Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tennis Photo of the Day: Rolling Inspiration

Photo: Reg Caldecott
So you think you have problems?

Lucas ("Rolling Inspiration") Sithole of South Africa won the 2013 U.S. Open tennis title in Wheelchair Quad Singles in New York City. 

Keep rolling!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tennis Quote of the Day: Roger Federer - Embrace Hard Work

"Tennis can be a very frustrating sport. There is no way around the hard work. Embrace it. You have to put in the hours because there is always something you can improve. [Y]ou have to put in a lot of sacrifice and effort for sometimes little reward but you have to know that, if you put in the right effort, the reward will come." 
--Roger Federer, Lessons from The Court, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Lessons from Boxing: Speed Wins

"He [Manny Pacquiao] proves the point over and over again that speed is the dominant factor in all of sports."

--Gavin MacMillan 
World class conditioning coach after
observing Manny Pacquiao's stunning
speed of hand and foot in his unanimous
decision over Brandon Rios at The
Venetian Macau on November 24, 2013

for WBO International Welterweight Title

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fourth Year Anniversary of Timeless Tennis - Tennis Persons are the "lucky people"

 
Timeless Tennis is now 4 years old!

Thank you all for sticking with my Blog.

My Blog helps remind us that we tennis persons are in fact the "lucky people."

How?

We are part of a game that is timeless.

We are part of a sport which reflects life and it's important lessons. 

As long as the human spirit survives, I believe that tennis will endure.


That is why we tennis persons - players, fans, supporters - are indeed the "lucky people."

Best,
Gary

Enjoy this Video, and Happy Holidays!
Video: We Are the Lucky People!
Music: We Are Lucky People, by Lange



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Master of Masters: Novack Djokovic

London O2 Arena -

Novack Djokovic (No. 2, Serbia) convincingly defeated Rafael Nadal (No. 1, Spain) in two sets over 1 hour and 37 minutes, 6-3, 6-4 in the season-ending
Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on Monday night. 

It was Djokovic's third World Tour Finals title and second in a row, and extended his 22-match unbeaten streak. He won 7 titles this year, including the Australian Open.

"It's the highest quality of tennis that you have next to Grand Slams, because every match that you play, you play against a top 10 player every second day," explained Djokovic.

"We pushed each other to the limit [and] made each other better."

For his part, Nadal completed an unprecedented comeback from injury last season -- returning to World No. 1 rank, capturing 2 Grand Slams Titles, and reaching the World Tour Finals. 


He finishes the season with a win-loss record of 75-7. 

"This is probably one of the best seasons of my career," declared Nadal.

It was a fantastic finish to the professional tennis season, with Djokovic summing it up best: "This can serve as a great platform for 2014 season."

See you next year.

Best,
Gary

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Lessons from Basketball: Keep Trying and Failing Until You Succeed

I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
--Michael Jordan

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tennis Quote of the Day: Tennis and Fitness

Martina Navratilova (59 Grand Slam Titles - Singles, Doubles & Mixed Doubles)

"Few players have influenced tennis to the extent that Martina Navratilova has . . . Her gift to tennis was her fitness. More than any other player, she showed what a great tennis player could do when she also became a great athlete." 

--Peter Burwash
Learning from Legends,  
"Martina Navratilova's Conditioning",
Tennis Magazine (Nov. - Dec. 2013), Page 88.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Tennis Quote of the Day: Who are the Heroes?

"The term hero is often casually thrown around. Professional athletes are often considered heroes by their fans for their on-field exploits, but it's when they give back to those less fortunate that they truly become worthy of the distinction. If you can positively impact one person's life - it can be with a can of food, a bag of clothes, or even a free tennis lesson - you're a hero to that person. We've come to expect it from our professional athletes, but it's a commitment we all should make."

