Thursday, July 22, 2010

No Posts for a few Day's

Just letting you know that I will not be posting for a few days.I am returning to Australia for a few days for Family Reason's. My father has a had some complications with his Heart surgery.He was the driving force for both myself and my sister's tennis ,coming from a small country town in NSW their were no tennis coaches when we were juniors ...each school holidays Dad would take us to Sydney to receive some Pro Coaching.He took us all over the State to compete in tournaments .Lisa my sister gained a National Junior Australian Ranking of 3.He has visited us here in New Zealand numerous times to watch proudly as his grandchildren took centre stage.... all ways on hand to pick up balls during their practice times.Just as he has supported us its our turn to support him , I will post again soon but right now all our family will rally round!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tennis is a war!--at times!

If you thought the World team Tennis is a social hit and giggle then watch this clip , involving Leander Paes ,of course who else than the one and only John McEnroe, and the get even shot by Robert Kendrick. ENJOY 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dollars and SENSE for Tennis Players

Ok don't believe anyone that tells you that Tennis is cheap to play ....once you get good at it,TENNIS is a an expensive sport !! and costs are huge. We miss many talented athletes that start in tennis only for parents to find out that to succeed at a high level the cost is beyond them.Tennis is a unique sport its an individual sport and for most its an elite sport for those that can afford it outside the local Saturday Morning Junior Interclub.How many juniors would have made it had they had the financial support available to them.There are not too many success story's with out a major financial commitment by families to get to the top.Of course when you do the rewards are great.Getting there is the hardest part.Grasshoppers is bringing in new kids to the system but what is in place to keep these juniors in the sport.Statistics will show we will lose 70% of these juniors by the time they reach 14 years of age.The drop off from 14-17 years is again huge!

Lets break it down with different types of player's starting with

1.The Novice Player - Ok for a start lets get that player ready to play. Initial cost will include EQUIPMENT ,New Racquet  a good junior racquet will set you back $200 NZ ,shoes $120.00,attire another $100.00 so all up $420.00 to get you started. Ok then you have to join a club $50-$100 depending on location and you have to take some group tennis lesson at around $150.00 a term.( two terms) So $420 for equipment $100 for club membership and $300 for two terms of group coaching. Outlay for the year is $820.00.

2.THE REGIONAL PLAYER -To make a regional team for say a National teams event you will of course upgraded your tennis racquet and because you will be playing more events tournaments and local events you of course will break strings more regular.So you will need two racquets which will set you back $800.00.Don't forget the new Racquet bag $100.00 ,At least 5 restrings  a year $200.00 ,the more specialized coaching from $50-$70 an hour and usually at the very least juniors will take an hour lesson per week .Do your maths over 48 weeks of the year.Now you are going to tournaments outside your local area also accommodation transport etc. So you wont get much change out of $3500.00

THE NATIONALLY RANKED JUNIOR- These juniors are winning National titles or ranked in the top 10 of their age group in the country.Juniors are committed to tennis everyday of the week.Most juniors are having 3 Individuals with their private Coach and doing at least 3 squads a week.Also they are travelling oversea's and ITF junior tournaments.There will be not much change from $16,000.00.And that is just for 1 year taking in Travelling Coaching Accommodation and equipment and clothes.

So you are Now on the Circuit - Ok you are now stepping up to ITF Men's and Women 's Futures  tournaments.These events are world wide and it is fact you cannot stay in New Zealand to get ahead and you will need to travel so lets keep your first year basic, Airfares etc 10,000.00 Food $3,500.00 Coach at $100 @ day 100 days 10,000.00 ,Car Hire /and Local travel $3000.00. I have roughly based it on playing tournament's in the USA ,Mexico,Spain,Canada and UK. Now many cannot afford a coach so do it independently and unless your Roger Federer you will not survive. So a basic year figure is around $30,000.00. You are playing mostly qualifying and not eligible for Main Draw benefits. Once you do start making Main Draw's at the Futures and challengers it gets a little easier...but unless you win a few not much!  

