Category Archives: Professional Tennis

The Aceless Career of Filippo Volandri

Another story from the “Heavy Topspin” Blog

While other players racked up mighty ace totals and remarked on the fast surface in Sao Paulo last week, one man stood alone.

Filippo Volandri played three matches, eventually losing in the quarters toMartin Alund.  In his seven sets on court, he hit a grand total of one ace.

In 2010, he went almost twice as long.  After managing to send a serve past Pablo Andujar in the qualifying round at Costa do Sauipe in early February, he went aceless in a first-round loss to Pablo Cuevas.  He wouldn’t hit another ace for 19 matches, not until he faced Matteo Viola at the Rome Challenger more than two months later.

Read More – HERE

His Web Site:


Under the Influence of Women – #10

Istomin“The Tennis Space” Blog is posting articles about the 10 most influential women in Men’s Tennis.  Klaudiya Istomina comes in at #10.  Klaudiya is not only the mother of Denis Istomin, she is his coach.  Denis Istomin has racked up some impressive wins in his career, with David Ferrer and Andy Roddick among those to fall victim to his not inconsiderable power. Reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon last summer was his best grand slam performance to date but for as long as he plays, Istomin will go down as one of the few men to have a woman as his coach. Not just any woman, though; Istomin is coached by his mother, Klaudiya Istomina, a former player and one of the few female coaches on the men’s Tour.

A former player and a coach at Istomin’s first club, Istomina’s influence on her son has been hugely positive in terms of his tennis. Last year’s run at Wimbledon helped him to a career-high ranking of 33 and though he’s since dropped to 63, he is still right in there playing the big events and pulling off the occasional big win. Moreover, Istomina was the one who provided him with the motivation to continue playing when, after a car crash at the age of 14 left him with leg injuries that needed three months of hospital treatment, he did not play for two years.

Read more – HERE

Denis Istomin eliminates John Isner

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Denis Istomin took advantage of sluggish play by John Isner to eliminate the third-seeded American 6-4, 6-3 on Tuesday in the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships.

The victory was Istomin’s first win over a top-20 opponent since he defeated Fernando Verdasco of Spain, then ranked 18th, in the London Olympics last year.

Istomin mauls Hewitt, Dolgopolov gets past Williams

Denis Istomin destroys Lleyton Hewitt during second-round action in Memphis on Thursday. Istomin is joined in the quarterfinals by Alexandr Dolgopolov, who halted Rhyne Williams’ hot streak.

Denis Istomin d. Lleyton Hewitt 6-1, 6-2,_Dolgopolov_gets_past_Williams

For Tennis Star – Twitter was Cruel

Rebecca Marino

From the New York Times “Straight Set” Blog comes a story of the cyberbulling of Rebecca Marino of Canada.  Rebecca played Venus Williams in the second round of the 2010 U.S. Open. “Now I know what it’s like to play myself,” Williams said of Marino after that match.

Ranked as low as No. 192 a year earlier, Marino climbed quickly, reaching a career high of No. 38 in July 2011.

When she started to lose, there were some very cruel things posted to her Twitter account.  “They’ll say, ‘You gave that match away, you cost me such-and-such amount of money, you should go burn in hell,’ or ‘You should go die,’ ” Marino said. “And oh, my gosh, that is really scary.”

Read more – HERE


Rebecca Moreno’s WTA Page

Childhelp Classic: Rebecca Morino refreshed thanks to time off

Rafa – Woops

Will any other top pro’s ever come out of Women’s College Tennis?

Robin AndersonBen Rothenberg – The New York Times Tennis Columnist writes:

Path to Pros in Tennis Rarely Crosses Campus

“CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Although she stands a foot and a half shorter, at 5 feet 3 inches, it seemed fair to wonder if Robin Anderson might one day become the John Isner of the women’s game.”

Robin – a USTA Eastern player – has played many tournaments in our area.  I rmember seeing her at the first National Open we held at Capital Region back in November of 2003.  Robin finished fourth.

The article points out that “no one in the current WTA top 100 played college tennis.”  John Isner, who played 4 years at Georgia is #16 on the Men’s Tour.

nderson, a sophomore who plays for U.C.L.A., blasted through her opposition at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division I national women’s team indoor championship here this past weekend. Anderson won her first 22 games at the event, hitting powerful serves and ground strokes that might not be expected from a player her size.

