Monday, January 11, 2016

Tennis Topic of the Day: Learning from Angelique Kerber

"The German's unorthodox, athletic game has worked wonders for her career and its foundation can help you improve as well."
-- Steve Tignor, Tennis Magazine

1. Do It Your Way - Kerber plays what some call "kitchen-sink tennis". Get the ball back anyway you can, and don't worry about how it looks.
2. If You Can't Hit Your Serve with Pace, Think Spin and Location - Kerber has a rolling lefty spin serve which bends away from her opponents. Serving with spin and location can offer advantages to offset lack of pace.
3. Get Low - Kerber shows the benefits of Tennis 101's admonition to "get low", even at the highest levels of the game. Her game showcases intensity, athleticism and power from her legs.
4. Don't Play Sarcastic Tennis - Here, Kerber shows what not to do. Kerber sometimes seems to "throw in the towel" and just swing furiously when things aren't going her way - what some call "sarcastic tennis." But this is not a reflective strategy you would want to emulate.
5. Work on Your Strengths - Good players have a signature shot - one that usually works out great for them. For Kerber, that shot is her down-the-line forehand. Find a shot that feels perfectly right for you and make it your own.

Excerpts from:
"Learning from . . . Angelique Kerber", Steve Tignor, Tennis Magazine (Jan.-Feb. 2016), Page 55. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Tennis Topic of the Day: Learning from Kei Nishikori

"The native of Japan has proven to be the best of the ATP's next generation so far; here's what you can learn from his slow but steady rise."
-- Steve Tignor, Tennis Magazine

1. Smooth Out the Rough Edges - Nishikori's is a "precise-yet-fluid technique, the kind that doesn't break down under pressure."
2. Make Yourself a Two-Way Player - Like most top players, Nishikori can "attack and defend equally well from both sides." Opponents know that the backhand is "as solid, and lethal" as the forehand.
3. Take the Ball at the Top of the Bounce - Nishikori has learned to move up and 
"take the ball earlier, at the top of the ball's bounce, whenever he can," thus taking time away from his opponent without undue risk. 
4.  Don't Let a Few Bad Games Spell Defeat - Nishikori has the best record in final sets among active players. This shows that he stays calm, takes his time, and doesn't let negative momentum affect his game.
5. Remember that It's Never Too Late to Get Tough - More ambition and getting tough can mean better results. 

Excerpts from:
"Learning from . . . Kei Nishikori", Steve Tignor, Tennis Magazine (Jan.-Feb. 2016), Page 29.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Tennis Topic of the Day: Learning from Simona Halep

"You don't need great height or brute strength to succeed in tennis, as the game's smoothest new star has shown."
-- Steve Tignor, Tennis Magazine

1. Size Doesn't Have to Matter on the Serve -At 5' 6", Halep is the shortest woman in the Top 5, but she never has settled for the lollipop delivery . . . she goes after the ball and makes her serve a weapon  - loose arm, simple motion, forward momentum.
2. Yes, You Can Go Down the Line - Few players looks as free when they play as Halep. She changes direction and shows no fear . . .
3. Start With a Solid Foundation - The common denominator to all of Halep's groundstrokes is her seemingly effortless balance. . . Halep lets her feet do the work.
4. Winning Breeds . . . Winning - Halep made winning a habit.
5. When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Slow Down - Halep in this instance shows us not to do. Don't rush, but slow things down.

Excerpts from:
"Learning from . . . Simona Halep", Steve Tignor, Tennis Magazine (Jan.-Feb. 2016), Page 41. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Tennis Topic of the Day: Learning from David Ferrer

"The tour's Energizer Bunny doesn't make it look easy, but every recreational player can take a lesson (or five) from his game."
-- Steve Tignor, Tennis Magazine

1. Embrace Imperfection - If he loses a few points or even a set, it doesn't demoralize him.
2. Make Limitations Work for You - The 5' 9" Spaniard's [style] is to "get the most out of what you have."
3. Always Let Them See You Sweat - Ferrer is a "player staring back and bouncing relentlessly on his toes."
4. Round Out Your Game - Ferrer appears to be a one-dimensional player. Not so fast - he's actually got many shots which he developed.
5. Love What You're Doing - Ferrer has learned to love the grind.

Excerpts from:
"Learning from . . . David Ferrer", Steve Tignor, Tennis Magazine (Jan. - Feb. 2016), Page 27.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Tennis Topic of the Day: What is your true purpose in tennis (or life)?

Your passion + your mission + your profession + your vocation = your True Purpose