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Wimbledon Championships: Ecstasy, Agony, Ecstasy, Repeat!

Wimbledon Championships: Ecstasy, Agony, Ecstasy, Repeat!

Well, that was quite a final, wasn’t it? Another five set classic on Centre Court, starring Roger Federer and a more than capable opponent in Novak Djokovic. Nole was stirred by the moment, but unshaken in the end, winning it: 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4. I’m a bit spent,...

Upsetting Indeed! Serena Williams Is French Open Upset Du Jour

Um, can we get a do over? After the first few dreary and damp days of Roland Garros, it feels like half the top players decided it just wasn’t worth it. At least Venus Williams tried her best today, not only on the court but in her warm up attire – a bright red...
How to Improve Your Fitness for Tennis

How to Improve Your Fitness for Tennis

Fitness plays a vital role in a tennis player’s development and results, not just short term, but also long term.  Fitness training for tennis is a vital undertaking. It is something that involves diverse factors that need special attention as well as consideration....

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US Open : The Roger Federer Show?

The US Open organizers couldn’t have been happier with tonight’s “showtime” feel in Arthur Ashe stadium, what with RF and MJ letting the crowd join their mutual appreciation/marketing society. It really was “good fun” (as Roger described his passing shot prowess after the match) if a...

Upsetting Indeed! Serena Williams Is French Open Upset Du Jour

Um, can we get a do over? After the first few dreary and damp days of Roland Garros, it feels like half the top players decided it just wasn’t worth it. At least Venus Williams tried her best today, not only on the court but in her warm up attire – a bright red...

Roger Federer In Love. . .With His New Racket

We Federer fans have grown to love the slightly sinister, matte black stick Roger’s wielded over the past months – that certain anonymous menace, the shark-like sheen, the much-discussed larger sweet spot (10 percent larger, according to Wilson). But it was also a...

Trending Post

How to Improve Your Fitness for Tennis

How to Improve Your Fitness for Tennis

Fitness plays a vital role in a tennis player’s development and results, not just short term, but also long term.  Fitness training for tennis is a vital undertaking. It is something that involves diverse factors that need special attention as well as consideration....

Where To Get Fit Playing Tennis In London

Where To Get Fit Playing Tennis In London

London is of course famous for it’s Wimbledon tennis complex, but there are plenty of other places to pick up your racquet and play tennis all across the capital if you can’t make it to the mecca of the tennis world! Here we round up 6 great places to play tennis in...

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4 Things Your Kid Should Learn in the First Tennis Lesson

If your child is interested in learning tennis, there is a great professional career to look forward to. One can learn tennis even as a part of the hobby. When you or your child joins a tennis lesson, there are few fundamentals that they need to learn. You must...

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How to Improve Your Fitness for Tennis

How to Improve Your Fitness for Tennis

Fitness plays a vital role in a tennis player’s development and results, not just short term, but also long term.  Fitness training for tennis is a vital undertaking. It is something that involves diverse factors that need special attention as well as consideration. All these factors should be provided, so you are able to be prepared for the game.

Here are some tips from Keith a personal trainer in Liverpool Street on how to improve your fitness for tennis:

Strength Training

This is definitely to spend time in the fitness gym to strengthen your muscle. Nonetheless, your main objective is not exactly to develop a muscular built. This training aims to boost your core and stabilize the body parts and joints, which are known to receive extra pressure when playing. These body parts should be strengthened so they will not be harmed and injured during games. These parts, whose strength must be developed are hips, abdomen, back, wrists, oblique muscles, elbows as well as shoulders. The lower body also requires strengthening as you would need power from adequate weight transfer, which will result from strong legs.

Flexibility Training

Those vital parts that require strengthening must also be made flexible and kept losing in proper stretching. Once these parts are tight, you will also be prone to injuries despite how strong your muscles are.

Footwork Training

Drills that deal with footwork are activity bursts followed by rest periods. The drills also not need to be in fixed durations. They can be in short, intense rallies, while in double plays. These rallies boost your speed and agility. Be reminded that the skills or features aren’t synonymous. Speed is how quick you move on a straight line; agility is how you are able to shift fast from a specific way to going to another way and needs more acceleration.

