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LTA WEBSITE - 1/02/2010


A month has already passed in 2010 and, wow, does time fly. My weekly blog appears to be monthly right now so I have to start with my apologies, but when you are on the tour there are weeks that go by in a flash and there are weeks that seem to last forever.

January has gone by extremely quickly so I thought I would find time to sit down and let you know what's been going on in the world of Miss South.

So first things first I had an amazing Christmas back home. I took a day off training on Christmas Day and spent it chilled out at home with my boyfriend. I was straight back into Roehampton on Boxing Day morning to train and hit and then went round to my parents to spend the rest of the day with my family. It was amazing as I have not spent Christmas in England for years now so it was very special.

I got my Ugg boots for Christmas (thanks 'Shell) but no diamond ring LOL (there is always next year). As for my tennis-related wishes I will have to work very hard for them throughout the season. Training went straight through the New Year. It was still pretty intense so New Year's Eve was spent with friends in the early evening before going home and falling asleep. I did wake up to watch the fireworks on TV though!!!

From there I was on a plane by myself to Australia. Itís a very very very long flight, especially by yourself. I got there, got over jet lag and started training. This year I did not go to the lead-up tournaments as on last year's cuts I wouldn't have got in and rather than risk it I decided to spend those extra two weeks training back home. It was a little irritating that if I had of gone to either of the tournaments the first week I would have sneaked in but I definitely benefited from those extra couple of weeks training.

I played the Australian Open qualifying this year. In the training sessions before my match I was getting better and better and sharper. I felt ready to go but practice and a match are different things completely. I was disappointed with my performance in my match with pretty bad stats but I was up against a tough opponent in the No.3 seed Shenay Perry and she took full advantage.

My next decision was whether to travel all the way back around the world to train in London for one week or stay out in Oz and practice with top quality players and in similar conditions to the States before heading straight to LA. I decided rather than having to get over jet lag quite a few times it made sense to stay out in Melbourne and train. I am very pleased I did it. As much as I love coming home and seeing my friends and family, my tennis comes first and I believed this was the best preparation for me.

I am now in California. I was happy to get back to winning ways against Nadiya Kichenok one of the young twins who I have come up against in both singles and doubles a few times recently. I got my revenge from losing doubles against her the other day. I lost my second round match against Angie Haynes, another former top 100 player.

There were a lot of positives to take from the match and even though the score was 6-2 6-3 it was a tough battle. Practically every game went to deuce. It really could have gone either way and if I had just tightened up on a few more points I would have come out the winner. I haven't had many matches under my belt recently and even though I lost this match I will take positives from it and am looking forward to the tournaments ahead out here.

On a personal note I am now a very proud Auntie for the first time. My brother Andrew and his wife Claudia had a gorgeous little girl called Alessia on the 1st of January 2010; that's got to be the best birthday ever for tennis!!! Congrats to them both. xxx

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by Melanie South

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