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The Murray Brothers
For the 1st time in the open era 2 brothers will contest the singles and doubles finals of a Grand Slam! Yet another amazing effort by Andy Murray in reaching the final for the 5th time! The match with Ferrer was brutal as he said and beating Raonic was a brutal mental effort. Milos played an awesome match.
Jamie Murray looks to be on track for his 2nd Grand Slam trophy, but not to be taken for granted with 2 players of Nestor and Stepanek’s experience and quality. Laura has just returned from Melbourne and showed me some videos of Jamie and Bruno Soares training in the heat. They used their hitting partner (Alan MacDonald – home based Scottish legend) as target practise.
Jamie’s coach Louis Cayer must surely go down as the world’s best doubles coach with his track record of helping players fulfil their potential.
So, can Andy beat Novak in the final? After seeing how Federer was dismantled it would be difficult to predict a Murray victory.
Assuming Andy plays well and Novak has a normal day there are 2 key things Murray has to do in order to have a chance (in my opinion). Firstly he must continue to be aggressive with his 2nd serve, especially on the big points like he did today with Raonic. A soft 2nd serve on the less important points will not hurt too much, but I hope he risks more on the big points.
And secondly he must maintain the same level of mental intensity he displayed against Ferrer and Raonic in the last 2 sets.
If he can get close to the same level of focus and intensity he displayed in the Davis Cup then he’ll have a chance.
Great effort by Konta reaching the semi-final and should move her up to world no 28. Mentally she has become really tough and looks like becoming a top 20 player at least. I only hope it inspires Heather Watson to keep trying to improve as I’m sure it will.
Serena is just too good and unless she implodes like she did in the US semi-final I just can’t see her losing. Serena is amazing, but unfortunately too good for the rest which doesn’t help create interest in the women’s game.
Gordon Reid – Wheelchair Tennis Finalist
What an amazing effort by Gordon Reid from Helensburgh, near Glasgow, who has reached both the singles and doubles finals! And congratulations to his coach Karen Ross who has been so supportive of wheelchair tennis in general for many years.
So 3 Scotsmen in all the finals! How lucky are we to have 3 great athletes coming from a small country with little tennis tradition. Hopefully these guys will have inspired many of our young players and potential new ones!
Ian & Laura Special Hosted Weeks
Trapani from 22nd to 29th May has one space only and all our other weeks from the 16th July onwards have some spaces, so if interested please contact Laura soon!
Oz Open Preview
The man to beat obviously and I can't see any change of the guard this year. If anything he might do even better than
last year. Mats Wilander predicted he would win all 4 slams which he very nearly did in 2015 and was a bit unlucky that
Stan the Man (Wawrinka) played the match of his life to beat him in the final of the French.
He appears to be completely dedicated to his profession and if his motivation to do so continues then it's hard to see him
lose. Yes a strong favourite to retain his title.
If Kim can hold off for the duration of the tournament then I would imagine that Andy will once again reach the final. Winning the Davis Cup may well have inspired Andy to improve his game improving his chances of beating Novak. Usual stuff like 1 st serve %, speed of 2 nd serve plus taking some more risks wherever possible. Having had more time with Amelie Mauresmo may make the difference. The good news is that he will definitely avoid Novak until the final hopefully giving someone else the chance to play the match of their lives and knock him out! But, if Novak makes the final and not injured……..
Perhaps the next most serious threat to Novak, and he has just finished his usual training stint in Dubai where he regularly polishes off 2 or 3 training partners a day. The idea that Federer doesn’t need to work hard is one of the many tennis myths. He works so hard that he can make it look easy!
Fed is playing Brisbane which will give an indication of where’s he at, but I would expect him to reach at least the semis with his great form of 2015.
Who knows what direction his tennis will go in this year, but I certainly hope he makes an impact as the tennis world is much richer with him around competing at the end of the Slams.
Obviously lots of great players around like Raonic, Dimitrov, Berdych, Ferrer etc. However the only ones I can see making an impact is Wawrinka or possibly Kyrgios (If Lleyton Hewitt has sorted his head!) He just beat Murray today at the Hopman Cup showing once again his mental ability when playing the very best. If you don’t believe you can win you
won’t and he certainly does believe!
Jamie Murray has started his new partnership with Bruno Soares at the Qatar Exxonmobil Open beating Albot / Klizan 3 & 3, then Chardy / Mathieu 6 & 4, so here’s hoping they make an impact at the Oz Open. Jamie was so close to winning another grand slam last year so when it comes to the crunch let’s hope his new partner can cope in the same way that
Jamie did all year!
Colin Fleming has teamed up with Jonathan Elrich and it would be great to see Colin back competing at the top level. Good luck Colin and I hope he can stay injury free all year!
Leander Paes is playing the Chennai event for the 16 th time! At 42, he shows how it’s possible to play high level doubles at an age when most athletes are generally written off. Good news for all club players who feel they are getting passed it!
Will the Bryan bros be able to continue winning as often? I wouldn’t be surprised if they still have the same motivation.
Like Nadal they have been so important for the game and I hope they have a few more years yet!
Dampeners – Do You Need One?
So just what does a dampener do? It reduces vibrations from the strings and provides a softer feel is the general train of
I am a convert and have been since a young boy I was coaching in Oz made me try it (many years ago) and I haven’t
played without one since!
If you look at the top players over the past 10 years or so there has been some who use it and some who don’t. Agassi
was famous for using an elastic band and Sampras had a small black washer (possibly to save money Agassi would say). In
modern times Federer and Murray don’t use a dampener while Nadal and Djokovic do. So who is right?
Like most things in tennis it’s individual, but I would say if you haven’t tried one then have a go and see how it feels.
Rubber bands if you want a less radical change or any of the more expensive ones will allow you to experience an even
Tuscan Tennis Hosted Weeks 2016
After releasing the dates recently we have been swamped with bookings so much so that the 1st week in Trapani (Sicily) is already full with a waiting list!
All the other weeks have several bookings so please contact Laura asap if interested. If possible contact her
before the 14th of January as she is heading off to Melbourne for work. (Or at least that is what she calls it!) So, if you want to avoid having your enquiry dealt with by yours truly then contact Laura quickly!
Thanks so much to everyone who travelled with us last year and here’s to a great year in 2016!
Ian and Laura