“There are five women who played college tennis inside the top 200. Three of the four are rising quickly and have rankings that are career highs: the 2011 Southern California graduate Maria Sanchez is No. 114, the former Stanford player Mallory Burdette is No. 126, and the Stanford junior Nicole Gibbs is No. 199. No. 132 Julia Cohen, who has a career-high ranking of 97th, played at three different colleges. Irina Falconi, who spent two years at Georgia Tech, is ranked No. 140, down from a career-high No. 73 in 2011.”

Falconi is another USTA Eastern player.

Read the whole article – HERE

Andy Roddick / Sloane Stephens coming to Albany

NY SportimesCOLONIE — The recently retired face of American men’s tennis and the rising star of American women’s tennis will play at SEFCU Arena this summer.

Andy Roddick and Sloane Stephens will appear as marquee players against the New York Sportimes in July, the local World TeamTennis franchise announced Tuesday.

They’ll each make one appearance at SEFCU Arena, Roddick as a member of the Springfield (Mo.) Lasers and Stephens with the Philadelphia Freedoms.

“I’m absolutely thrilled,” Sportimes local promoter Nitty Singh said at a news conference. “This is what I’ve been hoping for from day one.”

Federer’s Inside Out

Inside-out forehand (also known as run round backhand) is a weapon that any tennis player should master in the game of tennis.  This skills require fast footwork and with a strong forehand hitting the ball on the rise.

CLICK HERE for the Video

Andy Murray on Rafa’s Return

World No3 Andy Murray hopes former world No1 Rafael Nadal is back to his scintillating best as soon as possible, as the Spaniard makes his return to the game in Chile. ‘He’s one of the greatest players who’s ever played the sport. And, I think, when he’s out you’re obviously going to miss something,’ says Murray. Nadal has not played competitive tennis since his second-round defeat at Wimbledon in June

Former Doping Official Is Convinced Tennis Is Not Clean

Dick Pound, member of the International Olympi...

From “”

Dick Pound, who formulated the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), serving as its president until 2007, was always strong in his belief that Lance Armstrong was a drugs cheat. Now he is equally convinced that tennis has a deep underlying drug culture that needs to be exposed.

More recently the likes of world no.3 Andy Murray called for a reduction in prize money to ensure the International Tennis Federation’s drug testing program get sufficient money to finance proper blood testing in the game.

Pound continued: “It used to be fun during rain delays at Wimbledon to see matches of McEnroe and Borg of a few years ago. They looked like little old men. Even Lendl, who was notoriously fit, would look like a little old man compared to these folks now, running, lunging, lashing for three hours at a stretch.

“Look at the difference in build and sustained level of activity. If the tennis authorities don’t believe there is EPO or HGA use now they are not paying attention.”

Read More – HERE

Rafael Nadal: Surprising Signs That He’s Ready to Play, and Win, Once More

From Bleacher Reports:

     By  Clay Suttles  (Correspondent) on February 3, 2013

Here are some excerpts:

Rafael Nadal‘s return to professional men’s singles tennis on Wednesday feels a lot like a one-man army invasion bearing down on a barricaded fortress. That is to say, if inside that fortress are Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray, masters of this breached province.

As the top three ranked men in the world prepare to assess the damage around their stronghold, the question they’re all thinking is obvious: Is the world No. 5 Nadal armed with heavy artillery or dual glow-in-the-dark water pistols?

If it were me, I wouldn’t take my chances, and I’d warmly accept Rafa back into the “fortress of the four.”

Nadal will be playing both singles and doubles when he takes to the court at the VTR Open in Chile this week, another move that suggests that he might not be feeling too many thwarting aches in his injury-prone joints as he warms up for the venue.

Here he’ll be matching up in the singles against players without the mechanisms to defeat him.

Nadal’s results in the doubles—partnering with World No. 12 Juan Monaco for his first match back to the tour on Tuesday—shouldn’t matter, as it won’t tell us too much about the state of his game.

But Rafa will command and overpower the singles field beginning on Wednesday. Nadal has long been one of the best in the business during his career at constant adaptation and improvement of his game in order to stay one step ahead of the field (think of that sole crown in New York at the 2010 U.S. Open, where he pumped up his service speed by 5-10 mph to add yet another weapon to his arsenal), but he won’t need too much of that early on.

