Maloor, Billie Lipp, and Dessie Samuels. Bunny and Missy are here this week which means the girls are getting spoiled to no end. They're professional, thoughtful, caring, sweet, happy, positive, encouraging, and genuine people - the world should be so lucky to have more people like this. If I had any advice for any of you out there, it's surround yourself with positive people. What a treat to have these ladies in my life. From the bottom of my heart, and I know I speak for all the girls on the tour, we love you ladies!
  • I'd also like to give a special shoutout to all my American girls that have been tearing it up these past two weeks! Must be hard court season. Haha, just kidding. But seriously, well done ladies! In Carlsbad and here in Vancouver as well!
  • Another shoutout my main man Gully for keeping up with the blogs. Hope you break 70 in Palm Coast this weekend...
  • There's a cruise ship just passing along right in front of us...Just thought y'all should know that.


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