How to Slide on Clay
As the world's leading supplier of clay court surfaces, the question we get asked more than any other, from teaching pros and players alike, is about how to slide on clay. Sliding not only makes you more efficient and more consistent on clay, it makes the game more fun, so we have put together a three-part video series on how to slide on clay. Check out part 1 on our website. We hope you like it and find it instructional. Give us your feedback. Har-Tru – Developing champions around the world.
Tennis Warehouse – New Products – Women's Apparel - Nike Basics Group - Tank, Skort, Pique Polo, Strappy Tank, Women Short, Dress II
Will This be the Year of the Djoker? Will Clijsters Continue to Shine?
David W. Smith, Senior Editor TennisOne
With the BNP Paribase Open (Indian Wells) kicking off the
beginning of the spring tennis season, the tournament serves somewhat as a litmus test for the best in the world to see how they stack up.
Nadal and Federer come into the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells ranked one and two, but it is Novak Djokovic who has the hot hand.
For the men, it would appear there is a new kid on the block. Well, maybe not “new” in terms of tournament play, but certainly improved.
Since November of 2010, Djokovic has not lost a match, a streak of 14 consecutive matches including wins for his country of Serbia in the December Davis Cup final against France, taking out the Scotsman, Andy Murray in the Australian Open final (which, also included a win for Novak over Roger Federer in the semis), and most recently, soundly defeating Federer again in the final in Dubai.
So much of our sport is about confidence and, as we all know, confidence breeds success; and subsequently, a lack of confidence, well, that frequently adds up to an early exit (Just ask Tiger Woods!). Right now Novak Djokovic seems to be riding a wave and his mental conviction is at an all-time high. In years past, questions about Djokovic's physical prowess, his dedication, and perseverance as well as his inability to win big matches were not just whispered but were spoken loud and clear. While his game has always been full of limitless potential and potency, his psyche seemed to be his Achilles heel.
Today, however, we see a different Novak Djokovic; after overcoming a stubborn Tomas Berdych in the semis in Dubai, he faced perennial champion Federer in the final. And once again it was Djokovic who came out on top, knocking out the world’s number two in straight sets, winning the last five games in a row to finish off the match.
Click photo: Novak Djokovic shined in Australia but is he ready to compete with Federer and Nadal on a day-to-day basis?
“I have this feeling in my head,” Djokovic posted on his Facebook page, adding, “I feel physically well, fit, mentally motivated to do even more coming up to Indian Wells and Miami.” Obviously saying things like that and proving them are two different things. However, you can’t argue with the kind of success Novak has had to start the year.
The question for many is: How will Novak stack up against a healthy Nadal?
BNP Paribas Open
That brings us to the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells this week, considered to be the “Fifth Grand Slam” and home to the second largest tennis stadium in the world. The BNP Paribas Open has always been a test for all players with Djokovic defeating Nadal in the semis of the 2008 tournament and then going on to defeat Mardy Fish (who had his own solid run to the final with a straight set win over Federer in his semi final pairing).
I think this year, the BNP Paribas Open will be an exciting, unpredictable tournament with many factors playing into the mix: Will Nadal be healthy? Is Roger on the waning or waxing end of his career? Can Fish, Roddick, Blake or Isner win on home hard-courts?
I think Federer becoming more human, Nadal’s continuing health issues, and others stepping up to the baseline (as certainly Djokovic has done) brings a certain unpredictability to the BNP Paribas Open–and to the men's game in general. it could be very interesting, to say the least!
The women present an entirely different picture coming into Indian Wells. With the significant drop off of past champions as the William sisters, Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic and others, the stage is set for the “Comeback Kid” Kim Clijsters to challenge the Danish ‘cutie pie’ Caroline Wozniacki, the current world number one player on the WTA Sony Ericsson Tour.
Wozniacki and Clijsters head the field coming into
Certainly Wozniacki is far more than fluff and stuff on the court, yet she has not hoisted a Grand Slam trophy (unless you can count the 2006 Junior Wimbledon title).
Clijsters seems to be managing marriage, motherhood, and tennis with style, grace, and a winning record and has to be the odds on favorite to continue her winning ways. Kicking off the year (after winning the last major of 2010 at the U.S. Open for the second straight year), Kim won the Australian Open, exacting revenge over Li Na who had beaten her the previous month in Sydney.
Personally, I’ve always liked Kim. I was on the court with her in 2005 when she won at Indian Wells. (My student, A.J. Bartlett, was her practice partner each day during the event.) Kim displayed a down-to-earth personality that I appreciated. That was the year she improved her ranking from a low of 133 all the way to the world’s number two ranked player.
Going through the rankings, there really isn’t a player who stands out, beyond Kim and Caroline. Yet, I think the field of players has plenty of potential victims as well as winners.
Dark horse players to look out for include the suddenly rejuvinated Jelena Dokic who won her first title in nine years last week (yes, it has been that long), and two-handers on both sides: Shuai Peng, and Marion Bartoli, among others.
Tickets for BNP Paribas Tournament in Indian Wells
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Why Can't the Women Serve?
One of the analysts at this year's Australian Open remarked that one of the strokes the women still need a lot of improvement on is the serve, and Jack Broudy could not agree more. He has some definite ideas about where the women go wrong and compares their serves with some of the best servers on tour including Roger Federer and Serena Williams (one of the few women who serves well).
Juan Martin Del Potro and Stepping In
Jim McLennan has some thoughts about the way the game was played in an earlier day and the modern game – about the traditional weight shift model and the angular racquet speed model so prevalent today. The question is, are we allowing the younger players to generate extreme racquet head speed at the expense of details and technique? Using Juan Martin Del Potro as his inspiration, Jim talks about the importance of stepping in on the stroke?
ProStrokes 2.0 – Flavia Pennetta's Backhand
This big ball striker from Italy is presently ranked 15 in the world and looking to climb higher. She has accumulated nine singles titles and 14 doubles titles on the WTA tour, which includes the 2010 Australian Open doubles title in 2010 with partner Gisella Dulko. Flavia has a solid two-handed backhand, outstanding net skills, and because of this has put together an outstanding doubles resume. Check out her strokes in slow-motion video in TennisOne's ProStrokes 2.0. New this issue, Flavia Pennetta's backhand.
TennisOne Writers Store
One of your many new benefits as a TennisOne membership is your ability to purchase selected instructional DVDs at 20% off ($7.50 off each) in our new TennisOne Writers Store (login in first to access members links):
- "TennisOne's Stroke Secrets: Keys to Better Groundstrokes," Public; Members
- "Building Your Serve from the Ground Up," Jim McLennan Members Public
- "Building Your Ground Game," Jim McLennan Members – Public
- "Building a Kick Serve," Jim McLennan Members – Public
- "Underspin Backhand - Weapon," Jim McLennan Members Public
- "Achieving Peak Performance the Wholistic Way: The Mental Game," Happy Bhalla Members – Public
- "Building a World Class Serve," Phil Dent Members – Public
- "Building a World-class Volley," Dave Smith Members – Public
- "Keys to Modern Tennis Technique: One-Handed Topspin," Doug King Members Public
- "Best of Ken DeHart," Ken DeHart Members – Public
- "Corrective Techniques & Myths," Ken DeHart Members – Public
- "Defeating the Monsters in Your Mind," Ken DeHart Members – Public
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