Chris Evert
18-Time Grand Slam Single's Champion
General Partner, Tennis Magazine
"Hero in the Mirror", Tennis Magazine 
(Nov. - Dec. 2013), Page 4.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tennis Quote of the Day: There is No Finish Line

The journey to improve never ends  . . . 
 Courtesy: GoToTennis.com

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rod Laver and His Memoir


From the Publisher:
A diminutive, left-handed red-headed country boy from Rockhampton, Rod Laver is one of Australia's greatest ever sporting champions and arguably the best tennis player the world has ever seen. . .  He was the dominant force in world tennis for almost two decades, playing and defeating some of the greatest players of the 20th century. Rod Laver writes vividly of his life . . . 

Video - Rod Laver: A Memoir
By - Pan Macmillan Australia 


 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tennis Quote of the Day: Tennis and History

"If you really love the sport you play, then you must study its history to understand how it has evolved into the sport we know today. Few sports have a longer and richer history than tennis . . . "
--Roger Federer
September 2013
"Foreword" to Rod Laver: A Memoir
by Rod Laver (Macmillan Australia, 
October 22, 2013)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Monday, September 9, 2013

US Open 2013 - The Finals: New York, NY - "Top of the Heap"

Photo: Reuters
I want to wake up in that city that doesn't sleep and find I'm king of the hill, top of the heap.
--Frank Sinatra, "New York, New York"

Flushing Meadows, NY-

Rafael Nadal (Spain, No. 2) defeated Novak Djokovic (Serbia, No. 1) to win the US Open men's singles title at Arthur Ashe Stadium before a overflow tennis audience and national television. 


The match lasted 3 hours and 21 minutes with twists and sub-plots but finished in Nadal's favor over Djokovic, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
 

Typical of their many showdowns, the battle showcased numerous powerful and lengthy rallies, one lasting 54 shots, drawing a well-deserved standing ovation from the enthralled Ashe Stadium crowd.

It was Nadal's second US Open men's singles crown, and 13th Grand Slam singles title, only one behind the great American Pete Sampras' 14 titles, and 4 behind Roger Federer's record 17 titles.

Overcoming debilitating knee injury, Nadal accomplished a phenomenal season this year, with 10 titles and a record of 22-0 on hardcourts and 60-3 on the season.

"Very, very emotional," is the way Nadal described himself after the match. "Probably only my team knows how much it means, the match today. Playing  against Novak is always a special feeling. Probably nobody brings my game to that limit like Novak does."

In the women's final championship, "Superwoman" Serena Williams (USA, No. 1) took the US Open title over Victoria Azarenka (Belarus, No. 2), 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-1 before a sold-out crowd and national audience at Arthur Ashe Stadium. 

It was Serena's fifth US Open singles crown. It was also her 17th overall Grand Slam singles title, 3rd best in the Open Era and only one behind Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova's 18 titles.

The 2 hour, 45 minute win established the 31 year-old American superstar as one the greatest female players, if not the greatest, who ever played this sport.

"You know, it has more meaning in history as opposed to just winning a few," remarked a jubilant Serena after the match, "It definitely has a different feeling."

 

It was a fantastic tournament for all.

Congrats to all the winners, players, fans and supporters of the US Open 2013.

See you next year,
Gary

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Roger Federer Talks to Andy Roddick About Career Highs and Lows: Fox Sports Live


Friday, September 6, 2013

Serena Talks to Andy Roddick About US Open Memories: Fox Sports Live


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Redux: One of the Best Points in US Open History

US Open Final 2011
Rafael Nadal v. Novak Djokovic 
31 Point Rally
Courtesy: Sakhi Zaman


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Day at the U.S. Open 2013

I had the thrill to visit the US Open 2013 in Flushing Meadows, NY this past Friday.

It was great fun! 

I got to see, among many things, Victoria Azarenka sign autographs in the plaza, Sabine Lisicki play a losing effort against Ekaterina Makarova at the Grandstand, and Chris Evert at the ESPN broadcaster booth. 

Other highlights: Donald Young warming-up in the practice courts, Somdev Devvarman lounging in the walking grounds, and Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer also practicing in front of mesmorized fans. 

Fantastic experience to take in some first-class tennis from world-class pros. 

