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Tommy Robredo Blogs From Hamburg

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

I guess a few of you are wondering what was going on at match point when I took off my shirt. Well, here's the back story.

Last night at dinner with Michael and Juan they said, "Tommy, if you win let's do one thing. The soccer players, they put their shirts down and they write something and they are ready if they score a goal. You have to be ready if you win to do something original. Not just lay down on the clay like everyone else." I said, "Well, come on, help me, what can I do?" Juan suggested that I take off my shirt. Before the match point I asked myself "Am I going to do this? Yeah, yeah, I have to do it." It was funny.

At this time after the semifinal I had 21 text messages. Right now it's 41 and a few calls. I guess that's the difference a final makes. I already spoke with the chief of the Partido Popular [the opposition political party] in Spain, Mariano Rajoy.

It's nice that he remembers me and supports me. Alex Corretja just called me and I have a lot of messages from David Ferrer. After I beat him in the quarters he sent me a text message saying: Come on, Tete, now that you have beaten me you must go on and win the title. When I beat Ancic he called me and said "I saw you on TV and you were great. Keep going like this."

I am so, so happy. After the match I just wanted to do my press conference as quickly as I could and then go back to the hotel, lay down on the bed and think about what I have just done. Winning a title is important; winning a Masters Series title is even more important... and I think I'm going to be No. 7 in the world. I'll run a hot bath and soak in the bath with lots of bubbles. Then I'll have a great dinner.

I have a 12.30 flight tomorrow to Barcelona and one of my best friends will be there to meet me. And at night I'm going to get dressed up in a suit and go to the Laureus Awards.

Last night I took a full body massage and then went to a Japanese restaurant with Juan and Michael. I turned off the TV at midnight but I didn't sleep too well. I got to sleep at 1 am and got up a few times. I wasn't thinking about the match but my body knew a great moment was arriving. I got up at 9.30 and couldn't eat breakfast too well. I practiced with Ollie again at the club and then had some pasta.

Before the match today I was dancing and singing. I have an iPod, the ATP gave us one in Miami. I just put 695 songs on it, I have Mozart, Bach, any kind of music. It just makes me feel good, it takes my mind off the match. Today I listened to ZZ Top, Coldplay, Mana, for example, among others.

What will I do with this beautiful trophy? I will put it behind my plasma TV in my living room and I will tell my cleaning lady, Carmen, to clean it especially well.

I hope you've enjoyed reading the blog. I've had a lot of fun doing it and it's brought me a lot of luck. I have already asked if I can do it again at Roland Garros!



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Saturday, May 20, 2006   
I had a great win today over Mario Ancic to reach my first Masters Series final, but before I talk about that let me get the important stuff out of the way. My trainer Juan Reque was most upset that his picture mysteriously disappeared from the blog yesterday. So I'm on strike... no more blogging until the ATP editor puts the photo back! That's only fair. Well, I'll trust the editor to put it back... and besides, I don't want to stop blogging now as the blog has brought me good luck all week.

When I got up this morning breakfast had already closed but Juan had already got something for me, which I ate in the room. (He'll do anything to get that photo back up.) Then we had a 10-15 minute run around the lake.

When you get late into a tournament week it can sometimes be hard to find another player to hit with. I didn't have anyone lined up to hit with today so last night I asked Nicola from the ATP and the guy at the practice desk if they could find me someone. So this morning I hit with a local guy by the name of Ollie, and he gave me a good warm-up.

I had a little pasta and fish for lunch and then went through my normal routine before the match. I was very happy to win today and reach my first Masters Series final. I now have the chance to reach No.8 or No. 9 depending on if I win or not. If I could win my third career title and first Masters Series title in the same week that Barcelona wins the Champions League then it would be a perfect week for me.

About 10 minutes after the match I had 21 text messages on my cell phone and I now also have six or seven voice messages from family and friends. I haven't returned any of those calls yet because I just want to cool down a little and relax. Tonight I will get back in touch with some of them and on Monday I'll be sure to get in touch with all of them to thank them for their support.

Tonight I'll go to a nice dinner with Juan and ATP trainer Michael Novotny to celebrate today's win. Before that I will have a massage in the room with Juan. Tonight I want to get a good sleep because the final is best of five sets and I want to do everything so I'm perfectly prepared for the final.



