Monday, January 27, 2014

Aussie Open the Final Match Wawrinka defeats Nadal for Title

Congratulations Stan you deserved your win, to Rafa a gallant display under duress.As I said yesterday once you try to predict a tennis match it can bite you on your ass.I think if possible Stan will need to add another tattoo.

You know true champions even in defeat can turn around this to make them stronger for the next event.Juniors often treat defeat as a major life threatening event. Take some positives from defeat after reflection and I am sure Nadal will be doing this.Sometimes a Loss will tell you what you need to work on to be better , sometimes you have to be able to change attitude and stop looking for excuses as you alone are your master of destiny.I think Wawrinka has for sure looked a lot deeper and has changed his thinking and ways to some extent to succeed.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Aussie Open Day 14

Congratulations to Li Na winning her first Australian Open .Cibulkova had a great tournament but Li Na showed how a 4th seed should dispatch the 20th seed.Controlling the court and attacking the second serve of Cibulkova Li Na was never going to be beaten.A few other noted players could do as well to play with a game plan and use it to exploit the opponents shortcomings .

Nadal to equal Pete Sampras wins at Grandslam's and defeat Stan the Man, would love to see an exciting match and if Stan can serve well is a funny game and just when you think it can be predictable it can bite you on your ass.

Finally what does Stan'S Tattoo say?
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better.”

If he wins tonight I would not class this as a fail and he may need to add another line.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Aussie Open Day 13

Do Fairy tales come true? I have been impressed with Cibulkova all tournament, Li Na has had her battles and is a little lucky to be here.The facts are Li Na has never lost to Cibulkova head to head it is 4-0. My Heart says Cibulkova my head says Li Na.

Well just a few comments re Fed vs Rafa, this picture says it all. Head to head Rafa leads 23 matches to 10 which is very convincing.Last night Rafa played the best he has played all tournament , he was faster, hit the ball harder with great depth and his passing shots and defense was spot on.His serving not spectacular were placed strategically so Rafa had the best opportunity to control the Rally.

I don't think Federer played badly he had to attack and keep the points shorter. Rafa has always had Feds measure and another win just adds to this. In saying this its because of Federer that Nadal, Djokovic and Murray have lifted men's tennis and worked their but off to be able to compete with Rodger.!!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Aussie Open Day 12

Its been an incredible rivalry that has produced incredible matches , I hope today this is another for the tennis fans. Wawrinka summed it up the other night "when Federer plays his best tennis , he is unbeatable" I have to ask is Federer past his best ? Nadal has beaten Rodger more times and has a substantial lead in Head to Head but a lot of those victories have been on clay.This is going to be tight the stylist vs the scrapper.Fed will try and take control he has to to have any chance! A lot will depend on how each other serve and Nadal has to serve better than his last match.I eagerly await this clash! Well done to Stan Wawrinka on his win and first grandslam final!

Matches of Interest for me today.

Gajdosova/Ebden Vs Mirza/Tecau -Mixed doubles semi finals featuring Aussies!!

Zverev vs Mousley- Semi final Boys singles the Aussie Mousley up against the top seeded German.

Fett vs Birrell - Semi Final Girls singles. Very interested in the Australian Kimberly Birrell who is the daughter of Roslyn formerly Toynton who was a reasonable tennis player herself and Hailed from my local area the Central west of NSW Australia.Roslyn actually came on one of my first Junior tours to New Zealand before I moved here many many years ago!Good luck!

Nadal vs Federer - My Pick is Nadal he has again set himself for a win at a Grand Slam tournament. This match i will not be dissapointed if the Fed gets the result.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Aussie Open Day 11

Just when you thought he was on his last legs "Bang" another Australian Open Semi Final! Federer has recaptured his dominance over players, his raquet skills are second to none and so are the variety of shots he possesses.Am i seeing a more aggressive Federer looking to finish more at the net?He is one of the few players that can do this playing the modern game and its great to see he has been looking for opportunities .If Federer remains positive AND can get control of the court to finish at net he will be very hard to beat.What a great semi final looming against his old nemesis Rafa Nadal.

