Tennis Facilities Tip
Quality lighting is a big differentiator for a tennis facility. It’s not difficult to assess your lighting system’s performance and it should be done annually using a light meter to take foot-candle readings. These can then be compared with USTA recommendations for nighttime play to see how your system is holding up. And it is worth checking out the latest innovations in tennis court lighting. New technology has led to the development energy efficient, high performance systems that may save you money while improving performance.
Click here to learn more.
Andy Murray recalls the style of the Big Cat – Miroslav Mecir, who was quick, anticipated uncannily well.
The Scot has arrived. English bookies have made him the odds on favorite to capture the 2009 Australian Open. Federer was amused by this, referencing Nadal’s preeminence, Djokovic the defending titlist, and The Fed himself as the winner of the previous Grand Slam event at the US Open. But as the dead-on analyst Darren Cahill acknowledged recently, Murray moves so well he “shrinks” the court, and from nearly any position he can roll tricky angles or hammer the ball for outright winners.
Andy Murray recalls the style of the Big Cat – Miroslav Mecir, who was quick, anticipated uncannily well, and much like an aikido master, somehow deflected and redirected the opponent’s attack. Murray doesn’t have a huge serve, or massive ground stroke weapons, but equally, if not more importantly, Murray does not have a glaring technical or tactical weakness.
Anyway, Murray’s recent results have certainly influenced the British odds makers.
Recently, in Doha Murray, beat Federer 6-7, 6-2, 6-2 and Roddick, 6-4, 6-2 to capture that title. In 2008 at the Masters Cup Finale in China he beat Federer 4-6, 7-6, 7-5 before losing to Davydenko in the final. At the Masters in Madrid he again beat Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 and won the tournament.
Click photo: Moving to the backhand, note the initial gravity turn, as well as the dynamic balance on the recovery step.
At the 2008 US Open he beat Nadal and before that he beat Djokovic at the Masters Cincinnati and at the Masters in Canada.
This is some serious stuff. His overall record is one and five against Nadal, five and two with Federer (including his last three straight wins) and two and four against Djokovic. Yes, Murray has yet to capture a Grand Slam, but we have a pretty compelling Australian Open. Murray plays in Nadal’s half of the draw; Federer plays in Novak’s half. But there are dangerous floaters lurking throughout, and often times the early upsets play havoc with the seeds.
Inasmuch as we are both fans and players, I believe that Murray’s game has much that we can appreciate and attempt to emulate. And as stated above, he plays without a massive serve or monstrous groundies, but moves extremely well, strokes the ball simply, and gives the opponent every opportunity to self-destruct. The ATP’s Ricoh match facts show this fourth ranked Scot as a consistent performer when serving and receiving.
Click photo: Murray returns the ball with the simplest of strokes, nothing fancy, simply getting the ball in play.
(As an aside I have underlined points won on the return of the second serve, Murray is fifteenth in this category converting 57% of those points, but Nadal is truly a monster winning 72% of the points on his opponent’s second delivery. Amazing!)
Basic tennis always revolves around one’s first stroke of the rally. When serving how often do you get the first ball in play? When returning, how consistently do you return the ball to get into the point? Then, once in the point, how well do you use the court on defense and on offense? To my mind, Murray excels across the board.
Note, he is ranked fourth winning 94% of his service games in spite of a relatively low conversion rate on second serve points won. As a receiver he is great when returning the second serve, but it appears he has some room for improvement on break point conversions. But truly, the Scot is on the move, and appears willing and able to address all areas of his game.
Click photo: Murray moves gracefully on this running forehand. Again, note the almost instant recovery.
On that score, Team Murray supports the 22 year old Scot. Matty Little handles strength and conditioning. Miles MacLagan serves as coach; Andy Ireland does the physiotherapy; Jez Green administers physical conditioning (not sure how this is different than strength and conditioning) and finally Louis Cayer serves as coach and expert analyst.
It’s been a long time since Fred Perry. Tim Henman tried to fill those tall shoes. It would appear this impressive team working with the undoubted support of the British tennis Association has crafted a serious and long term plan.
As always, we would love to hear from you! Questions, comments, personal experiences all create helpful dialogue for everyone! Please click here to send us your email.
Extreme Makeover: The One-handed Backhand
Of the hundreds of adults who come to Dave Smith for lessons, the vast majority need help with the backhand. And, not surprising, most are hitting a one-hander. The reasons are simple, most players are self-taught and seldom teach themselves to use a two-handed stroke; and those who have taught themselves the one-handed backhand generally develop poor mechanics and subsequently bad habits to the point that it never develops into a solid stroke, let alone a weapon. However, all is not lost.
Good Thinking Tops Great Strokes
You may not have the most beautiful strokes at the courts or take a lot of lessons but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a winning tennis player. Brad Gilbert proved this during his twelve year career on the pro tour. Tennis matches aren't won by the players with the nicest looking strokes but rather those who don’t beat themselves, understand the percentages, analyze their opponent's games and come up with a game plan for victory. Greg Moran
Four Non-negotiable Tactics
Many players spend their time during a match trying to get themselves to play at a higher and higher level, thinking this is the only way to defeat their opponent. However, the best players actually have a different mindset. Instead of only trying to raise their own level, they will also consider the possibility of lowering their opponent’s level of play. Jorge Capestany presents four specific tactics that are effective in lowering your opponent’s level and getting them to play worse.
ProStrokes 2.0 - James Blake's Backhand
James Blake has become a solid top 10 performer but he has yet to come through at the slams. Sometimes accused (wrongly) of failing to win in the clutch, with at one point nine consecutive losses when matches went to the fifth set, he has of late turned that unfortunate statistic around. In 2008 his results were OK, few bad losses, but equally no stunning wins or tournament titles. Blake plays with a daring, go for broke style and no doubt, he is an exciting player to watch. New this issue, James Blake's backhand in TennisOne ProStrokes 2.0.
The Etcheberry Experience DVD
For more than twenty years Pat Etcheberry has been providing athletes from around the world with the winning edge. We call this the Etcheberry Experience, and players with an Etcheberry experience have hoisted Championship Trophies at over one hundred major championships, including 28 Australian Opens, 18 Wimbledons, 22 UP Opens, 22 French Opens and 15 Olympic medals.
And now it's your turn! This is your chance to experience the same drills, exercises and words of tennis wisdom that Pat gave to Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jennifer Capriati, Martina Hingis, Jim Courier, Justine Henin-Hardenne, and others, that helped launch them on their incredible careers. For the first time, Pat Etcheberry shares his training secrets in a series of DVDs for players of all ages, their coaches, and trainers.
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