Best, Gary

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tennis Equals Better Students and Better Lives

Did you know that a recent USTA study of high school students and adolescents concluded that tennis participation by America's youth influences them in demonstrably positive ways? 

Compared with non-athletes and participants in many other sports, young tennis players enjoy better grades, devote more hours to study, think more about the future, and aspire more to college and careers.


"The evidence shows that tennis participation is clearly linked with educational achievement, health and social involvement among U.S. adolescents," remarked Don Sabo, Ph.D., lead researcher. 

Deborah Slaner Larkin, Executive Director of USTA Serves, added: "Hopefully, this research will encourage and promote more tennis in classes, school(s) and sports programs so that students across the country will reap these important education and health benefits."

Tennis is indeed a sport of opportunity and betterment. 

Best, 
Gary

For more information, see: 
"New Report Shows Tennis Players Make Better Grades", Tennis Now (Feb. 26, 2013)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lessons from Golf: Jack Nicklaus and Playing Within Yourself

"The most important thing you can do is learn who you are  . . . what your abilities are, what your shortcomings are, what your long-suit is . . . if you can take advantage of your long-suit, and minimize your shortcomings  . . .  if you can play smart, play within yourself, you'll be a good player."

--Jack Nicklaus
Hall of Fame Golfer
April 10, 2013
Interview on "Charlie Rose" Show

Sunday, August 25, 2013

First Lady Michelle Obama at the US Open 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013 - Flushing Meadows, NY

First Lady Michelle Obama appeared at the 2013 US Open's Arthur Ashe Kids Day, and urged America's kids to be active in tennis. 


She applauded the USTA's efforts to promote kid-friendly tennis. 

Mrs. Obama is promoting the White House's "Let's Move" initiative to encourage kids to stay fit and eat healthy. 

Well done, First Lady!

Gary

Friday, August 16, 2013

Historical Greats: Steffi Graf - The Calendar Year Golden Slam Winner

Steffi Graf is considered by many to be the greatest female tennis player of all time.
 

Graf was ranked No. 1 by the WTA for a record 377 total weeks, the most ever for any player man or woman. She won 22 Grand Slam singles titles. 

And in 1988, Graf achieved a feat unprecedented for any player in history, male or female - the fabled "Calendar Year Golden Slam" - winning all 4 Grand Slam titles and the Olympic Gold medal in the same calendar year.

Here's a video tribute to the great Steffi Graf.

Video: SportsHistoryUniverse
Time: Apx. 52 minutes




Sunday, August 11, 2013

Video: All About Touch Tennis



By: Trans World Sport
Time: Apx. 7 1/2 minutes

Friday, August 9, 2013

Tennis Quote of the Day: The Reset Button

"One characteristic shared by all great champions is that they know how to hit the reset button. A bad loss might sting, but it doesn't linger. There's always a new challenge around the corner, another mountain to be climbed."
  
--Chris Evert, 18-time Grand Slam Champion, World No. 1 (7 Years), "Forging Ahead", Tennis Magazine (Sept.-Oct. 2013), Page 6.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Tennis and the Power of Now

The best way to live in life is in the moment.
--Eric Spoelstra, Miami Heat Coach on June 18, 2013
, Post-Game Press Conference after Miami's stunning last minute victory in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs

We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.
--Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., April 1967
"Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence"

Nothing exists except in this present moment.
--Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now (1999)


What is the "Power of Now"?

It is the theory that the only thing that counts is the present - it is the philosophy that the only true reality is the moment.

Tomorrow is just a hope in our mind. The past is just a memory in our brain.

Indeed at the highest levels of theoretical physics, it is the view that time itself is an illusion.

This view says that the past, the present and the future do not actually exist. 

As Einstein once remarked: "The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion."

There is only the "Now." And everything that is, is only a "succession of nows."

Physics and the Power of Now
Does physics help us understand all this?

British physicist Julian Barbour explored these ideas in his 1999 book The End of Time. His thesis, namely that time itself does not exist, led him to his own radical brand of scientific theory - called "timeless physics." 

