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Robby Ginepri Blogs From Cincinnati

Robby Ginepri© Getty ImagesOne final shot from Cincinnati

Friday, August 18, 2006   
Hey guys,

One last blog for ya before I hand it off to somebody else in New Haven.

I know you're dying to know, but I'm sorry to report that we didn't make it back to Waffle House to see Holly, Miss Waffle House USA. Holly, if you read this, sorry the four stooges never came back.

So the bad thing about the Holly incident is that I got home to Atlanta and got an earful from my girlfriend Josephine. She was a little jealous of all the attention I was giving to Miss Waffle House USA while she was back home in Atlanta.

It's good to be back home. We slept in this morning, a little too long, so we had to throw everything in the bag and hustle to the airport. Easy flight back to Atlanta -- I slept through most of it. Diego, Pops and I all were headed to Atlanta, and my sister picked us up. Jamie went up to New York, where he lives out on Long Island.

As soon as I got home, my roommate Bobby Reynolds was there, which is unusual. I see him more on the road than I do at home. He's leaving tomorrow for the US Open qualies. My other roomie was there before he was going to work. It was good to see them.

Jo and four of my other friends came up and we rolled out to my favorite sushi joint in Kennesaw. We wound up talking a lot of tennis because not everybody saw me or talked to me after the match.

I'm having everybody back to my place tonight. Looking forward to unwinding and relaxing a bit before heading to New York for the Open.

Thanks for reading this week. I hope to see you in Queens!


Thursday, August 17, 2006  
Hey everyone,

I guess the best way to start today is at the beginning, and today was no different than the others. My room connects with Jamie's and Diego's, so we all met up somewhere in that doorway between the rooms and headed down to breakfast. As usual, Pops joined us toward the end of breakfast.

With an afternoon match, a good breakfast is key. I put down three egg whites scrambled over some wheat toast with strawberry jam. On the side I had some oatmeal with fruit and OJ.

We got to the courts, and I warmed up with Diego. I'm taking him to the ATL with me next week to get him into some kind of shape. We're gonna run up Kennesaw Mountain together. It's a great workout. And there's a reward in the end, because when you get to the top, there's a great view of downtown Atlanta and also Stone Mountain.

Before the matches, I usually like to chill out and listen to some music, but lately I've been doing a little boxing to get fired up. I also have some light pasta to get some carbs into me.

I felt pretty good out there all day today during my match against Andy Murray. It's pretty frustrating to have a match like that in palm of your hand and then to lose out. The way this year's been going, it would've been something to turn things around.

I had to do press, which isn't too fun after a match like that, but you have to do it for the fans. After that we scurried out and headed back to the room for some food.

While we ate, everyone gave their two cents worth on the match, but it's done now. We're all moving on.

Jamie and I had to run out for an errand after we ate. We saw the King's Island Amusement Park while we were out, and decided to head over to pop in on a roller coaster, but it had just closed when we got there. Typical for the day, get right there but not able to get through.

I know a lot of you are waiting to hear more about Holly -- Miss Waffle House USA. She's only seen one day of us, but we might have to stop into the Waffle House before our flight to Atlanta in the morning. Stay tuned...

Til tomorrow,


Wednesday, August 16, 2006  

Hello again from Cincinnati, where I won my second-round match today.

This morning I kept my eyes shut for a while -- rolled out of bed about 11:15. I wanted a good night’s rest, because I knew I was playing tonight. I hit at about 1 p.m. with Diego Ayala. It’s good to get some blood flowing and a sweat going before a night match. I don’t like to sit around and get cold.

We went back and stopped at Chipotle restaurant on the way. The boys got a big burrito, but I didn’t think that would be the best for me.

I watched some of Federer’s match against Andy Murray this afternoon. I wasn’t really scouting them, because I never look at the draw. So I didn’t know I’d be playing the winner. Of course, I’ve seen Federer play many times before, and I’ve played against Andy. So it’s no secret how to play him, though he’s playing a little different now that he has Brad Gilbert in his corner.

Also this afternoon, I played a little paradise poker. It took a little longer than I expected. So I had to bag it, even though I was the chip leader, because I had to come here for my match. That was a little disappointing, but you have to have your priorities, which is obviously tennis for me.

After beating Dmitry Tursunov tonight, I think it’s on for me again. I felt good tonight and am pretty fired up to go tomorrow against Andy. It feels like last summer, when I was winning so much. If I can put another match like this in the books, it’ll be only straight up from here.

I’m antsy to get out there and get that winning feeling back. It’s one of the best feelings in the world. That’s why I do this. The anticipation before the match is always fun. And once you get a “W,” it’s like a drug. You want more and more and more. It’s a great release in the brain. It’s good to be this hungry again, and I’m looking forward to playing match after match.

In case you’re wondering, I did not go to see Holly, Miss Waffle House USA, today. She was probably working but did not receive a visit from the four stooges. The Waffle House isn’t on the agenda for game day. The grease wouldn’t exactly let me fly around the court.