By the time you are 21 I would hate to add up the amount of money that has been spent.The fact is and you can look at the Journey men and women competing in these events trying to get a break and a decent World ranking many will fall by the wayside simply because they cannot afford the expense.

I see so many talented juniors that I know do not have the money behind them to further their talent have to leave the game and I see many Top ranked juniors that have been "spoon fed" fall beside the way side because it has been Mummy Money that has got them too a false ranking and cant handle the heat when it gets tough.

Nations like New Zealand have to single out these players with drive and determination and back them ,too much waste is on players that never will be appearing in Main draws at the Grandslam's. I'm sorry but if your a female and you haven't reached the top 100 by 20 forget it. And men at 26 and  if you haven't cracked the top 150 by then forget it it also.We have to do better in nurturing the younger player's and to educate these juniors and parents on how disciplined you must be with training.I have to say that you only have to look at some of the Face book pages and you will see how the drinking culture for younger people take over and that includes our so called talented juniors.Can we change a culture ,this I am not so sure.!

Please be free to comment on costs and problems you are faced with in trying to get ahead with your tennis .Attach to this post.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Help With Your Tennis Game

With all the technology it makes it easier to help advise tennis players not just locally but to all parts of the Tennis World.So for advice on technique, what tournaments should you be playing ,the mental side or just about anything tennis you can email me.You can even upload your technique on video to YOUTUBE and send me the link for an honest analysis of your game.I look forward to hearing from you.

Stephen Dries has coached many Juniors to National Titles, ATP and WTA Players and has been Head coach at several World Academy's.He is with out a doubt one of the most Knowledgeable coaches around not just with the elite players but at grass route levels also.He has lead many junior players on oversea's tours with remarkable success.Team wise has won Gold,Silver and Bronze as Team coach at many National events.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Overnight Twitter News

Some interesting items tweeted overnight.Here are some I found Cool!
Here is a great post on Strings and how the technology is helping the players,my favourite quote from the article is Nadal "You win you lose its not the string"
On the technical side a break down of Jo Wilfred Tsonga's service action and technique.
How to hit an open stance backhand.
An interesting article on Gail Monfils yet to reach his potential
in the article he had this to say on having the  necessary self-discipline? "I think I can change," Monfils says, sitting a little straighter in his seat at the Conrad. "I can get to high-level maturity. But I want to do what I want to do, and I want to be the No. 1. It's my dream to win a Slam. I'm very glad for advice and I will listen carefully. But I take advice from people, and I mix it up. I turn it in my way."
And an article Play to your strengths

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Twitter News with the eye

Twitter is a great way of keeping up with News and especially the tennis World.I have not been using twitter that long but over Wimbledon it was a great way to keep up with the action and story's that came over the fortnight.What I will do is post every so often with the twitter story's and items I am reading and finding interesting .I will provide a little brief on what the twitter is about along with the link.Below are a few that I found worth looking at from overnight.

Link 1. This is a link to the Spanish team ( Football) dressing room after the win I know Rafa was invited to the dressing room hope he did not help to much in the celebration drinks!.

Link 2. An interesting article on the Extra Ordinary Era of Men's tennis

Link 3.You think the tour for players is a grind well have a look at the WTA players party pictures in Budapest

So you can see Twitter is a great source of getting information.
Below also came via twitter but I have embedded the magazine here in this post, lots of pictures and features here on the upcoming US hard court season culminating with the US OPEN.Just click on it! takes a little to work it out but once you have..... read it like a book and click on the video also in the publication.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Exploding Tennis News- Davis Cup New Zealand versus Pakistan

