June 04, 2014

Math Geeks Say Rafa Won't Pass Fed. Probably. Maybe.

How are your binomial theorems? Nate Silver's fivethirthyeight.com grinds the numbers, by projecting each player's performance ratio relative to other players on an age curve, and tabs the odds of Fed hanging on to the lead in total major (aka Grand Slam) titles as 88%. Of course, if Rafa gets this year's French his odds improve a bit. 

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Tennis Tactics from French Open

A few random if interesting discussions from Roland Garros:

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Jim Courier Questions Nadal's Serve- and Fed's Return-Tactics

A precious-few nuggets emerged from the endless TV blather. A pair of interesting exchanges occurred from pointed questions by former great Jim Courier. First, Courier said that Nadal should go back to hitting big first serves, as he did in his first, US Open victory, instead of relying entirely on his left-spin serve. 

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French Open Update pre Semifinals

Let's call this the tactics issue, since the interesting things I've seen and heard during this event all seem to be about tactics. Coverage here of: Courier on Nadal's serve and Fed's returns, Who Has the Fastest Ground Strokes at the French Open?, Muguruza the Serena slayer; Halep's anti-patterns; Simon on playing Raonic; Gulbis on playing Fed. Plus, the TV schedule for the semi's and finals. 


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May 27, 2014

Who Has the Fastest Ground Strokes at the French Open?

John Isner? Nope. Rafael Nadal? Not even close. 

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May 26, 2014

In Defense of the Split Step

Having heard TV announcer Chris Fowler claim that using a split step while returning serve slows you down, I feel compelled to offer this. 

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May 25, 2014

Fed on Announcers, Fans that "Know Edberg's Impact"

And this means you Justin Gimelstob 

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Recognize This Swing?

Can you name this Grand Slam champion? Not many players have used two hands on both sides, but their share of Grand Slam titles is disproportionately large. My pix from Stanford.

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Pre-Young Gun, Sixteen-year-old Francis Tiafoe

With the likes of Ryan Harrison and Jack Sock stalling badly, is it too early to look at the next generation of potential U.S. ATP players? Sixteen-year-old Francis Tiafoe, the son of a club maintenance worker I've written about here before, is now the top junior.

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Fed's Drive Volley

Trying to figure out how to hit this shot, so I turned to the master for instruction. I grabbed a short replay on Tennis Channel of Roger Federer hitting a forehand, swinging volley vs Delpo at Basil, slowed it down, put in some stop action and captions. Most of what I see reinforces what you hear about hitting the "modern, ATP forehand" groundstroke, with some specifics to this stroke. Video at the link, with a vidcap of his swing path here: 

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