PARIS — Marco Island resident Lauren Embree won her way into the main draw of the French Open by winning a qualifier last month in Boca Raton. Follow along with the Lely graduate this week as she shares her thoughts about competing in her first Grand Slam event.
Sadly, this trip is coming to an end. We lost our doubles today to the two seeds, 1 and 4. We didn't play our best, but we tried and had fun. The other American boys came up short with their doubles also, but Sloane won her singles and is in the semifinals tomorrow!! The good side of this I guess is we have our last day to roam around Paris. I think my mom, me, Trice, her dad, and Mallory might take a tour around Paris and see some of the historical, famous sights. (sounds boring, but it should be fun!) Our flight out is not until Saturday, so we have a day to be tourists =). I'm glad I'm going home soon though, because I can't afford to keep eating all this amazing bread, and french food!! I'm waking up early tomorrow though, practicing at 8:30 a.m., then having the rest of the day to tour around Paris!
Another gorgeous day in Paris. We went to the site and watched some really good matches. I watched Christina play a really tough match against Pervak and Trice play against Solovieva. The both fought hard but came up short. I didn't have doubles today, so I practiced in the morning and then worked out in the afternoon. The wheelchair tennis started, and I've never seen any of that, so I watched some of those matches....and oh my gosh those women and men are good!!!! I talked to one of the wheelchair ladies in the locker rooms, and they were super nice and I'll definitely follow them from now on. I got a new partner for my running session today and went running around Paris with Lauren McHale...she's a tad bit faster than my mom. =) I am third up for doubles tomorrow against the two seeds and excited to root on the Americans that are still in the tournament tomorrow!
So after waiting around the site all day and watching some matches, we ended up getting a default in doubles. The Americans had another victorious day with everyone winning. It was a shorter day. I left the site around 5, went back to the hotel and went for a run around the streets of Paris with my mom. Surprisingly we didn't get lost and found our way back to our hotel again. We changed up the dinner plans and went sushi tonight. I couldn't do another day of Italian. Tomorrow we don't have doubles so I'm going to practice and watch some matches.
Well, today was a much happier but very long day! I finally slept in until around 10, I was right about the breakfast, not the greatest like last week. I Hit at 12 and then again at 3. Trice Capra and I won our doubles match 6-2, 6-2 against two French girls. We played pretty well, and tomorrow we play Anna Orlik and Laura Robson. More Americans played today..and won! Sloane Stephens and Christina McHale won their singles matches, and Evan King and Denis Kudla also won their doubles match! I'm exhausted and going to sleep early because I'm warming up Trice tomorrow for her match at 9:30!
Well I couldn't say I had the best day today, but it's a good thing other Americans did! I lost my match 3-6, 6-7(5) to Kolar. I didn't play as well as I wanted to, but the other girl was a solid player with a big forehand. I was up in both sets, and had my chances but couldn't convert. Tomorrow, Trice Capra and I are fifth up doubles match against two French girls. Some Americans that won today were Sloane Stephens, Christina McHale, and Beatrice Capra. =). I was at the site all day, so when I got back to the room, I just watched a movie, (Wanted) with Mallory Burdette and relaxed. Nothing very exciting! Catch up with you guys tomorrow!
We finally get to go to Roland Garros today and receive our credentials! Trice Capra and I went over there this morning and got them, signed up for doubles and got all organized like the responsible girls that we are. :) The draw came out and I play Nastja Kolar first up at 11! I've actually never played her but she's had some pretty good results, so its going to be a tough match. Tonight, Brooke Bolender and I went to the usual pizza place around the corner from the hotel. :) My roommate, Alex Cercone, is leaving me tomorrow to go back to the states :( Now my mom I moving in with me. How fun :/ (just kidding!) I'll blog tomorrow hopefully with some good news!
Today was another cold day here in Paris. I feel like I have been here for months, but check in is finally tomorrow. I can't wait to start playing on Sunday. A few more Americans got here this afternoon. I tackled Trice Capra with a nice huge hug when I saw her. I practiced again today and watched the other Americans qualify! Since everyone is at the same hotel, we got a group together and went to dinner. Having a bunch of Americans here is really fun, and everyone was happy to see each other. Tomorrow should be a more eventful day. We will be down by Roland Garros getting our credentials and getting ready for the tournament!
I woke up this morning and packed up all my stuff. I ate my last five-star breakfast at the Hilton. I'm going to miss stuffing my face every morning with crepes, croissants, and scrambled eggs =). We moved to the junior hotel, the Adagio, where now my breakfast will probably consist of corn flakes and maybe a muffin. I warmed up Alex for her match and then practiced with Mallory Burdette for a while. Instead of seeing Andy Roddick today, I saw a few of the American boys. For some reason that just didn't make my day today. Tonight I finally ate an American meal ... a nice healthy cheese pizza. For once our dinner was under 40 euros which made my mom happy. It's freezing here these past few days, but tomorrow should be sunny again! =)
I woke up to a sunny, but chilly day in Paris! I headed down to a practice site, The Racing Club and met Brooke Bolender for a nice, solid workout. This club is super nice, 40 courts, an Olympic size pool, and a soccer field. Leaving the courts, Brooke spotted a beautiful sight ... Andy Roddick =) He was with his entourage and just beginning his practice session. That just about made our morning. Later we met up with Alex Cercone and Mallory Burdette for our afternoon hit. I'm just glad I make it safely to these places without our drivers getting in accidents. There are basically no rules when driving here and when it comes to entering roundabouts I just close my eyes and pray no one hits us. Everyone goes whichever way they want to, with scooters coming from every direction and cutting you off. In the late afternoon, I had to head back to Roland Garros. Since I'm a "rookie" to the pro tour, every rookie is required to do "rookie hours," which takes some time. You basically learn about the WTA Tour and the benefits they offer. Tomorrow the qualifying for the juniors start so some of my friends will be competing in that!