Friday, May 19, 2006  

It’s midnight and I am very happy right now, not only because I won my match against David Ferrer, but also because I will be able to sleep at the hotel!!!

I’ll explain the situation. After doing the interviews at the press room, getting my massage and putting some ice, I went to eat something in the restaurant and for some reason someone closed the door and locked me inside. If wasn’t for my strong arms, I would still be locked inside the restaurant and have to sleep there before my semifinal match against Mario Ancic tomorrow.

Today I played very well against my good friend Ferrer and was able to win in two sets. In the first set, I was down 6-1 in the tie-break and I don’t really know how I came back to take the set. I guess I played some good points and he made a couple mistakes. I am very happy that I won because I'm always setting new goals and after breaking into the Top 10, my next goal is to win a big event like a Masters Series.

Lately I have been receiving some funny e-mails from my friends asking me to talk about them in my blog. I wish I could do that, but if I did my blog would be eight pages long. Sorry guys, maybe next time!

Last night I received a phone call from one of my best friend’s girlfriend. She came to town and wanted to see me. We went to eat dinner at a nice restaurant and then we walked around the lake for a little while. It was nice to see her and chat a little bit.

This morning I didn’t have to wake up early because my match was the last one. After my breakfast, I went to the club and warmed up from 11:30 to 12:00 and then came back to the hotel to rest. Whenever I play night matches, I don’t like to stay at the tournament site for too long because it drains me down.

Back at the hotel I chatted with some friends on the MSN and also watched some news from Spain. It’s always nice when there is a Spanish TV channel in the hotel.

Around 4:30 I went back to the club and stayed in the locker room preparing my rackets. David was also in the locker so we were chatting and telling jokes to each other such as: “David, you played so good yesterday. I am sure you are going to beat me today.”

Then he would tell me: “Tommy I feel pain in my shoulder. I am sure you are going to win today.” It was pretty funny and we were having a good time before our match.

Davydenko’s match was long so when we got to the court it was late and cold. It’s unfortunate that I had to play David in the quarterfinals because we were both playing very well, and maybe we could play each other in the final. Also, it’s tough to play against a good friend such as David, but that’s tennis. We all know that we will have to play against our friends at some point.

In my press conference today, the journalists made a lot of questions about my Blog. I told them that it’s a lot of fun to let the tennis fans know what happens to us (players) inside and outside of the courts. I would be very interested to know what Tiger Woods  does in the golf tournaments and what he thinks when he is about to putt.

It’s a great initiative from the ATP to do blogs with the players and I love doing it.

It’s past midnight and I need to go back to the hotel and get some rest. Thanks to my strong arms I won’t have to sleep here!



Thursday, May 18, 2006   
Barcelona Campeón!!! As everyone knows, my favorite soccer team F.C. Barcelona beat Arsenal 2-1 in the final of the UEFA Champions League last night. Instead of watching the match in my room, I went to the player’s party because I knew they would have a TV there. Also, they served sushi for dinner and since I love sushi I couldn’t miss that.

Fernando Verdasco, Pato Clavet and Juan Reque were there with me watching the match. I was pretty disappointed after Arsenal scored the first goal but when Barcelona came back with two goals in less than 10 minutes, I went crazy.

You might be asking: Where was David Ferrer? Well, he was in his room watching the match by himself, and according to his coach Ferrer was going crazy also almost 'breaking everything'! He told me that he didn’t want to watch the game with everybody else because he was afraid that people would be annoyed about him screaming too loud.

At the beginning of the match there were only 10 people watching the final. But at the end, when Barcelona scored the first goal to tie the match 1-1, more people were there. Not many people cared too much about the game because no German team was playing.

When I woke up this morning it was raining. Because of that I had to warm up with Nikolay Davydenko later than we had scheduled. When we got to the club the courts were wet but we still had to warm up, so we hit for about 30 minutes on a court that had a huge puddle in the middle.

Today I played a very good match against Paul-Henri Mathieu. In the beginning he was hitting the ball very hard but then I adjusted a few things and was able to play my game and win 6-3, 6-3.

When I left the court today, I saw something I had never seen at a tennis tournament in my life: Cheerleaders! I have seen cheerleaders at basketball games but never at tennis tournaments. I was walking to the press room to give interviews and there were about 12 girls jumping up and down and screaming. I thought it was very funny.

