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August 2012

August 28, 2012

Follow US Open Contenders' Odds on WSJ Tracker

An interesting exercise by the Wall Street Journal attempts to calculate each player's likelihood of winning based on their statistical performance during the event. 

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Open Letter to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Warriors Owners Joe Lacob and Peter Gruber on Planned Arena

To San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, and NBA Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Gruber:

Your plans to build a modern arena on the San Francisco waterfront are exciting. Your facility will create jobs and add greatly to the entertainment and cultural opportunities in this wonderful city.

Since you've reportedly said that you need 120-200 events per year to make the facility economically viable, I strongly suggest you work early on to find a partner to bring ATP and WTA professional tennis to San Francisco. A Masters 1000 level event could attract over 400,000* ticket buyers and would find substantial sponsorship support from local companies that would value the demographics of this audience.

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August 27, 2012

New Rackets Promise Even More Top Spin

Extensive lab testing has produced new racket designs that promise more top spin with the same swing.

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Lighter Moments: How Novak Djokovic Practices His Serve

And who is that brave friend?

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August 26, 2012

Did Equipment Change Spur Serena Williams' Title Drive?

After Serena Williams lost to Caroline Wozniacki last march, she made an equipment change, then went on a 38-1 winning tear, including the Wimbledon title and a gold medal at the Olympics.

Was the equipment change responsible, or even play a role? Williams had new determination, and is in better shape than ever, plus she's lost a lot of weight and several inches around her waisteline. But, as the old statistics joke says, correlation may not prove causation, but they tend to happen at the same time. 

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August 24, 2012

Video: How Tennis Strings, Strokes Combine for Spin

There's a great, short video on the Tennisplayer.net web site that shows at 4,000 fps slow motion how the strings and balls interact on impact during a pro-level topspin forehand. 

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Don't Copy Tennis Pros' Strokes

An intriguing article in the Wall Street Journal quotes numerous teaching pros as saying that amateur players shouldn't copy the strokes of top pros. That used to work in the days of Rod Laver and Chris Evertt, but today's pros have strokes adapted to their games' high speed play that you don't need and will simply give you bad habits.

WSJ: The top pros "perform all sorts of intricate feats that are nearly impossible to imitate, brutal on your back, and rough on your knees, elbows and shoulders," plus they lead to bad form. (Good, concise video here of tips by former world number one Mats Wilander.)

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August 20, 2012

Federer Bagels Djokovic and Wins Every Service Game in Tournament

Roger Federer won the Cincinatti Masters 1000 event, aka the Western & Southern Open, for the fifth time finishing by serving up the first bagel in 28 matches between the Swiss and Novak Djokovic, 6-0, 7-6 (7).

Remarkably, Federer's serve wasn't broken once in the entire tournament, the first time anyone has done that in a Masters 1000 event, and only the third time Fed has done that in his career. 

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