Sunday, September 25, 2011

In Physics & Tennis: Speed Kills

Photo: Dan McCoy/Corbis

"Speed Kills."
John McEnroe, commentating the 2011 Wimbledon Men's Singles Final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal

On Friday, September 23, 2011, an international scientific team at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) particle laboratory reported a stunning research finding which, if true, may revolutionize the past 100 years of physics.

Mysterious particles known as neutrinos were clocked by science's best instrumentation at traveling a tiny fraction of a secondfasterthan the speed of light, which is the cosmic speed limit in our universe.

Neutrinos are ghost-like sub-atomic particles with nearly no mass or electrical charge, and pass through matter as if it was not there at all.

In a 3-year experiment known as OPERA, researchers measured the speed of neutrinos projected from CERN in Geneva, Switzerland to Gran Sasso, Italy.

And they were astonished by their finding - and spent 6 months painstakingly cross-checking and verifying the results beyond margin of error.

The neutrino was clocked at 299,798,434 meters a second which exceeds the speed of light by a very small fraction.

No object in our universe can travel faster than light under the prevailing pillar of modern physics - the theory of relativity developed by Albert Einstein in 1905.

The CERN finding must be confirmed by follow-up experiments by other researchers, which is expected to be underway shortly in both Japan and the United States.

If validated, "[i]t would be the biggest physics discovery in a century because we'd have to revise everything from subatomic physics to what we know about how the universe evolved," said Neil Turok, Director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

Famed physicist Michio Kaku of City College of New York agreed: "[If true], we'll have to re-write all of modern physics."

Speed kills.

In tennis, the same holds true.

The very best players move at blinding speeds which create an impenetrable defensive shield and which intimidate their opponents. Thus, points are sometimes won even before they start.

Speed kills.

How can we all improve our court speed?

It's all about that explosive first step.


Monday, September 19, 2011

"The Inner Game of Tennis": A Ten-Minute Audio Summary

Here's an excellent audio summary of the classic best-selling book on mental tennis, The Inner Game of Tennis, by Timothy Gallwey. (Courtesy: QualiaAquarium)



Monday, September 12, 2011

The Greatest Year: Novak Djokovic wins the Men's Singles Championship U.S. Open 2011

"It's probably the greatest year in the history of our sport."
-John McEnroe, holder of 82-3 Win-Loss Record in 1984,
referring to Novak Djokovic's current tennis year of 64-2
with 3 Grand Slam Titles.

Novak Djokovic (No. 1, Serbia) defeated Rafael Nadal (No. 2, Spain) in four brutally competitive and physical sets, 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-1, to win his first U.S. Open Title at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, NY in four hours and ten minutes.

It was an epic match on a warm Monday evening before a boisterous capacity New York crowd, including many celebrites and VIPs. And they were treated to some mesmerizing rallies of 30 shots and more, many ending in spectacular winners.

It was Djokovic's third Grand Slam title of the year, and lifted his 2011 Year Win-Loss record to an astonishing to 64-2, with 10 professional singles titles.

Djokovic's Win-Loss record this year ranks among the best in tennis history - placing his accomplishment in the same league with John McEnroe's 1984 year, Rod Laver's 1969 year, Jimmy Connors' 1974 year, and Roger Federer's 2006 year.

"It's an incredible feeling. I had an amazing year, and it keeps going," said Djokovic after the match, wearing an FDNY hat and honoring the memory of victims and heroes of 09/11. "We can't even realize how lucky we are to do something we love."

A humble Nadal, who lost to Djokovic 6 times this year in final matches, said of Djokovic's historic 2011 record, "What you did this year is probably impossible to repeat. So well done."

Congratulations to all of the winners, players, fans and supporters of this year's U.S. Open.

See you next year!

Samantha Stoser wins the Women's Singles Championship: U.S. Open 2011

Samantha Stoser (No 6, Australia), defeated Serena Williams (No. 28, USA) in impressive straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, in Sunday's final of the Women's Singles Championship.

It was a stunning upset before a packed crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium in only 73 minutes on the 10th anniversary of 09/11.

Stoser became only the second Australian woman to win the U.S. Open, after the legendary Margaret Court in 1973. It was her first Grand Slam title. She joins Li Na and Petra Kvitova as first time Grand Slam winners this year.

"I had one of my best days and I'm very fortunate that I had it on this stage in New York," said Stoser. "Ever since I started playing, it was a dream of mine to be here one day, and now my dream has come true."

Congratulations and well done, Samantha!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Day at the U.S. Open 2011

I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the 2011 U.S. Open in Flushing, NY on Day 5, Friday, September 2, 2011!

It was just awesome. I spent the day and early evening walking through the grounds and taking it all in.

In the Junior Boys Qualifying Singles, I saw a captivating 3 set victory by Enzo Couacaud of France over Spencer Papa of USA.

I saw thrilling 5 set victories by Donald Young over Stanislas Wawrinka, and by Andy Murray over Robin Haase.

I saw the Indo-Pak Express (Rohan Bopanna and Aisam Qureshi) defeat James Cerrentani and Philipp Marx in Mens Doubles.

And I caught Roger Federer and Maria Kirilenko, on their off-day, practicing on Practice Courts 1 & 2.

All in all: a fantastic educational experience and great fun too.

Final Observations On the Players:
*The huge preparation before each shot - their intentionality behind each stroke
*The fluidity of their footwork and movement - how they get out-of-the way of the incoming ball (spacing to the ball)
*The follow-through and completeness of their strokes

And wow - do they look ever so relaxed and loose!

For more information on the USA's Grand Slam Tournament, visit: U.S. Open


Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Illustrated History of Tennis Fist Pumps

Click Here and Enjoy!
Fist Pumps

Credit: Mickey Duzyj and ESPN
Mickey's Website is: