I am in Brazil with a couple days to go before my first match at the WTA Brasil Tennis Cup. This is my first time in this country, and only my second trip to South America, but with this weather I could stay here all winter. This country really fits with my flip-flop lifestyle.
I recently missed a couple tournaments due to some back problems, so when I was invited to play here, I immediately said, “OK!” My back had been irritated by my matches at the Australia Open, but it turned out not to be too serious. It was definitely not as major as last summer around the U.S. Open, when I experienced something similar. This was just some inflammation of a joint, though, not a real injury. I did a lot of work on it, strengthening exercises and rest, and it cleared up pretty quickly.
I’m the top-seeded player in this tournament and that feels great. I haven’t been the top seed in a long time. I’m slowly creeping back into the top 20. It is fun to climb up the ranks but I want to get back to the top. Some people like to be the underdog, but I like to be in the front. To me, being the top seed isn’t added pressure, it’s where I want to be.
While I am in Brazil, I am also taking the opportunity to work on my new clothing line. Right now I am designing Spring 2014 for EleVen By Venus, so I am looking at local styles for some extra inspiration. I have found a lot of Brazilian designers I like. (I have a bunch of new websites bookmarked on my computer.) One fashion I can’t get used to, though, is the Brazilian bikini. I am pretty modest, so if I go to the beach when I am here I’ll probably wear shorts.