We know its not up there with the Rugby and the World Cup Soccer however New Zealand was playing Pakistan in the Asia/Oceania Group 2 today.I managed to get some updates on Radio Sport but the Tennis New Zealand Website did not have regular updates which is no excuse for an organization trying to lift their profile, they updated after the First Rubber which was won easily by Jose Statham against Ageel Khan 6-4 6-0 6-0.Michael Venus who could of been eligible for USA selection but wisely chose New Zealand on d├ębut lost 15-13 in the fifth set to Aisam Qureshi who is a very experienced doubles player.Venus set up a commanding lead in the 5th set but could not close against the Pakistani veteran of 60 Davis Cup Matches.The good news if there is any Qureshi will have to back up for the doubles which is going to be very crucial in determining this tie.In 2003 virtually the same  Pakistani team was defeated 5-0 by New Zealand with Hunt and Nielsen leading the way for New Zealand.This is one of New Zealand's most inexperienced line up with Number 1 player Dan King Turner playing a challenger in Spain unavailable.Tennis New Zealand will be holding their breath hoping the next lot of matches can go their way or prepare for the annual roast which comes with Davis Cup defeat.
PS. AT 9.45PM TENNIS NEW ZEALAND HAD UPDATED THEIR WEBSITE WITH THE RESULT OF THE LAST MATCH.Don't you think you could of used twitter or face book in situations like these for regular updates!

So You Want To Be A Pro Tennis Player- Part 2 Finding a Good Tennis Coach

Let me first say there are coaches and there are coaches.Finding a good coach is very hard to find, there are a lot of factors that you need from a coach but the most important one is honesty.Now the problem is at times A good coach will be quite honest and frank with you but can you accept things that you may not necessary want to hear and that in the end will depend how far you go with your tennis.Over the course of your tennis career you may have 2-3 coaches that will play important roles in your development, that's because their are very few coaches that can "coach all" as your ability increases.If you happen to have a coach that is experienced to be able to deliver at various stages of a tennis players growth  make sure you pay that person very well because it will in the end save you a lot of time and a lot of money. Here are a few examples of coaches you should be wary of.

Dollar and Sense Coaches
These coaches look no further than their bank account and will be very good at talking ,giving you false goals and mostly telling you what you want to hear.

Nick Bollettieri Wanna Be
Usually dressed in their best tennis attire, huge ball basket, Lots of target cones ,ladders etc and have only been at best a B grade club player with no playing or tennis hitting skills and usually has another full-time job.

Look At Me I'm Sandra Dee
Coach has the shades, perfectly groomed hair and walks around drinking an evian bottled water.Is very much an I person, I did this, I won this,I am the greatest!Usually found smashing lobs in a practical demonstration over the fence or at the pupils .....see my power!

The Librarian/Mr Degree
Has read every tennis book ever written and probably has a degree in human movement.Unable to distinguish statistics and theory to real life tennis situations.Usually teaches the one size fits all approach.

The Young Buck
Just out of Level 1 exams and has eyes only for the Next Wimbledon champion wont realize this may not ever happen until later in life and will suffer lots of disappointments along the way.

The Magician
The coach ready to teach a "kick serve" to his group of intermediate students still struggling with a basic technique concept.They often see a John McEnroe serve then the next day are found teaching it in their class.Have absolutely no idea on progression.

The Shark
The worst kind "preys " on players that are coached by someone else.Starts chats with parents when their child is losing a match and telling them how they see flaws in their child's technique.Makes comments but never speaks to the individual coach of the player concerned.

Basically my advice get a good knowledgeable coach sound on technique and sound on tactics and is disciplined in their approach and what is needed from the player to reach a high level.Make sure they have had success.Needs to have a strong sense on what is out there and that means not in your local comfort zone environment but world wide.Is prepared to give you the individual attention that is needed which transgresses to time.Make sure they have the experienced needed to help your career.I once worked with a player that had some ability good athletic skills and was a late developer,they needed to sacrifice a few things to go the next step but compared themselves already to a Nadal or Federer not coming to terms that those players had already made sacrifices to get to where they are.As a coach and working with tennis players this side of the world getting them to realize how hard it is too make it as a pro player and what  commitment level is needed to make a pro tennis player is the hardest aspect to deliver.Good coaches are a dime a dozen make sure you keep them once you find them.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Juniors Compete in South Island Indoors and 14s and 12s Nationals- Dunedin