In Barbour's view: "Change merely creates an illusion of time, with each individual moment existing in its own right, complete and whole." As for everything else, it's all an illusion - there is no real motion or other "reality."

Daily Living and the Power of Now

How might these concepts help us in our daily lives?

Philosopher Eckhart Tolle suggests the answers in his 1999 New York Times Bestseller, translated into 33 languages, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment.

People live endlessly lost in memory of the past and anticipation of the future. This problem prevents the full experience and realization of the present.

How often do we find ourselves re-playing in our mind a memory of a past event, recent or distant? Or conjecturing what we will do or say if a certain thing happens in the future?

Of course, there is no harm in practical planning for the future or knowing your own history.

But Tolle counsels us that the present is supreme: acknowledge the present moment and simply allow it to be.

Pause and stop, and experience fully what you're doing and feeling now - at the present moment, says Tolle.

Don't "wish away the present" for the future.

Tennis and the Power of Now
How does the "Power of Now" apply to tennis?

How often have you or a player you know been "wrapped-up" in losing the last point, and simply can't let it go?

Or been obsessed with the last losing game or or last failed match? Or even an earlier loss? And then can't move on?

How often have you or a player you know been fixated with the anticipation of winning a future break point or hitting a future winner when the pressure is on? "If only I win the next point, I will win the game or match."

The prison of re-living the past and the demon of anticipating the future blocks us from our maximum performance.

The answer might be to simply re-shift our being to the present moment - the ball, the racket, the court and all things around you.

As the saying goes: "Play the game point by point, moment by moment."

Rod Laver put it this way: "The next point - that is all you must think about."

Are there examples today of how to think in the "now"?

One blogger has suggested that Roger Federer might be the best current practitioner of the "Power of Now."

What does he seem to do so well, enabling him to achieve history's greatest professional tennis record?

He can seem to stay in the present moment. And not let anticipation of what might happen cloud what's happening now.

And he can seem to put the last point - and the last loss - behind, and creatively learn from it.

For example, after his recent stunning second-round loss at Wimbledon 2013 to unseeded Sergiy Stakhovsky, consider what Federer said. 

"The 24 hour rule applies. Go back to work and come back stronger really. Somewhat simple. Hard to do sometimes. But usually I do turnarounds pretty good."

The Power of Now philosophy calls on us to just pause. Experience the moment and all that surrounds us. 

Learn from past mistakes and simply put it behind. And if we can just let things go, we can return to relaxed maximum performance.

Best,
Gary

Sources:
1. The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Our Understanding of the Universe (Oxford Univ. Press: London, 1999), Barbour Ph.D., Julian

2. "Is Time an Illusion? From the Buddha to Brian Greene", Frank, Adam (NPR Blog: Nov. 08, 2011)

3. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (New World Library: 1999), Tolle, Eckhart

4. "Wanna Be Happier? Keep Your Focus", Kotz, Deborah, US News Health (Nov. 11, 2010) (Start the Day with Focused Task, Exercise with Mindfulness, Immerse Yourself in a Book, Movie or CD, Minimize Multi-Tasking, Practice Daily Meditation)

5. "Roger Federer and the Power of Now", ZBrain, (Blog: July 08, 2012)

For those who wish to further explore the Philosophy of Now: 

Video: Quotes and Music from "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Andy Murray: The Man Behind the Racquet (BBC Documentary)

TRAILER (Apx. 2 Minutes)


DOCUMENTARY (Apx. 60 Minutes)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Andy Murray is the King of England: The 2013 Wimbledon Championships

Centre Court: All-England Club

For nearly eight decades, Britain has been waiting, hoping and dreaming.

When would they see another native man win the Wimbledon singles championship in the land where tennis began?

Today, that drought ended.

Since the time he became Britain's top player, Andy Murray - alone - carried the hopes of a proud nation, the weight of history and the ghost of Fred Perry, the last British man to win Wimbledon in 1936.

Now, Andy Murray can rest triumphant.

Murray (No. 2, Britain) defeated Novak Djokovic (No. 1, Serbia) in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4, to take the 2013 Wimbledon crown.

