Crosscourt with Cronin and Drucker
TennisOne continues its tradition of delivering break-through content today by introducing Crosscourt, an internet "talk-show" of leading tennis journalists discussing the hot topics in tennis. In this week's Crosscourt, Matt Cronin, co-owner of tennisreporters.net and Managing Editor of Inside Tennis, and Joel Drucker, a freelance tennis journalist and author of the book "Jimmy Connors Saved My Life," talk about whether Martina Hingis can make it back to the top of the women's game.
Pages From a Tennis Junkie's Journal
New Year Musings
It has been a tough month and a half (and, at least to me, it seems a lot longer). Mornings sitting at the kitchen table
with my cup of coffee, staring blankly at the box scores in the sporting
pages. I know there is nothing of interest there for me but it's a tough habit to break - it's just been too deeply ingrained over the years.
Funny thing is, I don't even particularly care where the
scores are from. It could be a Grand Prix event in Monte Carlo or a Division
III high school match in Turlock, but when I look at the names and read the
scores, I can't help but imagine what might have taken place on the court or
on the sidelines. I look for that close score that could have been the
deciding match in a team competition. Or the heroic comeback from probable
match points down. Was it a twisted ankle or a broken spirit that forced
that player to retire in the third set? I play it all out in my mind over
Yeah, this (from the players' point of view) all too brief break may be good for the players but its putting me into
a funk. I can't wait for the season to start up again and it won't be long.
The tour gets back into swing this week at Adelaide with a pretty good field that includes
Hewitt, Berdych, Blake, Murray, Ancic, Hrbaty, and Robredo. Chennai starts with Ljubicic, Moya, and Schrichaphan, and at the Qatar Open
we get our 2006 debut of Federer.
The women get rolling the next week at the
Medibank International at the Sydney International Tennis Center where
Clijsters, Mauresmo, and Henin-Hardene will square off and Nadal will jump
into the fray on the men's side.
The two Belgian champions, Justine Henin-Hardene (right) and Kim Clijsters, are set to sqaure off in the season's first tournament.
Who else will pop up to surprise us at the
start of 2006? I'll be checking the scores. So in the meantime I have filled
my restless mornings conjuring up some fanciful New Year's resolutions for
the common tennis player and my personal takes on them. You'll have to excuse
me, that's what happens when you've got too much time on your hands and few options as to how to fill it up. I think
we'll all be glad when play starts up again.
Here is my list of 2006 New Year Resolutions and reality checks.
For the doubles player,
communication is the key. Resolve to communicate better
with your partner. Reality check: The only words your partner wants to hear
from you are either, "good shot," "good try," or "I got it." The rest
will just fly by like a Roddick first serve.
Since doubles is controlled at the net, resolve in 2006 to improve your
doubles by being more aggressive. Reality check: Being aggressive
at the net doesn't mean smacking
the top of the net with your racquet after you dump that sitter volley.
For the mental player:
Tennis is said to be 90% mental, so resolve to strengthen your mental
game by subscribing to a Mental Toughness Workshop. Reality check: To avoid
head problems, follow John Newcombe's advice; take a couple of
aspirin. (Does anyone remember Newk? I think the only head problems he
experienced on the court were caused from too many Fosters the night before.)
Tennis requires a good attitude and so resolve in 2006 to keep a daily
journal of positive affirmations to help you maintain a more
positive outlook on the court. Reality check: A positive attitude
depends on only three simple principles - denial, denial, and denial.
John Newcombe's advice for avoiding head problems, Fosters and a couple of aspirin.
To improve your service percentages, resolve to cut down on your double
faults by practicing your serve three times a week. Reality check: To avoid
a double fault, remember that when you miss both serves, it is either your
coach's fault or the sun's fault but don't blame them both.
For the strategist: To follow Andy Roddick's plan for 2006 resolve to be more offensive on
second serve returns. Reality check: Just follow the current ATP fashion
trends and you are already likely to be more offensive on the court.
Footwork is key to good tennis so resolve that 2006 will be the year
you improve your movement on the court. Stay light on your feet by running
and skipping. Reality check: You'll do better to skip second
helpings of mashed potatoes and dessert, and skip that extra glass of wine
also (whoa - my buddies in the grape juice game won't like that one).
Finally: Above all, keep in mind that the most important thing is to have fun.
Resolve in 2006 to follow the immortal credo of great sportsmen everywhere; "It's not whether you win or lose but how you play the game." So
just keep focused on how you play the game; how you serve, how you volley,
how you move, how you missed that overhead at breakpoint. On second thought
it's not a bad idea to follow Newk's advice and keep that bottle of
aspirin handy. You never know when you might have a reality check.
Happy New Year!
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(Click link to purchase Dave Smith's book, Tennis Mastery, at tenniswarehouse.com.)
Crosscourt with Cronin and Drucker
TennisOne continues its tradition of delivering break-through content by introducing Crosscourt, an internet "talk-show" with leading tennis journalists Matt Cronin and Joel Drucker discussing the hot topics in tennis. This week's Crosscourt, Martina Hingis and whether she can make it back to the top of the women's game.
Where is ‘Out in front?’
Since the first tennis lesson was given, somewhere back in the dark ages, Tennis Pros around the world have been using the prosaic maxim, ‘hit the ball out in front.’ Few doubt the efficacy of this simple phrase, but it does beg the question, Where exactly is out in front? Dave Smith explains.
2 Cones Drill
Modern tennis is a physically demanding game so, to play like the pros, you have to train like the pros. Pat Etcheberry demonstrates another of the tennis specific drills he created to help players attack the ball. These are the same drills used to help make champions out of Jim Courier, Justine Henin-Hardenne, and many others and they can improve your game too.
ProStrokes Gallery: Nadia Petrova - Backhand
Nadia Petrova is arguably the biggest serving, heaviest hitter among the crop of young Russian women and has edged into the top 10 this year. She has one tour singles title and 11 doubles titles, prefers hard courts that suit her aggressive game. She looks to finish points early with her big forehand and serve, and is not afraid to come to the net. Check out Nadia's game, exclusively on TennisOne. New this issue, Nadia Petrova's Backhand.
Virtual Tennis Academy
Current professional tour coach, Heath Waters and wife, top 100 and former no. 33 in the world ranked tour player, Lindsay Lee-Waters, are proud to release the first predominantly all streaming video based e-learning tennis instructional website at www.virtualtennisacademy.com
Subscribers will receive personal video tennis instruction directly from Heath and Lindsay as well as mental coaching, sports performance training, and much, more from a hand chosen team of experts currently working with professional tennis players on tour. Now anyone in the world, no matter what level, can receive the same world class training the world's best tennis players receive right from the convenience of their own home.
The Etcheberry Experience DVD
For more than twenty years Pat Etcheberry has been providing athletes from around the world with the winning edge. We call this the Etcheberry Experience, and players with an Etcheberry experience have hoisted Championship Trophies at over one hundred major championships, including 28 Australian Opens, 18 Wimbledons, 22 UP Opens, 22 French Opens and 15 Olympic medals.
And now it's your turn! This is your chance to experience the same drills, exercises and words of tennis wisdom that Pat gave to Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jennifer Capriati, Martina Hingis, Jim Courier, Justine Henin-Hardenne, and others, that helped launch them on their incredible careers. For the first time, Pat Etcheberry shares his training secrets in a series of DVDs for players of all ages, their coaches, and trainers
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