Thursday, December 31, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR !! -May your 2010 goals be reached

Just a post wishing all my readers and passerby a Happy New Year. I'm sure all our young aspiring tennis players have set 2010 goals, I have, so I do hope all will be reached. Goals are very important and they provide the reason why you work towards them.Im sure as the Australian Open looms near the pro players have all ready set their 2010 goals.Will Nadal be able to defend his title and what of Justine Henin and her comeback tournaments in Australia will she return to greatness.Some Goals require a lot of will power and drive ( I know mine will)I am a believer that one has to overcome some mental barriers to reach goals or improve themselves as a tennis player, once you do this the rest is easy.So as we herald in the new year I hope 2010 brings to you what you are prepared to put in. Many start off with good intentions and falter, raise the bar , go that extra mile, Good Luck and bring on 2010!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR

Monday, December 28, 2009

Video Analysis A great Tool for Coaches and Players

I have posted a video of Leela Beattie who I have worked with over a 5 year period.You can see her when she was 10 years to recent,in fact as of today. Notice the pigtails!The second part is of Tyler Begg and the forehand swing,one is 3 weeks ago before I modified some changes and the other is as of today.I think you can see by the swing the difference.Video is certainly a great tool especially when you can use a split screen , see the changes over a period and also seeing a younger version against the more mature version.Certainly a lot of tennis balls have been hit to achieve this.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tennis is Hard off the court also

Fitness and training is very important to any aspiring tennis player.I thought I would share a video with you of young Canadian Tyler Begg who is staying with me over the summer assiting with various coaching programs.He also is working extremely hard to improve his own tennis game and with the work he has been doing with me over the past few weeks will I think reap benifits to his game.Some of you out there need to seek out a good off court program to help get success on the court.Enjoy!

Tennis takes you world wide, you dont have to be Federer

Merry Christmas to all and hope where ever you are in the World you have a wonderfull day.Christmas is a time for celebration and even if you are not home and you are away from family and friends its a time for reflection as thoughts drift back to where ever you are from.Tyler Begg above is pictured with Gabrielle Grady, who is just back from another injury(they alone need a full article to cover) enjoying a workout at the South Canterbury Tennis Center, Timaru ,New Zealand.Tyler hails from Calgary Canada and is having great experience working here in the South Canterbury area and also a chance to work on his game as well as coaching.Tennis can open the door in many fields ,not only Federer etc get exposure and success through the sport , so does people like Tyler and Gabrielle, because of their passion and participation in the sport one gets to travel to the otherside of the world for a tennis experience and they like Federer and Nadal etc make tennis a big part of their lives.Again to all that visit my Blog a Merry Christmas and do drop by over the holiday period Im sure to have a few iteresting story's and of course pics and opinions.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Sam Lane defeated Brad Falconer 6-2 6-3 to win the 12s Consolation singles Title at the 2009 Optus 12s Aust Boys Singles Championship.Sam was able to keep Falconer pinned to the baseline and managed to unleash his forehand a number of times for the win.This is a great effort from Sam and no doubt will of gained a lot from this tour.

Played at the home of the Australian Open where many great champions have graced the courts would of gave juniors like Sam "goosebumps" as they stepped foot on the same arena.To represent their country in any sport is a great accolade and Sam should be justly proud of his results as we are of him back in New Zealand.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sam Lane Into 12s Australian Consolation Singles Final

Sam Lane continues his winning streak in Australia. Sam’s Father updated me with the latest news.” Sam is through to consolation final 9 am Sunday. He met 10th seed first round and struggled in the 40 deg heat as well as getting the flu. Has managed to improve each day and has come from behind every match so far. Clint has been doing the stats on his games and it will make interesting reading for you. As you said, he has to rally every point and construct
it so this tournament has been very good for him.