Tip for Juniors-Finish at the Net

This is a lost art of the modern game many rely on belting winners from the baseline.Watching tennis its frustrating to see a player bury a groundstroke into the corner and watching the opponent try to get it back ..two hander's will release and slice the ball balanced and stretching with one hand and if on the forehand side same thing stretching wide off balanced they will float it back the best way they can.Now you know if you have hit a very good shot !...and you can see the other player struggling to get to the ball..OK GET TO THE NET AND FINISH IT OFF! Yesterday Federer won 49 points out of 66 net approaches.Just as a matter of interest Murray approached the net 27 times winning 17 points.For me this is a standout stat .Juniors if you see the player struggling put the floater away at the net aggressive!

You have to laugh at players antics and its always fun to watch in a highlight package like the one below.

Matches Of Interest for me today

Bouchard vs N.LI - Age and experience to Li Na , Bouchard has had a great run ..surely it must end here!

Cibulkova VS Radwanska - I am tipping the winner of this match to take out the tournament. Radwanska you are a pleasure to watch as you search the court looking for a way to win,,using the head over muscle. The modern player sometimes cannot change their game ..look at Sharapova for example its slam bang and hit it harder! and if that does not work then like this week on the first available flight outta here!

Wawrinka Vs Berdych- I am going for Stan! he has the game it will be tough but lets hope he sets the arena on Fire like last match against Djokovic. I always worry about Stan's fitness level and I hope after a days rest the Djoker match did not take a lot out of him!.Will be close could go either way for sure.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Aussie Open Day 10

What a match Stan sent Novak packing with an outstanding display of power and aggression.It was the best match so far and I hope Stan can keep this form all the way to the final!

Anna Faltered as I feared she might to the young Bouchard and Li Na and Thomas Berdych had wins.

Put together a few pictures to capture some of the scenes so far.

This tweet sums up a tennis player and what it takes! Legend Jimmy Connors had this to say.
How true this is. 80% of juniors and parents treat tennis as a social outlet!Very few are prepared to have their life fit into tennis,even if they think they do!Sacrifice is the key Jimmy and that is where the buck stops with many pretend players.

Matches of Interest for me today

Radwanska Vs Azarenka - I am expecting Azarenka to win the match especially with Redfool in her corner.

Nadal vs Dimitrov -Grigor has the game to worry Nadal , does he have enough between his ears is what may sway the match to Rafa.

Federer Vs Murray -What a match up ..Please Rodger summon up all the skills you have to send the Scot/Brit on his way.

Some interesting Junior Matches today the Top seed in the girls has gone out and the boys seeds have all been tested.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Comment gets me thinking

I received this comment via the blog article The Targeted Elite Junior Tennis Player. I am going to highlight it in this post , certainly makes a lot of sense ,it did come via an Anonymous ID but after rereading it does makes one think why and how the High Performance Program was constructed.

"Steve, the TNZ strategy was designed by a few people who now have the jobs involved within the TNZ plan. This system is for them alone, rather than for the community of players and coaches. We all know the timeline doesn't add up, especially considering the average age of a top 100 player is 27. The reason these coaches are going young is for two reasons.
1) One of the National coaches is running out of options - he started at Fed Cup, then went with Davis Cup, then with our top 18 year olds and hes now with U/15's. Simply no results at any level.
2) Going young secures their National jobs for at least 3 years.

Rather than easily providing a system that brings people together, this system WILL fail because its designed to segregate everyone apart from the 4 players involved and the National coaches getting the wage..... it's diabolical
The truth is that many of the Davis Cup and Fed Cup players were outspoken and the previous TNZ structure had results proven coaches who attempted to really change things....they even got together to write a letter against leading the system into further decline. Steve Johns decided everyone else was wrong and that him and these current National coaches are right........
Players and parents of talented juniors need to ask themselves a very important question with regards to our National coaches - "what National reps have they actually produced themselves for NZ?"..... you will only need one hand to count them all. "


Aussie Open Day 9

Great to see Federer give Joe Wilfred Tsonga a master class yesterday! Sharapova had butt problems a strain!And the number 3 seed went out to Cibulkova who would not be out of place in any Hobbit movie.Better going for BF Grigor!

Matches of Interest for me today

Ivanovic vs Bouchard- I'm not convinced with Anna yet and this is a match she could lose Bouchard is a very tough opponent.

