Archive for June, 2006

Mental side of Matches

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

This past Friday, I had my first legitimate match in years.  Now I have to preface this with the fact that my friends had hyped up this guy, going on and on about how good he supposedly was.  Well I knew I couldn’t listen to people who don’t play really play tennis, but nonetheless, the trash talking and ego smack started coming out.  I have to admit, it got to me, because I found myself on Friday nervous as hell.  However, in the warm up, I could clearly hit better than this guy, but for whatever reason, my nerves wouldn’t go away.

I wasn’t sure if I was nervous about the outcome of winning or losing, but I certainly wasn’t playing the way I normally do, and it was evident in all parts of my game.  However, this got me thinking, what does it mean to really be match ready?  A lot of people forget how many “parts there are to their game”.  Case in point, I needed a lot of practice in my return of serve, and my net game.  Both of which used to be strong points in my game at one point, no longer were they there to help.  All they did was contribute to the unforced errors category.

So I ask you, how ready do you think you are for a match:

- How’s your footwork?  I found myself not moving well again because of my nerves.

- How’s your return of serve?

- How are your volley’s?

- How are your approach shots?

- How are your backhand overheads?

All of these made me realize that while I can hit really well in general, I was certainly not match ready, especially for the mental side of a “hyped up match”.  Interestingly enough, I’m now looking forward to a 2nd attempt at playing this guy because I know that I won’t be nervous and I will have broken through whatever block I put out there last time.

Think about how you feel before and after a match the next time you play…

French Open Winner - spoiler

Sunday, June 11th, 2006

I can’t believe it….well I can actually, but I don’t want to. Rafael Nadal did pull through and ruin Roger Federer’s chance at making some serious history. Roger came out in the first set and dominated, well, moreso just played and Rafael didn’t. Then the reverse completely happened in the second set, and when you look at the scores, Roger was playing catch up in his own game the rest of the match. He finally broke through very late in the 4th set, but Rafael’s fire came back and brought him the win. It was not the most amazing match anyone has ever seen by any means, but it had a few points of brilliance.

Overall, I’m still looking forward to see the rivalry continue as I think it will evolve. Roger will end up playing him again, not on clay, and I think get him back on those surfaces, making it more of a real rivalry. To quote Andy Roddick,

“You ask me what I think about this rivalry I have with Roger Federer, but there is no rivalry until I actually beat him….”

Dream Final ready to go

Friday, June 9th, 2006

So all this hype around the Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal is going to get some more wind behind it as the two will face off on Sunday in the finals at Roland Garros.  I’m going to galantly state that I think Roger Federer is going to win this one.  I recognize how good Nadal is and well won’t be surprised if he does win it, but I WANT Roger to win mainly so that the same thing doesn’t happen to him that happened to Pete, and that would be not winning the French Open.  I think Federer can do it, whether this year or in the future, he will at some point.  The question is, who do you think will win?

Find Courts near you

Friday, June 9th, 2006

So I released a new feature in the past 2 days, finding courts. I’ve noticed that one of the hardest things for users of the site is a) scheduling when to play and b) where to play.

To handle the where part, I thought it would be great if people actually found the exact location of the courts on a Google Map (using the Satellite images) so that people can see the court, and then figure out how to get there and how far it is from them.

So, all I ask of you is, create the courts on the site that you play at. Once you do this, everyone will be able to find the courts you registered, and also add them to THEIR list of courts! You will then be able to see who also plays at the same court as you!! That will make it easier in finding accessible partners.

I will also be integrating the courts in your area into other parts of the site (such as messages and groups)

Let me know if you all have any feedback or questions about the Courts feature, thanks.

Semis at the French Open

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

So it turns out that the semi’s are going to be quite interesting after all.  Assuming Ljubicic makes it into the semi-finals today, it’ll be the first time in almost 20 years that all the top seeds are in the semis.

As you saw in my previous post about the Federer / Nadal rivalry, and likely final match up at Roland Garros, Federer does have a very worthy opponent up next.  David Nalbandian, who has beaten Federer in the past, may be a thorn to get through (By the way, one of our members on Mesh Tennis actually grew up playing with David Nalbandian…apparently he’s not the nicest of gents).

I’m still hoping it turns out to be a Federer / Nadal final so we can see if Federer really has gotten closer to figuring out how to beat him.

Federer vs. Nadal

Saturday, June 3rd, 2006

How likely is it that the French Open final is going to be a matchup between Federer and Nadal?  I think it’s somewhat likely, and on top of that, I think it’ll be the closest match they play.  Federer has been gaining on him in terms of “figuring out how to beat him”, and I’m not so sure he’s going to beat him this time, but I think it’ll be a great match.  Nadal is very comfortable in long matches, and at the end of 2 long weeks, I may have to give the edge to him, although I would like Federer to complete the Grand Slam this year.

So what do you all out there think of the Nadal vs. Federer rivalry?  TENNIS magazine has a headlining article about the duo on their magazine this month, and their analyzing if it’s going to be the similar to the Sampras vs. Agassi rivalry, and Graf vs. Navratilova, etc.  Do you think this is a rivalry is going to last?  Maybe Federer will always stay #1 but Nadal will always beat him, so can Nadal then claim to be #1 in the world in reality?  (not the ATP rankings…)

Look for the 3rd round matches today on TV…enjoy!