Great effort Sam and from all here in South Canterbury we wish you the best of Luck In tomorrow’s final- the eye

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Tournament Timaru

Today we held a Mystery Tournament with a Christmas theme!.The pointscore system will remain a mystery until the next event is held( its just as mysterious as TOP DOG).Henry Craib was the most consistent and deserved to win the Overall best player, winning the champions Christmas Wreath. Henry just pipped Brad Cvtanich and Hugh Rollinson to win the event.Overall it was a fun day with I think all juniors having a great time.The eye is pictured in the montage with competitors.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lane getting the Most from Australian 12s Tour

What an experience 12 year old Sam Lane is getting playing for your country at the venue of one of the worlds grandslam's home of the Australian Open.By all reports Lane is performing well and getting plenty of court time.As a coach it justifies the hours spent on court when you see a junior under your guidance achieve a very important goal.The above pictures are the New Zealand 12s Boys and Girls team, Sam is back row left.Pictured right Sam is in action from one of his matches.

Here is a little of what Sam's father said in an email today

"Sam has been the dbls partner to Kyle so far. They had 2
match points against NSW but couldn't finish it. I got back
here on Sunday and Clint said Sam was on fire against NSW
and Victoria but they couldn't quite finish it. They were on
court for 14 hrs on Sat.

He played singles today against Queensland and beat there
No2 6/3 4/6 6/4 after 3 1/2 hrs but unfortunately has rolled
his ankle. Hopefully ok tomorrow the physios really good
here. Had there photo with Scott Draper today. Boys are
blown away by the whole experience here, especially with the
wildcard playoff for the Aussie open taking place now. Quite
a good report on TNZ website"Read that report here

Your Doing South Canterbury proud Sam ! keep up the good work----the eye

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Tony! New Tennis Craze in South Canterbury ,New Zealand

Featured in this clip are kids from Sacred Heart, Fairlie Primary, and Albury schools,All in out tennis program.Star of the Clip is Tony! The kids all had a lot of fun trying out this tennis skill as you can see on the video.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Have Said it before ITF Junior Rankings are sometimes Mickey Mouse

Looking at the Orange Bowl which is widely recognized as one of the most important junior tennis championships in the world, in the 18s Boys draw, firstly I wanted to see how the New Zealand contingent did, Grinter,MCLACHLAN and Franks all made first round exits.I noticed that a Wild Card Jack Sock(USA) knocked out the second seed in straight sets. Sock currently has a ITF Junior Ranking of around 499, Ben MCLACHLAN is the highest New Zealander of a combined total 67 on the World junior ITF Boys ranking.So obviously Sock's ITF junior ranking did not warrant a seeding in this event......shame for the second seed . So I investigated further to find Jack Sock had just won a US Men's Futures event.Sock is born in 1992.He has an ATP Men's ranking of 699 a career high.Included in the futures success was a win over Michael Venus who was born in New Zealand but is listed as USA, Venus has had a great US College career.While juniors sit this side of the world and leap frog up the ITF junior Ladder players like Sock have really left the Juniors to make a name for themselves on the Senior tour.We need our top juniors mixing with the "cream of the crop" not playing amongst themselves in Fiji and New all makes well and good for Mickey Mouse rankings. Check the Orange Bowl results here

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Age and Experience Prevail in Southland Open

Perry Crockett pro Coach from Wanaka who has had an ATP ranking dished out a lesson to the former US College players in to days semi and final.Crockett made short work of Jeff West 6-1 6-1 overpowering West in all aspects.He then went on to beat Oliver Cuthill in the final 7-5 6-2.Cuthill who has lost to Crockett on three previous occasions found that he had made little in roads to the Crockett game and after a close first set Crockett dominated the second to take the title.Earlier Cuthill had defeated Tyler Begg 6-3 6-4, Begg fought his way back into the second set to 4 all and led 30-0 on serve but played lose points to allow Cuthill to break and hold serve for the match.The match featured an enormous amount of short balls from both players with Cuthill using his power advantage to eventually attack Begg's short balls , Begg played a negative match and will no doubt learn from this.
Even though a match can have a score line of 6-3 6-4 it can be an extremely tight encounter with just a few points tipping the scales for victory.A missed overhead or a silly drop shot may just be the game breaker your opposition needs for victory.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Three ex US College Tennis Players Dominate Southland Open Mens Singles

Jeff West (Lipscomb University),Tyler Begg (UNC- Asheville) and Oliver Cuthill(UNO-New Orleans)all won through to the Men's Semi Final Stage to be played tomorrow in Invercargill.Odd man out in the semi's is Top Seed Perry Crockett Pro Coach from Wanaka. Crockett will take on West who hails from Dallas Texas with Crockett favored to win.

