Thoughts switch to Australian Open

As the tennis season winds down, thoughts are already switching to January’s Australian Open in Melbourne – with the world’s best players all looking to get themselves in the best possible shape ahead of the season’s opening Grand Slam. 2014 has been a fascinating season in the Men’s game, as two of four tournaments were won by players outside the usually-dominant quartet of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Roger Federer.

Australian Open

While long-time Swiss number-two Stan Wawrinka opened the year by shocking the Betfair odds and winning his maiden Grand Slam title in Australia, Marin Cilic followed suit in September when, clinching his first major title by beating Kei Nishikori in the final of the US Open. Both Wawrinka and Cilic had long been thought of as top players, but there weren’t many who expected either to be among this year’s Grand Slam winners. The duo will be looking at 2015 as a great chance to prove their achievements in 2014 were no fluke.

Wawrinka will be the first to get the opportunity to defend his sole Grand Slam crown when he returns to Melbourne at the start of the year, and the world number four will also be hoping to further cement his new place in the top-five places of the world rankings. The defending champion could find it tougher than last year though, with the likes of Djokovic, Nadal, Murray and Federer all expected to be much stronger than last year – not to mention the fast-improving group of players who currently occupy the rest of the top-20.

So who should we be watching out for when the Men’s draw of the Australian Open gets underway early next year?

Novak Djokovic: 13/8

Novak Djokovic

The current world number one will start next January’s tournament as the perhaps unsurprising betting favourite for a tournament he has dominated in recent years. With four of his seven Grand Slam wins coming at the Australian Open, Djokovic has shown that this is his most successful of the four majors, and the Serbian star will be looking to make up for a relatively underwhelming run to the quarter-finals this year. Djokovic bounced back from his Australian Open disappointment to reach his second French Open final before losing to clay-court king Nadal. Djokovic did however, reply to the two previous setbacks by securing a second Wimbledon crown in the next major, before the 27-year old wrapped up 2014 with a spot in the semi-finals of the US Open.

Rafael Nadal: 10/3

Rafael Nadal

With just one of his 14 Grand Slam titles coming in Melbourne, the Australian Open has been far from Nadal’s happiest hunting ground over the years – but you can still never rule out the sensational Spaniard. His sole success at the tournament came back in 2009, although Nadal has reached two finals since then – including this year when he was beaten in four sets by Wawrinka. An incredible ninth French Open title followed the Spaniard’s Australian Open heartache, only for injuries to again begin to plague Nadal’s season. The left-hander was clearly not at his best during his run to the fourth round of Wimbledon, and injury forced Nadal to miss his second US Open in three years in September. But if he’s fully fit, Nadal will be a serious contender next January.

Andy Murray: 5/1

Andy Murray

Andy Murray will head Down Under at the start of 2015 looking to win a tournament he has progressed to the final in on three occasions, without ever coming away with the title. The Scotsman has come up short on three occasions in Melbourne, but it hasn’t stopped a number of fans tipping Murray to be in with a great chance of ending his wait for an Australian Open title in January. Injuries hampered Murray for much of this year – playing a huge part in the Scotsman slipping out of the world’s top-10. After kicking off 2014 by reaching the quarter-finals in Melbourne, Murray went on to reach the semi-finals of the French Open before a disappointing run to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon that saw him fail to mount a commendable defend of his crown in London. Murray then ended a below-par year in the Grand Slams by making it only as far as the quarter-finals at the US Open. The two-time Grand Slam winner looks set to start the year free of injury though, and the Scot will be hoping to put himself back on the map after a tough year and retake his seat at the top table of tennis. Continue reading

Too Late For Tennis Betting – No Way!

Tennis is already here, and this fact makes some folks panic when they really don’t need to at all. You see, there’s still plenty of time to make tennis betting profitable. You just need to make sure that you are definitely giving yourself plenty of time to drill down appropriately.

What do we mean by this? Well, a few things. One, you need to decide the type of bets that you want to place, and where you want to place them. If you’re going to go bonus hunting, now is the time to do that. Of course, if you already have a sportsbook online that meets your needs, and then you’re good to go. For those that are in the market looking, there are a few things that you need to be aware of with a sportsbook as well as tennis betting.