Four junior Tennis player's I work with are in Dunedin competing this week in the 14s and 12s National Indoor titles.Sam Lane and Annabel Ellis recently reached finals of the South Island Indoors a warm up event before Nationals.Zin South and Anna Cochrane will be participating in the 12s event.Lane and Ellis 14s.Lane took out the 14s South Island boys title while Ellis lost a hard fought 3 setter against the top seed.Ellis had beaten the second seed on route to the finals Gabriela Coates 6-1 6-4.Coates had beaten Ellis in their last few encounters but Ellis turned the tables here.In the final against Mia Middleton Ellis served for the match at 5-4 in the third but dropped serve and Middleton went on to win 7/5 .Lane defeated Carlos Reid 6-1 6-4 in the Final and had a rematch with Carlos today in his first match in the National Indoors winning again 6-4 6-4.Lane goes on to meet Kyle Butter's who proved his nemesis earlier this year in the 12s Nationals.Annabel Ellis meets hard hitting Lucia Young for a place in the Semi Finals winning her match today against Hannah Speight 6-3 6-0.Seeding's for the Girls event has left a lot to be desired after last minute withdrawals ,it was seen fit to re-draw the boys but not the girl's....can only happen in New Zealand.Below are pictures of Sam,Annabel ,Zin and Anna.

In not taking anything away from the winners I have to say that the event in Dunedin is a bit of a joke to call it a National event and then lay claim to a National Title when the girl's event has just 13 participants and the boys event has attracted 25.The top Dog ranking system does not Identify key tournaments and the lack of incentives for juniors to play National events from Tennis New Zealand is poor!I don't want to hear the old excuse of Location and Cost when Juniors are paying thousands of dollars for South Pacific Holiday ITFs trying to pick up cheap points ..which at the end of the day will mean nothing when they come to enter harder tournaments.Its funny very few New Zealanders test themselves in events in Australia ,my spin on this if you cant win there then forget hiding yourself in sub standard events that only look good on paper.If you have the money to spend and a little ability you can get a reasonable ITF certain sectors will say lot's of Open Grand-slam winners have won Junior ITF titles and that is true.The best way to get a true perspective is to look at how many events they played and what tournaments they played won't find them winning a Grade 4 tournament in Fiji on their CV. The winner of the Wimbledon Girls singles title this year played no listed ITF junior events in 2008/09 and has only played Grandslam 
junior events and lead in tournaments in 2010.I do acknowledge you have to start somewhere ,some need to play in Local key events and some need exposure in Bigger junior events in step straight into ITF events is a little of a farce especially when you are not winning nationally.Tennis New Zealand needs to make more incentives to play National events not just the winter but April Nationals should be a must and if you want to be selected in a New Zealand team well play!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Congratulations Rafael Nadal -2010 Wimbledon Men's Singles Champion

I never doubted the result from Day 1 even when Nadal was down 2 sets to 1 in an early round,his body language even in a tight situation showed a man here to do a job and that was to win the title.It wasn't a classic final against Berdych he probably played his best against Murray however under the circumstance the pressure of the final and the breezy conditions on Centre Court it was good enough.Nadal can no longer be typed cast as one dimensional anyone that watched his matches over the fortnight could see how far he has come and the versatility in his game that he now possesses.

1.SERVE -Ok he has not the serve of Roddick but his serve is much improved and his action is very much suited to the grass of Wimbledon.He can use the slice especially to the backhand side ,zipping it off the grass and getting the player wide.Proof of his serving prowess  was in the final not dropping his serve once in the three sets.He usually serves at a high percentage of first serves in, he was at 69% for the final.

