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.

How to Find a Good Tennis Camp for a Junior Tennis Player

Do you want to send your kid to a tennis camp? Generally, it is a good idea. During summer or winter vacation, your tennis player has more time for tennis development and for having fun. I am sure that if your child is a USTA member, then you have found a lot of ads in your mailbox and probably your email. This is my advice about choosing the right tennis camp for a junior tennis player.

Most tennis clubs and tennis academies conduct tennis camps during the summer months. This is a “golden time” for them, because many parents want to give their children an opportunity to play tennis during the day and have them enjoy a friendly and sportive atmosphere. So, parents are ready to pay more money during the summer than during school time. I analyzed some of the current prices of tennis clubs and tennis academies. Five days for a non-boarding program at a tennis academy ranges from $700 to $1200. If you also send your player to a boarding program, add from $300 to $400 to the non-boarding price. These would be the prices for one week, but if you sign a contract for more time, you can probably get a discount of about 10% or more.Tennis clubs have more affordable rates like $150 a week for one session (2 hours) a day, or $250 a week for the whole day.

You are the parent and make sure you do your homework before finalizing where you are sending your kid off to. If you want to use your kid’s time at tennis camps for his development as a tennis player, be very careful and make sure that he/she would be trained by a certain tennis coach, whom you trust completely. Here is a link to the article How to find a good tennis coach.

My advice is to not send your kid to a boarding tennis program if he/she is younger than 14 years old. If you do that, please make sure that the supervision over your child is very qualitative and responsible. Read the contract very carefully and do not hesitate to ask questions. Remember that your kid and his/her health are much more important than everything else. If you have time, visit the tennis camp (like a secret shopper) during the day without preliminary notice and watch what’s going on the courts.

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Engage in Positive Self-talk While You Are Playing a Tennis Match

One more important advice for tennis players from the book Maximum Tennis by Nick Saviano.

Nick Saviano and Jennifer Capriati

Engage in Positive Self-talk While You Are Playing a Tennis Match

It is critical to converse with yourself in a positive way when you are on the tennis court. Don’t berate yourself or talk negatively about your game. You cannot afford to battle two opponents, the person on the other side of the net and yourself. One opponent is enough. Engaging in negative self-talk will bring you to defeat quicker than a superior opponent. If you miss an easy shot, the worst thing you can do is to reinforce the mistake by verbalizing, “Oh, what an idiot I am. No way I should have missed that shot!” Instead, say something like, “You’ll get it next time.” Or don’t say anything at all and quickly visualize yourself hitting that shot for a winner. You can even take a practice swing to imprint the positive image in your brain. Along those same lines, try to always be optimistic and think in terms of what you want to happen instead of what you don’t want to happen. For example, assume you are serving for the tennis match. During the changeover, think about wanting to hold serve and what you need to do to be successful, as opposed to thinking to yourself, “I can’t lose serve now” or “Just don’t miss your first serve”. The point is the more you tell yourself what you don’t want to happen, the more likely it is to happen. So, always think and project positively and optimistically and focus on positive affirmations.

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Tennis Strings for Junior Tennis Players. How to Prevent Injures of Players

Some tennis players and specialists are wary of poly tennis strings. There are articles and opinions that poly strings are injurious to junior arms, and strings’ manufacturers advise lower tensions.

It is always more useful to get independence expert’s opinion on this topic. I asked our expert Bruce Levine about his opinion regarding poly tennis strings and how to prevent injures of junior tennis players.
Bruce Levine
Strings today have become as important as the racquet itself to the point that they have taken the spotlight in the industry.

The big attention has been directed at the ever changing poly strings. They have gone from being just round and harsh poly to becoming softer and more forgiving and having “sides” or “edges” to better grab the ball.

The reason the professional players like the poly string so much is that it is basically “dead”. To make that easier to understand; they are very unlively. This allows a player to swing with a lot of speed and energy and the ball won’t travel as far nor as wildly leading to greater control and increased power and spin. The thing that makes the poly great for professionals is the same thing that will hurt junior players arms; the dead and lack of life in the string.

Because the poly is a “dead” material, it provides little energy that is returned to the ball. The second piece about poly is that it is very unforgiving; meaning that if you hit the ball off center or away from the sweet spot, you get a harsh message in your arm that you missed in the form of a jolt or more simply put a shock. If the string were soft and forgiving, you would still receive the same message but in a kinder, gentler manner; like a “love tap”.

Because of the jolt that you receive, it has been recommended that players string down at lower tensions to minimize the trauma that can be caused by the poly and cushion the “blow”. As this pertains to juniors; it is important to protect their arms and give their bodies and musculature a chance to develop before consistent and persistent trauma is applied. Damage that can be done could cause many different maladies including tennis elbow and these injuries could be chronic keeping them out of tennis for long periods of time if not permanently.

I would recommend that juniors play with multi-filament strings that offer some “compassion” for their arms and give them some touch and feel for the ball on their strings. This will also help them developmentally as players so that they can learn about different parts of the game and develop better skills. As players mature and age up into the 16’s and 18’s poly may be an option but better would be a co-poly which is kinder and gentler than the pure poly but, still has many of the traits of the poly. I would also suggest strongly that a blend of strings (very common today) be used by juniors. An example of this would be using poly in the main strings and a good multi-filament in the crosses.

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