West will have to nullify the big serving Australian and keep him on the baseline.West will have to serve well to stay with Crockett.Earlier West had a comfortable win 6-1 6-2 over Andre Van Rooyen in a quarter final match up,Van Rooyen was in South Canterbury last season with the coaching team.The other Semi Final will provide plenty of interest"the eye" who worked hard to improve Cuthill's game before he went to college tennis will have split loyalties but thinks Begg will have the edge.Cuthill will have to serve well to have any chance and "The eye" feels Begg's consistency and all round game will be the telling factor.Does he have the "inside oil" on Cuthill , tomorrow will tell. Begg is from Calgary Canada and Cuthill the local hope.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tennis in Schools -South Canterbury

Continuing or School Highlights, and this week I have added Barton Rural and Beaconsfield School.

Most Country school kids show an abundance of enthusiasm and usually good "hand, eye" co-ordination.I look forward each week working with the juniors and their certainly are some larger than life juniors at each school.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Tekapo School Run

Posting some more pictures from today with some great shots at Tekapo, Fairlie and Albury.The kids really appreciate our visits each week and the enthusiasm is great at all schools.

Its an early start to the day but its a great scenic drive to Tekapo and then we head back for schools at Fairlie.

After Fairlie we make tracks to Timaru but not before we make a stop at Albury.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Schools, Schools and More Schools!

Thought I would post a few more pictures of South Canterbury Schools and the Great Tennis program that is in place.Today Timaru was the hottest place in New Zealand but it just made ideal tennis conditions for pupils and coaches.Above action Today at Grantlea Downs.

First Port of call on Wednesday's are St Jo's Timaru

Always a pleasure to coach are students at Sacred Heart seen below .

Monday, November 23, 2009

Top Tennis,Top Players,Top Coaches,Top Fun

Locally one of my aims was to revamp the squad system after 6 weeks I can say that the new format has met with outstanding success from players and parents.The above picture are a montage from our 10s and 12s squads that train on Monday afternoon. The training is the best on offer in South Canterbury headed by of course myself and our Team of coaches Tyler Begg(Canada) and Jeff West (Texas) and of course Tony Brosnahan the New Development officer for Tennis South Canterbury.There are social squads available in town but we operate serious training for juniors that want to improve and realize tennis is fun but requires a certain amount of discipline for success. Its great to see many of the new faces excel over these weeks and all participants are benefiting by truly professional coaching.

Not only do we work with the representative players but we also deliver one of the best schools tennis programs in New Zealand and have done so for the past five years. Below are pictures from today with Jeff and Tyler and the Kids from Cannington School working on the serve.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Out and About with the Tennis Team

A tennis match can be sometimes easier to predict than a days weather , the above pictures are just some of the places and events I have been too in the last couple of weeks.Its true that one can experience four seasons in one day on the court here in New Zealand.Yesterday I spent time at the South Canterbury Closed Hardcourt Championships and temperatures went from one extreme to the other, testing the competitors.Great to see so many enjoying the opportunity to improve and practice their skills they have learnt at coaching.What good coach would not want their players to experience an event such as this.Matches are a good indication where you are really at with your tennis.As a coach one sees many juniors capitulate in matches to players of the same ability or less as they have set an unrealistic goal and have too high of expectations of themselves.When they don't achieve in their mind its a total breakdown of head dropping, wrong shot selections and eventually leading to tears and a sense of failure.How do coaches and for that matter parents deal with this? As a coach one says lots of things that to any one but the person concerned will be logical and sound advice,...until the player accepts his own weaknesses and works on them to improve then all the talk under the sun will be of no use. One plays because you enjoy the game,its a challenge! you don't need to compete against your self and one must give more time to competing against the person at the other end.As an experienced coach I know maturity can overcome such a case, just like a tennis match the coach or the player should never give up in finding solutions and realize that sometimes it takes more time with certain players to see a clearer picture, if one thinks too hard or places too much concern it can become a catastrophe !It takes time and perseverance ...the best advice lower the expectations and don't place too much on the winning side of things, find out the reasons why you play the game and then that will be a start in the right direction.Parents, Coaches and players need to remember that tennis is a very disciplined sport that requires good technique and a strong mental resolve ,you are going to have your ups and downs at times... but hey isn't life like that? There are lessons to be learned from this game that throws up challenges just like life itself, if you continue to hide from this it catches up sooner rather than later.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

South Canterbury produce Top Boy and Girl

South Canterbury boys dominated the Southern District Primary and Intermediate Schools Tennis Finals in Dunedin where the eight top juniors vied for places in the South Island finals.