I was flipping through the latest Men’s Vogue, and who did I see but my buddy James Blake. He’s not as preppy as they made him look, even if he did go to Harvard. I was featured in Atlanta Peach Magazine myself, but this is a little bigger.

It’s cool seeing the boys when I look through a magazine. I saw James once on Celebrity Poker, and that was cool. In case, you’re wondering, I’m still waiting for my first TV show appearance!

See ya tomorrow, Robby

Tuesday, August 15, 2006  
Hello folks from Cincinnati Day 2. You may be wondering about the picture in this blog. I always love checking out the gift bags at tournaments. This one's pretty solid. By far the best thing is the flip flops. I've been sporting those since I got here.

I left you hanging last night about my post-match dinner plans Monday. We dined at the Montgomery Inn. It's the most famous place in town. The last couple years we've heard about it, so four of us had to go. I put down a full slab of ribs. It was very filling.

With the rain, it was pretty late when we got back. I got a little bit of treatment from Jamie and then played some poker on-line. I won one game but lost the other.

I talked to my Mom, my sister and my girlfriend when I got back as well. My Mom is usually watching on-line, but she couldn't because of the rain delay. She's a second grade teacher, so she sweats a lot of little things. When I dropped the first set 6-1, she would been really nervous watching it.

The highlight was breakfast this morning. With an off day, it was back to Waffle House, and who was there working, but Holly, Miss Waffle House USA. My Dad, Jamie, Diego and I all called her that because she's got to be the best looking girl to ever wait tables at a Waffle House. I've been to plenty of Waffle Houses in my day, and I've never seen anyone look that good.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not that superficial. She was an excellent waitress as well. Every order came out right, and quickly. It's not all about the looks, ok?!

I had to call one of my boys who is a frequent Waffle House eater in Atlanta to tell him about Holly. He didn't believe it. The whole drive to the courts, we were a little struck by what just happened. You just never expect something like that.

The biggest blunder of the day is that none of us had a camera. We were going to come back to the hotel to get it, but we were running a little (but that wasn't Holly's fault!).

We rolled up to the courts and hit with Diego. We just worked on a few things. He's big time out of shape, so it was pretty easy for me. He's been off the tour for a couple years, so he's put on the pounds. He's not at his sparring weight.

With the afternoon off, we check out a putt-putt golf course about 15 minutes away. We had a foursome and hit the course. Diego and my Dad actually tied. I got a hole-in-one on the 18th and went in to get my free game, but they said they don't do that anymore. What's that about?! It was just a friendly game, I save my wagering for poker.

Alex Colbalt from Under Armour flew in today because he had some work to do with the Cincinnati Bengals. He invited me out to check out their practice, but I just wanted to chill out and relax.

Instead, I watched Andy's match on TV. I was a little shocked, but I was glad Andy could pull it out, especially after him being injured. After a quick stop in the gym with Jamie for some light cycling, I got a massage on the legs to get them ready to go for Wednesday.

It was off to Embers for dinner -- it's a steak, seafood and sushi place about 15 minutes away. I crushed a medium-rare, 22 oz bone-in ribeye. I like putting away a steak the night before a match because I like to get the protein in me.

Got a night match tomorrow, so I'm in no rush to go to sleep. I'll have plenty of time to check in with the lady back home.

Til tomorrow


Monday, August 14, 2006  
Hi everyone from Cincinnati, where the tournament started with a bang for me.

Last night I had a big dinner before my afternoon match. I went to my favorite restaurant, Benihana. It’s gotten me through some tough matches. I went there six out of seven nights one year in New York – when I lost to Andy Roddick in the final of the US Open juniors (2000).

I can trust that meal. It will withstand the beating on my body the next day. My dad came along, which was very nice.

The chefs often provide entertainment while they cook out in the open at Benihana. But the guy didn’t do too many tricks last night. It was a little disappointing. As someone who wants to be a cook one day, I watch what ingredients they use. I would have them cut down on the amount of butter, though that’s probably what makes it taste so good.

It’s cool when you walk in – you see the pictures of all the famous people that have been there: George Bush, Michael Jordan, even Pete Sampras.

I woke up at 10:30 this morning – I like to sleep. I ordered pancakes, egg whites and oatmeal for breakfast from room service.

I warmed up at about 12 with Paul Goldstein. He’s a bit similar to the guy I played today – Paul-Henri Mathieu. After that, I had a bite to eat, and then all of the sudden the clouds opened up, and the rain came. We left the site, which I almost never do. We went to the UPS store where my friend had to drop something off. And we listened to some tunes. That got my mind off the match a bit.

Then I came back and suited up for the match. It rained while we were playing, which is a royal pain. Tennis is so mental as it is, without rain. To have to go on court and off and then back on… I lost nine straight points when we came back. That shouldn’t happen to any professional tennis player. And I’ll try not to let it happen again.