Read the Full article – HERE

10 Predictions for this Years Remaining Majors

From the Overcooked Forehand Blog:

          After Oz: Ten predictions for the year’s majors

A familiar male captured the title after some unpredictable and unfamiliar situations — see five-hour match with Stan. Azarenka took a beating, so we’ll back off here, provided the mysterious injury timeout doesn’t happen again. And here are 10 other things from the hippest major to date:

Getty Images

Getty Images

Five things we will see again in 2013:

  • Novak Djokovic winning a major. Where? Anywhere. He’s that good, as we know, and his game is that versatile, as we know.
  • Novak Djokovic ripping off his T-shirt. The guy likes to rip off his T-shirt. That’s OK with us. He’s probably very sweaty after five-hour matches. We won’t blame him.
  • No American man advancing to the second week of a major.
  • A final four without Rafael Nadal.
  • Sloane Stephens smiling and winning.

Five things we won’t see again in 2013:

  • Victoria Azarenka taking an injury timeout. Ever.
  • The semifinals of a major without Serena.
  • David Ferrer getting cleaned in 90 minutes, no matter the opponent or the round.
  • Stan Wawrinka losing a five-hour match to any of the Big Four.
  • Li Na being adored by all. (Just kidding.)

Here are a few more posts from this new tennis blog.  We will watch for more:

Down Under, Two Different Reactions to High Pressure Moments

Would You Rather – Short Lived Star or 15 year Journyman

Odds & Ends from Sports Illustrated Blogs

David Ferrer

David Ferrer

Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated, as always, a good post from readers comments.

I’ve seen multiple post-final postings of you praising Azarenka for her mental toughness. She had an absolute mental meltdown in the semis, and in the final neither woman could hold serve (16 of 29 games were breaks). I get that she had to deal with a hostile crowd, but I don’t see how the take-home message from all this is her mental toughness is phenomenal.

If this were me, I’d have a hard time getting out of bed the next morning. And when I did, I’d assume an alias and reinvent myself as a B&B owner in Vermont. Not Azarenka. Instead of devoting a day to preparation, she is in damage control. She then returns to the scene of the crime, knowing that 15,000 fans will be rooting against her. In the next match — again, a Grand Slam final — her endearing opponent, Li Na, wins the first set. Then Li gets injured — twice. And, oh right, a fireworks display interrupts the match. Azarenka holds it together and defends her title.

Read More:

We talk a lot about underachievers (players who ought to have done better with their talent, best players who never won a Grand Slam, etc.). But who are some overachievers?

• Ferrer — Spain’s top-ranked player! — tops the list. Again, this guy was considering a career as a construction worker not long ago. Then he decided to wring everything he could from tennis. Angelique Kerber is on her way to becoming the WTA’s answer to Ferrer.

When Rafael Nadal returns to court next week at the ATP 250 event in Vina del Mar, Chile, he won’t be carrying the Babolat Aero Pro Drive that has been his trusty racket of choice since he was 12 years old. According to DPA. Nadal will be switching to a newer Babolat model to — get this — achieve even more topspin.

Uncle Toni put pressure on Rafa to change. If you want to be better, you have to take risks,” Eric Babolat, the owner of the firm that makes the racket Nadal has been playing with since age 12, told DPA.

“I don’t agree with what you’re saying, but I’ll give it a try,” Babolat said Nadal usually tells his uncle-coach.

According to the Frenchman, the new racket and new strings give “more power and more control” to the Spaniard’s shots.

“More top spin, he already has a lot of that but he wants more,” said Babolat.

Read More – HERE

Australian Open leaves memories, conversation starters for new season

 We grow accustomed to the striking contrasts in personality and crowd appeal among the world’s best players, but the different-strokes theme reached a peak in Melbourne as Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka made the first bold statements of the Grand Slam season.

Djokovic cruised into the tournament with a clear head and extensive rest. Azarenka withdrew from a highly anticipated Brisbane semifinal against Serena Williams because of a botched pedicure.

Djokovic feasted on unbridled adulation during each match, a consummate entertainer in his element. Azarenka, hoodie-enshrouded and transported to a separate world through earphones, seemed to wish she were invisible.

Djokovic enthralled the Rod Laver Arena crowd with his four-set victory over Andy Murray, a performance that grew more astonishing by the minute. Azarenka encountered a bitterly skeptical audience, annoyed by her incessant shrieking and disgusted by her mental fragility (that’s how it will be remembered) in the semifinal against Sloane Stephens.