Proper Dieting and Nutrition

Tennis is described as aerobic and anaerobic activity. As a result, your training should also integrate proper nutrition as well as dieting. What you consume will give power or energy for all kinds of activity. Complex carbohydrates are ideal for aerobic exercise, while high-quality proteins are ideal for anaerobic activities.

Mental Training

In tennis, you will utilize not only the body but the mind as well. So, in preparing for tennis games, mental preparations must also be regarded. Prior to playing tennis, it is natural that you would feel tension and nerves; however, you must know how not to turn these emotions into anxiety. Perform some common rituals as well as routines, which will help in calming your nerves.

Visualization will also help the brain to concentrate or focus. Imagine the minds of methods and shots that you want to do during your game. This will give you a positive mental model, which can assist fill voids, which are likely to occur once the brain doesn’t have something to focus on. Visualization should be continued into all matches, so you are able to get in games in poor weather, in unforeseen interruptions and a hard opponent.

 

 

 

Where To Get Fit Playing Tennis In London

Where To Get Fit Playing Tennis In London

London is of course famous for it’s Wimbledon tennis complex, but there are plenty of other places to pick up your racquet and play tennis all across the capital if you can’t make it to the mecca of the tennis world!

Here we round up 6 great places to play tennis in order to improve your fitness in London – simply head to one of these locations and get playing now in order to improve your health, fitness and wellbeing.

1. Leaders Garden

Leaders Garden is roughly a five-minute jaunt from Putney Bridge tube station and has great courts for those who want to serve until sunset. You have the option to book half an hour, one hour or up to two-hour sessions at their courts with a pay-as-you-go membership.

2.Southwark Park

Southwark Park offers tennis courts surrounded by extensive wide-open spaces, so it feels very Wimbledon. But you can use these courts for free and play until your heart’s content. Take time to relish your tennis victory with a cool-down stroll around the park’s private gardens and lake, Pimm’s in hand.

3. Victoria Park

If you live in the Hackney or Bethnal Green areas of London, then the tennis courts at Victoria Park should be your chosen location. It’s been an established centre for tennis for the past 15 years, offering both individual and group coaching for all levels of talent.

4. Regent’s Park

For anyone located in North London, Regent’s Park is the best location for a tennis outing. From 8am to 8pm you can practise your skills by rocking up with a player card and paying cheaper rates – alternatively, if you are committed to taking tennis to another level, memberships are available.

5. South Park

South Park’s tennis courts are exactly what you’d expect of south-west London. Thanks to a recent refurbishment, the courts are separated into pairs with spectator benches and lush rose beds nestled between them. Advance booking via Fulham Borough Council is necessary – and you can either pay as you play or take out an annual membership.

6. Lincoln’s Inn Fields

The courts at Lincoln’s Inn Fields offer a wealth of grounds in an area where space is at a premium. Due to the influx of tennis fanatics in the City, you may have to wait a bit before you can get a game going – but it’s worth it (just keep thinking of all those great fitness benefits)!

5 tips to improve your tennis Game

5 tips to improve your tennis Game

Are you feeling that your tennis game is stagnating or do you wish to become a pro in tennis? If yes! Then you have hit the right place. If you are playing tennis from a long time and managing to win the small and easy games but finding it hard to hit on the tough ones then you probably might want some more practice and some tips to improve your game. However, sometimes practicing is not enough. You might be practicing 5 times in a week but still haven’t seen improvement in your game. If this is your case then here are five golden tips that can improve your tennis game in a very short time.

5 tips to improve your tennis

 

Tip 1- Have a plan

Not having a plan could be a very big reason that you are not improving your game. You must know when to practice and how much to practice to improve it. Think about your weaknesses and note them down. Make a plan to correct the weakness and work upon them. Make sure that you work upon the plan as planned on a regular basis for best results. You will not get much if you hit the practice court without a plan.

Tip 2- make sure that you train with better players

Having higher level of game partner can really improve your game. Practicing with the players weaker than you can never help you improve your game. Next time you hit a player better than you, just ask him or her to become your training partner. You will notice that your intensity, footwork, decision making abilities and focus will improve automatically after few practices.