It all happened at the All England Club on a sunny, blistering hot Sunday before a packed audience and millions on television.

The match lasted 3 hours and 10 minutes, and required Murray to summon up a supreme effort to close out the match on his fourth Championship point.

It was Murray's second Grand Slam title, and his third finals appearance in the last four Grand Slams, added to his Olympic Gold.

"It feels slightly different to last year. Last year was one of the toughest moments of my career, so I managed to win the tournament this year, " said Murray after the match.

"It was an unbelievably tough match, so many long games. . . The last few points were some of the toughest I've ever had to play in my life."

In the women's singles championship, Marion "The French Energizer" Bartoli (No. 15, France) defeated Sabine Lisicki (No. 23, Germany) in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4 to take her first Wimbledon crown.

It was her first Grand Slam title, and lifts her to No. 7 world ranking.

Famous for her shadow swings and energetic dances between points, Bartoli controlled the match from the start, and took away Lisicki's power serves with a sparkling return game.

"I've dreamed about this moment for so long," proclaimed Bartoli, joining compatriots Amelie Mauresmo and Suzanne Lenglen, earlier Frenchwomen who won Wimbledon championships.

In men's doubles, the USA's Bryan Brothers, Mike and Bob, once again made history, taking their second Wimbledon championship over Marcelo Melo (Brazil) and Ivan Dodig (Croatia) in four sets, 6-7, 6-4,-6-4, 6-3.

It was their 15th Grand Slam title, and 91st career doubles title, an all-time record.

The Bryan Brothers now currently hold all four Grand Slam titles and Olympic Gold.

"This has been the best period of our career so far," remarked Bob. "Doubles takes a long time to figure out and we feel like we got it now. We want to do this for as long as we're having fun. You'll probably see us out here when we are 50."

Congratulations to all the winners, players, fans and supporters of this year's Wimbledon Championships.

See you next year!
Gary

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The King of Clay and the Queen of Paris: 2013 Roland Garros (French Open)

Roland Garros: Paris - Rafael Nadal (No. 3, Spain) defeated David Ferrer (No. 4, Spain), 6-3, 6-2, 6-3, in an all-Spanish final at the 2013 Roland Garros (French Open).

It was Nadal's record-breaking 8th championship on the red clay at Roland Garros, making him the undisputed "King of Clay." It was also the first time any player won a single Grand Slam event 8 times. 

Nadal now enjoys 12 Grand Slam singles titles, behind only Roy Emerson, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer. "It's one of the most special ones," remarked an emotional Nadal, capping a remarkable 8 month comeback from a knee injury.

In the women's championship, Serena Williams (No.1, USA) prevailed over Maria Sharapova (No. 2, Russia) in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4. The win was her 2nd Roland Garros crown, and 16th Grand Slam title. And it showcased a brilliant display of power tennis and blistering serves.

In the men's doubles final, Bob and Mike Bryan, the top-ranked Americans from Stanford, CA defeated local favorites Michael Llodra and Nicholas Mahut of France in the men's double championship, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (4). 

It was the Bryan Brothers' second Roland Garros (French Open) crown, and their record 14th Grand Slam doubles title.

Congratulations to all the players, fans and supporters of the 2013 Roland Garros (French Open).

See you next year!
Gary

Friday, May 31, 2013

Tennis and the Art of Misdirection

Have you ever heard of Harry Houdini? Well, he wasn't like today's magicians . . . He was an artist. The greatest of all-time. He could make an elephant disappear in the middle of a theater filled with people. And do you how he did that? Misdirection. What is misdirection? What the eyes see and the ears hear, the mind believes.
--"Gabriel", played by John Travolta, in the movie Swordfish (2001)


Think about the many weapons you might have in tennis -- speed, power, spin, strategy, fitness and even mental toughness.

Of all the weapons on the tennis court -- and for that matter, in life -- the one least often considered is: misdirection.

Indeed, misdirection may be the most devastating weapon of all.

If speed or power kills, then misdirection obliterates. If spin or strategy overwhelms, then misdirection vanquishes.

