Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Australian Open 2012 Men's Singles Title: Novak & Rafa - Breaking Boundaries

Photo: NBC Sports

Melbourne - The 100th Men's Singles Championship match at the Australian Open showcased something magical.

The Associated Press called it: "one of the most dramatic finals in tennis history."

A sell-out crowd at the Rod Laver Arena in hot and humid conditions, and a worldwide television audience, would agree that it was an epic battle for the ages.

In a grueling six-hour marathon in which the players dueled each other like Roman-style gladiators, Novak ("The Joker") Djokovic (No. 1 Serbia) outlasted Rafael Nadal (No. 2 Spain) in five ferocious sets, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-5.

Djokovic, 24, successfully defended his Australian Open championship, and won his 5th Grand Slam career title.

Djokovic has won 4 of the last 5 Grand Slam titles, the last 3 in a row, and the last 7 finals he played against Nadal, 25. He retains his World No. 1 rank.

It was the longest Australian Open final in history, and the longest Grand Slam final ever.

In the words of ESPN commentator Chris Fowler, the players "re-defined the boundary of what's possible on a tennis court."

If tennis, on a primal level, is about physicality, endurance and the mental battle, this match raised the bar of what 2 players, each refusing to buckle, can do.

Numerous point rallies exceeded 25 strokes and routinely reached speeds of 70 to 100 MPH, with both players making seemingly impossible offensive and defensive shots.

"We made history tonight, and unfortunately there couldn't be two winners," remarked Novak.

"I will never forget this match," said Rafa. " Even though I lost, it was something really special for me."

What is next for tennis this year after such a fantastic start at Melbourne Park over the fortnight?

2012 promises to be one of tennis's best years.

Stay tuned . . .

Congrats to all the winners, players, fans and supporters at the Australian Open 2012!
Gary


Video: Epic Win for Novak Djokovic
By: ESPN

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Australian Open 2012 Women's Singles Title: Queen Victoria Wins!

Photo: Pat Scala

Melbourne (Rod Laver Arena) - Victoria Azarenka (No. 3 Belarus) crushed Maria Sharapova (No. 4 Russia) 6-3, 6-0 today to take the Aussie Open women's singles championship and the No. 1 world rank.

The 22 year old became the first player from Belarus to win a Grand Slam title and reach No. 1.

After some initial nerves in dropping the first 2 games, Azarenka dominated from the baseline, exploited her superior movement, and ended her opponent's hopes in 1 hour and 22 minutes.

"It's a dream come true," Azarenka exclaimed. "I'm proud of what I'm doing. I just want to keep going and keep raising that level."

Azarenka captured the hearts of her countrymen and women back home.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko awarded Azarenka the Order of the Motherland, proclaiming: "You are pride of the whole nation! [Y]our great achievement is already written into the history of Belarus and world sports."

Congrats, and well done!
Gary

Video: Azarenka v. Sharapova - Final Match Highlights


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Rod Laver's Top 10 from Past and Present Players

Who do you think the great Rod Laver believes are the Top 10 Players of the Past and Present?

Here are his picks. (With his usual humility, he excludes himself, of course.)

Enjoy,
Gary

PAST
10. John Newcombe (AUS)
9. Jack Crawford (AUS)
8. Bobby Riggs (USA)
7. Ellsworth Vines (USA)
6. Ken Rosewall (AUS)
5. Fred Perry (GBR)
4. Don Budge (USA)
3. Pancho Gonzalez (USA)
2. Jack Kramer (USA)
1. Lew Hoad (AUS)

PRESENT (OPEN ERA)
10. Stefan Edberg (SWE)
9. Ivan Lendl (USA)
8. Jimmy Connors (USA)
7. Andre Agassi (USA)
6. Novak Djokovic (SER)
5. Rafael Nadal (ESP)
4. John McEnroe (USA)
3. Pete Sampras (USA)
2. Bjorn Borg (SWE)
1. Roger Federer (SUI)

Read more: Rod Laver's Top 10 Players from the Past and Present
Courtesy: The Australian Herald Sun

Video: Roger Federer and Rod Laver on ESPN


Monday, January 23, 2012

Tennis Quote of the Day: What Separates the World's Top 4 Men Players from the Rest?

Question: What Separates the World's Top 4 Men Players from the Rest?

Answer: "It's mental strength . . . to [consistently] hit the right shot at the right time."


Novak Djokovic, in his post-match interview with Jim Courier after his Round of 16 victory at the Australian Open 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tennis Quote of the Day: On the Power of Correct Practice

"If I don't practice the way I should, then I won't play the way that I know I can."

Ivan Lendl, 8 time Grand Slam champion and current coach of World No. 4 Andy Murray.
Lendl is widely considered to have helped usher in the modern era of "power tennis." His professional attitude and scientific training methods paved the way for today's training systems.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A few "Don'ts" in Doubles

Playing doubles?

Here are a few "Don'ts" in Doubles (what NOT to do when playing).

