Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mid Canterbury Junior Tourney-South Canterbury Success

It was a weekend of extreme temperatures with Sunday testing players and supporters with rain and freezing temperatures,however perfect tennis conditions and warm weather was the order of the day for Monday -finals day. Again players that competed learned valuable lessons that only tournament play can give.Tennis is a unique game and a match is never won until the final handshake,Two South Canterbury players both staged comebacks to win their respective singles final Lawrence Darling 12s Boys and Annabel Ellis 12s Girls.

Ellis had lost the first set 6-4 and was down 3-1 n the second against Otago's Hanna English ,two contrasting players Ellis relying on attack and English relying on defense.Ellis started the match making many unforced errors but gradually worked her way back in the match with better point construction.Ellis won the match 4-6;6-4;6-3 .Darling lost the first set also 7-5 to Young Baek who was unseeded and had earlier disposed of South Canterbury second seed Sam Lane 6-3 6-2 in a major upset.
Darling started slowly with numerous double faults as Baek took advantage.The Key Game was the first game of the second set which Darling won and kept this advantage throughout the next two sets as Baek wilted in the heat and the pressure of playing from behind.Darling finished stronger of the two and deserved the win.George Wigley defeated Ryan Ammar in the final of the 16 boys singles,Ammar had a good win in his semi final against Canterbury 16s winner Joe Bray 6-2 6-2.Ammar found the power of Wigley to much on the day with Wigley serving well throughout the match a key.Wigley took advantage of many short balls from Ammar and was on the front foot for most of the match winning 6-3 6-1.South Canterbury had a good squad of players participating and featured in many consolation plate wins and main draw doubles wins, many players came away learning lots of important lessons to work on and no doubt the coach will be focusing on these at your next session. Well done to George Gibson on competing in his first tournament with his new single hand backhand.You can check all the results at this link

Sunday, October 26, 2008

You havn't won the first set until you win the first game of the second set.

How many times have junior players won the first set convincingly only to find themselves trailing in the second set.What can happen after a player wins a set 6-1 is a drop of intensity that can transpire at the beginning of the second set.Players MUST! come out at the beginning of the second set and think its the start of the match,just because you have a set under your belt you can not have a let down in intensity. You must try very hard to keep the pressure on your opponent and give it your all in trying to win the first game of the second set.Time and time again I have seen juniors dominate the first set then casually go down 0-2 in the second set.This gives your opponent a re surge of energy and focus as they leave the despair of the first set and start to gain in confidence .Then self doubt can appear in your game as your opponents body language starts to change and shots they did not make in the first set start to go over and in.Juniors must make sure they take the break after winning the first set , sit down at the change of ends and focus on a new set as if it was the start of the match, make sure that after this break focus and intensity is as high as when the match began. By making sure you get those early games of the second set after winning the first can make your opponnent think that there is know way possible to win the match. The relief of getting that first set can often cause you to relax too much, the break after the second set is the perfect opportunity to refocus your game plan and intensity ,players use this break to your advantage!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Grady Gets Royal Oaks Only Rubber against Parnell

Gabrielle Grady won Royal Oaks only rubber in Fridays clash with Parnell.Parnell has a strong lineup with Di Hollands at 1 , Pavlina Nola at 2 and Nicky Tippens at 3.Grady had revenge against Christine Foote who defeated her in the semi's of the 16s Nationals winning the first set 6-2 before Foote defaulted.Defaults are getting a little out of hand especially in the juniors as players default rather than let the opponent get the win the way it should happen ,its a fact that players are defaulting and not turning up depending on who they play and whilst Tennis New Zealand close a blind eye to this it is actually happening and brought about by certain aspects of the Top Dog Ranking system.Grady and Swinkels lost their doubles to Tippens and Foote 6-4-6-1.

Squad in South Canterbury Kicked off last Thursday and pictured below are juniors and coaches.Squad is held every Thursday with 10s and 12s and 14s and 16s age groups. Missing in Action Guy Slater has been found and after a severe injury at Senior Nationals in Rotorua earlier this year which kept Slater off the court the good news is he has recovered and started the hard haul of getting back into the form that won Southern their only match win of the Nationals Teams.Slater has a Top Dog Ranking of 800+ but I am sure this will be on the rise after a few matches under his belt this season. Guy is pictured with Hector Aguilar after a practice session below also.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Canterbury Spring Open Wrap up- valuable matchplay as players find that sometimes losses are the most valuable learning lessons of all.