Well today was the first rainy day in Paris. Most of the matches were delayed a couple hours and practice courts were very limited and hard to schedule. I managed to get an hour in with my friend Alex in the morning and just went to the gym in the afternoon instead. It turned cold and windy today. We had our last meal here together at another French restaurant. Besides eating late in the French tradition, my dad insist he use his translation book to order our meals. As a result, a two and a half hour meal has been the usual. After debating all week to order calf liver we finally ordered it and didn't like it! My brother and father are heading home tomorrow. I'm really going to miss fighting with my brother on the warm-up court every day. Talk to you guys tomorrow!
Today was another hot day in Paris! I slept in, ate the AMAZING breakfast at the hotel provided and headed over to the site. My friend Alex Cercone arrived today from Tampa. She's here for the juniors also. We watched a few matches, saw a little bit of Rafa, and the end of Venus' match. We then went to a practice site at a really nice country club. Tonight my family and I wanted to do a little sight seeing. We took a taxi down toward the Eiffel Tower and took a boat tour on the River Seine. (it sounds boring but it was actually lots of fun!) We passed the Louvre, Notre Dame, the French Embassy, and many other historical sites. My French vocabulary is slowly getting better, and everyone here is extremely nice. It doesn't get dark here until around 10 at night. We find ourselves having dinner around 10 every night. Tomorrow more juniors are coming in and have another busy and full day of fun and practice!
Au Revoir! =))
Today was the big day! The crowds at Roland Garros were much bigger today. My brother and I warmed up at 12 and shared it with Jelena Dokic and Alisa Kleybanova. We met up with good friends of ours the Saiontzs, Rachel (my best friend =) ), her father Steve, and older brother Brent. They came all the way from Miami to watch my match.
We all hung out in the players lounge waiting for the two matches before mine to be completed on Suzanne Lenglen Court. The Players Lounge was filled with tennis greats, like Nadal, Verdasco (my favorite), and Sharapova. I got on the court around 4:30. Besides the fact that I was so nervous, walking onto the court was an awesome feeling. I looked up and saw thousands of people, then I looked across the net and saw Petrova, who was about twice my size!
I was victorious in the coin toss and gave my box a fist pump. I elected to receive, because I was afraid of double faulting four times in a row. =) She only aced me twice in the first game, which was gratifying. On the change over, my mouth was dry from my nerves again, so I had a quick drink and went back to serve. I was up 30-0 but lost the game =[. I was having trouble calming my nerves.
I won my first game at 3-0 and felt a little better. At 3-1, I had a bad fall. Blood was dripping down my leg so had a medical timeout at 1-4, which took longer then I thought. She won the first set, 6-1. In the second set I went down early 2-0, got a game and then went down 4-2. I began to play a little better and had two points to get it to 4-3, but she hit some good shots, and won the set 6-2.
The French crowd was very nice and supportive and gave me a nice ovation for my effort. I signed lots of autographs on the way to the locker room, and then had a short press conference. It was a wonderful experience and one of the highlights of my tennis career. The junior tournament starts next Sunday so I'll be preparing for that!!
I practiced again today at 9:30. There were tons of kids walking around the grounds today because of a charity event going on. All these little kids came running towards my direction with pens and paper so I thought they were going to ask my for autograph but they ran straight to my brother...my brother laughed, then pointed to me and told them "she's the player I'm just the practice partner." I saw that the schedule came out today. I play third on after 11 on Suzanne Lenglen which appears to be one of the largest stadium courts. Nadia is the 11th seed, from Russia. She spent many years in the top 10. She has reached the French Open semis twice...so she must be a pretty good clay court player!
When we got back to our hotel, we walked a mile down to the Arc de Triomphe and toured that. We then walked down Avenue des Champs Elysees and had lunch at a bistro. We're heading out tonight to do one of the necessary things while you're in Paris...shopping =) Catch up with you tomorrow!
Another gorgeous day in Paris. I practiced from 9:30-11 and then again at 1:30. The draw came out today...I play Nadia Petrova the 11 seed!
The French food is definitely different. My mom ordered fish, and literally got a whole fish with the meat inside it!! I tried some duck, and tartare...I think I'm just going to stick to the American food =). Haven't done much sightseeing yet, but hopefully going tomorrow to the Arc de Triomphe. The Roland Garros grounds are so pretty and clean. The people are super nice to you, most speak English which helps. I'll write again tomorrow!
I arrived in Paris around 9:30 a.m. on Thursday. It is sunny and about 72 degrees. We are staying at the Hilton Arc de Triumph. They have a players desk in the lobby which is very helpful for knowing how to get back and forth from the site, how to book practice courts, etc. We are heading over to Roland Garros now to recieve our credentials and get a light practice in. I will write you again tomorrow!!
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