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Andy's Blog - Rome
I’ve just arrived in Rome and enjoyed being in Madrid last week, two amazing cities we are fortunate to visit on the tour.
I played some gruelling matches this week at altitude, and although I’m disappointed I didn’t get the win against Tomas Berdych, I feel like I can take away a lot of positives. I was also really pleased to reach four hundred match wins, not many players can say they have won over four hundred matches.
My preparation for Madrid was positive and although it was disappointing to go out early in Monte Carlo, it gave me the opportunity to practice playing lots of matches on the clay. I had a few practices matches with Grigor Dimitrov and also Dolgopolov who are both solid clay court guys.
I did a coaching clinic for some kids earlier this week and I’ve got one tomorrow here in Rome, which was really enjoyable and a good way to relax and have fun.
Madrid is obviously a little bit different to all the other clay tournaments. The ball moves in a completely different way and the altitude makes competing at a high intensity really tough. When matches are as tough as they are in Madrid, recovery is difficult but really important.
After my match with Gilles Simon, by the time I had finished my press conference I think it was like one thirty in the morning by the time I got out. It’s hard when you finish that late, sleep is often the best form of recovery but it’s also important to make sure you do as much as you can before to help the natural recovery process. Everyone has different methods but for me I like to get on the bike then have a shower then stretch and have a massage and get to bed as quickly as I can, so I can feel as fresh as possible the next morning.
On a separate note away from the tournament, I was able to make an appearance on one of my favourite TV shows ‘Sky Sports Ringside.’ It was great to be able to talk boxing with Jonny Nelson and Adam Smith, both who are legends in the boxing world and there are some really exciting fights coming up, which I’m hoping to watch whilst I’m away.
Alongside keeping up to date with the boxing world, I’ve been keeping a close eye on my fantasy team, last few weeks of the season and it’s really heating up. I say that, but I’ve got a pretty comfortable lead over the other guys, so I should be retaining my Premier League crown any day now!
Up next for me now is the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. Rome is probably up there with one of my favourite tournaments to play during the clay season. They only recently built a new centre court here a few years back, but the atmosphere remains really relaxed and it’s a great tournament to be a part of, which is nice as it means I can go into the French Open feeling fresh.
Also being in the heart of Rome there’s obviously some amazing sights, and the food is always great wherever you go but the traffic can be an absolute nightmare, so it definitely pays to leave a little earlier when you have a match!