Berdych vs Ferrer -Good big man vs Good little man..will be very interesting maybe a Berdych win here.

Warinka Vs Djokovic-Can Stan the Man give Djoker a run for his money..I think he can

Will be keeping an eye on the Juniors also today.

Why are the powers that be not addressing the In-balance that players earn on the ATP tour.Only the top 100 can make a living

If you are ranked 200 in the world as a tennis player you are indeed a very good tennis player, the same can be said with the 300 ranked player and even the 400 hundred ranked player.But compared to what Nadal and Co are earning its a paupers life for most! I have been advocating a fairer payment structure for futures and challengers and also how the circuit is structured so that players do not have to chase tournaments to the ends of the earth.This recent chart of the ten most top earners in tennis shows you a lucrative career and this is just tournaments not sponsorship, appearance money etc taken into account.

A South African player Keith Patrick Crowley has started a Face Book page to make more people aware of how hard it is to make ends meat for most players on the tour.I found this on an Italian Web site but it is in Italian so with the help of translation apps i have copied and pasted what Patrick had to say and the reason he started the group.Credit to the Live tennis it for having this story.LINK

"I created the Facebook group for a couple of reasons. I've been playing for almost 2 years, I have traveled to more than 10 different states and it was a real battle to fund this. I was lucky enough to have the help of my parents, sisters and brother also my in-laws. Last year I was able to get to number 770 in singles and 440 in doubles ranking while traveling and I noticed that it did not matter if the players were placed in position 200 or 2000, all the players had economic problems due to the lack of prize and had a travel program that required a big budget. "
"Everybody talks about the lack of prize money in futures and challengers but nobody really tries to do something. I know there are some associations that are driven by people who have tried to ask for ATP and to 'ITF to review and change the system. I know one of them personally, the former CEO of the South African courts, Ian Smith, who resigned last November. After reading a couple of articles on a tennis English and one Irish and watching my economic situation, I decided to create the group to get the word out to more potential players. Social media have their advantages. Ian Smith saw the post and made a comment, scoring some very valid points.We discussed a few things and he told me how the ATP and the ITF does not want to give him a chance to change things in a positive for many players in the ATP circuit. They are focused on money and leave the top players happy. In fact, over the past 15 years, the prize of the Grand Slam has been increased by 480%, while those of the challengers and futures of 0%. "

"The ATP has forgotten that without the 90% of players in the world, this game would not exist. The young players have little or no reason to try to break through the ATP. Take a player who went from being one of the "top" at the junior level and comes to be number 250 in the rankings pro in his first professional year. This player should earn money but in reality it is not. Most of the players who quit are the ones who spend all their money, the money of the family, and more, to get to number 250 in the world and when they come here, they find themselves still without money and decide to quit. The ATP should start helping the players with a lower ranking. The ATP should also encourage them, give them any kind of incentive to keep playing tennis and show that they can change things. Usually in tennis, a player positioned at number 200 is considered a lower level player, but we must remember that he is number 200 in the world, absolutely brilliant result. My question is how can the ATP and the ITF sit back knowing that they are able to pay only 5% of the tennis players? We all know that they are paid millions to sit and drive the ATP, but right now what should move in and start work. Make a change for this sport! "
"Even the ITF must intervene, must work together to make such a change. I've had some really good feedback from hundreds of players by email and on Facebook. Players placed in the top 30 ranking in doubles or singles ranking of the top 200. The goal is to take some of the "top players" to say something, because in the end it is they who "govern" the ATP. I would like to have answers to the most players possible. I'm going to take all of the suggestions received from players who have contacted me to create a letter to the ATP and the ITF. I will send an email to all the players who have contacted me to sign it. At this point I will send a letter with the signatures of the ATP, I hope, more than 500 players and after waiting for their reply. I think that if all the players are together and with the help of former players and coaches can get a real change for the good. The players outside the top 200 have nothing to lose, the only thing they have is a good credential to their resume but are left with $ 0 and this is wrong. "
The Facebook page is called ATP AND ITF-TIME FOR CHANGE.Give it a like and increase awareness of payment for the up and coming tennis players from all nations.
Ever heard of Michael Russell hes the worlds 92nd best tennis player.He said he is making a comfortable living but this guy is a real journey man and clears about 200,00 a year after expenses. Its a very good overview of what it costs per year on tour.LINK
So just to give you some idea on what you can earn depending on your ranking they are listed below.