There's nothing like a tournament to test your strengths and weaknesses and to see how you are travelling.For eight South Canterbury players the Canterbury Spring Open provided this opportunity.As a coach there is nothing more valuable in watching pupils and players compete in a tournament situation, it helps define their improvement with technique,and of course it determines area's the player and coach needs to work on.Of course your regular coaching sessions are valuable but tournaments and quality match play goes hand in hand and you have to combine both.The five days did provide different challenges for players and strong wind on the first few days certainly tested players and coaches as your natural game needs to adapt.Those that could reaped the benefits and those that did not improvise struggled.Theres an old saying that "windy conditions can sometimes even the match up" and this certainly was true in some cases. Anna Cochrane participating in the 10s girls singles and doubles drew a tough first up match with Pippa McCaw ,wind and just getting over a bout of the flu did not help as anna played her poorest match of the tournament going down to the eventual finalist 9-3.Anna struggled with conditions and with a player with little technique but very consistent and made very few unforced errors.Going back into the consolation event Anna won three matches to win this section.These matches certainly helped Anna as she played better with each win.Anna partnered McCaw to win the girls doubles title 9-5 over the top seeds Lauryne Ashby and Lily O'Fagan.Anna was the dominant player on court in this match and certainly showed a return to form.Geraldine Prisk lived up to her fourth seeding before losing to a very much in form Lousise Oxenvard 6-0 6-1,Prisk had trouble with the power game of Oxenvard who served extremely well throughout the whole match.Prisk had survived a three set quarter final against an improving Amanda Coeland 6-3 4-6 6-3.In the girls doubles Prisk was partnered with Lauren Tyler-Harwood and were beaten by event winners Amanda Coeland and Paige Hourigan 6-2 7-6. Margot Robinson seeded 9th in the girls 16 singles reached the quarter finals before going down to Australian Emily O'Neill 6-1 6-1.Robinson short on match practice found the consistency of O'Neil to much to overcome.In the Consolation Margot was defeated by B.Fisher 6-2 6-2.No doubt Robinson will be all the more better for her next tournament from the matches played in Christchurch.In the 16s girls doubles partnering Scarlett Cuthill they lost their first match against Annabelle Nichols and Suzanne Sandridge 6-3 6-4 in a match they could have won.Top seed in the 12s Girls singles Annabel Ellis went all the way to the final before losing to Gabriela Coates 6-4 6-2 .Coates had never beaten Ellis in their previous encounters and not taking anything away from her win ,she struck Ellis who in the final made a lot of unforced errors along with some untimely double faults and in previous encounters Ellis was very tough with ground strokes and serve to secure the wins. On this day however a more consistent Coates took advantage of the errors and recorded the win.Ellis and Coates combined to win the 12 girls doubles against Jessica Shaw and Olivia Smith 6-3 4-6 10-5 tb. Robbie Wigley playing in the 12 boys singles learned important lessons about technique and putting into what you work on in coaching ,into your match .Wigley unfortunately struggled with keeping his technique consistent and this proved the difference between losing and winning matches.In his first match in the 12 boys Robbie was defeated by Ryan van Grinsven 6-3 6-2.He then lost his consolation match to M. van Grondelle 6-3 6-2.I am sure Robbie learned some valuable points from these matches.In the boys doubles partnering Ryan Hampton they lost a first round match to Andrew Brash Simon Coleman 6-1 6-2.In their consolation match they also lost a close match to Neas - van Grinsven 6-1 7-5.Older Brother George Wigley reached the final of the bOys 16s singles going down to Joseph Bray 6-4 6-2.Wigley survived a close quarter final against Brandon J Ng 4-6 6-4 7-6 and then beat a player hes never beaten before ,Benjamin McGillivray 7-6 6-1. Wigley had to come from behind in both matches and found Bray too tough in the final.Wigley fell away in the second set and needed to play far more consistent tennis to beat Bray.Wigley tried to trade power shots but made too many errors to put Bray under pressure.He partnered Ryan Ammar in the 18/16 boys doubles to go down in a Semi Final Match to the unseeded pair and eventual winners Hector Aguilar and Alex Hunt 6-3 6-2.Ryan Ammar lost a very close 7/6 7/6 to inform Alex Hunt in the round of 16.Ammar had his chances in both sets but failed to capitalize.In a disappointing consolation semi final Ryan was defeated by Fin Bar Argus 6-1 6-2.In the 18 boys singles Mexican and now South Canterbury player Hector Aguilar showed glimpses of form.This was Hector's first tournament in New Zealand and the clay court exponent defeated the 3rd seed Kenta Naka 6-4 6-7 7-5 in a match over 3 hours long.Aguilar who had surgery before arriving in New Zealand and was bed bound for a month found his fitness lacking as this match took a toll on the body and surprisingly lost his next round match to Brandon J Ng 6-1 6-4.In the 18 boys doubles he combined well with Alex Hunt to win the final against Caleb Mooney and Kenta Naka 6-3 6-2 .Aguilar will benefit from the hit out and is a class player and once fitness improves will be very hard to beat.So in all a good tournament for all players and the "eye of the tiger" was impressed with some of the improvements made by some Cantabrigian players Joe Bray and Ben Johnston.Pictured Below are Anna Cochrane and Hector Aguilar.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Grady helps secure Royal Oak wins in Caro Bowl

