Acceleration Tennis at Meadowood (Napa) Resort - Doug King
Doug King teaches his Acceleration Tennis program at the beautiful Meadowood Resort in Napa, California. Doug is one of the country's foremost tennis teaching innovators. Founder of Acceleration Tennis, a revolutionary teaching system, Doug King is leading the way in reinterpreting the traditional tennis model.
Click here to see a video tour of Doug King's program at Meadowood Resort.
Yes, It Was the Greatest
Just how great was the Wimbledon men’s final?
Borg versus McEnroe 1980 Wimbledon final - considered one of the greatest matches in history.
Whether it’s genetic, training or mere desire, my automatic instinct when someone makes an assertion is to doubt it. So when the consummate solipsist, John McEnroe, declared Nadal-Federer the greatest match “I’ve ever seen,” my first thought was to wonder how many great matches he’d ever seen anyway. McEnroe may have been right, but everyone knows how easily he can get caught up in the moment.
But when a sage like Bud Collins weighed in similarly, I started to wonder. Borg versus McEnroe at the 1980 Wimbledon final, Cramm-Budge’s Davis Cup match (preceded by a phone call from Hitler) and Rosewall-Laver’s ’72 Dallas showdown are often considered among the best ever. Unlike McEnroe, Collins actually thinks about this stuff, chewing it up, weighing quality, drama and other factors.
And so as I thought about those other matches, I noted that they had their share of uneven patches. McEnroe handily won the first set versus Borg 6-1. Budge acknowledged that Cramm pretty much tossed the fourth set of their encounter. And Rosewall bageled Laver in the second set.
Federer played an attacking game.
But Nadal's defense was superb.
But Nadal-Federer had not a single letup. Both tension and quality were high throughout every game. And as the world knows, the backstory itself was compelling – the venue, the rivalry, Nadal’s recent demolition in Paris, Nadal’s quest to match Borg’s Paris-London double, Federer’s desire to top Borg and win a sixth straight – you couldn’t ask for more subplots. The only one missing was mutual contempt. Darn these great sportsmen!
So most of all what made it great was the quality of tennis and the tense drama. Over the course of nearly five hours – excluding the delayed start and two interruptions – these two went after their shots boldly. Federer even showed off new tactics, approaching the net 75 times – but only winning 56 percent, a good 15 percentage points less than one might expect on grass.
The credit, of course, goes to Nadal, who in front of our very eyes, all while being number two in the world, has added much to his grasscourt game. He’s learned how to move his serve around with depth and deception. He’s adjusted his court position. The backhand has improved, both the forceful drive and the slice (which may look like something out of my 4.5 league but is darn effective).
Even more incredible was the sustained quality of the tennis. Just about the only major hiccup came in the fourth set when Nadal, serving at 5-2 in the tiebreak, threw in a double-fault and miscued from the baseline. As a stunned McEnroe pointed out repeatedly, fitness was no issue whatsoever as the match wore on.
So with all that high quality in mind, I’m prepared to regard this as the greatest match in tennis history.
For the first time since 2002, Federer will come to the U.S. Open without a Slam to his credit. He too yesterday showed what a champion he is, forcing himself out of the passivity that had plagued him in previous matches – not just versus Nadal but others. That should hopefully put him in good stead in New York.
But as far as 2008 goes, the best player of this year is Rafael Nadal. Only a Novak Djokovic sweep of the summer and the U.S. Open can shake that up. And as far as the other men go, they are fine players, but miles behind Nadal, Federer and, to a much lesser degree, Djokovic.
Save for the men’s final, much of the drama this year at Wimbledon came on the women’s side.
Venus vs Serena
First, hand it to the Williams sisters. For all their wavering commitment to tennis, for all their sporadic attention to matters of tactics and technique, for all their disturbing self-absorbed commentary in the wake of losses, when the stakes are high, they’re often right in the hunt.
Venus in particular comes to life at Wimbledon. As we’ve seen three times over the last four Wimbys, at the All England Club she blooms like a flower. Every part of her game takes on more focus, urgency, and precision, from her serve and returns to her movement and keen ability to take advantage of her wingspan. To a lesser degree the same holds true for Serena. These two both know what it means to step into the main arena.
