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Page last updated at 15:02 GMT, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 16:02 UK

Elena Baltacha's diary

Elena Baltacha

In the third of a series of diary pieces until Wimbledon 2010, British tennis star ELENA BALTACHA reveals her love of the game and discusses life on the women's tennis tour.

This week, I've been in Cincinnati playing the tournament here. I just got in, which was fantastic, because I was originally about eight out of qualifying.

But I got a tough draw in the first qualifying round. I played Ayumi Morita from Japan who is ranked 64th in the world and I knew it was going to be a difficult match. I ended up losing in two sets.

The first set was really close and could've gone either way. It was a very difficult match, I tried my best, but unfortunately I lost.

Nevertheless, it's been a good week and I've been able to stay out here to practise, keep working hard and get myself ready for Toronto.

As I practise, I feel my game is getting better. Obviously, I need to keep working on stuff and keep edging forward.

At the moment, I'm not in Toronto. I'm actually ranked higher on the entry list, but because the US Open is only three weeks away, all the players are now coming out from Europe and they all want to be out here playing.

Every time I travel, I think 'could I live here?', but I've never found a place apart from home that I think I could live.

I'm wanting to spend as many hours as I can on court to get better

I can't wait for my coach to come out here on 19 August. He's been such a great support and has helped me so much in the past two years.

A lot of the year I travel myself, because financially I can't afford for him to always come with me.

I can't wait to find out what he thinks of my game and how he can help me get better. I speak to my coach every day and he gives me a lot of feedback on what I should be working on.

Having him there is completely different from speaking to him over the phone.

I love tennis and I don't wake up in the morning saying 'I don't want to practise'. I sometimes wake up on a Friday or Saturday and feel really tired, but I never think that I don't want to go out on court.

I'm going to be 26 on Friday, can you believe that? I'm really shocked. I'm thinking about how many more years that I've got left. There are so many things that I have to get better at and improve on.

I'm wanting to spend as many hours as I can on court to get better.

I have the talent to do this and it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play game

This week I was a bit gutted because there aren't many courts here and there are so many players. Once you drop out of a tournament, those players still in it have priority on the courts.

So you're limited on the amount of practise time you have on court to an hour. But you want to work on so many things. But I really love what I do. I'd rather be doing this than going into an office.

I have the talent to do this and it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play game. So I'm very grateful for the opportunity I have to be a tennis player.

More people are following me on Twitter now and I try to reply to as many people as I can. They can also follow my progress on Facebook It's so nice when everyone is so supportive.

When I posted on Twitter that I was feeling down after my defeat, everyone was cheering me up and there's really good banter.

I will find out on Friday evening if I'm playing in the next tournament in Toronto. If I don't get in then I'll stay and practise before flying to New York.

Elena Baltacha was talking to BBC Scotland's Thomas McGuigan



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see also
Baltacha diary
24 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Baltacha bid ends in heavy defeat
25 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Baltacha hails 'best win of career'
24 Jun 09 |  Tennis


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