Tip 3- focus on the footwork

Generally people blame their striking ability if they lose the game. But only a few people know that it is really your footwork that matters. If you are out of position then you will miss your strikes, lose control and balance and will not be able to hit the shots. So make sure that you work on your foot work and your positions. So do some footwork drill before starting off with the practice.

Tip 4- pay attention to your opponents’ weakness

Paying attention on your opponent is a very important part of the game. You must never under estimate your opponent and focus on their weakness. So pay attention to your opponents’ game and try to exploit his or her game to make your game better. Players loose a very winnable match only because they do not try to take advantage of their opponent’s weakness. So always keep a mental note of your opponents move. It is not about only weakness, you can also learn from the strengths of your opponent.

Tip 5- clean up your diet

If you want to be a fit player then you must keep attention to what you eat. Being fit is a key element for any player. A majority of players benefit from eating clean and light before the match so that you do not feel sleepy and energize the whole day.

4 Things Your Kid Should Learn in the First Tennis Lesson

4 Things Your Kid Should Learn in the First Tennis Lesson

If your child is interested in learning tennis, there is a great professional career to look forward to. One can learn tennis even as a part of the hobby. When you or your child joins a tennis lesson, there are few fundamentals that they need to learn. You must communicate with your child’s tennis coach during these lessons to know whether they are being taught the right way to start playing. Here are the things that your child should learn during their first tennis lessons.

tennis

The stance technique

There is no right way of standing in tennis, and mastering as many stances as possible will help you become more professional. However, there are some special stances that the beginners need to learn about. There are four common stances – closed, squared, semi-open, and open. The modern approach to tennis involves semi-open and open stances. An older coach may still teach the closed or squared stance. The main benefit of learning open stance is that they can focus their head to see the ball better. It is a great way of starting the lessons as you will also learn the other stances.

Path of swing

Children often make the mistake of swinging incorrectly. If they do not get the right instructions for their groundstrokes, the training can be ineffective. They need to learn the basics of swinging the bat. It includes the low to high strokes and finishing the strokes across the shoulder. The beginners usually end their strokes above their head or closer to their hip. What they need to learn is the technique of wrapping their arm around their neck, which will elongate the stroke and add better direction and power to the hit.

Various grips

Holding a tennis racket is the same as the stances; there is no one way of doing it. Your child will learn one-handed backhand in most of the beginner’s training. Today the players commonly use semi-western grip, but the traditional is the eastern one. Talk with your instructor to find out what grips they teach. For a two-handed backhand, the dominant hand follows the forehand grip while the non-dominant rests on top. The grip to hit the volleys and serves are the most important ones that your child should learn early. They may not be easy to learn quickly, but they are most effective in serving properly.

tennis racket

How to serve

Learning to serve is easy, but mastering the technique can take years. The instructors may start with teaching the continental grip, proper motion and tossing the ball. There are two serving motions that you or your child may learn. The Pete Sampras motion or Andy Roddick motion. They are the two players whose serving techniques are still taught in most of the training schools. Both techniques are powerful and different from each other. Roddick motion is easier to learn for beginners, but one should learn both the techniques for a professional career.

US Open : The Roger Federer Show?

US Open : The Roger Federer Show?

The US Open organizers couldn’t have been happier with tonight’s “showtime” feel in Arthur Ashe stadium, what with RF and MJ letting the crowd join their mutual appreciation/marketing society. It really was “good fun” (as Roger described his passing shot prowess after the match) if a little exhibition-like in feel. At least Matosevic put up a fight in the end. I think his non-reaction to Roger’s cheeky shot was the perfect reply.

So, it seems that with Rafael Nadal out and Novak Djokovic coming off a post-Wimbledon cold streak, Roger Federer has become the man to beat at the Open. This is an absolutely wonderful, and well-earned development for Federer and his fans. He’s earned the second seeding and the attention the old fashioned way – by winning a lot of matches, recently, and not just at the Majors. And, as luck would have it, there’s no doubt he finds himself in the lighter half of the draw in NYC. Not that he should underestimate the likes of Berdych, Gulbis or Dimitrov, but I’m sure he’s happy to let Nole have first dibs on the likes of Milos Raonic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Andy Murray and/or Stan Wawrinka.