Click on the charts to make them bigger. This one applies and the one following to players ranked 1000-400 even lower.

* Sadly New Zealand have chose not to apply for future events! Its a must to have and again the high performance program falling short!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Aussie Open Day 8

Well winners above on Day 7 ! Serena is not there! Anna pulls off the upset of the century! William's reportedly had back issues.Its like this Serena you take the court there can be no excuses. Apparently her coach let this slip ..I mean Patrick what is exactly the relationship you have with Serena?

Fabulous Fabio proved what a "dud" he can be and yesterday i said it would depend what side of the bed he got up on to how he would go against the Djoker. Fabio should of stayed in bed!
Matches of Interest For me today!

Stephens Vs Azarenka -No love lost her! Should be a beauty!

Nadal vs Nishikori- Rafa will out muscle the Japanese love watching him work over these guys.

Tsonga Vs Federer - Well Fed here's is you first big test

Andy Murray -won't be watching but I need to say how lucky he always is with great draws!

Dimitrov vs Agut- Now these are the matches Grigor can lose and this one could go either way

Finally they breed them tough in Australia we know that.Watch Below

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Aussie Open Day 7

Great to see the pro's interacting with the fans that turn up to watch them practice, these lucky boys were pulled onto or lifted by Djokovic to the court and actually got to hit a couple of balls!

Matches of Interest for me Today

Williams vs Ivanovic-Anna played well against Stosur but will Serena just be too much to handle!

Fognini Vs Djokovic- Fabio could test Novak..depends on how he is feeling but if he rose on the good side of the bed then he will make a match of it.

Dellacqua VS Bouchard - The Canadian will be hard to beat a top junior she is making the transition to Pro , one to watch.

The Juniors will also continue today with first round matches.A high of about 23C will be pleasant for players today.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Aussie Open Day 6

So another day of heat and the above picture says it all.I am sure a lot of players felt like a fried egg!,especially those on the losing end.

Sam Stosur went down to Anna Ivanovic, I did not think Stosur played bad she was beaten by a player with a better game .

Serve -Anna varied her serve throughout the match although Stosur had the higher percentage of first serves in at 68% she only won 61% compared with Anna who served at 58% but won 81% of points on first serve.The tour players have worked out Stosur she does not serve wide to the forehand side effectively and the Kicker down on the backhand side sits up to be crunched. Stosur does not fare well at Wimbledon because she cannot hit a slice serve.Anna serving wide to Stosur on the forehand side won many points.

Cannot understand why her coaches have not worked on variety with the serve and developed a slice serve as well has her stock kick serve.

Movement - this is a key for all players and for Sam its the weakest area of her game, pushed into the corners really shows this deficiency , really to much muscle and just is way to slow .This effects her forehand which she often shanks but is her main weapon ..not being in position causes shanks.Her backhand slice is ok but again put into the corners and weight of shot is just not strong enough.Same with the two hander , perfect example was when Anna was at the net Stosur had a chance to drill it through or past Anna , did not hit it hard enough and Anna plucked off the volley.

Stosur has had these deficiency's for a long time and to me no one has addressed these areas.Really the word is out how to play Sammy and those that can exploit these weaknesses will do well. 

Had an email from Willy the photo extraordinaire ( hope security did not search you this year and your lens was the correct size!)Willy is at the Australian Open and sent me this short email and picture."Thought you might like to see these photos that I took to put on your
website, its been that hot here in the day that this has been happening each
night around us. Seen some great games of tennis when we haven't melted like butter 44 degrees lots of ball kids passing out I think that's why the heat
wave came in because they didn't have enough ball kids left."

Keep  the sunscreen on Willy don't want you passing out with the heat!

Great pictures of the storms that come after the heat of the day in Melbourne!

Matches on Day 6 that I will be looking at.

Nadal Vs Monfils - I think Rafa's best test so far.

Raonic vs Dimitrov -I think one of the best matchups two of the younger players that have the potential to do well up against each other!!!