South Canterbury was represented by Sam Lane, Jack Deeley, Adam Beck and George Tarbotton in the boys with Annabel Ellis, Charlotte Lamb, Amelia Race and Anna Cochrane making up the girls' team.

Lane confirmed his position as the top ranked boy in the Southern District by taking the title with a 6-3 6-4 win in the final over Paddy Ou from Otago.

He had earlier beaten Carlos Reid from Otago in his semifinal 6-4 6-3.

Beck and Tarbotton met in the consolation final with Beck taking a very tight match 6-7 6-1 11-9.

Deeley completed the clean sweep taking the plate final 9-3 from Mitchell Wilson from North Otago.

In the girls, Annabel Ellis completed the winning double for South Canterbury in taking the title with a 6-2 6-2 win over Laura Overton from Southland.

Ellis had progressed to the final with a 6-1 6-1 win over Jessie Stevenson from Otago. Lamb made the consolation final but went down 4-6 6-3 10-3 in a close match with Courtney O'Callaghan from Southland.

Lane and Ellis will form part of the Southern District team to take on Canterbury's top qualifiers to contest the South Island titles. (thanks Desmond)

All players are members of the South Canterbury rep training program headed by "the eye " .Players benefit from great coaching and realistic goals and approaches by the team, I always believe a coaches role is to give the correct pathway and sometimes one has to tell the players and parents some things that they do not necessarily want to hear, and that is a sign of a good coach ,its important to remain positive and most parents and juniors appreciate this.You cant beat experience and sometimes coaches that have never played at a high level can set impossible goals, and give players a game plan that their style of play cannot implement.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sam Lane Makes New Zealand Team

Well Done to Sam Lane who as been recently named in the New Zealand 12s team to tour Australia In December.As coach its satisfying to know that a junior who puts in and gives 100% at coaching gets rewards,always ready to drill never complaining that the drill is too hard, Lane has improved immensely over the past 14 months and earned his selection with recent results in 12s indoor nationals and the recent Masters Series.Lane won the Southern primary schools tournament in Dunedin Yesterday.Annabel Ellis also made it a double by winning the girls event also.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Winner's All round

The above picture is most of the winning 12s team from South Canterbury that participated over the weekend in the annual quads competition in Dunedin.Five associations from the Southern region compete in a teams competition in various age groups.For many juniors in our team it was their first major tennis event outside local junior interclub.Some found the going tough at times but every one that played will be better off for the experience and this will enhance their improvement next time they step out on the court.The 12s recorded a huge win beating local hosts Otago in the final round to clinch the victory and stopping a clean sweep of age groups by Otago.Its been a huge accomplishment for Coaches and Committee to bring together a competitive team that starts from weekly Squad practice.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tennis Exhibition a "Big Hit"

Last Sunday members of the Tennis South Canterbury training squads and parents were invited to an exhibition by new coaches Jeff West (Dallas, Texas) and Tyler Begg (Calgary ,Canada). Both Players put on a great display with Jeff edging out Tyler 6-2 in a hard fought encounter.The winner will play Head Coach Stephen Dries ( the eye) at a date to be set..........:). Squad members played matches throughout the afternoon and some decided places for quads in Dunedin this weekend.Newly appointed South Canterbury Development officer Tony Brosnahan was on hand to meet and greet the players and parents as well as cooking a great BBQ.At short notice is was great to see so many squad members attend.Coach Steve is very pleased how the new look squad is shaping up.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lets Continue with the Same!

Geoff Pollard was re-elected Tennis Australia president yesterday, seeing off a challenge from ex-Australian Open boss Paul McNamee for the job.So I guess after 20 years of mediocre results, its an endorsement to carry on as usual.Except for Lleyton Hewitt and Pat Rafter Australia has little to show from the Pollard regime.Its intersting to note that both Hewitt and Rafter have called for change.Hewitt's mananger David Drysdale said the 28-year-old's push for change was based on what he believed was best for the sport.

