Discussing 2012 US Open. Andy Roddick retired, Roger Federer lost

I discussed 2012 US Open current results with a tennis coach.

Can you comment the tennis match between Roger Federer and Tomas Berdych. Why did Federer lose?

Roger Federer ran into a perfect storm. First of all, a huge guy who hits flat can beat anyone if his shots are going in. Juan Martin Del Potro, Robin Soderling, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Tomas Berdych fall into this category. It’s high risk tennis, but that is how you beat one of the Big Three: Federer, Djokovic and Murray. Also, we tend to think of Roger Federer as not being human, and in general that’s been true. Yesterday his serve and forehand both deserted him, and it was obvious that he couldn’t figure out what was wrong, nor could he adapt his style of play to not having his two best shots.

Tomas Berdych

Andy Roddick’s great career is over. Can you share your opinion about the most famous American tennis player after Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi?

I remember Andy Roddick as a new pro. Everyone felt he was the future of American tennis, and it would probably not be an exaggeration to say that with Andre Agassi’s retirement, he was American tennis, at least for the men.

Andy Roddick. US Open 2012

Not a natural athlete, Andy Roddick used strength and effort to make himself a champion. The way he carried himself on and off the court should be emulated by everyone in every sport.

2012 US Open and who will be the next tennis champions

Some thoughts from a tennis coach about 2012 US Open and the future tennis champions.

The real tournament begins next Friday. I don’t see Serena Williams or Maria Sharapova losing any earlier and as usual have to go with Serena if she plays her best.

The same goes for the men, with the fourth spot wide open. The big three are all playing dominant tennis, but Andy Murray and Roger Federer have to play each other on Saturday, so the edge goes to Novak Djokovic.

Venus Williams is lackluster, but she has a legitimate excuse. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga does not.

We are always looking for the next generation of tennis champions. In American men, Jack Sock has burst into the lead, and I believe is capable of winning a major.

Jack Sock. 2012 US Open

He reminds me of Roddick at the same age, except that he has a better serve, forehand, backhand, volley, and is more athletic. He still plays a bit like a junior, but a great junior. I think Jack Sock is the real thing. First American I’ve seen since Andy Roddick who can win a major.

No such luck among our women, though Madison Keys may learn to keep the ball in play.

Madison Keys

Laura Robson maintained her composure against the once-great Kim Clijsters and has good size and power. She’s no Serena Williams, but that’s hardly a put-down.

The Favorites, Dark Horses and Starlets of the 2012 US Open Tennis

This year’s U.S Open is set to kick off on August 27 2012 in Flushing Meadows, New York. The Billie Jean National Tennis Center will be the battleground where it all goes down. The giants and the dark horses of the tennis world will all congregate to fight for the title of the U.S Open champion. With all the excitement in the air, fans can only look forward to an exhilarating tournament.

The competition has somewhat witnessed its first casualty albeit the rackets and balls are yet to come out. Rafael Nadal will not be competing in this year’s edition because of a persistent knee injury. Being that he was a top favorite for the men’s crown, this situation opens up a lot of opportunities for other competitors. Then again, the absence of one of tennis’s greats does not mean that it is short of big guns.

One of the remaining big guns is Andy Murray. The Brit is in a buoyant mood after clinching the tennis gold medal at the recent Olympic Games in London. What makes his victory sweeter is the fact that he trounced world number one Roger Federer to claim top position. The world number four had lost to the Swiss at the Wimbledon Open. The loss has momentarily denied him a place in history books—a win would have made Murray become only the second Brit to win the Wimbledon Open since 1936.

Andy Murray

The odds of Murray capturing the crown stand at 4/1. Being a definite favorite, pundits expect him to make it to the latter stages of the tourney. Along the way, he will have to contend with other big guns like Federer and Novak Djokovic. It would be no surprise if Murray emerged tops considering that he is riding on the momentum of his successful outing at the Olympics. However, such a victory would come against a nerve-racking battle against other top guns.

For Federer, retaking the No. 1 spot was a just reward for his rebirth that began late last year. The Swiss was the losing finalist in last year’s edition of the U.S Open. He recovered to win titles in Paris, London, Basel, Dubai, Madrid and Rotterdam. His victory at Wimbledon was a culmination of 30 months of his resurgence. Federer boasts of excellent tennis attributes that make him a top pick for success.

Roger Federer

The Swiss has a powerful forehand and a quick serve that can easily unsettle his opponents. He will also be keen to get back on track after his Olympics loss to Murray. The combination of his technical abilities and the desire to redeem himself are sure to propel him to the last stage of the tournament.

Novak Djokovic, the current No.2, has undergone some kind of a rough spell in 2012. After, taking the tennis scene by storm in 2011, Djokovic has failed to win a title in any of the three past tournaments. The U.S Open defending champion will be hoping that his dalliance with the New York atmosphere will continue to pay dividends. Before clinching last year’s edition, the Serb had made it to two consecutive finals. Luck aside, Djokovic is a beast with a racket on hardcourt and will definitely blaze to the advanced stages of the event.

As the favorites bask in the glory of their favorites tag, there are others who will be hoping to upset the formbook. One of these dark horses is the Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro. The 23-year old shocked pundits when he won the 2009 edition of the U.S Open. Since then, grand slam titles have eluded him. Del Potro, who currently stands at 10/1 to win the tourney, will be banking on his talent to upstage the top favorites. Going by the odds, he must prepare himself for the gargantuan task ahead.

The U.S Open also offers a chance for starlets to stake their claim in the world of tennis. They include Marin Cilic, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Grigor Dimitrov, Bernard Tomic and Milos Raonic among others. Cilic is probably the most recognizable tennis player among the starlets. In particular, Murray would be more familiar with the 23-year old Croatian.