If I was a tennis fan I would love to see more of these activities at the tournaments such as cheerleaders, concerts, magicians, etc. I think that would be a lot of fun for the crowd.

Tomorrow I will have a very tough match against Ferrer. He is in great shape physically and has been playing well lately. We are very good friends and have never played against each other. We ate dinner together for most of the week, so if he wants to go out to have dinner I will be glad.

I would like to thank all my young tennis fans that have been supporting me since my first round match in Hamburg. These kids are so much fun!

Thanks guys and los veo mañana.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006  
Today is shaping up as a perfect day. I won my second-round match against Florent Serra and tonight I'm getting set to watch the UEFA Champions League final between my team Barcelona and Arsenal. And last night chatting to my friend on messenger I learned that he had found a ticket at the last minute, so he won't have to try to sneak into the stadium. Apparently there was a guy in Madrid who returned his ticket at the last minute and my friend was able to buy it as part of a package that included an airfare for about 500 or 600 Euros. He's flying to Paris right now. I told him that now the only way I'd visit him in jail is if Barcelona wins and he makes an unbelievable party.

Right now I'm going back to the hotel for a siesta and then I will chat again on messenger. I'm sure most of the talk will be about the football. The players' party is on tonight at the hotel but for sure I will miss that. I'll just get room service for dinner and then a lot of the players will try to find a room to watch the match as a group, which will be more fun. David Ferrer and his coach, who are Barcelona supporters, will be cheering with me but Ferrero and Verdasco will be cheering against Barcelona because they support Madrid. They don't care if Arsenal wins; they just want Barcelona to lose. I think that Carlos Moya, who is a Barcelona supporter, has flown to Paris for the game.

It's probably better that we don't use my room to watch the game. The room itself is very tidy; I'm someone who has a place for everything. I'll put my shirts in one place, my pants in another, my socks in another... But the bathroom is a different matter. There you'll find my used socks and clothes and my match shoes with clay on them and my running shoes. It's not a pretty picture and neither is the smell.

This system all came about when I was younger and traveled to the US for two weeks of tournaments. After each day I would just put the sweaty clothes into the same bag. My parents came over in the second week and I asked my mother to clean my clothes. But when she opened the bag it smelled so bad we had to throw all the clothes away. There may even have been some mushrooms in there! My parents were screaming at me and told me I had to let the clothes dry.

Late yesterday I started to watch Under the Tuscan Sun with Diane Lane before going out to dinner with David Ferrer and his coach at a restaurant close to the hotel. After that I watched the end of the film and then got to bed around 12.30, which was later than it should have been with an 11 o'clock match. But it was tough to get to sleep after that siesta I had.

I am a Spaniard so I don't like getting up at 8 o'clock, which is what I've had to get up the last three days. I'm going to have to talk to Giorgio, the ATP Tour Manager, and ask for later starts! I need the extra sleep.

I practiced with Stepanek, who also was first match on today, from 9.30 to 10. I talked with Vliegen and Nieminen in the locker room before we went out to play. Most players are normally pretty quiet before they go out. Then with 10 or 20 minutes to go I put on my iPod, did a little jumping and moving about. I knew today's match would be tough and Serra beat me the last time we played in Adelaide.

I limited myself to just one ice cream after lunch - I didn't double up like yesterday. I saw Ferrero and Garcia-Lopez in the players' lounge fighting to see who could make the fastest lap time in a Formula 1 car game.

I was asked to do a STARS activity today that involved an abseiling rescue. But I had to say no to that one. I don't want any mishaps before tomorrow's match.

Hasta mañana, Tommy

Tuesday, May 16, 2006   
My blog seems to be getting plenty of attention. Players and other people I speak to during the day say "Remember to speak about me in the blog and say my name."

After my post yesterday I had an interesting messenger chat with one of my friends back in Olot, a town where I used to live. Like me, he's a great supporter of Barcelona, who will play Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League final in Paris on Wednesday. He is going to Paris tonight even though he doesn't have a ticket. He's had some success in the past sneaking into stadiums without a ticket but this one will be tough to pull off. I wrote to him: The police are going to take you to jail. But the good news is that I'll be in Paris in a couple of weeks for Roland Garros so I will visit you and bring you a Coke and something to eat.