Out of nowhere, during a Legends doubles match, Djokovic resurrected his gift for pantomime by donning a medic’s outfit and performing “treatment” on the fallen Henri Leconte; you couldn’t keep him off the court. Azarenka will forever be remembered, grimly, for leaving the court during such a crucial stage against Stephens.

Top Shape Tennis

What is Top Shape Tennis?

Top Shape Tennis is designed by a former ATP Tennis Professional Tennis player & a Elite Personal Trainer – the program is a online based tennis-specific training fitness system geared towards enhancing the shape of any tennis players no matter what level you are playing at – a great starting program for the beginning tennis player to the most seasoned recreational tennis athlete.

What does Top Shape Tennis consist of?

By participating in Top Shape Tennis you will get a 30 day tennis-specific training program that are built on 5 levels. Every 7th day you will receive a new training program that advances you to the next level. Additionally, once you sign up you will receive a customized nutrition program, daily educational and inspirational blog posts and customer service support provided by our Personal Training Coaches.

What kinds of workout do I get?

Since tennis is a high-impact sport the program has been designed with low-impact training exercises called Fusion Functional Training to further strengthen you as a tennis player on the tennis court to keep yourself balanced & injury free. The functional training technique enhances your power, agility, and endurance. The Top Shape Tennis workout system provides you with a range of various exercise techniques that will enhance your game on the court. These exercise routines includes conditioning techniques, core strengthening exercises, resistance training, plyometrics training, and breathing techniques. The program was designed to maximize the results for anyone who wants to maximize their tennis performance within 30 days.

The Top Shape Challenge program is a competitive tennis fitness program that is weight loss/tone based. This challenge is for you who want to both take part in the Top Shape tennis program but also want to compete for some amazing prizes provided by our participating partners & shape up at the same time! It will benefit you in 3 ways – shape you up, improve your tennis game & you get a chance to win amazing prizes.

You will receive a 1 hour exercise program during your 30 day training period where you will follow a customized nutrition- and tennis specific training program. You can do all the exercise moves from home, at the gym or even on the tennis court.

During your 30 day Top Shape Challenge tennis fitness program you will also receive daily inspirational blog posts that will provide you with additional tips/tricks in how to improve your tennis game. You will receive training inspiration in how to not only become a stronger tennis player but also how to stay injury free while doing the thing you love – to play tennis!

What Can I Win?

The winner of the Top Shape Monthly Challenge will win prizes provided by Head, Maui Jim, Chobani & much more.

How Do I win the Top Shape Challenge?

The Top Shape Tennis Team will choose 10 participants who have achieved the best results based on the measurements provided & on the before & after pictures that have been provided to us. Once the 10 finalist have been chosen these finalist will be added to our draw voting challenge on our Facebook page – where the winner will be chosen by the one who received the most liked votes.

Cost: $54.95
Duration: 30 Days
Start: The 1st of Every Month

To sign up – CLICK HERE

For more information – CLICK HERE

Tipsarevic – The Technifiber Mentor

TennisheadTipsarevic has enjoyed the support of French manufacturer Tecnifibre for many years and when his racket sponsor approached him with the idea of the 28-year-old mentoring some of the younger players on its books he jumped at the chance.

Tecnifibre, based just outside Paris, has long been associated with its role in developing talent. Its tagline is ‘Leading the Next Generation’ and it has a number of the world’s leading juniors on its touring team. The project has seen Tipsarevic hook up with a handful of Tecnifibre’s youngsters at different tournaments throughout the 2012 ATP calendar, spending time on the practice court, helping them with technique, tactics, training tips and trying to improve their attitude towards life as a tennis professional. So far, the Belgrade-born star has spent time with American junior world No.6 Mitchell Krueger in Indian Wells in March, Armel Rancezot from France at the Monte Carlo Masters in April and the 2010 Junior Wimbledon champion Marton Fucsovics at the ATP 250 event in Gstaad, Switzerland, during the summer.

“I’ve enjoyed it very, very, very much,” says Tipsarevic. “Each tournament I share my experience on tour with a different junior coming from a different country. They become my sparing partners, my mates for a week. We always exchange our email addresses afterwards to remain in touch. They know they can always contact me if they need anything.”

Read More – HERE

To read the whole article subscribe to “Tennishead” magazine – HERE

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