Two more secrets of great tennis players

There are two more secrets of tennis champions from the book Maximum Tennis by Nick Saviano.

Nick Saviano, tennis coach and author of the book Maximum Tennis

Breathe

Picture this: it is match point in the finals of the US Open, and a player is about to step up to the line to serve the biggest point of her life. What is the one thing almost all tennis players will do? Take a deep breath and exhale. Why? Because they are using their breathing as a way of helping to control themselves physically and emotionally. Controlling your breathing is one of the best ways to deal with both mental and physical anxiety. I am not advocating that you run out and take  a yoga class (although that is not a bad idea). Simply remember that, by pausing and taking a deep breath between points, you can really help to control yourself. So, when you are feeling tense and uptight, stop and take a few deep breaths, and you might be surprised how much it helps.

If you can’t visualize it, chances are it will not become a reality

The ability to visualize yourself executing in competition is essential to achieving your goals. When top Olympic coaches and elite athletes from a wide variety of sports were surveyed as to the most important factors in their psychological training programs, they named visualization, or imagery, as number one in importance.

Try to visualize yourself performing on the tennis court exactly the way you would like. If you have trouble with a particular shot, learn to visualize yourself hitting that short particularly well. If you have trouble serving out a match, visualize yourself serving out the game with confidence. In preparation for a match, many tennis professionals will actually get away by themselves shortly before competing and visualize certain aspects of the tennis match or specific shorts. Others practice their visualization at night.

It sound corny, but for most tennis players it really works. If you are to play in the tennis club championships and you simply don’t believe you can win it, take some time each day and visualize yourself playing the final tennis match. Picture yourself being totally under control, executing great shots and winning the last point. The more vivid your visualization, the better. Try it, and you will be surprised just what an effective tool it is.

Agnieszka Radwanska and Serena Williams in 2012 Wimbledon final

Finally Agnieszka Radwanska reached the major’s final. It is a good reason to think: why the player without huge strokes and million dollars investment has a chance to become #1 in the world and win Wimbledon. Answer is simple: she is the smart player, not  just “HIT THE BALL” one.

Agnieszka Radwanska in Wimbledon final

But why so a few tennis players play smart tennis?

In two days we are going to watch the 2012 Wimbledon final between Serena Williams, the best athlete from women players  and the smartest tennis player Agnieszka Radwanska. It definitely will be interesting match!

Agnieszka Radwanska Is the Smartest Tennis Player in Modern Women Tennis

Why a few women tennis players play smart and creative tennis? Answer is obvious, modern tennis requires strong athletes. Strong athletes often prefer to hit ball hard 🙂 Unfortunately many players on women side look very similar each other – very athletic, can hit balls hard and no any creativity in their play. You hardly to find something special in their play.

Agnieszka Radwańska - Agnieszka Radwanska Is the Smartest Tennis Player in Modern Women Tennis

Fortunately, in each generation of tennis players we see smart players who are able to compete on highest level. I remember the smartest play of Martina Hingis, now I enjoy watching Agnieszka Radwanska tennis.

In my mind, this season shows one more time, that there are no strong favorites in modern women tennis. Not like it was ten years ago. Today most of WTA players play tennis like throwing hard rocks. From top players only Agnieszka Radwanska plays creative and smart tennis. It is not high probability that she will win Wimbledon, but now she has a chance to capture #1 in the world. Serena Williams may win in London, but she should serve 20+ aces per match in all the next rounds. So, I wish Radwanska to win, because her play is very smart and attractive for watching.

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Wimbledon 2012. One more interesting opinion about Nadal – Rosol tennis match

Wimbledon 2012

I was discussing Wimbledon’s current results with a tennis coach yesterday.

How can you explain that so many top players including Nadal, Stosur, Berdych, Wozniacki etc. lost in first rounds in London? No difference between #2 Rafael Nadal and # 100 Lukas Rosol?

I watched the match. This was like a replay of Nadal’s loss to Soderling at the French Open 2009. He didn’t play badly. Rosol played very high risk tennis, which was his only chance, and the balls went in. I doubt he will ever have a match like this again.

In the good old days, before technology made every hack into an Ivan Lendl, Roland Garros went to the person who was toughest and fittest, Wimbledon went to the best athlete, and the US Open and Australian Open, went to the best all around game. As the courts are becoming more like one another, this is still fairly true, but everything is compressed.

In the men, we have a top three (Federer, Djokovic, Nadal),  then a good number four. After that I don’t see anyone who can win seven straight matches. Still a big server can ace his way through a match or two on grass. Remember Kevin Current (he played in two Grand Slam singles finals and won four Grand Slam doubles titles)? So Berdych might be overpowered by Gulbis on a good day. Nadal’s game is not suited to grass, but I would never have expected him to lose first round unless he ran into a big hitter who happened to be on that day.

For the women, only Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, and possibly Kim Clijsters, in that order, can control their destiny, and even they can have an off day. After that it’s a flip of the coin.

Discussing Wimbledon 2012

Wimbledon 2012 brings surprises almost every day. Some players haven’t even finished the second round, yet many stars have already been stunned by the unseeded players. Nadal, Stosur, Berdych, Wozniacki, and Isner. The list is pretty impressive.

Rafael Nadal lost at Wimbledon 2012

The big surprise is Rafael Nadal’s loss to a Czech tennis player Lukas Rosol.  It’s even more shocking if we remember that the 26 year old Lukas Rosol has lost in the first round of qualifiers at Wimbledon in the previous five years. He is #100 in the world. Today, he caused the biggest upset of this year’s Wimbledon. Lukas Rosol beat Rafael Nadal, the #2 seed, the two-time Wimbledon champion, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. I should add that Lukas Rosol is the lowest-ranked player ever to beat Nadal in a Grand Slam tournament.

Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon 2012

Could anybody have predicted this to happen? No way. Almost all tennis experts put Rafael Nadal as one of the possible winners in London. Is Rosol able to go ahead and win more matches? I doubt it. His next opponent is Philipp Kohlschreiber, who shows strong and confident play. Players often go down after such a big win. We recently saw that with Fernando Verdasco and Virginie Razzano.

At least this major is intriguing and unpredictable. But I am still betting on Roger Federer to win on the men’s side and Serena Williams or Maria Sharapova to win on the women’s side.