2.VERSATILITY ON THE BACKHAND SIDE -Nadal uses the single handed slice on grass like no other on tour.It stays low and makes it hard to dig out on the grass keeping the ball below the net line.At crucial stages in the Murray match Nadal used this ploy to great success.In the final against Berdych he blunted the first serve chipping and blocking the ball back into play with the single hand.

3.VOLLEYING - The more he plays on grass his finishing at the net has become more frequent and coming in behind quality shots his winning percentage is very high.In the final it was 79% 15 winning points out of 19 net approaches.

4.MOVEMENT AND COURT POSITION-The one thing that is very noticeable with Nadal on Grass than on clay is that he plays up the court more.On Clay he is further behind the baseline.On grass he knows the importance of gaining control of the point and is always looking to come forward.His movement,anticipation and speed and balance is the best on tour essential for grass court play.

5.NEVER SAY DIE ATTITUDE-Nadal when he takes the court to use his quote"try's his best" He gives it all every point and with intensity never letting his guard down during the match.Juniors a little advice he gets this from his junior training days when he stepped out to practice always with great intensity and purpose.Too few juniors have this attitude and discipline and Nadal is rewarded from this approach by his success to day.His will to win and his awareness of adapting to conditions ...whatever surface.
HUMILITY-Never underestimating opponents and giving them the respect they deserve win or lose.

Nadal always gives great interviews and below are just some excerpts from his post match.

Q. Is there a special practice you do to be quicker than somebody else, to react?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. I think all my life I practiced with my high hundred percent of intensity in every ball in the practice.
So when I have only controls ?? normally I never have controls, normal controls. I play every control like a point.
That’s why I think today I am faster, no? Probably now I’m not practicing with the same intensity like when I was a kid. When I was a kid, I practiced, believe me, like crazy.

Q. How hungry are you regarding winning the US Open? How important is it for you to win the US Open, as well?

RAFAEL NADAL: Right now I’m very happy to win Wimbledon. Yeah (smiling). We gonna think about US Open in one month. Right now we just relax and enjoy for me this amazing season.
Was very difficult for me to be back at my best. I did, so is very important and emotional moment for me. I want to enjoy that. For sure, keep working to try to be in the US Open finally ready to try to win. But for sure US Open gonna be one of my goals for rest of my career.
But right now is enjoy the beach, fishing, golf, friends, party, and Mallorca.Q. How have you changed your game to become so comfortable on grass where you now have two Wimbledon championships?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. The main thing I think is if you want to play well, you gonna find a way. So if you really want to play well in one surface and you are a good player, I think in the end you gonna find a way.
And play for me on grass always was my dream, and play here for me was all my life a big goal for me. So I think I have very good thing to play here on grass is the movement. I move well on this court, and that’s very important part of the game.
Sure, later my serve always was improving a little bit. Is important play more aggressive than the rest of the surfaces, no?
But, sure, I tell you, the main thing is really want to improve in every surface. On grass is the main thing.

I watched  some of the boy's singles final between Ben Mitchell from Australia and Marton Fucsovics from Hungary, with the Hungarian winning 6-4 6-4 .Mitchell's 24 unforced errors did not help in what was a winnable match .......evaporated  with the error flow.Below are winners from today.

On to the Hard court season and the US OPEN.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Wimbledon Day 13

The only tactic Vera Zvonareva could of employed was one of her famous outbursts that may have thrown Serena Williams off her form.That of course was never going to happen just like Serena not winning the Ladies Wimbledon title for 2010.A total mismatch in all aspects.Serena hit 24 winners to Vera's 9.Serena did not face a break point on her serve which continued the devastation it had wrecked on previous opponents during the fortnight.In plain terms there was no way Zvonareva could win.Jurgen Melzer AUT and Philipp Petzschner GER took out the men 's doubles in another one sided final.Kristyna Pliskova won the junior Girl's title.Below are Pictures of Day 12 winner's.

