So much to tell.....
Il Foro Italico is quite a spectacular venue with 7 courts available on a ground pass, including the beautiful Pietrangeli court surrounded by marble statues. This is one of the best show courts in the world.
The other courts in the grounds also have fantastic viewing for lots of people with banked seating. On court 5 every day you will see all the top players like Djokovic and Nadal practicing.
There are 2 show courts, but my favourite is the Grandstand Arena which is smaller than Centrale and has better viewing with all seats being closer to the action.
Practice Courts - In addition to Court 5 there are 5 other practice courts with excellent viewing and the chance to see up close, players interacting with their coaches.
On one of these courts we had the privilege of watching Jamie Murray and his coach Alan MacDonald. Jamie and Alan were both kind enough to have a quick chat after their session, which was certainly one of the highlights of the week. (For them I mean)
Most of the world's tennis brands are all on sale in the individual shops, plus a special Italian Open sponsored one by Joma for 2022. If you want to get new tennis gear then this is the best place I know to actually shop for it!
Food & Drink in Il Foro Italico
Being in Italy you are spoiled for choice at very reasonable prices e.g. a good cappuccino at only €1.50 and lots of excellent Italian dishes.
Tuscan Tennis Holidays Coaching Venue in Rome
Only a short walk from both the hotel and Il Foro Italico, we have access to tournament quality clay courts set next to the River Tiber.
Coaching is from 9 - 11am each morning with our top Italian coaches Iuri and Andrea, plus of course Ian and Laura. Many of our clients were able to learn from watching the stars in action and then ask questions of the coaches about the various styles and tactics the following day.
WHAT I LEARNED AS A COACH FROM WATCHING/OBSERVING
1. If you are not a good athlete then you have no chance of winning on clay. The physical side of clay court tennis is quite incredible to see close up and live. I will certainly be reinforcing this with all of my juniors who wish to make any efforts to compete in the tennis world.
2. Winning big points is the key to success. This may seem obvious, but especially in the doubles there are so many sudden death points or match tie breaks where the match can be won or lost. I would imagine that Tsitsipas would like another go at his 1st serve when 5 - 6 down in the 2nd set tie break v Djokovic in the final. It almost hit the baseline!
3. Return of serve position. In the men's game, for singles, many stand quite far back for both 1st & 2nd serves but there are also some who stay nearer the baseline, like Brooksby (an interesting player with an unorthodox, but extremely effective style)
In men's doubles the majority return near the baseline on both 1st & 2nd serves and also in the women's singles the majority are closer to the baseline for all serves.
No fixed rule - try and see what works best for you.
4. In the warm up practice sessions most of the coaches appeared to adopt a good humoured, relaxed style and the intensity of players varied depending upon their personality or perhaps work ethic? A good coach will know their player and what works best for them.
Frances "the grinder" Tiafoe as his coach Wayne Ferreira jokingly called him. He is a big hitting shotmaker.
5. A reminder of why the scoring system in tennis is pure genius and the mental/emotional demands that it places on individuals. The car crash of Sakkari playing Jabeur in the quarters when a set, 5 - 2, and 30 - 0 up was a great example. One can never absolutely assume, but it certainly looked like a fear of winning - choking - complaining about everything - Jabeur allowed back into the match and then winning.
Djokovic on the other hand seems to manage his emotional control incredibly well and knows when to get up and when to stay steady which you can see by his careful or more attacking shot selection.
6. There are so many players who hit the ball well, but only a few who really know how to win and they are able to manage their emotions throughout the ups and downs of a match. Swiatek and Alcaraz are another 2 great examples of this i.e. they know how to win! Really looking forward to the French and hope that Alcaraz plays Nadal or Djokovic in the final. (but a fit & healthy Nadal)
What I loved the most?
Watching John Isner and Diego Schwartzman in the doubles was so much fun. Two nice guys having a good time competing and almost taking the title with a match point lost to a very close return by Diego (what a shame!).
The difference in stature and style was lovely to see and it felt like the crowds were more excited by their performances than any of the singles players.
It certainly seems to help the profile and appeal of doubles when the well known singles players take part, as many did in Rome.
If any of our clients who were in Rome with us have any comments I would love to hear them? Or who else has been to this event?
Our next special hosted trip?
Florence - Why not join us? We can work on your clay court game!
27th August to 3rd September
Click HERE for info
Tailor Made Tennis Holidays
If the dates for our Florence week don't suit then don't worry as we can still arrange dates to suit in Lucca, Florence or Sardinia. Why not contact us with your preferred dates and see what we can offer?
Click HERE for Tailor Made info