Thursday, September 27, 2012

Four Motivational Videos with a Timeless Message: Winning is About Giving It Everything You've Got!

Motivation: Never Give Up

When: Motivated

Powerful, Inspirational True Story

Motivation: Be Great, Powerful Beyond Measure

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Historical Greats: Rare video footage of the great Pancho Gonzales

Painting: LeRoy Neiman

"Very much his own man, a loner and an acerbic competitor, Richard Alonzo "Pancho" Gonzales was as good as anyone who ever played the game, if not better."
--Bid Collins, Tennis Historian, from

Thank you to: Lee Couillard, USPTA, Head Tennis Professional, Punahou School, Tennis Pod Pro

Video of Pancho Gonzales circa 1969

Monday, September 10, 2012

US Open 2012: Andy Murray & The Ghost of Fred Perry

Flushing Meadows, NY USA --

Men's Final
First Brit in 76 Years Wins a Grand Slam singles crown!

The ghost of Fred Perry smiled at the end of a special day at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.

No British man has won a Grand Slam title since the legendary Fred Perry took the U.S. Championships in 1936 - an era when men played tennis with wooden rackets and in long trousers.

Entire generations of British fans and supporters have patiently waited and dreamed of their next champion.

When would a native son, from the land where tennis began, once again lift a Grand Slam trophy?

Today was that day.

In a dramatic and historic five set thriller, Andy Murray (GRB, No. 3) defeated Novak Djokovic (SRB, No. 2), 7-6 (10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 before a sold-out crowd in tricky, windy conditions at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

It was Murray's first major single's title in his fifth Grand Slam finals appearance.

The match finished at 4 hours and 54 minutes, tying the record for longest U.S. Open finals in history.

Murray, 25, recent Gold Medalist at the London Olympic Games, complimented his opponent after the match whom he outlasted: "Novak is so, so strong. He fights until the end in every match. I don't know how I managed to come through in the end."

Paying tribute to the super-intensity of his coach, the great Ivan Lendl who elevated Murray's game and watched the closing ceremony in rapt attention, Murray joked: "I think that was almost a smile."

After three quarters of a century waiting for Fred Perry's successor, Britain was surely ready to offer a Grand Slam welcome home for Murray.

Women's Final
Superwoman Serena Wins!

Serena Williams (USA, No. 4) summoned up her most supreme competitive fires to roar back from 5-3 down in the third and final set, and just two points from defeat, to beat Victoria Azarenka (BLR, No. 1), 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.

It was Serena's 4th U.S. Open crown, and 15th Grand Slam title. It put her only 3 major titles back from the legendary Chris Everett and Martina Navratilova.

Commented her opponent Azarenka after the match: "Serena deserves the win. She showed how true of a champion she is."

Serena had just recently won the Gold Medal in singles (and doubles with sister Venus) at the London Olympic Games.

The summer of 2012 has indeed been a golden one for Serena. 

Mens Double's Final
The Bryan Brothers, Mike & Bob Set a New Grand Slam Record!

Mike and Bob Bryan (USA, No. 2) defeated Leander Paes (IND) and Radek Stepaneck (CZE), No. 5, in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4 without facing a single break point. 

It was their 12th Grand Slam doubles title, breaking the old record by the legendary Australian doubles team of Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde.

Remarked Mike after the match: "We looked up to the Woodies, and to steal all their records is unbelievable because we idolize those guys. They're one of the reasons we play doubles."

The Bryan Brothers, 34, were coming off of their recent Gold Medal in doubles at the London Olympic Games, and have proved that they are indeed one of the finest doubles teams ever.

Women's Doubles Final
The Italians Love New York!

Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci (ITA, No. 2) defeated Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka (CZE, No. 3), 6-4, 6-2.

It was their second Grand Slam doubles crown, having won the French Open (Roland Garros) title earlier in the year.

Errani, celebrating their victory afterwards, said: "We [have] played an amazing year."

Future Hall-of-Famers Retire
Clijsters and Roddick sadly end their careers.

Former World No. 1 and U.S. Open Champions Kim Clijsters (BLG) and Andy Roddick (USA) retired after this year's U.S. Open.

Clijsters defined the big-woman's game of power and precision, and was personally well-liked by fans and peers, world-wide.

Meanwhile, Roddick carried American men's tennis almost single-handedly for most of the 2000s, consistently ranking in the top ten and possessing one of the fastest serves in history.

Good luck to them, and congratulations to all the winners, players, fans and supporters for another fantastic and historic U.S. Open.

Year 2012 continues to be a special one for the history books.

See you at next year's U.S. Open!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Tennis Quote of the Day: Can Serena Play Tennis with the Men?

"Given that men are always quick to say that women are a lot worse . . . I'd love to see her play in a (lower level) men's tournament and see how they deal with her. It's easy to talk. On the court, it would be different . . . I've practiced with a lot of guys ranked 400th or 500th. I've never played with a man who hits as hard as she does."
--Sara Errani, 2012 U.S. Open Semi-Finalist, on Serena Williams

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Ultimate Test in Tennis: The U.S. Open

Quotes and Insights from Around the Circuit

"At the U.S. Open, only the fittest survive . . . From the concussive hard courts to the raucous crowds to the late night matches - and so much more - nothing stretches mind and body to the brink like the year's final major."
--Douglas Robson, The Toughest Test in Tennis, U.S. Open, Special Edition for USA Today, September 2012

"It's the high-maintenance Slam . . . The Open has the most stimulus, the most distraction, the most chaos."
--Justin Gimelstob, Tennis Channel analyst and former professional player

"It's always the moment you feel really tired."
--Agnieszka Radwanska, World No. 2 professional player, referring to the grueling tennis season's run-up to the U.S. Open

"I think the backed-up weekend [referring to the consecutive days on which the semi-finals and finals are played] makes it incredibly hard, which is something the players have tried to change, because with the matches being as physical as they are now, you can't physically play your best tennis if you play 2 five-hour matches back-to-back."
--Andy Murray, 2008 Finalist and 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist

"The fifth-set tiebreak is one of the unique aspects of the U.S. Open . . . The tiebreak brings its own adrenaline, kind of a very exciting moment . . . That's the way we do it here at the U.S. Open."
--Chris Widmaier, USTA Director of Communications for the U.S. Open

"They all want a piece of you."
Mike Bryan of the record-breaking Bryan Brothers doubles team, referring to commercial sponsors, fashion show organizers, news media outlets, and charity & celebrity causes

"New York is loud. It's in your face. It's not only just a tennis event, it's an event in itself."
--Andy Roddick, 2003 Champion

"New York is now one of my favorite cities. I love its energy, the people, the life there. I love how rowdy the fans get. They root and cheer and are probably drunk half the time."
--Maria Sharapova, 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist

"It's definitely in people heads that it's the last Slam of the year  . . . If you can make it through New York, you can make it anywhere."
--Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA professional player 

Video:  The 2012 U.S. Open: It Must be Love
By: tennis