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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

NEWS: Tennis Night in America 2012



Tennis continues to grow in the U.S. as it returns to Madison Square Garden, New York, NY on Monday, March 5th, for the BNP Paribas Showdown.The event also known as "Tennis Night in America" has annually marked the start of the tennis season in the United States. A month of professional events follows that include the BNP Paribas Open and Sony Ericsson Open.
    Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA says "The night is sure to generate momentum for youth tennis and create excitement for spring and summer programs at facilities nationwide." Special events and programs are rolling out across the country designed to get more kids playing the sport for a lifetime. This is the USTA’s largest-ever youth tennis recruitment effort.And there has never been a better time to involve kids in tennis with the new 10 and Under Tennis format internationally accepted as the standard for youth enjoyment, progress and competition in the game. 
    The BNP Paribas Showdown 2012 will showcase two matches: three-time Grand Slam champion and currently world number 2 Maria Sharapova of Russia takes on Caroline Wozniaki of Denmark ranked number 4. Following this ladies battle, All-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer of Switzerland goes up against U.S. favorite Andy Roddick. They will revisit their intense battle at the 2009 Wimbledon championships where Federer captured his 15th Grand Slam title–breaking the tie with Pete Sampras for the most in history–during the five set marathon that lasted four hours and 16 minutes on Centre Court at the All-England Club. Both ladies and gentlemen's matches are set for best two-out-of-three sets. 
    "Playing in Madison Square Garden has always been a dream of mine,” said Sharapova. “Everyone wants to play there at least once in their career. I look forward to coming back to New York for the Showdown."Roddick added, "I have never had a chance to play at the Garden before and to play Roger there will make it a special night. I am really looking forward to a great event."
    The BNP Paribas Showdown is produced by MSG Sports and StarGames. Tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office, online at www.thegarden.com and all Ticketmaster outlets. For more information fans can visit www.tennisshowdown.com.
    In 2011, four tennis legends took the court: John McEnroe vs. Ivan lendl  and Pete Sampras vs. Andre Agassi. These were the first nationally-televised professional matches on a court with 60-foot blended lines, for the 10 and Under Tennis program, on a 78-foot regulation court. This event became THE event to showcase professional tennis legends as well as display the new way of tennis with shorter courts, smaller racquets and softer and slower tennis balls designed for youth.

Friday, February 24, 2012

EPISODE 86 (Podcast): Retrieval, Response, and Release zones on the court

Court positioning may be important in tennis, but it is really what we do with it that counts. We'll divide the court into three zones and discuss the possibilities.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

NEWS: Roger Federer wins the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament

Roger's 2nd career win at this venue

It was a very good 1 hour and 26 minutes for Roger Federer at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Tournament director Richard Krajicek must have been sporting a wide grin when Roger Federer, number four in the world, and Juan Martin DelPotro, the current number ten player, took the court for the final. Federer controlled the match rather comfortably by a score of 6-1, 6-4 and extended his winning streak of at least one ATP World Tour title each season for 12 years in a row.
Roger looked good on the court as he flowed like a gushing river devouring all in its path. Del Potro had his moments, but on the clutch break points, could not capitalize on any Federer let down. Although the tennis itself was enjoyable to see, and no doubt  Roger felt good about establishing himself agains the man who beat him in the 2009 U.S. Open finals, what stunned me moreover was what I read afterwards.

As one would expect, there was a trophy ceremony. And just as expected, the requisite press conference followed. What still amazes me however are the six TV interviews Roger gave–using three different languages. To be blessed with so much athletic talent, and to have a mind and linguistic ability such as his, always seems a little unfair to us mere mortals. But then again, even in the twilight of his career at age 30, he is still Roger Federer.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

NEWS: The season that never ends, and a quarterfinal slot by Tennis Team USA

Imagine life after FOOTBALL especially when it isn't called BASKETBALL. Yes, there is actually an international sport taking place that should warm the cockles of even the reddest-blooded national sports fan. It is called the Davis Cup, and the sport is tennis. What, isn't that a fair weather sport? Isn't that season over yet? Well, it may seem to some that the tennis season never ends. That is because IT DOESN'T! Tennis is the only professional sport with NO OFF SEASON. And our national pride is on the line, as of this writing, in a competition that pits the best tennis players our country has to offer against that of other countries. For those not aware that tennis is also a team sport at the pro level, this is a chance to follow the best-of-the-best in competition for a trophy resulting from multiple wins by various players on the team. 

And wow, do I have good news to report or what? The United States team just finished off team Switzerland by a score of 5-0 with wins over none other than 16-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer and world-class #28 Swiss player Stanislas Wawrinka. Mardy Fish, currently ranked number 8 in the world, beat Wawrinka in five grueling sets–the third longest match in Davis Cup history lasting 4 hours and 26 minutes. Federer was taken down by big-serving American John Isner in four sets. And the team of Mardy Fish and Mike Bryan took out teammates Federer and Wawrinka in doubles even though the American's began by losing the first set. Ryan Harrison and John Isner finished out by steamrolling the Swiss team with straight-set wins over Michael Lammer and Marco Chiudinelli respectively. 

The U.S. team, captained by former four-time Grand Slam champion Jim Courier, now moves into the Quarterfinal round against the winner of the Spain vs. Austria contest (correction: FRANCE). So yes, the tennis season continues. The competition is hot enough to keep even a casual sports fan's interest warm since, although not grabbing the eyeballs generated by basketball, it provides great competitive match-ups, nail-biting tiebreakers, and national pride. And that is not a bad combination especially in a Summer Olympic year where tennis players will compete for the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals on the courts of the All-England Club directly after the Wimbledon championships. 

What a great year 2012 is turning out to be for American tennis and sports fans all over the world. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

REFLECTIONS: Sports and Tennis–KIDSIZED

In a world of Super-sizing, and Go Big or Go Home, Kid-sizing is just the ticket for fun and success in Tennis.

Children's Tennis Infographic - Learning to Love Tennis
© 2012 10 and Under Tennis

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

EPISODE 85 (Podcast): Color My World with tennis balls for every skill level

Is the optic yellow ball the only option on a tennis court these days for recreational players who desire an easier and quicker pathway to success? Not at all. Softer, slower, and lower bouncing balls are NOT just for kids anymore!




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