Tennis Betting

In tennis, people get injured, and this takes them out of the game. Well, what happens when you’ve laid down hard earned cash for a player to win it big? You could end up losing your bet money, doubly so if you’ve done an accumulator that depends on that player multiple times in different configurations. You need to make sure that you’re doing bets at a place that cancels your bet if the player you’re wagering on gets injured or retires before they actually complete the match. Retirements have happened before, especially if the player suddenly becomes very prone to injury. They figure that it’s better to leave on a high note than get caught up trying to heal. Tennis takes a toll on the body, so tennis players tend to stop playing when they’ve had enough.

You want to go for the match wins, even though more exotic bets are out there. In our opinion, the exotic bets take away from proper tennis handicapping.

It sounds like common sense, but you really want to get to know all of the players that you’re going to wager on. Yes, there are sites that offer tennis picks. While this isn’t a bad idea in principle, in practice it sounds ridiculous. Do you really want to trust your wins on what other people say? If they’re betting from the gut, then you’re betting form the gut. You just have to hope that their gut picks are better than yours. Going for the crowd favorite isn’t always the best ting either. The truth is that tennis players are still human. They can have bad days just like we do. What’s stopping that favored player from having an injury, or just not playing their usual best?

Don’t forget to weigh all of these factors when you’re trying to figure out how you’re going to place those bets. As a gentle reminder, don’t invest too much into your tennis betting. If you have your eye on betting on more than one sport, you still want to have enough left over to use in other markets.

Calculate and recalculate your odds and potential wins. If you can cover losses with wins from another match, you should definitely do so. But know when it’s time to walk away from the wagering tables for a while. You don’t want to get burned out, you know! Tennis is about enjoying the game from every angle, so if something stops feeling right it’s time to quit! :)

Will One of the Top Four Men win at Wimbledon This Year?

At this point at Wimbledon it seems pretty easy to think about who might win in the men’s game. It usually comes down to the main four, Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. If you were thinking of having a bet on Wimbledon matches then you might choose some of the matches in this early week with these guys playing as you would be sure that they would be able to win.

wimbledon

However, nothing is cut and dried in Wimbledon. There are years when a surprise winner comes through as well as those when the expected four men get through to the semi-finals. This can depend on the draw that they get as well as how well they are doing leading up to the competition as well as on the day that they play.

roger_federer

Roger Federer has been written off a number of times, but he is still doing well, in the top five players and winning matches as well as beating the other top men. Despite having twins, and being the oldest of the four men mentioned, he is still a serious contender. With his new coach Stefan Edberg, who will certainly have a lot to add, having won Wimbledon twice himself, he could be an even more difficult player to beat this year.

Andy Murray has all of the expectation on him, having won the competition last year. However, he no longer has the pressure of beating UK records as the country are no longer desperate to have a British winner. However, his new coach in Amelie Meresmo could help him to win again, but as their relationship is so new, then they will not have had much time to get to know each other. The things he learnt from his last coach Ivan Lendl, last year will still be there though. Continue reading

Build up to the French Open 2014 Men’s Singles

The French Open excitement is already building with qualifying matches underway for those who are not lucky enough to automatically get through to the finals. The competition starts on the 25th May and runs through to June 8th and so there is not long to wait. The draws have also been announced, making some people already start to speculate about who might win the championships this year.

There is no surprise that Rafael Nadal is the number one seed this year and if you check your favourite tennis odds then he is likely to be bookies favourite as well. His first few rounds of matches do not look to challenging either, although Tommy Haas and David Ferrer could challenge him later on.

His biggest competition could be Andy Murray in the quarter finals, assuming that they both get that far of course. He could then meet Roger Federer in the semi-finals, but he has quite a tough draw with a lot of well-known players in his quarter. They may not be so good at the moment, but could prove themselves under the pressure of the big tournament. The number two seed Novak Djokovic, also has a pretty tough draw with a lot of good players in his quarter as well, as he will need to beat 25th seed Marin Cilic and then Jo-Wilfred Tsonga who is the thirteenth seed and then a semi-final against Roger Federer to get through to the final. Of course most people would like to see him playing Nadal in the final, but there are a lot of matches between now and then and it is pretty hard to know who will get through at the moment.

