I moved to Dubai last December during the offseason and I’m quite excited about it.
I had been thinking about it for some time. I really love the city. There is just so many things to do, I also have a lot of friends here… For my lifestyle as a tennis player, there are super nice conditions for practicing, always nice weather, nice people…
It’s also a coincidence that I’ve also been playing for the UAE Royals team in the IPTL for the past two years, so I really feel at home here.
I had a couple of days here before the tournament started and it was just great being able to stay at my place in Dubai Marina. The apartment I’m renting there is super nice, I have three bedrooms, all my family is here, I feel like this is a home tournament for me.
I took some time to decide if I wanted to have the Dubai Marina view or the sea view, so front row like where Roger Federer is and the Cayenne Tower etc… But I chose the Marina view. I love that area, Pier 7, The Walk, and now they did this amazing area, The Beach, which has so many restaurants.
When the tournament started, I decided to stay here at the on-site hotel, the Jumeirah Creekside, because it’s otherwise a 20- or 30-minute drive – without traffic – every morning and every night from my apartment to the stadium.
We had a great offseason here. After the IPTL, I stayed here the whole time until Australia then I had everything in a row, Australia, Fed Cup, St. Peterburg…so I couldn’t come back. And now I’m here, it’s exciting.
Obviously living the life of a player, we have a lot of tournaments and are travelling all the time so it’s not like I’m going to be here very often, but I’ll try as much as I can. The only thing that’s going to be difficult is when the summer comes when it’s super hot here.
I thought it would be great to practice, that it would help me prepare for the US swing where the weather is hot and humid, but my friends told me, no, the heat is not the same, it’s another level here.
But I know that Roger did it a few times, coming here in the summer to practice. He told me he did it once or twice. Let’s see, maybe I’ll give it a try. I’ll probably come for a few days after Wimbledon.
World No30 Kristina Mladenovic’s daily diary for Sport360° during the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is conducted via conversations with our reporter Reem Abulleil.
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