Gabrielle Grady returned from Auckland after spending the school holidays there playing Caro Bowl for Royal Oaks .Grady playing against Pompallier defeated Alexia Barritt 6-4 6-2 and then partnered Nicola Kaiwai to defeat the pairing of Alexia Barritt & Madeline White 6-0 6-3.Royal Oaks defeated Pompallier 6-0.Playing against Kohimarama Grady defeated Danielle Feneridis 6-0 6-2 and partnered again with Kaiwai defeated Monica Chen & Danielle Feneridis 6-1 6-2 again Royal Oaks winning 6-0. Grady returned yesterday to Timaru and the above picture was taken at the South Canterbury Finance Tennis Centre today at practice.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Winner's are grinners's Canterbury Spring Open Success

Playing in the 10s girls events Anna Cochrane returned from Christchurch with two medals both winning ones!Still recovering from an illness Anna lost her first match to the eventual winner P. McCaw 3-9, Anna then entered the Consolation event which she won defeating C.Sprott 9-5.Partnering McCaw Anna played strongly in winning the 10s doubles final defeating the tops seeds Ashby - O'Fagan 9-5.Internet Access has been dificult this week but will have a full summary of the Christchurch event by Sunday evening.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Grady "Chalks up" two Victories in Caro Bowl Competition- plus a wrap on whats happening and coming events for Sth Canterbury Juniors

Gabrielle Grady again playing for the Royal Oaks Club in the Premier Caro Bowl Competition started the season with two wins.In her singles match she defeated Tiffany Baxter-Smith 6-0 6-1 and had a doubles victory partnering Nicola Kaiwai defeated Tiffany Baxter-Smith
Deanne Alter 6-1 6-2.Royal Oaks defeated Glendowie 5-1.She again turns out this Friday. Caro Bowl is Auckland’s top Inter club competition, it got its name from the trophy “ Maurice S Caro Memorial Bowl” which was donated in memory of the late Maurice S Caro killed in action on the 2nd of July 1916 in the first battle of Somme (WW1)

I have all ready wrote about Sam Lane and Ryan Ammars wins in the South Canterbury Spring open but Special mention must go to Charlotte Lamb who won the 12 girls singles after losing the first set 0-6 against Canterbury's N. Dickison, Lamb fought back and won the next two sets 7-6;6-3 . For the full results and draws of this event please click on the highlighted text
Otago Spring Open is currently being played however no South Canterbury Juniors are at this event.The "eye of the tiger is watching closely some of the matchups from local Southern Juniors as well as Col Mahers Australian group of girls participating. Otago has very good entries for this event and great support from Local players entering.

I am packing my LAPTOP, racquet and tennis balls and heading for the Canterbury Spring Open where juniors Anna Cochrane, Annabel Ellis , Geraldine Prisk, Robbie Wigley, George Wigley ,Margot Robinson and Ryan Ammar will be participating.Hector Garcia is also entering the 18s event and no doubt this player from Mexico will create Local interest.I will have regular reports on this site hence the theme of the picture accompanying this blog.

Anna Cochrane hasn't had a great run in the Hamilton tournament and is battling illness having to withdraw from a couple of event.Hoping she recovers fully for christchurch.Again you can check the results