Who Will Win at 2012 Wimbledon?

Wimbledon 2012

Who Will Win at 2012 Wimbledon?

The most prestigious and famous Grand Slam tennis tournament will start next week. I wanna share my thoughts about the upcoming 2012 Wimbledon. I believe that Serena Williams has the biggest chance to win it and Maria Sharapova is her only competition. No other tennis player on the women’s side has a chance to win in London.

And now some thoughts concerning the men’s draw. Four players have the same chance, but I like Roger Federer on grass more than others. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are also major candidates to win it all at the 2012 Wimbledon. The fourth player who can compete for this major is Milos Raonic. He has the best serve at the ATP tour right now and it will definitely help him on the grass of the Wimbledon courts.

What do you think about Wimbledon 2012? Who will be winners?

Stay in Present, When You Are Playing Tennis Match

I continue to post  psychological secrets of the tennis champions from the book Maximum Tennis by Nick Saviano.

Nick Saviano and Jim Courier

Stay in Present, When You Are Playing Tennis Match

This is one of the keys to concentration. Learn from the past and plan for the future, but in the heart of the battle, if you are psychologically anywhere but in the present, you are in trouble. In tennis terms, this equates to playing one point at a time. Andre Agassi summed it up succinctly when he said: “I have learned the hard way that to lose the focus on one point interferes with your job. If you let up for one point, what’s going to stop you from doing it on two? You can’t run out the clock. You have to finish.” If you catch yourself dwelling on the shot you just blew, the set you just lost, or a bad call or if you start thinking about the trophy you are about to win, you are not giving yourself the best chance to win the point you are about to play. Remember, when the point is finished, it is history. It’s over, gone, and there is nothing you can do about it except move on to the next point. Is that easy to do? No. I never said it would be easy, but if you want to play your best tennis, it is a must.

It was 1977, and I was playing in my first Wimbledon championships against a player named Freddy McNair. It had been a long, tough first-round battle. I had been down double match point in the fourth set, and now I was serving the match 5-4 in the fifth. I hit an overhead away for a winner to make the score 40-0, triple match point. I turned to my friend and quietly said, “I can’t believe I am going to win this match”. Guess what? Freddy hit a few winners; I made a few mistakes, and the next thing I know I had lost serve and then the match, 16-14, in the fifth set. Tough lesson. Stay in present, and don’t focus on winning or losing while you are competing.

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How Important is Tennis Specific Fitness?

How Important is Tennis Specific Fitness?

One more article about tennis fitness is written by Suzanna McGee. Suzanna is a former Ms Natural Olympia bodybuilding champion, currently nationally ranked tennis player and athletic trainer with focus on sport conditioning and injury prevention.                                                      Her website is http://www.tennisfitnesslove.com/

Suzanna McGee

For many tennis players and coaches, “tennis fitness training” means cone drills, sprints between the lines and some running in the grass. Although these activities can be a part of fitness preparation for tennis players, they are far away from tennis specific fitness training.

Tennis is one-sided sport and the demands on the body are tremendous. Most players hit open stance forehands, and choose to hit the forehands much more than their backhands. They hit there backhands with closed stance. Just hitting ground strokes, the right hip gets loaded much more than the left hip, which will over time lead to tightness, stiffness and overuse. Then think about your right shoulder and arm when you add serves and volleys and you can see the problem coming.

To continue this example, the right hip gets overused and tight and the left hip and glute may disconnect over time and not fire correctly, which will lead to other joints compensating and thus being overused. You get aches in the knees or ankles. You see the pattern.

Tennis specific fitness training has to address all these issues, in addition to running fast. The players need to focus on training their core and hips, and get them strong, powerful and explosive. They need to be flexible and evenly balanced on both left and right side. That’s a lot of work to do, if you think how many hours a player spends on the tennis court practicing her strokes and competing.

The older the player is, the bigger the chance that he accumulated many imbalances in the body, and therefore flexibility training is extremely important. A regular stretching routine has to be part of daily training program. In addition, self-myofascial release practice should be a part of the player’s repertoire as often as possible.