"Lleyton's disappointed with the decision because he felt it was the ideal time for change," Drysdale told AAP.

"He hopes the decision has been made for all the right reasons which is for the betterment of Australian tennis, not due to little deals done with the states (who hold voting rights).

The vote was secret what does that tell you, come on Tennis Australia lets know who voted for who and just how close was the vote in the end.McNamee, who made a brief appearance at the Melbourne hotel where the meeting was being held prior to the result being publicly announced, said he wished Pollard well.

"I do believe that Australia needs to rebuild its status as a great tennis nation and, in order to do this, there are many ongoing issues that must be addressed," McNamee said in a statement.

Really theres administrators sitting on huge salary's making wrong decisions and implementing useless plans and its the players who are striving for some support and direction getting poorer by the day.....trying to fullfill their sporting dream that suffer. Cant wait for the next 20 years...............Not

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Moment of truth for Tennis Australia

The battle for the presidency of Tennis Australia between Paul McNamee and Geoff Pollard is coming to a head and will be decided next Monday.And in an article by the Sydney Morning Herald ,journalist Will Swanton had this to say "THE man responsible for grooming the next generation of Australian champions can barely have a rally. But does it matter?"''He could hardly feed you balls,'' a source said. ''He can't hit with anyone. He does a lot of reading on the game, and he loves it. But he can't play, no.''

Tiley's lack of playing prowess might be inconsequential. But with Australian tennis in such decline and player development constantly under the microscope, it's worth a mention because he has the gig ahead of a flock of former touring professionals who want to be involved. His positions of the Australian Open director and player development manager will come under review if McNamee takes office after the TA election on Monday. Intersting times and I am sure Tennis New Zealand are watching
very closely the result of Monday's vote.
The link to the article from SMH is here

Monday, October 19, 2009

All systems Go

Geraldine Primary was one of the first schools to hit the court in the TSC schools program.44 keen kids were shown skills by The Team of coaches Consisting My self, Jeff West and Tyler Begg.An early morning start was the order of the day this morning with the Elite training mornings kicking off.This program is fully supported and funded by TSC and one of the best initiatives for juniors who are looking to put in more effort with their tennis.Some of the juniors are pictured below with coaches.
Pictured with the coaches are Sam Lane, Ryan Ammar, Geraldine Prisk and Tom Deeley.Jeff West( Texas) and Tyler Begg (Canada) are coaches working with us over the summer and they had a chance to visit Oamaru at the weekend and below is not Japan but somewhere in the gardens of Oamaru, New Zealand.Tyler(right) Jeff(left).They were also given a lesson in ten pin bowling with the "eye" coming out on top in a little coaches competition in Oamaru yesterday.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

And yet another serve for Tennis Australia

It just doesn't sit right, an Australian Open on a US-owned surface. Wimbledon has its English grass. The French Open its red clay. The US Open has an American hardcourt … and so does the Australian Open? One of the TA big wigs claimed before the 2007 tournament that Roger Federer had endorsed the move. Only for the world No.1 to arrive at Tullamarine Airport, screw up his face and say he'd never played on it.
Read the full article here

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Storm Clouds Brewing for Tennis Australia

Tennis New Zealand took a hammering a few weeks ago and now across the ditch their counterparts at Tennis Australia have storm clouds forming.As Tennis Australia prepares to reveal a loss of close to $7 million for the past financial year and at a time when just two Australian women and two men are inside the top 100 in the respective world rankings, Pollard, 65, is facing the first test to his leadership since being elected in 1989.Paul McNamee's nomination by Tennis West has caused unease at Melbourne Park, where he served as Australian Open tournament director and then chief executive for 12 years until 2006. His relationship with several key Tennis Australia figures remains cool.Now also LLEYTON Hewitt, in a unambiguous attack on chief executive Steve Wood and player development director Craig Tiley, Hewitt said the changing of the guard five years ago had failed.

"In my opinion tennis in Australia and the way it is being administered needs addressing, as we are falling behind many other nations in the world, as well as other sports in our own country," Hewitt said.