Three years ago, Cilic beat Murray at the U.S Open. He also surprised everyone with an impressive performance that took him to the semifinals of the 2010 Australian Open. If he makes good use of his stroke abilities, footwork and serve, the 6’6” No. 13 might just cause headaches to other competitors.

The U.S Open is just hours away from kick off. The hardcourts are gleaming in preparation for end-to-end stuff. New York, the city that never sleeps, will truly be flowing with many tennis enthusiasts. The mix of normal favorites, dark horses and promising talents will make for a thrilling event.

This was a Guest Post by Brenda Panin. She is a great sport and tennis lover currently working for Tennis Centre in Brisbane  In her free time she loves to write about extreme sports.

Having Fun on the Tennis Court Is One Key to Becoming the Best Tennis Player You Can Be

I do like this excerpt from Nick Saviano’s book Maximum Tennis. Read it carefully and compare with your feelings on the tennis court.  I wish you to have a lot of fun on the tennis court. If you or your junior tennis player do not have fun playing tennis, think about it. No having fun means no success on the tennis court.

Reflect for a moment on a time when you played your best tennis. Perhaps it was a victory over the number-one player at your club or when you won a big tournament. Or maybe it was a losing effort against a superior opponent. How did you perceive your tennis at that time? Did you look forward to playing? Was the match fun and enjoyable?

I would be willing to bet the answer is yes. In all of my years of playing and coaching, I can’t remember hearing a player say, “I hated being out on the court today, but I just had the best win of my life.” You’ll rarely hear someone say, “Practice has been miserable, but, wow, I am improving!” It is ludicrous to think you can improve your tennis when you are devoid of fun, enjoyment, and passion for the game. In fact, without it, your chances of taking your game to the next level are virtually nil.

Pete Sampras

Before the start of the 1999 Wimbledon final against Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras told his coach, Paul Annacone, that “this is going to be fun. I’m going to enjoy this time. Who knows how many more finals I’ll play here and how often I’ll play Andre?” That same year Steffi Graf was coming back from an injury and unexpectedly won the French Open.

Three short weeks later, she lost in the finals of Wimbledon to Lindsay Davenport and announced that it would be her last Grand Slam event. “The last few weeks have been pretty amazing,” Graf said. “It’s obvious that I’m disappointed about losing the final, but I do have to say it’s been great…It’s been a lot of fun.” After losing in the 2001 Wimbledon final, 9 – 7, in the fifth set, the great Australian Patrick Rafter said, “It was electric out there, that is what we play for, it was a lot of fun”.

Sure you say. Those tennis players have won millions of dollars playing tennis and can afford to say it’s fun. But do you really think they would have endured countless hours of training and practicing, overcome agonizing injures, and struggled to gain their success over the years if it wasn’t fun and enjoyable to be on the tennis court? Tennis can be hard work, and it takes sacrifice to reach your potential at almost every level. If you do not enjoy your time spent on the tennis court, the rewards are often not enough to keep you playing tennis.

Tennis is a game and as such should be fun and enjoyable, which over time will manifest itself into a real passion for the game. The love of the game is a key ingredient to your success in tennis. Of course, tennis has become many other things in today’s world. It can be an avenue to fame and fortune for those good enough to compete at the highest level.

It can be the means to earning a living for tennis players, coaches, manufactures, entrepreneurs, administrators, and business people. It can be the path to college scholarship. It can be a proving ground for your self-worth – your standing in your peer group, club, or community. And it is a wonderful way to keep physically fit. But first and foremost, tennis is a game, a wonderful game for a lifetime, from which we should derive enjoyment.

The principal of having fun and cultivating not only a love but also a true passion for tennis is a prerequisite to any meaningful and significant improvement in your game. If you don’t enjoy your time on the tennis court, whether it’s in practice or in competition, you might as well kiss success good-bye.

This is true for every tennis player – a world class professional, a college player, an aspiring junior, or a recreational player. We’ve all heard great athletes from every sport say things like, “I play because I love the game,” or a veteran who states, “I play because I still have a passion and enjoyment for the competition,” or the idol of millions who claims, “Playing tennis is not work for me. It’s fun.” The message is so loud that it’s deafening, yet it is consistently overlooked and misinterpreted.

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Discussing great tennis players and US Open 2012

US Open 2012

I discussing great tennis players and upcoming US Open 2012 with a tennis coach.

Do you think Federer has an edge over the other players, including Djokovic, at the US Open?

Roger Federer is so efficient that he can remain 1-4 for the next few years. I’m not so sure about Rafael Nadal. His physical style may have caught up with him (actually Nadal withdrew from the U.S. Open on Wednesday. Tendinitis has kept him out of action since his stunning loss at Wimbledon in late June).

When do you think is the right time for great players to quit the game?
What is your advice for great players like Federer and the Williams sisters? Is it the right time for them to stop playing while they are still at the top?

No one has quit at the top, or near the top, since Bjorn Borg.

Bjorn Borg. Great tennis player

All great tennis players think they have something left because that thinking is what got them there in the first place. I can’t tell someone else when to quit. If the game means enough to them, and they are not risking permanent injury, and people will still pay to watch them, then why not? Venus Williams may be a different story, because her disease can flare up unpredictably.

Do you consider Sharapova as one of the main candidates to win US Open?

Maria Sharapova is just one of half a dozen players who can be ranked #1 if Serena Williams doesn’t play enough tournaments. Regardless of the ranking system, if you asked ten knowledgeable people who the best woman player in the world is, at least nine will say Serena Williams.