Is Murray back?

The year 2014 has not been kind to Andy Murray, not kind at all. After a whirlwind two years between 2012-13; Murray won gold at the 2012 Olympics, his first Grand Slam at the 2012 US Open and of course, the 2013 Wimbledon Championship. Murray was at his zenith, he had become the first Brit to win Wimbledon since the late Fred Perry, who achieved the feat in 1936, becoming a national darling and assuring himself of a knighthood years down the line.
Andy Murray
Then that troublesome back flared up again. After the 2013 US Open Murray underwent surgery in an attempt to try and rid himself of the lower back pain that had plagued him since the early stages of the season.

Returning from injury is one thing but splitting with your coach, the coach that has guided you too your Gold Medal and Grand Slam successes, is far from ideal. In Murray’s defence, it was more Ivan Lendl, who had family commitments that he wasn’t able to meet when travelling around the world coaching, than him behind the split.

Back to 2014, quarter-final appearances at the Australian Open, Wimbledon – where he upset the betting, going out to Grigor Dimitrov in a feeble fashion, leading many to question the mentality of the 27-year-old – and the US Open, as well as a semi-final appearance at Roland Garros; his joint-best performance there, meant it was the first time that Murray had not competed in a Grand Slam final since 2009.

But it wasn’t just a drought in the Grand Slams, rather tennis as a whole. Murray struggled profusely throughout 2014. He has seriously toiled but in recent weeks, he has not only made it to his first final since his Wimbledon victory, but he has tasted success. After taking a wildcard for the Shenzhen Open he managed to beat Tommy Robredo, after saving five championship points, to end his 14 month drought and get his hands on some much needed silverware.

So now that he is back to winning ways, is it back to the Murray we have come accustomed, the all-conquering Murray?

The comeback is no longer in its primitive stages. Murray’s lower-back is perfectly healed now; actually the surgery would have made it stronger. So from a fitness standpoint Murray is as fit as ever. Now that is a real worry for those who have leapfrogged him in the rankings, as Murray is coming for you. Nobody likes a cold, calculated man chasing them but, that is exactly what all the players up to Novak Djokovic will now have to look out for.

Changing coach is a big moment in any sport – look at Manchester United without Sir Alex Ferguson – and tennis is no different. Murray has had to adapt from the coaching regime of Lendl to that of new coach, Amelie Mauresmo, who has been in place since the French Open concluded. These two are building up an intrinsic working relationship, something that will only get better with time.

Amelie Mauresmo by Carine06

Amelie Mauresmo by Carine06

Tennis is full of waves. Murray was riding one in the years prior: reaching the final of Wimbledon, winning the US Open and then finally winning Wimbledon. Murray was red-hot for those 18-months. But as waves go in, they must also go out – this is the crest that Murray was on for most of 2014. All players go in and out of form, sustaining it is the biggest problem, and you can only sustain form when you are playing regularly, something that Murray has not been doing this year, but will be from now.

Hopefully Murray will be able to qualify for the ATP World Tour Final in November. A good showing there will put in him in the right frame of mind to do well at the 2015 Australian Open. Murray needs to use Shenzhen as a springboard. He’s broken his duck and now its time to go back to playing tennis.

Good Form In Tennis

Good form in tennis, as in swimming, golf, or other sports activities, is a variable quality which defies definition. It appears in various shapes according to the personality and physique of the individual player. The terms that apply to good form tennis stroke production are ease, rhythm, balance, efficiency, power.

ACCURACY and SPEED are essential in the good stroke. Players achieve these qualities in their strokes by devious methods. The types of strokes that seem most natural and suit their physiques and personalities are best. An example of variation in a “good form” tennis stroke is the use of the circular and the straight backswing. It is more natural for some players to lift their racquets back, as in preparation for batting or throwing a baseball.

For others, the natural back-swing will be a straight throw-back of the racquet, at the height at which they intend to hit the ball. We see national champions of both varieties, although the majority of the top notch players use the circular backswing. Another variation is the amount of wrist action used in a stroke. Some players use a great deal of wrist snap with rather a short arm swing. Others use a long arm sweep with less wrist action. The important thing is to have a swift, low drive that lands deep in the backcourt.

As long as the strokes are accurate and forceful, and the player is well balanced, untiring and efficient, we may say “good form” is present in his tennis game.

good_form_tennisPurpose

Learning to “stroke” the ball is the chief objective for a beginner. It can be aimed more accurately and sent more forcefully if it is carried forward on the racquet strings in the desired direction.

A momentary impact of ball on racquet, which results when the racquet jabs at the ball, gives neither an accurate nor a forceful ball flight. Players who have formed the habit of “hitting” at the ball — if they continue to “jab” — they fail to improve with practise. The “stroke” must be used if such students wish to emerge from the mire of inaccurate and ineffectual play.

