Currently ranked a career-high No. 116 in the WTA Rankings, Irina Falconi of Atlanta won the 2011 USTA French Open Wild Card Playoffs in Boca Raton, Fla., to earn a main-draw wild card into the 2011 French Open. Falconi, a native of Ecuador who moved to New York City at age four and now resides in Atlanta, will make her third consecutive appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam event after successfully qualifying for both the 2010 US Open and the 2011 Australian Open.
Last week, Falconi began writing a blog for USTA.com while she was in Belgium competing in the Brussels Ladies' Open and is now picking up where she left off in Paris. Check back often for updates.
Do you have a question for Irina? Email her here, and she will respond to as many questions as possible. Please keep in mind, however, that due to her busy playing schedule she may not have time to answer all questions.
Sunday, May 22
Hello world. Irina reporting from France here. So this is Day 3 in Paris, and of course, it was an amazing one. Had me an amazing breakfast on the boat today, which consisted of eggs, sweet potatoes and avocado. Conventional much? I think not.
Anyway, today was a maintenance day. Now, what that means is that it was a day with the focus being a good hour practice. I practiced at 2pm which meant I got to sleep in a little bit. Life on a boat though, you can't really sleep in all that much ya know? That whole sun thing kinda denies that... Oh well, maybe in London?
So we got a ride at 12, and of course, the Frenchman picking us up arrived right on time. So precise this culture, I love it. Anyway, when we arrived, the crowd today was unbelievably packed. It feels like it's a Grand Slam today. We needed security to walk around everywhere. You know you're a big deal when you have big buff French men walking you around. Rolling like a big shot.
At 2pm I hit with CoCo, the name so nice they named her twice. It was fun to practice in front of 100 people that were applauding my shots during practice. No pressure there. Then Novak showed up, which went from a couple of hundred people to about six. No worries though---we got our work in.
There was a camera crew recording my practice the whole time, which then led to an interview by ESPN Argentina, which I did completely in Spanish. Muchas gracias.
When I got done practicing, I had calculated for my mum and sis to have arrived---lo and behold, they were in Roland Garros. Unfortunately, my sista didn't get all the luck she deserved today. As a main draw player I get three credentials. They are all booked. So tickets will have to do. Sorry sista. I'll ask Rafa tomorrow, I promise.
After figuring out a car to get back to the boat, we got a driver that actually said he had never been to our part of the woods, which consequently led to us getting a little misguided. Living on an island, it's great to have this many options to get to the houseboat. We preceded to go to our favorite restaurant on Ile de Puteaux, the Mona Lisa. The salmon is to die for - just ask the salmon.
After I ate my salmon, we came home and briefed on the Siene River. Preparing tactics and process for the match tomorrow as well as our schedule. First on at 11. This means a 7:50 breakfast, car arrives at 8:30 to get on site, find our chill spot and relax for Team Falconi, and I get the treat of warming up with Frenchwoman Alize Cornet on Suzanne Lenglen which is a main stadium and seats fifteen thousand people...No biggie. Warm up from 9:45 to 10:15. After that, get to locker to get my HRush on, sit with my team, and then just chillax till my match gets called at 11. Oh, and you know what else? 11am means 5am for ya'll in the USA. So all nighter it is for all of y'all!
I'll do my best to represent the USA tomorrow with my stars and stripes. Wish me bonne chance America. Au revoir!