On the ladies side, we had Serena Williams on the double bill tonight with Roger, taking out the young Taylor Townsend in straights. In many ways, this tournament is also the “Serena Show” – of course, that’s what we say about every major until she’s upset in the first week by a random journey woman (will she be dreading that third round versus either Barthel or Lepchenko?). There’s no doubt Serena’s looking for redemption at this US Open, which should make for some dramatic tennis, and, if history holds, some theatrics as well.  At the very least I’d love to see her play Sam Stosur again, though this time it will be in the round of 16. Actually, Serena’s draw is filled with so much juicy potential, that it’s hard to imagine there won’t be some major drama in the business end of the tournament as well: Ivanovic in the quarters! Kvitova, Azarenka or Bouchard in the semis! Venus in the final! (Okay, maybe that’s going just a bit too far. . .but you know the USTA is setting up a little Williams sister altar in some backroom, somewhere.)

 

Masters, Revisted: Tsonga And Radwanska Top All-Timers In Canada

Masters, Revisted: Tsonga And Radwanska Top All-Timers In Canada

Wow, what a week of tennis on display up north. The meaty part of the US Open series has started, with the women in Montreal and the men in Toronto treating us to some intriguing match ups and (re)igniting some fun story lines as we look forward to the last major of the year.

Here are just a few things I’m thinking about after the Rogers (not Roger’s) cups have been distributed.

1. Well, first things first, congrats to the weekend winners Agnieszka Radwanska and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Both players, oft-touted, often just not quite good enough, showed they can take on the legends of the sport this weekend. I thought Aggie’s thoughtful style was particularly enjoyable to watch versus Venus’s power tennis, while Jo, riding a wave of great play this week against the likes of Novak, Murray and Dimitrov, made land in great style today with his straight sets win over Roger Federer in the Rogers Cup final.

2. So, now, could this finally be Jo-Wilfried’s time to win a Major, what with his game roaring back to life and the Big 4 in a convenient state of mild befuddlement? Novak’s understandably distracted, Rafa may not even play the rest of the summer, Murray is still in reboot mode and Roger is, well, it’s kind of hard to say exactly, though he seems embroiled in some kind of “midlife” crisis involving a return to the early aughts, serve and volley Rog. I often steal a favorite line from a favorite movie of mine, and implore Roger to “K.I.T.!” during the big points of his matches (that would be “keep it together!”) but right now that phrase could be a rallying cry for any of the Big 4. Or for Jo-Wilfried, for that matter. We all know he has the talent and at this point he’s had the experience in the big matches – if he could just K.I.T. in NYC, we could be looking at yet another new Major titlist in 2014.

3. Of course, I’d be even happier if Roger got his tennis unscrambled in the meantime. Yes, I realize he made it to the finals this weekend (not to mention at Wimbledon last month) but the Great One still appears to be working something out – whether it’s a mere kink or a big life question remains to be seen. I think, as I mentioned, it’s about finding that right balance between the S&V and the D, though after today’s final in Toronto he should probably just settle for making a few down the line backhands. It’s a fascinating, terrifying, time to be a Roger fan.

4. Venus Williams. Talk about a player on the edge. In many ways, I feel like she and Federer are hiking the same cliff side path right now, though Venus seems to be edging along with little more than a half empty water bottle and some trail mix to keep her going. Like Roger, Venus won a title in Dubai this year and displayed second-best form at Wimbledon (she gave Kvitova her toughest match of the fortnight). They both have shown grit and perseverance this season, a willingness to scrap, but also an unfortunate and heartbreaking – for their fans, at least – fragility. I absolutely loved V’s win over her little sister in the semifinals this weekend, yet was sadly unsurprised by the deflating loss she suffered to Radwanska in the final. The specter of her Sjogren’s syndrome is always lurking, and regularly conjured up  by the commentators, but I think it’s her big, bleeding tennis champion’s heart that’s tormenting her right now. I’m just going to let my sentimental side gush open\for a moment and say that I’m openly cheering for a Venus championship in Flushing. (Now who needs to keep it together?)