The beginner’s strokes should be the embryonic form of the advanced strokes. The concentration is on the principles of good form with expectations of increased accuracy and speed as the student masters the stroke. Patience is the watchword.

Accuracy in a tennis stroke depends primarily upon the racquet face angle at the time of contact with the ball. If the racquet faces upward, the ball goes upward, etc. The adjustment of the racquet face angle, to the ball is learned unconsciously. The more times the player hits the ball, the more accurate he should become. However, if a player learns strokes with which accuracy is difficult to achieve, he may show little improvement.

Very few beginners who use “jabbing” strokes ever develop into good tennis players. This type of stroke is characterized by elbow action, and the ball position in front of the head or shoulders. The racquet swings in a downward direction, and many netted balls result. The best stroke is the horizontal arm swing, involving shoulder joint action, so that the racquet is facing the desired ball flight during the forward swing. In this stroke the same muscular action may be used in stroking a shoulder, waist, or knee high ball. Continue reading

Ball Spin

Good form in placing spin on the ball means utilizing the spin which is best for obtaining the desired results. The chop stroke, which is characterized by back spin, is not efficient as a foundation stroke. Often the player who continually uses a chop is said to have “poor form.” Yet the chop and slice strokes, used occasionally when a low or side bounce is desired are most effective strokes, used by the best players. The player who uses a top spin drive on all occasions is considered to have good form, but he is lacking in versatility. Since many of our former champions have won through use of top spin, and very few topflite players have risen to heights through use of chop or slice spin, our standards of good form are set up accordingly.

The foundation strokes must send the ball forcefully and accurately near the baseline in order to keep the opponent well back, and on the defensive. Since the top spin drive has a wide margin of safety over the net, and will come down into the court due to the top spin, it has always been the most efficient foundation stroke. Since the chop tends to rise, due to the spin, it must clear the net by a small margin and cannot be hit with too great force or it will sail out of the court. The long, fast bounce of the top spin drive is contrasted to the short low bounce of the chop or slice, and it keeps the opponent farther back than the chop or slice.

The law of spin affecting ball flight is as follows:

The ball tends to move away from the greatest wind resistance on the front of the ball.

Thus in the case of top spin, the ball is rolling forward as a wheel rolls. The greater wind resistance is on the upper side of the ball, since the forward spin meets the air resistance at that point. Consequently the ball tends to move away from that resistance; in other words it moves in a downward direction.

There is the least wind resistance on the lower side of the ball because at that point the ball spin is moving backwards.

In the case of back or chop spin the greater wind resistance is on the lower side of the ball and the least wind resistance is at the top, so the ball tends to move upwards.

The flight of the ball in a top spin drive is an arc. This will be a very flat arc if a small amount of top spin is applied, and a decided arc if a great deal of top spin is applied. The ball may be hit upwards to pass three or four feet above the net and will arc down into the court if top spin has been placed on the ball’.

The flight of the ball in the chop is more of a straight line, curving slightly upward until the momentum is expended, when it drops rather abruptly. Thus a chop which is hit upwards over the net, passing above it three or four feet, is likely to sail out of the court if it is hit forcefully.

The bounce of the top spin ball will be long. The bounce of the backspin ball will be short. The maximum height of the top spin bounce for a ball hit one foot over the net will be approximately three feet, while in the case of a chop clearing the net by one foot the bounce will be less than two feet at its maximum height. The top spin ball may have a twelve foot bounce in length while the chop bounce will be less than half that length.

Ball Spin

A second axiom of ball spin is as follows:

A ball with spin tends to bounce in the opposite direction from which it traveled through the air.

Thus a top spin ball tends to rise on the bounce, and a back spin ball tends to hug the ground. A heavily sliced ball may change its direction on the bounce. The classic example of this is the ability of the cut stroke artist to send the ball over the net with so much under spin that the ball bounces back oh his side of the net. Usually, however, there is so much more linear force (forward momentum) than kinetic force (rotary momentum, i.e., spin) that this opposite bounce tendency does not show up in the bounce. For example, the slice serve curves through the air to the left (from the server’s point of view) and also bounces to the left. The twist serve, however, has so much spin as compared with its forward momentum that it curves through the air to the left, but bounces to the right.

Spin on the ball may be defined and explained according to compass directions. Let us think of spin from the standpoint of the player who has hit the ball. We can visualize the ball revolving as it leaves our racquet.

First take the north, north-east, and east spins.

North spin is top spin, used in the forehand and backhand drives. The racquet travels from the back of the ball toward its top, making it roll forward.

North-east spin is a combination of top and side spin, used in the Top Slice Serve, which is often miscalled the Slice Serve.

