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Sunday, November 25, 2012

EPISODE 94 (Podcast): Variety, or not, for successful tennis

Ball Bounce Variable (BBV)

While it may be a great feeling to have a very full tennis toolbelt of shotmaking ability, perhaps the old KISS principle still applies. Is tennis success tied to massive variety or repetitive mediocrity?



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Monday, November 19, 2012

Tennis Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2012


Now that the holidays are approaching us as quickly as an Andy Murray serve, it's time to review some ideas of potential tennis gifts for that special player or player-to-be on your shopping list. Whether beginner, intermediate or advanced, there is likely to be a selection that will give you "Game, Set, Match!"






Books
  • Rafa by Rafael Nadal (2011)
  • Open by Andre Agassi (2010)
  • A Champion's Mind by Pete Sampras (2009)
  • You Cannot be Serious by John McEnroe (2003)
  • High Strung: Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe (The Rivalry) (2011) by Steve Tignor
  • Tennis Confidential II by Paul Fein and Mary Carillo (2008)
  • Game. Set. Life. by Ed Tseng (2008)
  • Tennis Beyond Big Shots by Greg Moran (2006, revised 2008)
DVDs (some recommendations)
  • 2000 Andre Agassi vs. Patrick Rafter Wimbledon Semifinal
  • 2001 Patrick Rafter vs. Goran Ivanisevic Wimbledon Final
  • 2001 Roger Federer vs. Pete Sampras Wimbledon 4th round
  • 2008 Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer Wimbledon Final
  • 2009 Andy Roddick vs. Roger Federer Wimbledon Final
  • 2001 Peter Sampras vs. Andre Agassi U.S. Open Quarterfinal
  • 2006 Andre Agassi vs. Marcos Baghdatis U.S. Open 2nd round
Accessories
  • Athletic towel (For the serious player, consider a licensed design from a Grand Slam tournament such as Wimbledon, U.S. Open, French Open or Australian Open)
  • Tennis gear bag - Head, Wilson, etc. (Be aware of how many rackets it needs to hold)
  • Wristbands and/or headband
  • Cap or tennis visor
  • Overgrip wrap Comes in colors (adds 1/16 inch in diameter to racket grip)
Equipment
  • Tennis balls (available by the case)
  • Gift card For a new racket (since it is too difficult to choose someones' stick)
  • Tennis ball machine (these start at about $200)
  • Tennis pickup basket
  • Portable tennis ball cart (go with the Gamma EZ Travel Cart w/ bag)
  • Cones or colored spots (use these for ball control training)
  • Agility ladder (use this for footwork training)
  • Doorway pullup bar (use this for upper-body strengthening)
  • Medicine ball (use this for core strengthening)
Apparel
  • Warmup suit
  • Shorts and Shirt combos
  • Tennis sneakers
Kids
  • Junior racket
    • 19" (ages 2-3) up to 3' tall
    • 21" (ages 4-5) up to 3'11" tall
    • 23" (ages 6-8) up to 4'5" tall
    • 25" or 26" (ages 9-12) up to 5' tall
  • QuickStart tennis balls
    • Foam (ages 2-4)
    • Red Felt (ages 5-6)
    • Orange Felt (ages 7-8)
    • Green Felt (ages 9-10)
  • Portable net (10' to 18' wide, 30" tall)
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Tennis towel
  • Tennis bag
  • Tennis ball carrier (Gamma EZ Travel Cart bag) (cart optional)
Specialty gifts
  • Tickets to a pro tour tennis match or exhibition
  • Gift certificate for prepaid lessons with a local recreational pro instructor
  • USTA 10 and under junior membership (special FREE offer from the USTA in 2012) (expires 12/31/2012)
If you have any other ideas, thoughts or questions, please feel free to contact me at gottaplaytennis.ron@gmail.com or 856-359-GPTS (4787).

Sunday, November 18, 2012

FAVORITE SITES: Timeless Tennis by Gary Bala

Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic Wins 2012 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals


In the year-end finish of the tennis season, Novak Djokovic (No. 1 SER) defeated Roger Federer (No. 2, SUI) in straight sets for the 2012 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title at the O2 Arena in London, 7-6 (6), 7-5 read more...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

NEWS: November in Paris is a swinging affair

(L) Llodra, (R) Ferrer

Tennis is exciting, and it is a testament to human athleticism, creativity, and endurance. And as we have been treated to some wonderful matches beginning with the thrilling final five-set final that began with the Australian Open in January of 2012, we continue to be treated to some outstanding tennis from surprise competitors. As of this writing, the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Masters is taking place in Paris, France. A regular big-time event this time of year on the ATP World Tour Masters 1000, it was won the last two years in 2010 and 2011 by Robin Soderling and Roger Federer respectively. Soderling finished at world number five that year and Federer at number three

(L) Janowicz, (R) Simon
That is what makes this year's Paris event all the more exciting. Instead of only players in the top 10 making it to the finals, the 2012 event has been an array of surprises. World number 67 121, Michael Llodra of France, consistently played a singles style of tennis–serve and volley–that the tennis fans have not seen since the era of Pete Sampras. Although this was not all that surprising from a player who has been quite successful in doubles, where following a serve to the net is not uncommon, it was refreshing to see it being used in a game that is today dominated by baseline rallies. On the way to the semi-finals, Llodra was was able to take out #10 John Isner, #7 Juan-Martin DelPotro, and Sam Querrey who had defeated #2 Novak Djokovic earlier in the week. 

But this was only half the story. Unseeded wildcard entry Jerzy Janowicz of Poland, #69 in the world, played the best tennis of his life and crushed his way through players several times his senior in experience and even age. In order to reach the semi-finals, he had to defeat no less than five of the world top 20 players including Philipp Kohlschreiber, Marin Cilic, #3 Andy Murray, Janko Tipsarevic, and Gilbert Simon–in that order. 

By the time you read this, the championship match may already have been played between David Ferrer and Jerzy Janowitz–the two players who made it to the finals. What is on the line for these two athletes? For the Pole, it would be an unbelievable win that came out of nowhere, and perhaps it would be the confidence builder bringing him into the mix with top players more often. For the Spaniard, he would be the first from his country to take this prize, this would be his first Masters 1000 trophy of his career, and the win might provide some momentum going into the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London beginning on November 5th. Only the worlds top 8 players get to compete for the singles title in a 3-match round-robin format. The players who have qualified are: Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin del Potro, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, David Ferrer, Janko Tipsarevic, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Any way you slice it, there has been plenty to be excited about this fall in men's professional tennis. And this season of leaves, scary costumes and giving-thanks is yet to be completed.