5. But first, on to Cincy! The Cincinnati tournament is, in my mind, the most American of the Masters events: midwestern, hot, humid and without the flash and pretension of Miami and Indian Wells.  This year, Roger and Murray share a quarter of the draw and on the other side, Novak faces a gamut of tricky opponents, including the winner of Simon vs. Tomic in the second round. Serena could meet Kerber or Radwanska in the semis, Sharapova and Bouchard could clash on the other side of the draw and Venus can’t catch a break with Safarova in the first round.  This dog days tournament is already presenting us with more to chew on before the US Open kicks in.

Wimbledon Championships: Ecstasy, Agony, Ecstasy, Repeat!

Wimbledon Championships: Ecstasy, Agony, Ecstasy, Repeat!

Well, that was quite a final, wasn’t it? Another five set classic on Centre Court, starring Roger Federer and a more than capable opponent in Novak Djokovic. Nole was stirred by the moment, but unshaken in the end, winning it: 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4.

I’m a bit spent, as I’m sure most of you are. Maybe Roger and Nole are feeling it a little bit, as well. That fourth set! That fourth set! Even if you are a very disappointed Fed Fan right now (who, me?), that fourth set should have reminded you of just how great Roger is and just why we love to watch him play. No one knows if Roger will ever be in a Major final again, and though this championship trophy sure would have been a nice way to cap things off, his gritty performance is something to build from. Roger said he’d be back next year, so why not see this match as a stepping stone? Whether you’re Roger Federer or Eugenie Bouchard, you just got to keep believing, right?

Novak played a beautiful match, both serving and returning, and made a beautiful speech at the end. Can you imagine – win Wimbledon, get married, have a baby? No wonder we all, Roger included, shed a few tears with him in the end. If you’re going to break a semi-drought of Major titles, this was the way to do it!

The ladies’ final was quite a bit less dramatic, but no less intense. Petra Kvitova’s 6-3, 6-0 victory over Eugenie Bouchard yesterday, in less than an hour, was breathtaking. Petra played with such relentless power and focus, I hardly noticed who was across the net. Which is saying something, considering Bouchard’s reputation as the second coming of Masha. Petra was a player possessed, and it was an honor to watch her claim what was hers.

Rufus would definitely approve.

Props of course to Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock for winning their first tournament together at Wimbledon, against the Bryan brothers no less. Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci completed their team career slam with a victory over Timea Babos and Kristina MladenovicSam Stosur and Nenad Zimonjic are currently contesting the mixed doubles final against Max Mirnyi and Hao-Chin Chan.

Roger Federer In Love. . .With His New Racket

Roger Federer In Love. . .With His New Racket

We Federer fans have grown to love the slightly sinister, matte black stick Roger’s wielded over the past months – that certain anonymous menace, the shark-like sheen, the much-discussed larger sweet spot (10 percent larger, according to Wilson). But it was also a bit unsettling – until we saw the “for real” version of the racket it still seemed a bit experimental, like Boris Becker’s presence in Nole’s box.

Sigh of relief, guys, Roger previewed the racket’s official uniform yesterday on Facebook, and now Wilson has released another of their series of fun “Racket Scientist” themed videos to celebrate the RF97’s coming of age, so to speak

The new family of Pro Staff rackets underwent an aesthetic reinvention worthy of its performance specification evolution. The Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph will feature a black throat and red hoop. Red is a color with close ties to both Federer and Wilson and black is a color prevalent in past Pro Staff rackets. Black standardized design elements have been placed at three and nine o’clock on the hoop to ensure Pro Staff rackets are unmistakably Wilson, while infusing a fresh, youthful look.

“This is a great example of the synergy that exists between Wilson and the tennis community,” said Mike Dowse, Wilson Sporting Goods Co. President. “As a brand, we are committed to listening to the needs of our professional and recreational players. With the new Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph racket we have created a stylish design while maintaining the premium performance and feel.”

The story behind the final graphics package for the Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph proves their intimate connection with tennis fans. Wilson executives discovered Peter Figasinski, a freelance graphic designer and life-long Wilson racket player, after he posted a design concept on a popular tennis forum. After tracking down Figasinski, Wilson signed him to a one-year contract to do exclusive design work across a variety of products and platforms.

