April 03, 2014

Looking at Ernests Gulbis' Big Serve

Here are a couple of different types of looks at one of the best serves on the ATP tour, that of Ernests Gulbis.

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Stan Wawrinka's Ink

In case you haven't heard after his AO14 win, the tattoo on Stan Wawrinka wrist is: A quote from Irish poet Samuel Beckett ''Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'
Stan did more than that. After losing 26 straight matches combined to Djokovic and Nadal, he took them both out en-route to his first-ever GS title. 

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How Gritty Are the Hard Courts?

... Or a Rastafarian Tennis Ball 
The hard courts in Indian Wells and Miami are so slow that, as Martina Navratilova put it: "You can sit on the sideline and still get up and run down an approach shot." 
Here's what that much grit does to shred a tennis ball.

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How Far Will Rafa Run to Hit a Forehand?

Great pic from TennisTV, showing that Nadal will literally run from doubles sideline to doubles sideline to hit a forehand, while only hitting backhands out of a tiny, 4 meter lane on his far right. 

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Delpo Has Second Wrist Surgery

Del Potro surgeon Richard Berger:"Given degree of damage discovered in Juan Martin’s wrist, it is amazing he was able to play at all"

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What's Wrong with the WTA

Imagine if back in 2008, when Federer had passed his peak but was still a top player, that Nadal and Djokovic had retired, Murray had incurred multiple shoulder injuries that limited his career and Delpo got bored and simply didn't try as hard. Fed might have 25 Slam titles and the hosannas would be epic. 

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Blown Call Helps Djoko top Murray in Miami Masters

Novak Djokovic reached over and hit a tennis ball on his opponent, Andy Murray's, side of the net, which should have cost him a point. Instead, the chair incorrectly ruled he did not, and Murray let the blown call distract him leading to a break and a loss. 

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Novak Takes Out Nadal in Straights for Miami Title

Dominant performance, if not exciting tennis. Djokovic has won three straight from Nadal. Nadal only had one break point chance, which was in the first set, didn't convert, and never got another sniff. Look at where Rafa is hitting his forehand and you get an idea what Nole did to him. Djokovic held firm to the baseline, then attacked Nadal's forehand: With his serve, with his own forehand, often using high topspin, and as was more anticipated, by taking balls early with his two-handed backhand. Nadal looked uncomfortable all afternoon -- rushed, pushed back, not moving well.

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March 19, 2014

BNP Indian Wells Wrap-up: Fed's Back (and Rafa's) and Djoko is Back

Fresh back from the finals weekend of BNP Indian Wells I wanted to jot down some thoughts while they're fresh. First, this was some of the best highest-quality tennis I've seen in eons; both entertaining and played often at an extraordinary level. Here are some vid links, and a few of my photos; I'll post more and larger images after they're processed, which is tediously and surprisingly time consuming :( 

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March 02, 2014

Fed's "Hot Shots" From Upset Win over Djokovic followed by Title vs Berdych in Dubai

Roger Federer used an unusual tactic to win his first title since Halle last year - go down a set and an early break two matches in a row against players that had beaten him the last fives times combined. Set them up perfectly <g>. 

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