Unfortunately the Brazilian models were busy last night so we had to postpone dinner. But I haven't given up hope and there may even be a chance to go to a nice restaurant tonight. I had dinner with them earlier in the week with my friend from Octagon and they knew I was here by myself this week. They said that we should go out to dinner again or maybe catch a movie.

I just hope they don't ask me to go out tomorrow - I will be watching the football. For sure the soccer is more important. My favorite team only gets to play in a big final like this once every few years... the girls have to understand that. I will switch off the cell phone and not move from the TV. If Barcelona loses I won't be in a good mood and if they win all I'll want to talk about is soccer. But of course after the match I would be happy to go to dinner, whether it is with the girls or some of the players.

Last night I had dinner with my friend Danny at an Italian restaurant and then took a walk around the Alster to let the food settle. That's a better way to appreciate the lake than running along its banks like I did with David Ferrer and his coach.

This morning I got up at 9 and had a little practice with David before our doubles match with Chris Haggard and Wesley Moodie. We tried changing sides today; we hadn't been winning with me playing in the ad court so I switched to the deuce court. It worked well in the first set! We won it 6-1. But they kicked our butts in the second set and then they won the Match Tie-break. Afterwards we ran and did weights.

After lunch I had two ice creams for dessert - an almond Magnum and a Magnum Blanco (white chocolate around the ice cream). And each day I also like to eat a few Haribo candies.

Then I went into the Tour Manager's office with a little request before tomorrow's schedule is made. I told Giorgio that I needed to be free after 6 pm to watch Barcelona play. I said I would kill him if I was scheduled to play late. Then I asked him to call me on my cell phone when the schedule was made as I didn't want to hang around on site to see what time I played.

I also watched a little of the Kiefer match. He's creating quite a stir wearing his name and the number 69 on the back of his shirt. I don't know what the story is with the number but I'll try to find out. I can think of three possible answers: It's his lucky number, the number has been given to him by his football team, Hanover, or... I don't even want to think about the third reason.

Now I'm going to go back to the hotel and have a one-hour siesta before chatting again on Messenger. And I'll keep working on trying to get a dinner with one of the models!

Hasta mañana, Tommy

Monday, May 15, 2006  

Yesterday I practiced for one hour and then went for 30-minute run with Juan Reque. After the run I lifted weights for about 20 minutes because I had problems with my shoulder last year and to recover from my injury I have to do weights three times a week for 20-30 minutes.

After practice I went to grab something to eat and watched the F-1 race for a little while. Then I played a Spanish game of cards called ‘mus’ with Fernando Verdasco, his coach Pepo, Feliciano Lopez and their trainer. We really love to play this game, so we were playing for about two to three hours.

Before going out for dinner I took a Spanish siesta. A friend of mine that works for Octagon, my agency, arrived on Saturday night. I didn’t know he was coming, so it was a great surprise. He is a guy who knows a lot of people and has many friends. And he's like my dating coach. We went out to eat in an Italian restaurant close to the hotel with two Brazilian girls who are models. After dinner I went to bed around 11:30 pm.

I had a match at 11:00 today, so I got up around 8:00 because I like to wake up three hours before my match and have a practice 90 minutes before my match. At 9:00am I was already at the tournament site moving my body a little bit with Juan. From 9:30 to 10:00 I warmed up with Robin Soderling because I signed up to hit with anyone and Soderling wanted to hit with me.

From 10:00 to 11:00 I prepared my three racquets to play. Every time I play a match I like to get my racquets re-strung. I had to put on the grip and then prepare my energy drinks.

Before the match I have a routine. I like to go to the bathroom and then put my iPod on and listen to music for about 20 minutes. Nobody can distrub me. I have about 1,000 songs on my iPod but before the matches I like to listen to rock because then I arrive little bit more motivated on the court.

I played Jiri Novak, who I played many times and always lost. He is a good friend of mine. We played doubles together here last year. I always told him “Please, before you retire let me win once.” He always joked about that. Even though I knew it was going to be a tough match I knew as well that he was coming back from an injury, so I wanted to make him move a lot. I played a perfect match winning 6-3, 6-2 and in the end he told me at the net “You finally beat me.” He is a really nice guy. He was joking even when he lost.

After the match I went to the gym to do some weights on my shoulder. Then I stretched a little bit and got something to eat. In the afternoon I am going to the hotel to rest and chat on the messenger. It’s like a routine for me when I have some time off in the hotel to chat with my friends and family.