The Junior singles start today,Good luck to the Kiwis who have qualified for the main draw a great experience coming...all will find the going tough!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Aussie Open Day 5

Play was suspended yesterday as the Heat Wave hit extreme temperatures in Melbourne.Yep the players certainly earned their money yesterday.So how much money is up for grabs? Below is the Men's and Ladies earnings per round.

You can click on the image to make it bigger.I have to comment whilst the top players do very well in earnings with prize money,endorsements and appearance money the Nadal's, Federer's,Djokovic's need to do more in helping the tour battlers earn more.Its true that players outside the top 100 of the sport are struggling.I have a few articles on this blog about this.I am going to provide two links the first an article headed MONEY not rankings,expose tennis players divide.It poses the question for what I have been asking on my blog is it now obligatory now to be the son or daughter of wealthy parents?LINK

The second link is by a British Pro quitting the grind as he is just not making it. Headed Jamie Bakers breaking point: A tennis nomad exists on the planet's cruelest sport. Well worth the read LINK

The two young Australians going down last night certainly caught the eye of fans all over the world Kokkinakis went down to Nadal , taught an invaluable lesson by the Worlds Number 1 Big future for the 17 year old and Nick Krygios
the 19 year old showed how gutsy going down in 5 after leading two sets to love.On this performance he will be going places and one place is up the rankings.If you have not seen him play below are the highlights of his match

Matches today I will be taking an Interest in.

Chardy vs Ferrer -record number of french players progressing in the draw and Chardy could cause an upset.Have not been impressed with Ferrer to date.

Dellacqua Vs Zheng- the Aussie is really hitting form, will she have the consistency to win this one?

Stosur Vs  Ivanovic-Will be a test for both ...cant pick a winner here!

Fognini Vs Querrey -can Fabio combat the big serve!

After Delpotro going out yesterday ...what will day five bring?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Aussie Open Tennis Day 4

Can it get any hotter in Melbourne today?I think it can and lots of great match ups today. If you are not at the tennis venue the internet can be very helpful to view matches not televised by your local provider.SKY GO gives you and extra channel in New Zealand showing matches on Margret Court arena and you can get live streaming of the other show courts via the net. Send me an email if you want that link.

Listed below are the matches of interest to me today and will try to look in on all of them.

Nadal Vs Kokkinakis What a thrill for this young 17 year old to play World number 1.This will give the world wide audience a glimpse of maybe a new generation trying to do what Nadal and Co have achieved.

Paire Vs Krygios  Another young gun and an Aussie 19 Year Old Nick Krygios takes on the 27th seed.It will be a test as Paire is a good player lets hope he brings his best and if he does will be hard to stop in front of Home Crowd on Margaret Court Arena.

Dimitrov Vs Lu- Will see how Baby Fed is going , he is also the love interest of Maria the screamer , who looks like winning her match as I write.

Raonic Vs Hanescu- the big serving Canadian has a big game and really should win this one.

Foginini the Italian is great value to watch and he has been climbing up the rankings list. Here is a video of him enjoying the water fountains at the tennis after winning his match yesterday

As I write Marina Erakovic looks like bowing out to a qualifier lost the first 6-4 and down 5-0 second set.Bad news for the Kiwi's!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Aussie Open Tennis Day 3

Heat was a focus yesterday at the Open with temps 43 C experienced by players and spectators.Looking at the vacant seats in many of the venues fans were looking for the shade and left the players on court to deal with it.Canadian player Frank Dancevic fainted on court yesterday during his match.He finished on the losing end but did complete his match.He was critical of the organizers and the officials allowing players to risk their health. Ok my take on this is Frank your a pro tennis player , you are coming to Australia in January ...its going to be hot.When I see Rodger and Rafa and Lleyton collapsing because of the heat I may change my mind.Rodger Federer said the mind makes you feel hotter especially if you are on the losing end.Frank what you should of been saying is..I'm tough , I am pro its the same for the other guy come on the other side... sun give me more heat I'm going to take this guy down!As Fed said if you train hard enough there is no reason to quit!And that is why Fed is ranked in the top 10 and Frank your not.In typical whinging Pom style Andy Murray weighed in and said it was dangerous...your a grandslam champion ...your tougher than that.