Venus was able to turn the tables by playing aggressive counterpunching tennis.
Serena seems to have a stubborn unwillingness to address matters of tactics.
Yet when you look between the lines, I think Serena lost that final for the same reason I feel has long been a Williams family shortcoming: A stubborn unwillingness to address matters of tactics. Unquestionably, Serena started off on-fire. But once Venus got a toehold into the match, Serena seemed resistant to processing what she’d done that had gotten her off to such a great start. Tennis is more than hitting winners. It’s a matter of seeing how you’re hurting the opponent and then taking advantage of it. Rather than let herself be muscled by Venus’ superb movement, I’d like to have seen Serena step forward and come to net more as she opened up the court with her powerful groundstrokes. Instead, Venus was able to often turn the tables, playing her own brand of aggressive counterpunching tennis.
Venus and Serena rapidly separated themselves from the pack at Wimbledon. It was particularly disturbing to see Ana Ivanovic, Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova come up short so early. Ivanovic is clearly adjusting to her new ranking and the assimilation of her first Grand Slam title. Sharapova baffles me, as she was badly outplayed in taking her earliest Wimbledon loss ever. And Kuznetsova is even more bewildering. She has so many tools but can go dark so rapidly.
I give credit to the sturdiness of Elena Dementieva, the fundamental soundness of Jie Zheng and the mini-renaissance of Nadia Petrova and Nicole Vaidisova – powerful players who hopefully have more good tennis ahead.
You’ll notice how I omitted Jelena Jankovic. Like her fellow Serb, Novak Djokovic, I think she’s over-tennised these days. Jankovic needs to take a long look at her schedule and her tennis and figure out how to truly make the most of her many skills. She strikes me an accidental tourist in the top five, a fatalist of sorts who can scarcely believe she’s arrived at such a point – and so, now, the question is just how much she really wants to ask of herself. Or, for that matter, does she wish to merely play out the string, make a ton of money and let the chips fall where they may?
Between the incredible high quality of men’s tennis shown by Nadal and Federer, and the uncertainty pervading women’s tennis, the summer figures to be thick with intrigue.
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Placing the Serve
In this insightful video, touring coach Heath Waters talks about service placements and the toss, swing path, disguise, and reference points - all the elements that make up a professional type serve. Heath, using the slice serve (the most widely used serve on the tour), demonstrates how small changes in one's motion can add up to big improvements in power and placement.
10 Reasons Why Topspin Is Essential On Clay
Bjorn Borg, a silent assassin on court, deserves the credit for inspiring the emergence of topspin in the professional game. He didn’t invent topspin, of course, but he and Guillermo Vilas showed how effective and necessary it is, especially on clay, where Borg won a record six French Open titles. 25 years later, pro competitors have redesigned their games to impart topspin, and so should all serious players, especially on clay. Paul Fein offers 10 reasons why.
TennisOne Video Network HD Channel -- Marion Bartoli
Marion Bartoli, who had an outstanding 2007 Wimbledon reaching the finals and losing to the essentially unbeatable (at that moment) Venus Williams, continues to make her mark on the WTA tour, but like so many other young players in the mid twenties – she is looking for another break out performance. With a two handed style reminiscent of Monica Seles, Marion hugs the baseline, drives the ball off both wings, but for better or worse her serve and movement up to this point are average rather than exemplary. Still a dangerous player, check out her game on the HD Channel on the TennisOne Video Network.
ProStrokes Gallery - Marcos Baghdatis
Marcos Baghdatis, now a veteran at 23 years old, continues to be a threat on hard and grass courts, but he's also a player looking to recapture the energy and promise of his 2006 Australian Open tournament where he lost a competitive final to Roger Federer.His game is more about using pace rather than creating it and about anticipation and sensing an opponent’s options. In this light he is comfortable playing from well behind the baseline on defense or well inside the baseline, moving forward to finish a point.Check out Marcos Baghdatis' game in the TennisOne ProStrokes Gallery.
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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