Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hello from Paris… Shahar is through to the quarterfinals at the Paris Open...Dubai Next Week!

Hello once again and thank you for tuning in…

I am in Paris where it is really cold and we have had some nice snow in the last few days. They say it is the city of romance and though this has been the case for me here in the past this time around is strictly business.

I am here with Shahar for the Paris Open a big tournament with some great players. Shahar is through to the quarterfinals after her victory over Karolina Sprem from Croatia. It was a tough match as Karolina is a former top 20 player and is on her way back again. She plays a very powerful game and has a big serve which makes it very difficult to get into the points.

We have been working hard with Shahar and it was important to keep the momentum going after the very positive start we had to the year in New Zealand and Australia. This is very important, as it is wins under the belt that give a player confidence to take those extra risks when the point really counts. This as I told you in the past is one big difference between the top players and those that follow.

Shahar is slowly learning to be a top player again. She has come a long way from the girl I first started working with in November 2008, and the exciting thing is that she is continuing to move forward. Her come back is complete. Now we need to find a way to help her breakthrough to the top and stay there.

To do this is about the small details that make the difference, and in fact that’s what a professional is about, making sure he or she are taking care of the small details as they are the ones that make the big difference. These details are vast and they are difficult to master quickly. They must become part of who you are. To do this you must practice them every day and in time they will start to show up without the player even trying.

This is the aim as what comes natural is what holds up under pressure and again is what you do under pressure that makes the difference between winning and loosing, between braking through and staying on the fringe.

Tomorrow it looks if things continue to go, as they are, that we will be playing Lucy Safarova from the Czech Republic. Lucy is a very tough player and Shahar will have to be on her tiptop form to be able to beat her. This will be great, as it will continue to aid our preparations for the next event in Dubai where Shahar will be attending after not being able to play there last year because she was not granted a visa by the government of Dubai. I am sure many of you will know this story as it made the headlines in all the countries of the world. She was even interview by Wolf Blitzer of CNN.

As we get closer to Dubai I will share more and more of what happened last year and how it felt to be the one that had to deliver the news to Shahar that she was not going to play there after having been reassured by the Dubai authorities that she was up until the moment she stepped into the court to play the semi finals in Pattaya, the event we were at before we were supposes to go to Dubai.

See you tomorrow and stay warm….I will do my best to do so!
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