Poor old Bernard Tomic cannot take a trick and was Boo'd by the crowd when he had to default.I have no question that he was injured and the right thing to do ....but the question I ask... is he working hard enough off the court?.I think if he has ambition to break the top 10 then he must really up his off court training and give quality in every session.I am sure he works hard but he can go another level for sure!

I had the pleasure of watching both Nick Kyrgios and Thansai Kokkinakis win both their first round matches.Nick has a huge serve and big forehand weapons that will take him far in the Men's game he is 19 as does Thansai who battled cramping to win his match.More impressive Kokkinakis is only 17.
Nick has had shoulder trouble and this did seem to flare at the end of the match so lets hope its not major and Thansai will be even more match hardened physically .He will have to be as a dream match Rod Laver Arena awaits him against Rafa Nadal! What can I say about Hewitt Love him or hate him he gives it all!

Matches of Interest for me Today

Pat Rafter & Lleyton Hewit vs Klaasen &Butorac-yep you read it correct 41 year old Pat Rafter...this match will fill Hisense Arena!

Gulbis vs Querrey-Really just interested how many rackets Gulbis breaks today.

Anderson Vs Thiem-Anderson had trouble in the first round with a rising young player , he gets no rest his opponent today is also in the rising star category.

Aussie Ebden and Dellacqua are in action also so may watch a little of them.

Fabio Fognini is also a favorite of mine so will watch this exciting Italian also.

Oh Kiwis will be happy Marina won!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Aussie Open Day 2

Here is the best tip for parents and child seeking a tennis career. This will be the best advice you ever get and will save you a lot of money in the scheme of things and I'm going to give it to you free , no charge.!

"If the parents want the tennis career for their child more than the child wants a tennis career then STOP! Just enjoy the game without the pressure.With The NZ nationals winding up this is a great tip for a few parents and players.

Well today matches plenty on show in very hot conditions! Being a spectator at the Aussie Open can be as tough as playing....well nearly!Thank goodness this year I am home being in NZ has made me weak! and cant stand any temperatures over 25 c : ) 

My Match interests Today are
James Duckworth AUS vs Roger Federer -* James and Gabrielle my niece played in the same winning Bruce Cup team for NSW when about the age of 11.Of course always great to watch the old guy Fed.

Rafa Nadal Vs Bernard Tomic- * The best thing Bernie can hope for is that Rafa today is having a few Lap Dances! Sadly Bernie he wont be!I am afraid Tomic for me is overrated, For a big guy does not serve as well as he could and for him to be top 10 this is a must the other factor Tomic's forehand does not have enough shape and is just too flat at today and notice how low he finishes at times on the drive through with elbow...often tries to hit down the line and hits net!His Backhand is steady but no weapon. VAMOS RAFA my tip to win the tournament. 

Ryan Harrison Vs Gail Monfils-Played on Margaret Court arena at around 7pm this will be an entertaining match.Harrison has dissapointed me of late but he will give it all that's for sure.

Nick Kyrgois AUS Vs Benjamin Becker - great match up and if Nick is going to have a future in the top 20 although 19 I'm expecting him to take this match.He has been injured and lets hope a full recovery.

Thansai Kokkinakis AUS vs I Sijsling - This is a winnable match for the 17 year old Australian and looking fwd to watching some of his match today.

Lleyton Hewitt Vs Seppi (24 seed)- tough match for the Aussie Battler good form and he will need to be on song again to get through this but you will get your moneys worth with Hewitt. C'MON!

Have not listed any female matches today slam bang and thank you maam! just gets a little boring until the quarters!

However for all the New Zealanders reading then Marina plays the 22 seed today. If Erakovic plays like Auckland form then I do not think she will be getting to the second round!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Day 1 Australian Open Tennis

As we start the first day's play today here is some interesting facts on the Men's and Women's Main Draw. Women-there are 15 thirty -somethings and 17 teenagers. Average age is 24 years and 292 days.Men - there are 33 thirty somethings and 4 teenagers.Average men's age is 27 years, 126 days.

This is great information and as you see the comparison is quite different, certainly I think Men's tennis is at a higher level than the women's especially in depth.