The racquet contacts the back of the ball and travels upward in a north-easterly direction to finish over the top of it. The top spin helps bring the ball down into the court, and the’ side spin makes the ball curve through the air to the left, and bounce to the side. Continue reading

Tennis is Back – Bet on All of Your Favorite Competitors

Tennis is definitely making a comeback, with more people watching the big games than ever before. There’s even a new crop of tennis players, just in case you needed some fresh blood. There’s truly something about tennis that get sour attention. Some people believe it’s not as intense of a sport as others, but that’s not true at all. The reality is that tennis is vicious, a battle between very athletic people. There can only be one winner, and that means that every serve is going to be fast and pretty intense. You just need to decide what you’re going to do as far as betting goes.

Make sure that you go and look into ITF tennis betting first. This is the most popular form of betting, which will give you the opportunity to make a little bit of money on the side. Of course, depending on how you structure your bet, the odds may be good enough for you to make more than just a “little” bit of money.

tennis betting

The trouble with tennis betting is that so many people make it a lot more complicated than it should be. They start assuming that it has to be something utterly difficult and that’s not the case at all. What you have to do at this point is making sure that you’re always looking at the games that you’re interested in. If you’re not interested in it, there’s no point in getting real money involved. You can always just watch the outcome and see whether you would have won money or not. It’s really like the betting world form of papertrading in the stock market.

If you want to stay with just the tennis events of the ITF, you will still have plenty of matches to not only watch, but make bets on. Just make sure that you keep your bets simple to start with wand then work your way up from there. That’s the real way to get things done.

The more that you can focus on these things, the better off you will be in the long run. Putting real money on the table might sound scary, but you’re not in any danger at all. This is all good stuff, especially if you win. Don’t hesitate to jump right in!

Roger Federer Biography

Roger federer biography begins in 1981 where he was born in Basel Switzeland. Roger Federer tennis career started early at the age of six. Throughout his teens he was was ironically famous for being temperamental. Federer was often seen smashing racquets, screaming etc (completely opposite of the cool headed Federer that we know today.) In 1998 he became number one in the world (Junior rankings).

Here is a nice video of him playing back in 1999. It shows the younger talent coming through.

After the junior tour it didn’t take long for Federer to hit the professional tournaments and in 2000 Federer made his first final in Marseille Open. From 2003 to 2006 Federers reign was supreme with 237 consecutive weeks at number one, and in 2010 he has won 16 grand slam titles.

Roger As A Player

Roger Federer tennis is known for a fierce forehand and being adaptable to any situation as Jimmy Conors stated “In an era of specialists, you’re either a clay court specialist, a grass court specialist, or a hard court specialist… or you’re Roger Federer.” This is partly what makes the Roger Federer bio so impressive.

This adaptability also allows Roger Federer to find cracks of weaknesses in his opponents defense and then exploit them with the right shots. This dicey and subtle way of playing may have made it difficult for him in his younger years but once mastered it has made him a nightmare to defeat.

Andre Agassi Biography

The Andre Agassi biography summarizes the important Andre Agassi stats and life… Andre started tennis before he could walk and by the age of 9 he was all ready becoming a tennis prodigy.

In fact, at the age of 9, his father bet his house on the fact that Agassi would win a tennis match against a much older player. Slightly nervously, Jim brown (the older player) offered 10K instead… Fortunately for his father, Agassi won 6-2 in the third.

Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi bio continued to grow as he trained for free in bollettieri’s academy in Florida. At age of 16 he had won his first professional tournament and by the end of the year Andre Agassi stats were set at number 91 in the world!

Agassi was a charismatic player and his life was much the same. Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi have been together since 1999 and now have two boys. Let’s see if the tradition carries through to their children?!

Pete Sampras biography – A Legends Life

Pete Sampras biography is definitely jaw-dropping! Stacking up 14 Grand Slam titles and many other unbroken records such as seven titles at Wimbledon.

“Pistol Pete” was born on August 12th, 1971 in Washington D.C and is of Greek descent. He discovered a tennis racquet in his basement and began hitting against the basement wall. When Pete was seven his parents, Sam and Georgia Sampras, decided to move to California where he met Pete Fischer.

Pete-Sampras

Fishcher was apparently a bad tennis player but incredible intelligent and he offered to teach Pete the “Mental Game” for free. By 1984 Sampras Tennis was evolving and the tennis Pete Sampras champion we know today, with his tennis serve and his solid backhand and forehand tennis volley , he had made it to one of the top in the world juniors.

In 1988 Pete entered the ATP tour and after winning half his matches, ended top 100 in the world! Pete Sampras tennis gained added its first ATP title in 1990 after defeating Andres Gomez in the final of the Philadelphia Open.

By 2003 when Sampras retired he had won 14 grand slam titles

U.S. Open (1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2002)
Australian Open (1994, 1997)
Wimbledon (1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998 1999, 2000)

Pete Sampras tennis was left at an all time high after winning the U.S open in 2002. He never played another tournament.

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