What is misdirection? And how does it apply on a tennis court?

Misdirection is subtle and sophisticated. It's smooth and suave. It's brains over brawn. It's more about the mind than the body.

And it more then defeats the opponent -- it humbles him.

Misdirection is created when the opponent either:

1. expects one thing to happen and then sees another, or
2. has no clue as to what will happen and thus by definition suddenly sees what he does not anticipate.

Let's look at some of the ways misdirection might apply on a tennis court.

Misdirection in shot direction: cross-court vs. down-the-line
The most common example of misdirection is a change in expected ball direction. Your opponent expects you to hit the ball cross-court, then suddenly sees the ball down-the-line, or vice versa.

Misdirection in spin and pace
Another example of misdirection is when your opponent expects a topspin shot, and then sees a flat or underspin shot. Or expects a fast-moving or slow-paced ball, and then sees the opposite.

Misdirection with inside-out vs. inside-in forehands
Misdirection is also obvious when a right-handed player quickly moves to his left to take a backhand as a forehand shot, angling his body to create an expectation that he might hit an inside-out forehand (cross-court shot). Then, he produces an inside-in forehand (down-the-line shot).

Misdirection in direction of serves: out-wide, into-the-body and down-the-T
Misdirection is also commonly created when, from an identical toss motion, the server can disguise his service direction. How often has Pete Sampras fooled his opponent with one of the best disguised serves in tennis history?

Misdirection in hitting behind the opponent
Misdirection is starkly apparent when a player hits a ball in the opposite direction in which his opponent is moving, "behind the opponent."

Misdirection with the Drop Shot
One of the most devastating examples of misdirection on the court is when a ferocious rally concludes with an unexpected drop shot (volley or groundstroke). One player simply raises his racket head above the level of the ball and angles it downward, producing a gently floating ball dropping into the court just over the net on the opponent's side.

Misdirection with the Disguised Offensive Lob
An experienced and savvy player with ball control can misdirect his opponent by appearing to prepare a standard passing shot, but then suddenly launching an offensive lob over his opponent's head.

How can a player help create misdirection?

One way might be to deliberately shape your opponent's expectation -- and then suddenly offer up something quite different than what was expected.

The best way to do that is simply to keep all your body's movements exactly the same until the very last second, thereby creating disguise


Then, by a quick angling of the shoulder, wrist and racket head, a very different shot is produced than expected.

Another way to produce misdirection is to deliberately offer up no clue as where and what type of shot you will hit. Then, any shot you hit will, by definition, be unanticipated. 

The classic way to do this is to keep your head down as long as possible through the shot. This minimizes any message about where and how your ball will be hit.

Another, less common, way to produce misdirection, is a simple head fake -- looking with your eyes (and thus positioning your head) in the opposite direction from where you are aiming.

What can help any player keep his head down or look the other way easier?

Answer: Develop an intentionality to every shot, without regard to the position of your head or eyes.
 

Never hit a shot without first having a clear and powerful intention about the shot you are hitting - where you want it to go and with what spin and pace.

If you can create a belief in the opponent, by your movement and body language, that he will see one thing -- and then you suddenly execute the opposite or different action, you will begin to develop the subtle but devastating art of misdirection.

Best,
Gary


 Video #1: Motion Blindness
"Now you see it, now you don't."
Courtesy: New Scientist Magazine
 

Video #2: Examples of Misdirection
"Roger Federer - Top 10 Genius Fake Shots HD"
By: MrSeba1670


Friday, May 24, 2013

The Power of Three: 3 Ingredients for Tennis Success

COMING SOON!

In his 100th Podcast Episode, Certified Professional Instructor Ron Miller of GottaPlayTennis.net reflects on the three aspects of any tennis player's success.

"When I Do 3, the Winner is Me!"
Podcast Episode #100
GottaPlayTennis.net

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Time Out for Another Roger Federer Video

Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Fantastic footwork, fabulous ball control and - above all - indomitable self-confidence.