Nadal of course will start favourite against Berdych.Experience in big finals do count and this is Tomas's first Slam final.Nadal knows this won't be easy,Berdych has the weapon's to hurt Rafa.Can he handle the pressure situations as well as Rafa ...I don't think so.Nadal is hitting his forehand as well as he ever has and if Berdych gives him the Mid court ball Rafa will pounce and drag him to the corners of the court.Nadal is the more versatile of the two players, can slice the backhand when needed making it hard for the big man Berdych to stay down on the ball.Rafa has the better net game also and is more willing to come to net than a few years ago.Honestly I can't see Rafa losing! His will and his focus and his experience will in the end be too much.His defeat of Andy Murray in the Semi's showed exactly why he is the World's number 1. Berdych is going to have to play to a level over five sets like he has never done.This will be a much better contest than the Ladies event.Vamos Rafa.!


LULU with Serena's win took out the Ladies competition.Stop Press The overall winner of our Mini Wimbledon Competition is Lu-Lu.There are no more options left for those left picking in the Men's.

Lu-Lu 's picks for the tournament in order of rounds were

Jankovic,Petrova,Henin,Venus Williams, Pironkova, Zvonareva and the Final round selection was Serena Williams. Congratulations!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Wimbledon Day 12

The Final Act is ready to play out with Tomas Berdych to take on Rafael Nadal in the Men's Singles final for 2010.Both men won matches were won in 3 sets but watching they certainly were closer than the score line reads.
The match with the most hype and expectation's was the Nadal vs Murray Match up.If ever you had to choose a player to play for your life in my mind you would not go past Rafael Nadal.The match came down to key points in each set and it was Nadal that handled these the better of the two.Murray fought but in the end lost to a better player who had the edge in all departments.To say Nadal is just a clay court expert is wrong ,Nadal plays best on Clay but Nadal is a champion and champions adapt to any surface.Nadal made 26 advances to net and won an incredible 23 of those 26 points.Not bad for just a clay courter! One was during the second set tie break a perfect angled drop volley off a wide backhand.It was this ability that proved a decisive factor in winning the match.Murray has a good slice backhand but Nadal's is even better on the grass ,cutting through the ball and keeping it low on the grass.When the opportunity was presented for Murray he was unable to take them when it mattered most.Nadal did!Murray gave it all and was beaten by a better player at the end of the day.How does he re group for the US Open knowing that  his best is not good enough against the great players...only he can answer that.As for Nadal he marches on to history and perhaps the G.O.A.T (Greatest player of all time).
In the other Semi final it was great to see Berdych get there over Djokovic ,who is showing that these matches are beyond him and mentally weaker than his opponent .Berdych has nothing to lose in Sunday's final and I am sure he will be competitive. 

Serena no doubt will be feeling a little tense after all she has the most to lose.Zvonareva has never been in a Grand slam final before.Certainly she has shown over the past fortnight determination and composure like never before. She would have to play the match of her life and hope Serena has an off day to cause on of the biggest upset in the modern game.Nothing is set in stone but who would bet against Serena retaining her title.
Lu Lu goes for the win also and should post selection to this post for the Ladies Final.A correct selection will see a winner of this competition.

And on a final note Australia has some interest with Ben Mitchell reaching the Boys singles Final.Mitchell was unseeded.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Wimbledon Day 11

Men's Semi Finals day and that promises some great tennis.Yesterday Serena William's booked her place in the final and a chance to defend her title.Asked about her match she told reporters that she had nothing to lose.....Well Serena that's a bit dumb you have everything to lose ...Your Wimbledon title for a start.VERA ZVONAREVA will be waiting there also after winning her Semi in three sets.Below are my selections and preview for Men's Semi Final.

Head to Head Djokovic leads 2-0.He also has Grand slam finals experience.Will Berdych seize the moment and keep his ever improving record at slams going.This will be close ,Djokovic returns serve well and this may create more opportunities to break than Berdych will.Berdych can win this match and I am tipping him to do so.Djoker has shown a little more commitment in his past few matches.Could go either way ,my selection Berdych in 4.