After matches, I usually hop on the bike for a few minutes to cool down from the match. I talk to my coaches about the match. We went over a few things. Then I showered, cooled down and got a little massage. You gotta rub out that lactic acid in the legs. And you need to eat 30 minutes after the match or your body will break down. I had a banana and a shake.

I did my press conference. Dealing with the press comes with the territory. A lot of the questions are easy. You can avoid them by talking about whatever you feel like. It’s pretty easy. I like off-the-wall questions. That’s better for the fans. They know tennis and can see that you didn’t make enough first serves or made too many unforced errors. Questions about my cooking or my support of the Atlanta Falcons would probably be more interesting for them.

There will be no Benihana tonight, since I’m not playing tomorrow. I’m not sure where I’ll go. But I’m definitely leaving the tennis center. I’ve been here for about eight hours. That’s a long time to be at work for a tennis player.

I’ll tell you where I ate dinner tomorrow. After all, I have to give you a good reason to keep reading!

See you then.


Sunday, August 13, 2006  
If it’s Sunday, it must be Cincinnati. Hello to all you blog readers.

I got in Thursday from Toronto. At first I was thinking flying would be impossible with the enhanced security, so I was going to rent a car. But then Sebastien Grosjean told me flights were going fine, so I went ahead and flew.

We were expecting to wait a couple hours in line in Toronto. But we went right in. The only problem was I couldn’t take my Evian water past security, so I chugged it down there. We had to unpack our bags because you couldn’t carry on liquids, and my trainer had to take out a lot of creams and lotions.

Once we got to Cincinnati, I was working out in the gym, and who should walk by but a fellow American who you probably know of – James Blake. He asked me if I wanted to get some grub. So we went to Carrabba’s for a good little shmeal. I had veal piccata.

I want to be a cook in the future, so I often try to get some pointers and tips on how the food is prepared and served. It’s cool to see that around the world. There are completely different tastes and styles. I had to go for dessert because they had tiramisu, and I’m a sucker for it. Then I had a little café latte to clear the palette.

On Friday, the USTA had a court dedication in Cincinnati. I got to go back to my roots – high school arts classes, as I had to paint a little of the doubles sideline and sign my name to it. It’s cool that everyone playing on public courts will see that I was there. I talked with a local high school team and got to interact with the kids who play on public courts.

It reminded of my days growing up and how I would go to the public courts to hit against the backboard. And now people will be stepping on my name for years and years!

On Friday I hit with James Blake. It’s not too tough finding a hitting partner before the event starts. Sometimes you see guys at the airport and line something up for the next few days. If not, you can just sign up for a partner.

Friday night we went to a Mexican restaurant. It had unbelievable guacamole, though in all modesty, I must say that I make a better one. The Dos Equis beer was pretty good too!

Saturday night I hung out with the boys. We played poker. Mardy Fish, James Blake and Paul Goldstein were part of the game. I came in fourth. James won it. He was lucky as usual. He called Mardy in an all-in hand. Mardy had a better hand, but James popped a trump card at the end to win it. Mardy was furious and wouldn’t stop giving James a hard time.

Yesterday I played two hours with James. We played a few sets, and I lost. We do this thing we call hozelrocket. Whoever loses has to stand at the fence facing it. That was me. James stood at the other baseline and fired a ball as hard as he could at me. Fortunately, his aim’s not too good, so he missed. That game isn’t so much fun to play with Andy Roddick.

We involve the support crew, too. Diego Ayala – who I am working with through the US Open - wasn’t so lucky. He got hit in the back. He’s going to coach me at Cincinnati and the US Open. We go a long way back and played doubles together. It’s good to have someone here who’s a good friend and keeps it chilled and relaxed, the way I like it.

My dad is here. Pops has come every year I’ve played. His mom’s a little sick, so he needs a break. Last year he had an unbelievable time. Of course, that’s pretty easy when his son is winning – I made it to the semis.

Today I hit with Bjorn Phau. I asked him if he wanted to play hozelrocket. And he said “hozel what?”

I’m undefeated at the Golden Tee video game. I don’t play golf too well, so this works out a little better for me.

I’ve been going to the Waffle House every day, but tomorrow I won’t be able to, because it’s not so healthy before a match – I play Paul-Henri Mathieu in the first round. They have one about every mile in Atlanta (my home town), and I love it. I usually go late at night. It’s a good shmeal.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you about my near car wreck. The tournament gave us a nice rig for the week: a Mercedes S550. There’s not a better car to drive. I was working out at Gold’s Gym with my trainer. I was driving and pulled out, and we gassed it a bit. Some guy swerved into our lane, and we had to pull off the road. It probably wouldn’t have been so good to destroy the tournament car.

Fortunately, we all made it out unscathed! So I’ll be back to blog to you tomorrow. Have a good night!

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