Enjoy,
Gary

Video by: RogerFedererVid5
Music by: Edward Maya - "Desert Rain" 


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Women's Tennis Fashion: A Graphic History from L'Etoile Sport

From the 1800s until today, women's tennis fashion has evolved as dramatically as the sport itself. 

From the understated modesty of Suzanne Lenglen to the bold style and colors of the Williams sisters, the attire which women have displayed on court has undergone a revolutionary sea-change.

L'Etoile Sport has illustrated this in their unique infographic below: Graphic History of Women's Tennis Fashion.

(For a larger-size display of this infographic, please visit the L'Etoile Sport website page link above.) 

Best, 
Gary

Courtesy: L'Etoile Sport 

A Graphic History of Women's Tennis Fashion

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tennis Great Jimmy Connors Releases His Autobiography "The Outsider: A Memoir"

Photo: Getty Images
  
It's not what you accomplish; it's what you overcome to accomplish it that sets you apart.
--Jimmy Connors
The Outsider: A Memoir (Harper: May 14, 2013)


Monday, May 13, 2013

Quote of the Day on "How to Close Out the Game": The Universal Closing Principle

"You don't have to be perfect to win. You can't be perfect anyway. You just have to hang in there, put the bad stuff behind you, think good thoughts and more than anything be good enough to make your opponent perform under pressure. Then, more often than not, they will make the big mistake. [In other words], be the mirror to make your opponents face themselves - their fears, arrogance, doubts, flaws and history . . . Minimize your mistakes and let time and pressure do their thing. Time and pressure are your friends."

Tiger Woods knows this. He won 52 of the 56 times in which he was ahead in professional tournaments. New York Yankees superstar pitcher Mariano Rivera knows this. He closes out with a win 89% of the time. Legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi knew this. He closed out to a victory 75% of the time. Tennis champion Chris Evert knew this. She won 7 French Opens and 6 U.S. Opens.

--Joe Posnanski, NBCSports.com & GolfChannel.com (May 12, 2013)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Grand Slam Diet? Make it Gluten-Free . . .

More sport scientists and nutritionists are being persuaded about the dramatic potential of a gluten-free diet.

Though not all are yet convinced, the rise of tennis superstars Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, two gluten-free advocates, have prompted many experts to convert. 

Many now say that gluten, not sugar and fat alone, may be at the heart of many health and conditioning issues. 

A gluten-free diet is believed by advocates to boost energy levels, assist in weight control, and improve recovery and mental clarity.

What is gluten? It's a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and possibly oats.

Where is it found? It's found in pasta, pizza, cereals, biscuits, cakes, chips, dips, beer, flavored milk and other foods.

What does it do which is harmful? It slows the digestive tract. This is because gluten forces the body to break it down - and the foods carrying it - into sugar. 

The digestive tract is thus diverted from one of it's natural functions - naturally breaking down fat in the body. 

And over time, it is thought the digestive tract might even be compromised. Long-term effects: bloating, abdominal discomfort, muscular and joint problems, fatigue, lack of focus and many others.

Solution? Remove gluten. Says tennis coach Pete McGraw, who has helped develop top players such as Maria Sharapova and Jelena Jankovic:
 

"Cutting out wheat-based products such as bread and pasta could be the best thing you ever do. The energy level you which have is something I have never experienced before. It's a completely different energy source your body is operating from. The ability to maintain a lean athletic figure is effortless."

Best,
Gary

For more see:
"Grand Slam diet: How to Supercharge Your Body", Gary Morely, CNN

Tips for Going Gluten-Free, CNN Health

Friday, April 26, 2013

Quotes on the Global Rise of Tennis

On the Global Rise of Tennis in the Face of Economic Recession

*Attendance at ATP is 4.4 million fans since 2009
*Television audience is 800 million viewers in 2012
*ATP Official Website has 4 million visitors per month
*Commercial revenues from tennis, according to ATP, increased 165% since 2009
*ATP and its 62 tournaments now generating half-billion dollars annually