At 6:00 pm I am going to meet Juan and David Ferrer for a 30-minute run nearby at a really nice lake.

Tomorrow I will let you guys know more about what happened tonight. As you might know I broke up with Gisela Dulko, who I dated for one year. Tonight I am going to try to arrange a dinner with the Brazilian girls we met last night. I like being in good company!


Saturday, May 13, 2006  

I'm happy to be doing the blog this week. I read Dmitry's and thought it was great. This week hopefully I can give you an idea of what a day in the life of a player is like during Masters Series Hamburg.

I've got to say it was a little stressful getting here. On Friday I decided to take a late afternoon flight so I could practice in Barcelona during the day. My flight was scheduled to stopover in Mallorca and then continue to Hamburg. I arrived at the airport at 5pm and the first flight was fine. Then in Mallorca I waited for all the people to board before getting on. But as I walk to the door the girl at the desk tells me that she needs four passengers to get on a different plane. "We are waiting for some passengers from Santiago, so this will make this plane leave late," she says. "There's another plane that will leave sooner and you'll arrive on time in Hamburg." So myself and three other people rush to a different gate but when we get there... no plane! It had already left. So we have to go back to the original gate.

On my way to Hamburg I turn to my instrument of work - my phone. I was arranging things for practice. I have my physio, Juan Reque, with me in Hamburg, but I am still without a coach. I sent Juan a text message: Please arrange practice for me in the morning and in the afternoon we can go running. I also was surprised to see a text message from Mahesh Bhupathi, one of the world's best doubles players: Hey Tommy, do you want to play doubles with me in Hamburg? I've lost in the first round of doubles about 10 times in a row so I wasn't sure if he was drunk. Maybe he just wanted the first-round prize money. Anyway, I had already arranged to play with David Ferrer so I had to say no.

In the end we arrived 90 minutes late into Hamburg and then I had to wait another 30 minutes for my racquet bag to show up - they made me send it with the checked luggage. Thankfully my courtesy car driver was still waiting for me at the airport. We had to walk a little way to the garage where the car was parked. We took the elevator to the fifth floor before the driver realized the car was on the fourth floor. So we went to the fourth floor and then she said it was actually on the third floor. When we eventually found the car it was on the second floor.

I got to the hotel around 12.30 am. I unpacked my bag and went straight to bed.

Today I had breakfast in the hotel with Alberto Martin. When we got to the site I left one racquet with the stringer to try out in the afternoon to see if it's the tension I want to play with here this week. I warmed up with Juan at 10.30 and then practiced with Guillermo Coria. It was just a half hour hit and we were sharing a court with two other guys who had a match coming up. Then we played some games. He was leading 5-2 when we stopped. But that's okay... it was my first day getting used to the courts and the balls. I was finished by 12.30 and my next practice wasn't until 3, so that gave me time to have a shower and get something to eat. I had some pasta and then some ice cream - I love the sweet things.

Then I played the trivia machine... they ask questions about sports, geography and art. Then I watched the battle for pole position for Sunday's Formula 1 race on TV.

I had a practice with Nicolas Kiefer. We just warmed up for five minutes and then played some games. It was 5-4 with no breaks when we had to stop because Safin and Gaudio had the court.

Then Juan and I wanted to find a place to go for a run. We found a school with a running track but there was a fence so it didn't look like we could get in. But we found a hole so we snuck in and ran on the clay track for half an hour. Then we came back to the club and stretched.

Tonight I will have a massage and on Sunday I will practice with Juan Carlos. I'm told that I play Monday against Jiri Novak so I will take it pretty easy Sunday. I have played Jiri three times and have never beaten him. I told him that before he retires I want to beat him once. He's been injured for six months but he played in Rome last week. So maybe this is the best chance I've had yet to get a win. We'll see.

It's an amazing feeling to have made the Top 10. You always set goals during your career. Early on it was to make the Top 100, which I did at 18, then I wanted to win a title, which I did in Sopot in 2001. Then we won the Davis Cup for Spain. Then the Barcelona Open in 2004. But there are always new goals and this year one of those goals was to make the Top 10.

But I was very disappointed to lose in the first round in Rome to Rusedski. It would have been like Greg losing to me on grass in the week that he made the Top 10.

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