"Five years ago there was a change of personnel and many hoped things may get better, however talking with other players, former players and many people who have been involved in tennis for a long time, it sounds like it is getting worse. Read that story at this LinkAnd this in the Australian who says "Every summer we receive emails, mostly of despair, from parents lamenting the poor coaching opportunities for their children. Coaches write that they feel disenfranchised by a system that takes talented young players and impounds them into a centralised, unilateral coaching model. Many think that unless their child is a prodigy then the coaching system is not accessible to them" LINK The trouble is that when National Body's get it wrong its the juniors of today that suffer...........remember Time waits for no one , especially tennis players.- the eye.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Look whats coming for Easter Next Year!!!

Serena Williams has posed nude for this month’s special Body issue of ESPN Magazine. While fans are loving the open stance of the tennis ace, the International Tennis Federation is not amused. The ITA is contemplating stripping the world no. 1 of her berth in the 2010 Australian Open. Further, she can be banned and fined $500,000. Just a month ago, Serena was fined $10,000 for threatening a line judge at the US Open.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Out and about in South Canterbury NZ

Over the past two weeks we have been busy with various groups in South Canterbury.Above are keen juniors from Geraldine after a fun session. Below are girls just wanting to have fun at Timaru Girls High after one of our visits.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Great Conditions For South Canterbury Spring Open Junior Tennis Tournament

Above Henry Race ( Left) and Tom Deeley( Right) taking time to refill their drink bottle during play in the Junior Tournament.You can find results and draws at this link Special mention to all South Canterbury Juniors participation all receiving lots of tennis on Day 1 with impressive results.I kept a watch on all players but special mention to Daniel Kelliher, George Tarbotton,Eli Palmer and Duncan Rollinson all gaining valuable experience from their matches.Below is a short video of todays highlights.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Why We cant covert Junior Rankings to Atp Rankings

At the moment New Zealand fare better with World Junior ITF tennis Rankings than ATP Or WTA rankings. I would imagine some would say that's proof our programs are working,but hold on a sec lets look at how say a local junior accumulates their points.Lets explain how the junior ranking system works.

Tournaments are graded according to the strength of entry, with the most ranking points being awarded for the nine major championships (Grade A), which include the four Grand Slam events. Grades are listed with tournament details on the ITF Junior Circuit Calendar.A Junior World Ranking will certainly be necessary to enter Group A, 1, 2, and 3 events, but even entry into Group 4 and 5 events is likely to be based on players' rankings. When starting out on the Circuit, it is advisable to concentrate on Group 4 and 5 events to try and earn your first ranking points. If entry into the main draw is not possible due to a lack of initial ranking points, you may be able to gain entry into qualifying at this level.

Results from these tournaments are fed into a computer to produce the Combined Junior World Rankings. Rollover rankings, which are updated on a weekly basis and published every Monday, are based on a player's best six singles results plus one quarter of the best six doubles results over the previous 12 months.

Tournaments Graded A, 1, 2 and 3 must provide hospitality (accommodation and meals) for all players in the singles and/or doubles main draw and a maximum of two coaches per nation. Some Grade 4 and 5 tournaments also provide hospitality, although this is not compulsory.

Ok sounds great in fact looking at the Boys top 100 New Zealand has three boys listed in the top 100 in the latest rankings post. Sebastian Lavie 47,Riki MCLACHLAN 60 and Ben MCLACHLAN 71.Lavie the highest ranked New Zealander,left New Zealand some years ago to be based in France.In the girls Briar Preston is ranked at 94.As these young players continue to chase points ,Grigor Dimitrov from Bulgaria (18) has long left ITF junior tournaments after he won the US OPEN Junior Tournament(08) and is now ranked 290 on the Atp tour mens.USA 's Melanie Oudin (08) last played an ITF junior in '88 and is now ranked 43 on the WTA women's circuit.

In a round about way what i am saying is that Most New Zealand juniors are playing too many ITF juniors tournaments that give a false impression of where they are truly ranked in world standards.Its fact that the very best juniors leave the ITF juniors and start their ATP career as soon as they can.The important ingredient for those players are they have been brought up in a much tougher environment,their work and training ethics are so more intense as the depth of players and standard are so much better than New Zealand counterparts , who accumulate many points at low grade ITFs In Fiji and Noumea and Darwin, all tournaments acknowledged where you can pick up cheap points.The current ITF junior in Waikato is virtually a New Zealand draw with a sprinkling of lower ranked Aussies making the trip across the Ditch for the event.

