Friday, February 25, 2011

Earthquake New Zealand- Emotional pictures with anthem

Above a little more of the earthquake in New Zealand.Tennis is far from my mind at this stage hopefully I will get back in the mood soon for some tennis posts for now God Bless all those effected by the earthquake.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Turmoil and Disaster Hits New Zealand

What a day yesterday turned out to be. At home in Timaru around lunchtime 1pm the shake started with force swaying the house and shaking windows and of course the noise that one has to witness first hand that is associated with earthquakes.Not knowing what is was when one hit last September I knew straight away what this was!.Here in Timaru we could feel its fury from afar but its Christchurch that once again suffered the worst.An event such as this rocks you back to real life and winning and losing a tennis match is so insignificant to an event such as this.

The world teams seniors events 40m 35 and 40 ladies are being held in Timaru this week , next week the singles champs start in Christchurch.I hate to say this event looks doubtful for Christchurch due to the quake.Yesterday saw the event hampered by rain in Timaru with very few matches being completed.

Below a picture from the Timaru Center with the international flags flying high.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Player Watch -Milos Raonic

Recently I wrote on my blog about a player to watch out for Canadian Milos Raonic.He broke through at the weekend to win his first major Title defeating Vernando Verdasco 7-6 7-6 in the final of the SAP Open in California at the weekend. I managed to take in a few of Raonic's matches at the Aussie Open and knew this 20 year old had a game that could take him to the top 10.His serve is one of the best on tour already with first serves into the 240kms regularly ,his second serve is very good also at 6'5 he gets good depth and height over the net making it difficult for the player to combat.Of course at 6'5 his movement will be a weakness , however he is prepared to go forward to net position and volley!There are lots of Tall players like Karlovic and Isner that have not the ground strokes to back up their serve ...this guy has and if the groundies  continue to improve watch out Top 10 players.Read about his break through win HERE.

Another 20 year old to watch out for on the Men's side is Lithuanian Richard Berankis.In fact Raonic and Berankis met in the SAP open with Raonic winning in two tight sets.Here is an interesting article on Berankis. LINK Below is a picture of Berankis in training.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Monday Spin- South Canterbury Closed Hard Court Champs.

Spent Saturday watching the Local Junior Closed Champs, above are pictures from Saturday, Bottom right Gabrielle Grady pictured with Temuka juniors, Gabby coaches at Temuka and Geraldine and dropped in to watch her charges in action. Lots of evenly contested matches and all the titles went to squad members in the championship events.The best local program for aspiring tennis players,for locals why don't you visit the South Canterbury Tennis Web Site to find out more and how to join a program to suit you. LINK

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Monday Spin

I thought I was back in Australia yesterday as Timaru broke the record for its hottest day ever, with the temperature hitting a scorching 40.3 degrees shortly before 4pm yesterday.We spent the morning with 14 young tennis players in the 10s and 12s age group for a very productive 3 hr session when the temperature was only 36! The one thing about weather in New Zealand it changes very quickly this morning woke to heavy rain which cancelled our early morning training.

Not much to report on the Breaking news front ,Italy defeated Australia in the quarter final Fed Cup match in Tasmania, Read the report HERE. Watched a little on the net with live streaming , was nice to see the Italians using court craft in their matches as well as controlled aggression, compared to the Aussies who used aggression most of it uncontrolled on the points that mattered.Stosur looked like she was sucking Lemons on the change of ends and played some amateurish points in key games of which you would see at a local Junior tournament.

Over sea's players dominated the Auckland ITF and results are found HERE 
Jayden Grinter  was the best performed New Zealander reaching the semi's of the boys singles and winning the boys doubles.Grinter is a big powerful lad and now needs to double his work rate and seek tougher tournaments.Maybe he has a chance if he can get over the mental culture ie one thinks they are working hard but not as hard in retrospect to the other side of the world.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


My Grandmother turned 103 today ! Amazing .This time I could not get back for the event, for each year now after 100 is truly a milestone.Speaking to her tonight she was feeling pretty tired after spending a day in her home town with a special Birthday party put on at the Local Club.The above picture was taken on her 100th birthday.A truly amazing lady is my grandmother!Happy Birthday Nana....

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What's Up - Federation Cup Pull Out by New Zealand

So what do you think of this little news locally. Readers leave me a comment on what you think , just hit the highlighted comments line under this article and its pretty simple from there.

New Zealand and Malaysia have pulled out of their Asia-Oceania zonal group ties, unable to find suitable players to field a team.

New Zealand's Sacha Jones is injured while Marina Erakovic, who is returning from injury, has opted to play a challenger this week in an attempt to boost her ranking. "We didn't think it was viable," said New Zealand federation chief Steve Wood.

I am really not surprised with this course of action as Tennis slips further down the tree of sports in this country .Lets have a look at a couple of points made in this news brief.

1.Unable to find suitable players.- A great backing to all New Zealand female tennis players. This is attracting news for all the wrong reasons! So its loud and clear I guess if the players in the "eyes of TNZ" don't reach a certain playing criteria then we won't send a team! 

2."We didn't think it was viable- In other words we don't really have the money but yet in the Southern Region there was a waste of over$150,000.00 setting up a CEO that failed, three cars in the region that are still being payed for,a development officer , the resignation of a board, investigations into mismanagement...the region actually operated fine by a volunteer Southern region before this new great scheme that has led to total disaster for tennis in the Southern Region.So this money that has dissapeared with out any benefit to local associations could of funded three years of Fed Cup appearances.

On the other hand the players in question to be selected probably were not of that standard but certainly would of benefited by the experience.Unfortunately parents and juniors are often blinded by local results thinking they are on the way to Wimbledon ...far from it 300- 400 would be a good result for local players but by New Zealand standards that ain't going to get you into Fed Cup!

Lately results of the local Men have been disappointing with some playing local money tournaments, its a hard road to the top simply at this stage players here don't have enough financial backing, the discipline and mental approach, nor the depth and playing level to make you fight to get to the top nor a structured development program .Far too many local coaches paying lip service to parents with big dreams!

Montage Of Australian Open number 2

Just one last post re Aussie Open and some of the pictures we took , what a fantastic opportunity for our group and look forward to next years event!