- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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Just by chance, I practiced next to Chris today, and it's not hard to see why she has been so successful. She benefits from every second on the court; her concentration is constant. She was practicing with her husband, John Lloyd, and he ran her from side to side. Chris never gets enough credit for how well she moves—almost incredibly graceful, always in position, her weight always perfectly transferred with each shot.
Of course, John doesn't get enough credit, either. He's commuting back and forth across the Channel, helping her on clay, then working out for himself on grass, preparing for Wimbledon. Obviously, this is not good for John's tennis, but he's willing to sacrifice for Chris.
It's nice having the men's and women's tours together, but a lot of the guys have their girlfriends along and there isn't much mixing. I'm sure some people wonder who Marion is, especially since we don't look like sisters. She has straight blonde hair and is stacked, and I am none of the above. So every time I introduce her I make sure to say, "This is my sister Marion." I know the way people think on this tour.
I talked to John on the phone. I miss him. He's special, but I'm not sure I'm ready to have a boyfriend traveling with me. There's enough pressure without having to worry about a companion.
Martina's incredible that way. Besides her coach, Mike Estep, and his wife, Barbara, and Pam Derderian, who helps her with her business, Martina is traveling with her good friend, Judy Nelson, and six members of Judy's family. They're all nice, but I'd go nuts with so many people around. Martina, though, thrives on it. She can shut out her surroundings better than anyone I've ever known. I've seen her in tears, emotionally torn, right before a Wimbledon final, and then go out and win in a breeze.
Martina and I beat Chris and Pascal Paradis today, and I was far more nervous than I should be. But I'm always more nervous when I play Chris in doubles, because that's the one area where I'm her superior. I don't want to lose that advantage, even for an instant. I know she feels the same way in singles. It's amazing how easy Chris is to get along with everywhere but on the court. As soon as she even gets near a court she can put on a special air and make me feel insecure.