*
Courtesy: Idle Hour Tennis Club (Est. 1911), Drexel Hill, PA USA

Best,
Gary

1. Don't say, "I'm sorry," each time you miss. No apology is owed unless you denied a partner the opportunity to miss the same shot. Spare the drudgery - it's bad enough you ruined the point.

2. Don't remind your partner of the important next point. Most players immediately follow an insult with hitting the ball into the net.

3. When you miss an easy shot, don't say "Good Shot", "Good Serve" to your surprised opponent. Who do you think you are kidding?

4. Never demand an explanation. "Why didn't you lob?" It's just plain silly, because you may be wrong. Your partner may have been right, since a miss does not make his or her choice wrong. If your partner is stupid, why ask?

5. Be selective with yelling, "Yours." Yell when the ball is unreachable, then you can both laugh.

6. Use directions sparingly ("run up", "out", "stay" ). If the direction is not clear and correct, it is simply a nuisance.

7. Don't comment on every play. If compelled to analyze each point - go home and write a term paper or a book.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tennis Quote of the Day on MLK Day 2012: Arthur Ashe in the Battle against Apartheid

"Power surrenders nothing without a struggle, progress can come only in unsatisfactorily small chunks, and even the tiniest crumb must be better than nothing at all."

Arthur Ashe quoting Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Johannesburg 1973, after winning an invitation to play at the South African Open tournament, previously closed to all players of black origin. Ashe finished as a finalist, losing only to Jimmy Connors.

Arthur Ashe: A Video
By: RuqaiyahN



Friday, January 13, 2012

The Australian Open and Timeless Memories

Melbourne Park, Australia - The 2012 Australian Open begins here January 16, 2012, and concludes January 29, 2012.

The first Australian Open was held in 1905 in Melbourne at the old Warehouseman's Cricket Ground. Since then, 59 men's singles champions have been crowned.

This year, the 100th men's singles championship will be contested.

And the very best men, women and doubles players in the world will compete for all the glory and titles offered by the new tennis season's first "Grand Slam."

Enjoy this short video in which champions recall their best memories of the past.

Best,
Gary

Australian Open 2012
By: australianopentv

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Reprise: Our recent Holiday Podcast on Tennis!

In case you missed our recent Holiday Podcast on Tennis topics for 2012, check it out!

We've had 200 people enjoy download of this Podcast discussion with me and Ron Miller of GottaPlayTennis.net!

Join them (and us), and enjoy!

(Or just listen again!)

Best,
Gary

Episode #83: GottaPlayTennis.net

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tennis Players and the Guitar

Photo: FreakingNews.com

What does playing the guitar help you do?


It increases finger and hand dexterity. It boosts IQ. It develops areas
of your brain controlling memory and coordination.

It helps you to recognize
and develop patterns of play. It forces you to learn rhythm and cadence.

Does all this sound familiar to tennis players?


You bet.


These are among the many things we tennis players do on the court
each time we play, practice and learn.

Just ask John McEnroe and the Bryan Brother Twins.


They play the guitar - and really well too!


Tennis and guitar playing. Perfect together.


Best,

Gary


Roger Federer Plays the Guitar (Nike)

By: leedscrew


Friday, January 6, 2012

Tennis Tip for 2012: Wanna Get Smarter - Faster - for Tennis (or anything else)?

Newsweek Magazine suggests these 31 ways:
1. Play word games
2. Eat turmeric
3. Take up an activity which raises heart-rate and improves body coordination (dance, squash, you name it)
4. Become more open-minded by following news from alternate sources such as Al Jazeera (English)
5. Give your smartphone a rest
6. Sleep. A Lot.
7. Download the TED App. (Great Minds speak)
8. Go to book festivals
9. Build your memory bank with images
10. Learn a language
11. Eat dark chocolate
12. Join a knitting circle
13. Be more questioning and skeptical
14. Play a videogame to manage stress and improve multi-tasking
15. Follow smart and interesting people on Twitter
16. Eat yogurt
17. Install SuperMemo program
18. See a Shakespeare play
19. Refine your thinking
20. Hydrate
21. Check out iTunes U for college lectures
22. Visit a museum
23. Play an instrument
24. Write by hand
25. Use time-management techniques
26. "Zone out" - give yourself free time to let your mind wander
27. Drink coffee
28. Delay gratification and develop patience
29. Become an expert at something, especially if it requires pattern recognition such as chess
30. Write online reviews
31. Get out of town and in touch with nature

Source:
Newsweek Magazine: 31 Ways to Get Smarter - Faster

Best,
Gary

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year Podcast: Topic - Reasons to Play Tennis, Review of 2011, Predictions for 2012

Enjoy my tennis discussion with Ron Miller of GottaPlayTennis.net!

We talk about our favorite reasons to play tennis, and review tennis news in 2011, and make predictions for New Year 2012!


Click Here for Podcast:
Episode #83 of GottaPlayTennis.net

All the Best for New Year 2012,

Gary