French Open 2014

Recent form could also help spur on Djokovic who won the Rome Masters recently which put worries about a wrist injury behind him. He beat Nadal in three sets in that final and was his fourth successive win over him so that has to give him confidence. It could also be a grudge match after last years final when he was leading Nadalin the fifth set but was still not able to lift the trophy.

Nadal on the other hand has lost three matches in this season, breaking a ten year record of successive wins. It will also be interesting to see how well Andy Murray fairs having not shown his sparkling form from last years Wimbledon win since having back surgery. Federer is of course always a threat too, but there has been talk of his vulnerability lately and so whether he can push through to the latter matches will be interesting. There is always the chance that someone outside of the top four could do well or even win, it has happened many times before and so it could be a very interesting fortnight of tennis.

 

Tennis Betting on Your Mind – Get Great Odds Today

Tennis season is in full swing, and that means that you have plenty of ways to add extra cash to your bottom line. No, you don’t have to be a super whiz in order to make money from tennis betting. You do, however, need to get to a source that has great tennis odds. If you do nothing else, this is what will keep you profitable for a long time to come.

Tennis betting is so popular because it doesn’t take much to move your money forward. Tennis is also a sport of great skill. When you bet on a tennis match, you know that each competitor is going to fight as hard as possible to win. That’s not something that you can always say about other sports. So if you have people telling you that tennis is a soft sport, think again. It’s actually more intense than meets the eye.

Tennis Betting

But you want to get your favourite tennis odds, and you need to get them quickly. Don’t settle for tired listings on forums or off in the paper. They’re not going to give you the most current view on things. You need to do to a site that’s devoted to tennis betting. There are plenty of them online, but there are only a few that truly serve players for the long run. We’ve all seen fly by night operations that make you believe that they’re going to be around to give you great odds on matches, but they fade away. Unfortunately, when one of these bad sites fails there’s like three or four that spring up to replace it.

Getting your odds from a site you trust has incredible benefits. When you have great odds, you can go with advanced tennis handicapping methods, or you can use the odds in a “raw” fashion. It’s completely up to you. Some people like to dig into tennis statistics and thoughts about how each player has played historically. But the world of sports in general is full of upsets. You can be the No 1 seed in tennis and still lose to somebody that’s ranked lower than you are. You can also see somebody that’s ranked fairly low turn into the No 1 seed for a while, only to “fall from grace” with bad matches.

Court selection can change the outcome of a game as well. Like it or not, some tennis players just aren’t good on grass versus when they play on harder surfaces. This is where having a deep history of the players helps.

On most quality sites with tennis odds, you will find players that you can speculate with. They may be able to get you up to speed quickly on a tennis player, which beats having to watch hours of footage to make your decision, or pour over a bunch of numbers. Why not check it out today, while it’s on your mind?

 

Top Three Things to Think About When Buying Running Shoes

Running can really take its toll on your body and so it is very important to make sure that you protect yourself by buying the best possible shoe for you. There are many things that you should consider when buying shoes and the top three things are listed below.

Gait

Your gait is the way that you run. If you tend to roll your foot over to one side when you are running, then you need a shoe that gives good support around your heel. There are shoes that do this and shoes that do not. In order to find out, it is possible to have a gait analysis done in a sports shop. They will ask you to jog on a treadmill and video your feet so that they can see how you run. Then they will be able to show you which selection of shoes is most suitable for you. If you are buying online, then this could be more difficult, but it could be possible for you to ask a friend or family member to look at your feet while running and check out your gait and then contact shoe sellers and manufacturers to get a list of the shoes that will be best for you.

