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Currently ranked a career-high No. 116 in the WTA Rankings, Irina Falconi of Atlanta won the 2011 USTA French Open Wild Card Playoffs in Boca Raton, Fla., to earn a main-draw wild card into the 2011 French Open. Falconi, a native of Ecuador who moved to New York City at age four and now resides in Atlanta, will make her third consecutive appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam event after successfully qualifying for both the 2010 US Open and the 2011 Australian Open.
Last week, Falconi began writing a blog for USTA.com while she was in Belgium competing in the Brussels Ladies' Open and is now picking up where she left off in Paris. Check back often for updates.
Do you have a question for Irina? Email her here, and she will respond to as many questions as possible. Please keep in mind, however, that due to her busy playing schedule she may not have time to answer all questions.
I have great expectations. I played a top-50 singles player who is also No. 1 in the world in doubles. And I have great expectations. Jeff keeps reminding me that one year ago I was playing NCAAs in college, and yet I have great expectations for myself.
This morning I got to warm up in a stadium for the first time. I can't wait to play in a FULL HOUSE like that. It gets my juices flowing and my heart pumping.
Once 11 am rolled around, I had two security guards take me to the court. I had to have them. It was wall-to-wall, shoulder-to-shoulder people.
The service here is incredible, though. The people that work here -- the service, the staff, the volunteers -- they treat you like a champion, no matter who you are. I'm finding the French people to be very nice, personable, amiable and sweet.
I lost 6-3, 6-4. I feel as if she played very well and very solid. She played offensive tennis and really brought it today. I hope I get to play her again soon.
After I cleaned up, I got press conference requests, talked to 3 reporters and then went on live Roland Garros Radio. I got to sit with Matt Cronin and felt like a big shot---for about a second. Then it was back to the real world.
I get a day off tomorrow from any physical activities. I'm going to Roland Garros, though, to support as many Americans as possible. Even after a tough loss in a Grand Slam, we feel it's really important to go and support American players by watching their matches and cheering for them. It's easy to do this when you're winning matches---but sometimes you just have to suck it up and swallow your pride when it's inconvenient. That's when it matters the most.
On Tuesday, we change surfaces and start gearing up for the next stop---Nottingham, England.