Murray Mania alive and well today on centre court.A great match up both with great determination,I said at the start of Wimbledon that Rafa had the look he was here to do the business.His last match he hit his forehand as well as he has done during the tournament and this is the key and will do the damage if Murray cannot find a way to nullify this weapon.Murray will use his forehand cross court  to angle shorter on Nadal and this will be to the Nadal Backhand.Murray will need to be more adventurous in going to net.Nadal has had knee problems again and if this flares Murray is the player to exploit it.The last time the queen visited Wimbledon we had a British that an Omen for this year,,I hope NOT.Nadal to get there on spirit alone.


Congratulations to Lu Lu who has reached the final.Men's selections due on this post.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What happens when Ball Boys Grow into Men

Here's a video I came across, hope you enjoy it and have a laugh.Its a spoof on Ball Boys that become obviously to old to Ball Boy :)

Wimbledon Day 10

A Wimbledon Men's final without Rodger Federer! We are so used to Fed vs the rest.Tomas Berdych spoiled the record books and sent Fed packing for a two week holiday.Alarm bells went off when he lost to Hewitt in a pre Wimbledon event and his early round form has been below his previous Wimbledon's form.Federer fielded this question at his presser.

Q. You beat him almost every time you played him. Was he any different?
ROGER FEDERER: Like I said, I think he was a bit more consistent than in the past. I lost to him in Miami this year, where it was a really tight match as well.But from my end, obviously, you know, I’m unhappy with the way I’m playing. I couldn’t play the way I wanted to play. You know, I am struggling with a little bit of a back and a leg issue. That just doesn’t quite allow me to play the way I would like to play.So it’s frustrating, to say the least. Looking forward to some rest anyway.
Well Rodger you took the court and no excuses.We will miss you this year in the final however!How bad did Andy Roddick really play.Novak 
Djokovic made light work in his quarter final against Yen-Hsun Lu the chicken catcher from China and moves into a showdown with Berdych in the semi's.Novak has a real shot at the final in a match that could go either way.Hewitt you should be kicking yourself !

Jo Wilfred Tsonga made 37 unforced errors in losing to Andy Murray who made a miserly 14 unforced errors.Tsonga needs to simply hit more balls in at this stage of the tournament and show a little more "Heart"when things went against him.Both Nadal and Federer showed how to fight this tournament when the match was not going how they would like.Tsonga and the French clan seem to have this trait(head down syndrome).Toughen up!
Soderling raced to a 5-0 lead in the first set before Rafa got on the score board.After that Nadal started to work Soderling over stepping around and hitting forehand winners, slicing his back hands to change the pace and retrieving like no other on tour can.Soderling unforced error count was 35 to Nadal's 12.Soderling can not break the Nadal  "will" and became frustrated as he could not make in roads into Nadal's game.Soderling had an injury time out as Nadal was to serve for the set.It took the physio seven minutes to get to the court to asses Soderling and the injury which was a blister to his little toe.

Below are pictures of Day 9 of the winners from the quarter finals.

Ladies Semi Finals today and below are my selections and preview.

Vera Zvonareva (RUS) vs. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL)

Both come into this match with good form both beating class players on the way to the Semi's.Will experience get Zvonareva the result , I am not so sure and one should not under estimate Pironkova.I'm going for Pironkova for this one but could go either way.

Serena Williams (USA) vs. Petra Kvitova (CZE)

Unbackable favourite Serena I have no doubt will win this match.Great to see a "lefty" in action in Kvitova.Maybe the fact that Petra is a left hander could be the only thing that may worry Serena.

Finally Nick Bollettieri had this to say in his preview on the Nadal-Soderling match.

If Soderling goes for the jugular, he will cut down Nadal again

Nick also predicted Soderling in three .Here is his preview.HERE

How wrong you were Nick! Obviously you missed a few fundamental human traits on this one!

Starting to get very tricky for those that are left .Ladies posting for today's matches should be attached to this post.Can Gabz go all the way.!