Buying Running Shoes

Comfort

Comfort is obviously very important when buying a running shoe. When you are trying on the shoes, make sure that you wear a pair of running socks so that you know exactly how it might feel. Take your time to walk around the shop and feel how the fit is for you. Some shoes may rub on the heels or toes or on the ankle bone so watch out for those areas when you are trying them on. Consider how tightly you will lace them as well and try to replicate this when you try them on. If you lace a shoe too tightly it can give you foot pain but if it is too loose it can slip on the heel and so you need to make sure that you can lace it correctly and still make it feel comfortable.

Support

It is important to consider what type of support the shoe will be giving to your foot. It may feel comfortable, but you also need to consider what it has built in to it to protect your body. Some shoes have special technology in them to help you. It is good to find out all about this and how it could help you before buying the shoe. You could end up paying a lot more than necessary for a pair of very technical shoes when a pair of more reasonably priced running shoes from Millet sports could do the job. Consider what your needs are before you part with your money.

Tennis Strategy to Beat Every Player!

No player is perfect! There is always a tennis strategy that can ruin your opponents day. Nadal, for example, finally found a slight sliver of a hairline crack in poor ole Fed’s armor! He has been whipping up spin balls to Federers’ backhand ever since, causing huge damage to possibly the best player who’s ever lived! There are always players that you will think

“Ughh! I got to play that guy?!” Well, those players tend to natural play with a playing style that employs a tactic that you dislike. Such as high balls or slicing backhands.

Having been a college player in the SEC, I certainly have been in the midst of tennis strategies!

The coaches spend more time analyzing strategies and tactics than perhaps Napoleon did before invading Russia. They know it is absolutely crucial to the winning of a match.

Tennis Strategy

Singles Tennis Strategies – are basically your plan while on the tennis court.

Your anti-opponent plan! It is a big deal, not only because you are using tactics that exploit your opponents’ weaknesses, therefore incapacitating his strengths. Furthermore, having a good tennis tactic will do more than just that. It will give you confidence, but more on that later.

Tennis Doubles Strategy – In this clever game, full of dialogue and surprise, strategical planning and communication are of the essence.

Different tactics are discussed such as “I formation” which is where one player crouches down to the ground and springs up to a certain side after the serve, I will also suggest how to make it most effective.

As well as the “I formation” doubles tactics such as “Australian formation” are mentioned and other useful tips such as… where to serve when playing doubles?

What’s Tennis Strategy, Why Is It Such A Big Deal?

Being a man with a plan, (such as Rafael Nadal tennis plan when he plays Federer) gives you confidence in times of pressure! It removes doubts, that otherwise start to sneak in.

Furthermore, there are many different types of tennis courts and as a player learning to adjust your playing style and tactics to the specific court your playing on is key! That leads me onto a whole new section that I find critical when playing tennis… Strategies for different tennis surfaces! Read more below.

Clay Tennis Court Strategies – How to win on a clay court. When playing on a clay tennis court, tennis becomes completely different, the balls come at different speeds, the bounces are different, it is slippery and players end up sliding. So it is vital for players to know their tennis strategy and “play their cards” differently.

On top of this, It loads that pressure on to your opponent because you will make them play their most shaky shot. Your opponent knows it’s coming. He or she will miss it eventually, and… He or she will be angry, frustrated, and nervous because they knows the shot is coming their way again!

A great example of tennis tactics is in “Winning Ugly” by Brad Gilbert! I suggest you take a look, if you haven’t already :-) It’s great.

How to Hit a Tennis Backhand

Many beginners think that the backhand ground stroke is a difficult one. However, once the footwork and basics of the stroke are mastered, it becomes a very natural shot and can be a very effective weapon.

Here are some points to remember for the backhand:

1. For the grip, the hand is placed at the top of the handle and the thumb placed either across the back of the handle or wrapped around it.
2. From the basic ready position, turn the upper body so that you are sideways to the net.
3. Take the racket back in a slight looping motion, so that it is about perpendicular to the net.
4. As you complete your backswing, bring the forward foot around in front of you and step towards the ball, keeping your weight on the back foot until you start the forward swing.
5. Use a firm grip and ensure that it is a strong grip as you come to hit the ball.
6.  Make contact with the ball just ahead of your forward hip.
7. Transfer your body weight as you hit so that all your body weight is on the front foot when contact with the ball is made.
8. Continue the follow through after the ball has been hit and let your rear foot come through as you finish the stroke.