Whilst it is a great tennis experience and tennis holiday for most of the New Zealanders playing these events its a sad fact over 90 percent will never make it on the tour and some at best will gain US Scholarships.

From end of April to end of September Tennis in New Zealand is in Hibernation, its time that Tennis New Zealand identified the talented juniors and base them for this period over sea's where they can test themselves against the worlds best, its time to stop waisting money playing "Mickey Mouse" ITF events and get serious if ever we are going to produce top tennis players. How to fund it?, get rid of some of the Dead weight in administration. Until powers that be recognize the fact that you cannot be based year round here in New Zealand and I'm speaking juniors, we are destined for failure.Get the heads out of the Sand and that includes a revamp of Top Dog and to get local juniors back to a tournament system where you progress(points) per round rather than who you play!.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The New Zealand Tennis Debate

Here's an interview I did with Radio Sport , since Onny Parun's comments at the weekend tennis has been to the forefront of the news, some say for the wrong reason, however there are things that have to be said from time to time. I believe in a country such as New Zealand too much money is being spent on administration and very little on the players.By request I have posted the excerpt. I will in the next couple of posts write in regards to ITF rankings ,what they mean for our juniors and do rankings achieved on this side of the world really mean anything in relation to juniors on the other side of the world.

Monday, September 21, 2009

NZ Great Onny Parun Serves it up after Davis Cup Loss

This is an excerpt from a local Radio Station In New Zealand, with one of New Zealands Tennis Legends Onny Parun giving a serve to Tennis New Zealand after the recent loss to the Philippines.Parun says certain staff at Tennis New Zealand need to go and more funding to players in the 15-18 yrs would be of benefit.He says that if certain useless positions were axed the money spent on salary could be used for funding the youngsters with potential.He said the current Davis Cup Players are past their use by date.Please comment and let me know your thoughts on this interesting interview.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Get some Australian about you Mate!

Reports out of Australia hint to a rift between between former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt and his Australian heir apparent Bernard Tomic following a practice snub at Wimbledon.Tennis Australia's tennis director Craig Tiley said yesterday he was aware that Tomic's father, John, who recently asked TA to spend vast sums on his son, had declined the practice invitation on his son's behalf on Wimbledon's middle Sunday, as Hewitt prepared for his fourth-round match and Tomic to contest the junior event. Funny this back in the "good old days" we did not hear of Laver's parents, Rosewall parents, Newcombe's parents making tabloids.Tomic's father has been touted as a loose cannon and has had various run in's with the powers that be.Tomic just recently won the boys US Open title.My concern is that Tomic at this stage has no huge weapons will he transgress to a successful ATP career ,time will tell.You can read the full story about the rift here .Link

Monday, September 14, 2009

Serena's Not Going to take it!-Play of the Day US OPEN TENNIS 2009

Serena gets a point penalty and loses the match against Kim Clijsters
and no doubt a hefty fine!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Play of the Day US OPEN TENNIS -Man kisses Rafael Nadal

What people will do for love !!! A man was arrested at the U.S. Open after running on the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium to kiss Rafael Nadal following his victory Tuesday night. Nadal had this to say "For me, it wasn't a problem. The guy was really nice," Nadal said. "He said, 'I love you,' and he kissed me."

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Best In Town

If your looking for a new Tennis racket and your in the South Canterbury Area Call into Action Sports and see Ferg Hazlett. He has the biggest and the best range of tennis rackets in town.Ferg is always looking to give you a good deal and he has a new promotion on old racket trade ins.Of Course I recommend Wilson and they have a great range to suit all players and ability's.

With the US OPEN on at the moment it should inspire everyone to get down to the courts and prepare for this season.I have a full range or Wilson Demo's at the Center so ask for a trial!

Wilson Racquets

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Has Top Dog Increased Participation in Tournaments.