"We are in the strongest financial position ever, and we have the biggest and best group of corporate partners ever in the game."
--Brad Drewett, ATP Chairman

"Tennis has a long history  . . . You have great stars in the truly international sport, not based on one continent, and whether you are from Asia, Africa, the Americas or Europe, you have your favorites."
--Boris Becker, Six-time Grand Slam Champion

"Tennis has this golden opportunity with the players you have at the top of the game [Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal, the invincible "Big Four"]. We didn't have that five years ago . . . [And] the fact is that women's tennis [also] has two iconic figures at the top in Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova -- it's a potent combination."
--Neil Harman, Tennis Correspondent, Times of London

For more, see:
How Tennis Aced Austerity, Paul Gittings, CNN.com


Video: Beyond Gold - The Rise of Tennis in China


Saturday, April 13, 2013

In Memoriam: "Shaker" Bala (1959-2013)

My younger brother, "Shaker", suffered a massive heart attack, and was rushed to the hospital this past week. The doctors could not revive him and he passed away this Friday. He lived a rich and varied life. He was 53. Rest Now in Peace.

Gary

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Masters of Miami 2013: Andy Murray & Serena Williams

Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Key Biscayne, FL - Andy Murray (No. 3, Britain) prevailed over David Ferrer (No. 5, Spain) in a grueling, see-saw 3 set battle this past weekend to take the Men's Singles Championship at the Sony Open in Crandon Park Tennis Center, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1). 

The match lasted 2 hours and 45 minutes in a blistering South Florida humidity before a sell-out crowd and national TV audience.

The win was Murray's second Sony Open title in Miami, and propelled him to World No. 2 rank, past Roger Federer.

Murray, the 25 year-old Olympic Gold and U.S. Open champion, saved a match point in the third set and closed out the tie-break in convincing fashion. He explained later that it was really a battle of attrition to see who could out-last the other.

"It was a just a brutal, brutal match today, and both of us were kind of on our last legs," confessed Murray. "It was one of the toughest matches I've had to play in a Masters series, for sure."

Murray is known for his off-court regimen, and is considered one of the fittest players on the tour.

Meanwhile, in the Women's Singles Championship, Serena Williams (No. 1, USA) defeated Maria Sharapova (No. 2, Russia) in a dramatic 3 set final, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.

Williams won each of the last 10 games, for her 6th Sony Open title in Miami, overtaking the previous record held by Steffi Graf.

The match produced some high-quality tennis, with both players displaying slam-bang points with sometimes ferociously long rallies.

Congrats to all the winners, players, fans and supporters of this year's Sony Open in Miami.

See you next year!
Gary

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Nadal is back! BNP Paribas Open 2013

Indian Wells, CA -- BNP Paribas Open

Rafael Nadal (No. 5, Spain) defeated Juan Martin Del Potro (No. 7, Argentina) in a see-saw 3 set thriller, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to claim his first Indian Wells title. 

It was Nadal's 3rd title since his return after a 7 month injury absence.

It was also Nadal's 22 ATP Master's 1000 Title, an all-time record, and capped a stunning comeback.

Nadal, an 11-time Grand Slam champion, overcame a gritty challenge from his opponent -- and turned back the final tide in a battle between two of the biggest forehands in the game today.

After the match, Nadal reflected on painful moments in his layoff, and then remarked on how he prevailed in the battle: "When I was able to calm myself, I began to play better. I started to play a little bit slower. My movement was unbelievable."

As for Del Potro, the big Argentine played a fantastic tournament beating Olympic Gold Medalist Andy Murray and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic on the way to the finals. He stands as a powerful threat for the rest of the tennis year.

Meanwhile, in the women's championship, Maria Sharapova (No. 2, Russia) blasted her way over Caroline Wozniak (No. 8, Denmark), 6-2, 6-2 with her trademark power-hitting tennis.

It was the 25 Year-Old's first WTA title this year, and second Indian Wells championship.

Sharapova is one of the most recognized female athletes in the world in any sport, and reportedly also the highest-paid.

It was another great tournament in the California desert this season.

See you next year!
Gary