Matches of interest to me Day 1 

Sam Stosur Vs Klara Zakopalova 

* Stosur has been on the downhill since winning the US OPEN she is seeded 17th for this event.Last week she lost to the CZE , I don't watch slamming Sammy as I cannot stand unforced errors.

As I write the first retirement just occurred Goulubev against Warinka..nice of you to step out and collect you paycheck Andrey! 

Serena Williams Vs Ash Barty

A young Aussie in action , just seeing how she goes against the great Serena
best female prospect for Australia ...only 18 but just wish she was taller!

Na Li VS Ana Konjuh : Konjuh has had an outstanding Junior Career and still only 17 this is one player that will for sure make the transition and will give the 4th seed a run for the money.

Jordan Thompson vs Jerzy Janowicz : Young Aussie Thompson had Gasquet beat last week only to lose in three, Jerzy is a ticking time bomb and this could be a great encounter.

Dominic Thiem Vs J Sousa : Thiem is another younger guy with a solid junior career rising up the rankings.

Belinda Benic VS Kimoko Date :One of the youngest against the oldest,Benic also a very good junior and they are playing as i write and locked in a battle at 1 set all.

Ricardos Berankis Vs Alexandr Dolgopolov :Berankis a former USopen Junior winner plays the "dog" will be a great match!.

Well these are my picks today I would much rather spend the day on outside courts than watching one sided matches in the main stadiums.

Jiri Vesely vs Kevin Anderson : Vesley another young gun up against the 19th seed , Vesely will go close to winning this one..

Saturday, January 11, 2014


I found this very interesting analysis about the 20 and under male tennis players and who to watch as they progress on tour.I need to say that I read a lot of crap how the male player is developing later but the top four Nadal,Djokovic,Federer and Murray all made their mark at a young age.Maybe just maybe the Male tennis player is getting weaker and weaker?Do we have a top ten player in our next generation?Or will the old guard continue to dominate. TNZ should take the time in reading this article and reassess "pie in the sky" ideas of sending baby's to the Netherlands to pick tulips!

LINK  * at present no New Zealand players feature out of 50 countries, 6 years to turn this around?

Please take the time to read its very informative I hope this guy does a girls comparison!

Just to add 2 of the elite targeted New Zealand Juniors are playing the National Junior championships being conducted this month , so I ask this where are the other two? Whats good for the geese is good for the gander!


All the above players have made the main-draw , watch out for another player to watch Aussie Thansai Kokkinakis still 17 also in main draws and recently has had some very impressive wins over much higher ranked ATP players.His ATP ranking is around #570.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Targeted Elite Junior Tennis Player in New Zealand

Its about time I commented on the New Elite Targeted Junior Tennis Player pathway implementing in New Zealand. The new strategy has been developed by Tennis New Zealand over the past year and has received wide acceptance from the tennis community that the targeted approach will ensure a more effective use of its limited resources."WIDER TENNIS COMMUNITY?"
The Targeted Athlete Programme is designed to identify and target a small number of exceptionally talented New Zealand junior tennis players who Tennis New Zealand believe have the potential to achieve its High performance objective of having more players ranked inside the top 150 players in the world in years to come.

This is their (TNZ) vision To inspire New Zealanders by having players ranked inside the top 150 on the WTA/ATP Tours and performing with distinction on the international stage by 2020.That is in 6 years time? First off all get your blinkers off if you think this vision will happen by 2020.Maybe you should of worded it dream and not vision!

I need to say straight away that TNZ in the past 20 years have failed dismally on many projects and if you were a parent with an outstanding talent would you really let TNZ guide the career of you child.Answer NO!

Finn Reynolds (13), Macsen Sisam (13), Rosie Cheng (15) and Valentina Ivanov (12) have been selected as the first four Elite Junior Targeted Athletes. These athletes will now come under the close monitoring and guidance of Tennis New Zealand who will invest in and work collaboratively with the players private coach and families on developing and implementing a world class high performance programme for these players.
Tennis New Zealand CEO Steve Johns says that “the selection of these four outstanding young players is an exciting first step in the journey for tennis in New Zealand back to glory days when several players were playing for New Zealand with distinction on the international stage”.