Tennis New Zealand is failing to see the shortfalls of the Top Dog Ranking System.Whilst the concept of match recording is an excellent feature it really has not seen an increase in participation with purpose and has short coming's in defining a local interclub match with tournament play.In an article I read about home schooling for young tennis players which you can read at this LINK. It contained some interesting information re junior rankings system , it said "In 2004, the U.S.T.A. enacted a professional ranking system that awarded points for advancing through rounds in tournaments. The larger the number of competitions a player enters, the greater his opportunity to accrue points and improve his ranking. Participation has skyrocketed".Top Dog if anything has deterred Juniors from playing too many tournaments as it is Head to Head orientated and players often shy off playing a certain opponent by defaulting to protect their rankings.Maybe if TNZ implemented such a system here locally in South Canterbury we may see an increase in our Local Junior Open Tournaments.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Top Ten US OPEN Men's Seeds



No major upsets from Day 1 as all major players pass their first test.Kim Clijsters returned to center court completing her first step to a repeat performance of ’05 with a 6-1, 6-1 first-round victory over Viktoriya Kutuzova.Roger Federer, chasing a sixth straight US Open title, a feat not achieved by a man since Bill Tilden way back in the 1920s, overwhelmed American wild card Devin Britton, 6-1, 6-3, 7-5, in 88 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

US OPEN 2009

Roger Federer goes into this years US open as firm favorite to take out his third Grandslam singles title for the year.Can Andy Murray live up to his new World ranking of 2.Andy Roddick's form is the best it has been for some time,and Novak Djokovic always threatens.Can Rafael Nadal win here, its the one Grandslam that has eluded him. I will be giving regular updates and also a preview of the women's top 5 contenders tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Where's the logic?

So the 16s National Teams event will now consist of three players the number 4 and 5 spots have been omitted and no doubt a new match format.Will this be gradually filtered through to each age groups ie 12s and 14s in New Zealands National Teams Competition?.I thought Tennis New Zealand was encouraging participation? This proposal was apparently put forward by the regions and then carried.I know tennis Southern did not get much of a chance to comment.Often the number 4 and 5 players of the team are the keenest and may get the most out of the event ,mixing with the top players ,this may be their biggest goals in tennis they reach and certainly an achievable one and one to keep these players playing the sport of tennis.As a coach I have had many of my students play in the National Junior teams events and trying to make a regional team is certainly a big factor for juniors to come along to coaching and play in local events.Personally I am disappointed with this step and i see it as a backward step.One reasoning behind the cut was costs to the region.Another case of letting the players down as much of the funding is being eaten up by administration and very little going into players.Why not cut back in admin i could think of some area's already that we would not miss.In a very important age the 16s ...its an age group we need to encourage our players, I know many of these 4 and 5 players will turn their back on tennis and move to another sport.......I cannot blame them! Please comment and let me know your thoughts.The above picture is a Flash back Southern 16s gaining silver medal at Nationals.The number 4 that year Emma John's played a big role in helping Southern achieve that result.So players like Emma now will not get that chance to excel on a National front.Sorry Jesse and Steph for covering your pictures....players like you have now become obsolete.!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Good News

Good news arrived in my Email Box today from Ghassan Beidas father of Bassam Beidas who this week was playing in Cairo Egypt in a F13 Futures .Partnering college team mate from Pepperdine , Omar ALTMANN the unseeded pair won the final of the doubles beating locals KAMAL AITA, Ramy and MOUSSA, Mohamed also unseeded .Bassam also unseeded and having to go through qualifying, knocked out the top seed on route to the final of the mens singles event where he will meet second seed Karim MAAMOUN a household name of egypt tennis.I worked with Bassam as a 12/13 year old and knew he had the drive and the work ethics to achieve good results.I believe this is his first ever futures singles final and wish him the best of luck for the final.Below are Beidas and Altmann playing for Pepperdine.Bassam is foreground.Check all the results.The top photo sees' local South Canterbury juniors Annabel Ellis and Robbie Wigley having some time out at training.Check all the results from the ITF Cairo here

Sunday, August 16, 2009

How far has the men's game progressed since Connors and Borg?

This excellent article in the New York Times tells of the current male players and how they have More Power, More Speed and Unmatched Depth than in era's gone by. Federer says "Talent is not enough anymore,” I’m talking about talent, let’s say, in your hands. Like about touch and feel and spin. I’m not saying that it used to be. But it used to bring you a long way before and not anymore,Combine that power with the speed and athleticism on the tour, and Federer said it was no longer enough for professionals to win with technical precision, or superior strokes.Here is a link to the full article.