Figasinski set out to share his vision for the new Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph racket as a modern yet youthful tribute to the proud heritage of the storied racket line. The design was submitted to Federer, who took to the graphics instantly.

“When I saw the designs from Wilson, I knew right away that this was the look that I wanted to represent my legacy with the brand,” said Federer. “The design is young and modern, with a classic feel. It is a fitting look for the next generation of the Pro Staff rackets.”

It’s interesting that the design came from a fan and not internally – Federer fans are a talented bunch, of course!

Upsetting Indeed! Serena Williams Is French Open Upset Du Jour

Upsetting Indeed! Serena Williams Is French Open Upset Du Jour

Um, can we get a do over? After the first few dreary and damp days of Roland Garros, it feels like half the top players decided it just wasn’t worth it.

At least Venus Williams tried her best today, not only on the court but in her warm up attire – a bright red puffer jacket!

This was my match today, the one I sat down and watched and cheered on at six in the morning. I thought Venus looked great during the first set, but then I got that sinking feeling during the second. Her game, and her body language, went limp. We’ve seen this so many times before from her, at least in recent years, that her loss to the teenaged Anna Schmiedlova barely registered as an upset. But it sure upset me. Still, I was cheered by Venus’s fight in the end and by the fact that she showed just enough great stuff to make me think she’ll keep on trying a little longer.

But on to l’upset du jour.

I did mention in my draw review that watching Serena Williams at the French always makes me nervous – like X-Games, will she land that 1080 or on her head nervous. Today it was head injury time. We’re talking put her out of her misery bad – the 2-6, 2-6 loss to 35th ranked Spaniard Garbine Muguruza was, mercifully only 64 minutes long. Long enough to be called “the worst (loss) of her career” by USA Today. She hasn’t lost in the second round of a major in sixteen years and hasn’t won so few games in a Major match in the last 288 matches (. It was so bad that 205 ranked American teenager, Taylor Townsend, saw the score and assumed Serena had won it: “Serena lost? She did? Oh. Oops. Whoa. … I thought she won. I saw (the score), 2 and 2. I was like, ‘Oh, that was fast.’” That’s Taylor talking to the press after scoring her own three set upset over 20th ranked Alize Cornet. (Go Taylor!)

They say upsets are contagious, and the cliche’s proven true over the past couple days.

As of yesterday, I thought the loss of Li Na, the tournament’s second seed, was upsetting enough – I’d had her set up as the yin to Serena’s yang this tournament. Why do I even bother coming up with these notions? Serena’s departure on Wednesday makes this the first time in the open era that the top two women’s seeds haven’t made it to the third round of a Major (rolandgarros.com.) Just to add frosting to this bitter cake, I suppose.

Now all eyes (and bets) are on Maria Sharapova for the women’s title, whose dismal record against Serena Williams no longer matters at this year’s Roland Garros. I liked her cagey response to the upset question: “Obviously when you go on court you’re aware of a lot of the upsets, not just in the women but in the men, as well. . .So it’s great to get a win in that type of atmosphere.”

On the men’s side, I was particularly upset by third seeded Stan Wawrinka’s first round departure on Monday. He was dangerous enough to make things interesting on Nadal’s half of the draw, and his loss means a lot of the intrigue is gone. Nicolas Almagro, who made headlines this spring by beating Rafa on clay, was also bumped out of the tournament before getting his chance to back up his Barcelona triumph. The charismatic Tommy Haas and Grigor Dimitrov left their own distinct holes in this side of the draw. Things are going truer to form (so far, at least!) in the Djokovic/Federer half, with the hobbled Kei Nishikori the most notable early round defeat (seeds Dolgopolov and Youzhny are other early losses of note.)

Maria’s right, these upsets have created a certain atmosphere – I can even feel it in my living room. It’s like watching the high wire act at the circus, or The Shining on late night television. Until some semblance of order is restored, I’ll be watching Roland Garros through the gaps in my fingers.

And one cheerful postscript – is anyone else feeling a bit delighted by the recent rumors that Coach Mauresmo may be teaming up with Andy Murray? I think that might just make my year! And make me a Murray fan for life!

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