So I have to ask with all that experience Mr Johns has as a tennis talent scout outstanding is a big word to use for juniors so young.Certainly these players have targets on their backs as I am sure many local juniors not considered to be among the 4 elite targeted tennis players will be out to prove a point.In Fact some have done this already with Rosie Cheng being defeated in the 18 and under champs by Ella Hassel and Top seeded Sissam beaten in the quarter finals of the 14's nationals just this week. Sissam has been training in Spain and one would expect a targeted outstanding elite tennis player to win their local National age group title.This is not having a go at these players selected its about TNZ throwing all their eggs in one basket to what I would class as baby's in the scheme of a pro tennis player.

The four selected players are already working very closely with Tennis New Zealand on the development of their 2014 programmes which will see the group spend a large portion of the year overseas competing and training from the Tennis New Zealand base in the Netherlands. Yes the Netherlands players have been based there for a few years , Not the answer guys especially for this age!Just because Andy Murray spent his junior days at Spanish Academy's I am sure parents get excited when they have the chance and finances to do this with their child thinking this will make their child a Murray!.Murray went to Spain not the Netherlands! AND THE OTHER THING MURRAY HAD GOING WAS EXCEPTIONAL TALENT!

Usually a good gauge of talent is if a junior is beating and winning against the next age group especially in girls tennis.Rosie Cheng is ranked about 300 ITF points played mostly Grade 4 , I am sorry but I have to query these selections.Winning a 12's National Australian singles title is not an indication if the player is earmarked for top 150 pro's.

John's goes on to say The need for a different approach to its High performance programme was essential says Johns if New Zealand players are to have any chance of completing successfully on the international stage.  “With very limited resources, we had to focus our investment and energy into a smaller group of players to ensure that we are able to provide them with a realistic chance of competing against the best in the world in the future” says Johns.

So I ask this question what of the Paige Hourigans ,Kyle Butters ,Alex Klintcherov's, the message I get is TNZ do not think you will reach 150 what is this spelling out to parents and players?Do you have to be privileged and in favor of the powers that be? Hourigan by far NZ best 16 and under girl did not go to Mexico to represent her country in Junior Fed cup and I believe much to do was for financial reasons.

We have had already two defections one by Sasha Jones to Australia and the other to Cameron Norrie to UK. One gets the impression College Tennis is the flavor of the month but really is this the bar you want tennis players to follow if you are going to be top 150.Its not the answer! and I can real off a large list of NZ players in college and finished college that wont make top 300.

Seriously Tennis in this country is regarded as a Summer sport and until TNZ try to tackle a cultural issue and address local issues give more incentive to juniors to keep playing tennis year round then New Zealand will never be to the fore of tennis.

Just look at the wonderful questions NZ commentators ask the players at ASB and Heineken Tennis tournaments the most asked question was " what do you think of New Zealand" as if it was a tourism event.Then another commentator describes the events a wonderful social event for players and they have the chance of getting their pictures in the social section of the Newspapers" YEH RIGHT! After a doubles match last night one of the questions was"so you like coming to the net?" well hello! its doubles and men's doubles where it is won from the net! RIVETING!Most players that play here cannot make the draws of the bigger prize-money tournaments and the named players certainly get a great appearance money fee to make up for it.

There are many good coaches that are not being utiliized because their ideas and methods are different than TNZ they sadly are very much disenchanted with tennis in this country.You can read the plan here LINK Just look at the swot analysis if you want a good laugh!

New Zealand have used programs from other countries and tried to apply here in their pathway ..big mistake! You must have a program that will suit New Zealand Tennis and local culture and geographical problems. The perception is that Auckland is New Zealand Tennis.The other thing Junior Tennis players here are mostly not tough enough , their parents want it more than the child and the crying!!!!

In early February, Tennis New Zealand will announce the selection of a slightly larger group of players who will form the Development Targeted Athlete Squad and which will consist of players that it believes have the potential to be in the Elite Targeted Athlete programme in the future. - will be interesting to see who will be named and what traits are different from the 4 elite targeted tennis players.

For a start a clean sweep of administration and the board who is not held accountable enough for the direction of tennis in this country.

So I open this link for comments 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all and may the 2014 tennis season be a great one.And if you are in New Zealand may half of 2014 be a great tennis season.