The younger players need to focus on developing strength and power so they could handle their growing bodies. Basic full-body exercises such as push-ups, squats, lunges, planks, burpees and many other plyometric versions are extremely beneficial. The young players need to develop the animal-like quickness and suppleness. Stretching is an important part of the program for the young ones as it is for the older ones.

The adult players who are not as strong and agile as they should be need to work on their athletic power, explosiveness and overall strength as well. It will help them to move lighter and quicker and lessen the stress on the body, thus prevent future overuse injuries.

I often hear the “excuse” that people don’t have time to workout in addition to their tennis, work and family. It is important to figure out the training schedule so some fitness training will fit it. It’s more important than you can even imagine. A good solution is to do a quick, intense workout directly after your tennis practice. You can do 20-30 minutes of high intensity training and if you do that four times per week, you now have total 2 hours of solid training. Everybody can find 20 extra minutes!

For your inspiration, look at this intense short workout that I often do after my tennis practice. Start with that. As you get fitter and stronger and start playing even better tennis, you will become more motivated to do even more.

Remember, even 10 minutes is better than nothing. Start today and see how quickly the results will come.

Interview with Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka lost her #1 ranking after this year’s Roland Garros. She returned to her birthplace of Minsk, Belarus and is currently training there preparing for Wimbledon.

Vika Azarenka. Roland Garros 2012

Today, Vika Azarenka conducted a practice session for junior tennis players on the courts of the Minsk tennis center.

Vika Azarenko in Minsk with kids.

After the practice, she answered a few questions.

Have you started preparing for Wimbledon?

Yes. My coach is coming here tomorrow. I will be training in Minsk.

After Roland Garros you have said that you are a bit tired of tennis, so have you had a chance to get away from the sport in Minsk?

I’ve tried to distract myself somehow. I’ve just been relaxing for a week.

What is more important to you during the Olympics in London, playing singles or playing mixed doubles with Max Mirnyi?

My priority is singles, but I want to succeed in mixed doubles as well. We are also planning to play together at Wimbledon.

What does losing your #1 ranking mean to you?

This is life, things happen. Now I’m number two in the world. But I still have a chance to become #1 again. So this will only give me further motivation to continue my hard work.

Have you congratulated Maria Sharapova when she achieved the number #1 ranking?

No.

How do you explain that lately you’ve been having a tough time in your first round matches?

Easy matches don’t exist. There are many factors. Sometimes there are obstacles, other times there is a tough opponent, while it can also be the difference in your physical conditions. You can’t always play your ideal game. It’s just a sport.

Victoria, are you watching the European soccer championships?

I watch it almost every day. I’m rooting for Spain, since Belarus is not participating. And since I’m pretty patriotic, I always root for my countrymen.

Sports Massage for a Tennis Player

How do you help your kid restore after a hard workout? What do you know about sports massage? Not too much, I guess. When I was a kid and used to do track and field at my school, all my teammates had a sports massage session once a week. For many years, the athletes of the Eastern European countries have included massage as a part of their intensive and continuous training schedule. And they are right because during intensive and hard work outs and competition, muscle strength and endurance of tennis players are pushed to the limit.

Remember how your tennis player feels after four consecutive tennis matches in a weekend’s tournament. I am sure that he doesn’t feel very good because a body has its own limits and needs recovery.

The goal of sports massage is to enhance the athlete’s performance. Performance is regulated by the efficiency, precision, and freedom with which the tennis player is able to move. Efficiency is dependent on training and conditioning. Sports massage permits for more intensive training.

There are four basic types of sports massage. Each kind of sports massage has a different objective and requires a different approach.

  1. Pre-event massage. Massage prior to a match to prepare a tennis player for the exertion of competition.
  2. Post-event massage. Massage after competition to normalize the tissues and relax the tennis player after the tennis match.
  3. Restorative or training massage. Massage during training to allow the tennis player to train harder with fewer injures.
  4. Rehabilitation massage. Massage during rehabilitation to recover from injury more quickly with less chance of reinjury.

When was the last time your junior tennis player got a sports massage? Have you ever thought that sports massage is a part of a tennis player’s training cycle? Some parents can say that it’s “too costly”. But if you pay $60-150 an hour for a tennis private lesson, you definitely have money for one massage session a week for your tennis player.

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