The Championships - Wimbledon 2007 Day Nine

Sliced Backhand

The motion described above can be used for the sliced backhand. The racket head will be slightly open and the position of the racket remains high when coming forward to hit the ball. The swing path is from high to low.

Topspin Backhand

For this shot, the racket head is positioned in a more straight vertical position. After the loop back, the racket head is dropped low and the knees are bent as well. The swing path is from low to high.

Two-handed Backhand

For one-handed shots, the player has a choice of using slice (backspin) or topspin. For the two-handed shots, topspin is invariably used because slice is difficult to achieve. For that reason, the racket head will drop low and scrape the back of the ball from bottom to top, thus imparting topspin.

The Tennis Racket

The racket is the tool with which you perform, so you’ll need to select one that you feel very comfortable with and one that feels as much as possible like an extension of your arm and hand. Try to play with a few rackets before you buy, so that you have a good idea of its feel. Many retail shops will let you try out rackets before you buy.

Choosing a good quality racket, even if it means paying a little more. will help to protect yourself from injuries like tennis elbow.

Most standard adult rackets are about 69cm long, with head sizes of between 237 to 275 square cms. The advantage of using a racket with a large head is that the ‘sweet spot’ (i.e. the centre of the racket which propels the ball the the most) is larger. However, rackets with larger heads tend to be more difficult to quickly maneuver to the ball. Most of the professional players use rackets with smaller heads, so they can generate quicker racket speeds.

Tennis Racket

Lighter rackets can be easy to swing and therefore can be maneuvered quickly to the ball but they also may make it more difficult to control the ball when the shot is played, if the weight isn’t sufficient.

Most racket grips sizes are between 11.25 and 11.875cm. You should be able to fit your index finger into the gap between your thumb and the two middle fingers. If the grip is not large enough, you can increase its girth with overwrap tape.

The type of strings and their tension are also important. Most professional players use natural gut but these are rather expensive. Recreational players tend to use synthetic strings. Multi-filament strings have a softer feel when hitting the ball.

If you are experiencing pain in your arms when you hit the ball, try a slightly lower tension. On the other hand, if you are losing control of the ball too often, a higher tension may be required.

American Open Mens Preview

The American Open starts on the 26th August and the very best players will be trying to win the title. The men’s contest is extremely interesting. Nadal won the French, Djokovich the Australian and Murray Wimbledon. It could be argued that this will be the decider between the top three players.

Murray is the most recent winner and is the defending champion as well and so this could be seen as his title to lose. However, he could be coming down after the climax of winning the Grand Slam that he has always dreamed of winning and he may just not have the strength to pull it together for this one. The first few matches may give away some more clues as to how well the number three seed will be likely to do, but with Michael Llodra of France as his round one opponent, he could be up for a tough challenge from the start. Llodra is the number 49 in the world and the last three times they have met, he has won. Some might say things will not get tough until he meets Djokovich in the quarter finals, but as a professional, he would never assume that it will be easy to get there. He would have to potentially beat Berdych to get there.

American Open

However, assuming that Djokovich, the number one seed will get to the quarter finals may also be a big assumption. He will have to best Del Potro who won in 2010. Djokovich has looked in fine form, has not made any surprising mistakes or had any injuries, unlike the other top players. This means that he could be a massive threat.

That is not to dismiss number two seed, Rafa Nadal who gets what would be seen as easy first round match against Ryan Harrison the 97th in the world. However, although his injury comeback has looked almost miraculous, it does not mean he is yet up to top form. To make matters worse, he is set to play Federer in the semi-final and then Ferrer or Gasquet in the semi-finals if he gets that far.

It could be exciting stuff so you will need to place your bets now with the UK’s no. 1 bookmaker before you get so carried away with watching the matches that you forget! Who will you be placing your money on, one of the favourites or an outsider?