Nishikori into Barcelona Final

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Another fantastic performance from the World’s No. 5 Kei Nishikori after winning against Slovakia’s Martin Klizan with 6-1, 6-2 scores on Saturday. Kei is now a step closer and finally got a spot to his Barcelona title. Indeed Kei Nishikori has the best hands of any player since Andre Agassi. No doubt, fans are getting more excited with the kind of moves and tactics Kei is showing on this match. To tell the truth, Nishikori is too much for Klizan. Even if the opponent is doing his best to catch the rhythm, Kei knows how to play the game. He is very difficult to beat! He don’t panic which only shows what a real champion should be.

He started the opening set with a bang and wowed the audience with his excellent moves in twenty eight minutes. Klizan took the risk by going back and forth duel but Nishikori gave his great serve, delicate drop shot and wrapped it up to Sunday’s final and will try to win his 2nd Straight Barcelona title tomorrow against the winner of the all-Spanish clash between David Ferrer and Pablo Andujar.

Well done Kei Nishikori! Barcelona title is waiting for you. You can do it!

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Monte Carlo Field

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The whole world is excited for the opening of the clay season this Sunday. With the result of the draw yesterday, the world’s two best clay court players, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are back at work in Monte Carlo and might face off in the semifinals. Aside from them, there are 16 awesome players of Top 20 in the Emirates ATP Rankings in the draw, how about that! For sure this will be the match of the year. Raise your hand if you are thrilled!

Djokovic who lived in Monaco is very happy to play because he spends most of his time here when not in any competitions. Guess what?! He just walk or ride a bike to the tennis court. For Novak this will be a great start to the season. “It takes time to adjust as any other switch from different surfaces. I think the key point is movement, to really get your muscles used to harder, more demanding physical work.”

For first quarters, the players to watch out for are Tsonga and Almagro. Nadal should practice harder and be more motivated for second quarter. Who are your picks for the third, fourth and semi?

This is going to be exciting. Who’s your bet?

Monte Carlo Masters begins on Sunday, April 12, 2015 Save the date!

Serena Williams wins Miami Opener

Tennis: Miami Open-Williams v Niculescu

Tennis world number one player Serena Williams is pleasingly waving to the crowd on Saturday for her straight set victory against Monica Niculescu of Romania at Key Biscayne. What else can we expect from her? She did it again! She just showed how happy she is for her another success with no sign of her knee injury. If you can remember, Serena Williams withdrew at Indian Wells for semi-final because of her injury but now Serena played without a wrap on her knee. Serena said to one of the interviews that during her practice, there was a little sore but when she was in the game, she doesn’t not feel any ache nor any lingering effects. This is what you called Adrenalin rush! “Once you step out on the court you have so much adrenaline going. The adrenaline kind of kills it. So I was surprised. I felt pretty good.” Williams added.

Niculescu did the best trick and techniques with a series of entertaining rallies however she failed. It is Serena Williams’ day indeed! She controlled the game effortlessly and luckily, she got it with 6-3, 6-1 winning scores.

Serena Williams will be back on court on Sunday to face the very young 15 year old Cici Bellis.

Djokovic Reach 3rd Round at Indian Wells

Djokovic Indian wells

World number one Novak Djokovic won against the most dangerous player, Marcos Baghdatis with 6-1, 6-3 scores in a span of fifty nine minutes to reach the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday. Novak Djokovic thought he had a solid performance because he served well and stayed aggressive in the court. Novak got the first set while Baghdatis got the first game of the second set yet still struggling. Djokovic did not give Marcos any chance to come back in the game with his précised serving.

“Great performance against a quality opponent, somebody that was a former top 10 player and knows how to play on the big stage,” Djokovic said. He also mentioned that this tournament is one of the strongest one after the Grand Slams that’s why it is hard to win twice in a row. The marvelous Novak Djokovic is our defending champion at Indian Wells and currently bidding for his 50th title. Will he make it? Or break it? Everyone is excited what’s next for Novak and his fans are so positive that everything will fall into right place.

Djokovic forwards to third round where he will play against Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain.

Murray loses to Simon in Rotterdam

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Top seed twenty seven year old marvelous Andy Murray did not win over Gilles Simon and closed out a 6-4 6-2 scores in Rotterdam. This is Simon’s first win and had no troubles on serving commanding a 4-1 lead while Murray made many mistakes that resulted in losing this game. If you can remember Murray had won his last 12 matches against Simon but this time Gilles Simon upsets Andy Murray in this game undeniably as he has tons of energy to win this match. The game started in the foulest possible approach when Andy Murray tried his very best but lost his serve on the first set and still failed, same story in the second set and then in the third game it was breath-taking for all the fans as Murray battled against his worst nightmare when he pulled it back to deuce but Simon came through to take the second set 6-2 and wrap up a crushing defeat and still Simon managed to seal his fate ruthlessly.

Simon, seeded eighth, will face the Czech world number seven Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals, who was a 6-1 6-4 winner against Frenchman Gael Monfils.

2015 Australian Open – Djokovic Gives a Lesson (to us all) – By Jim McLennon of Essential Tennis Instruction

Think of a Grand Slam tennis tournament as a marathon, and perhaps to continue this analogy, think of the final match as a 5k.  For certainly, in the final, Djokovic ran 4332 meters, and Murray 4411.

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And more, think of the 5k interspersed with a 15 round championship bout – for with all the back and forth, tennis is about both hitting and absorbing blows from the opponent.

What I am getting at, is whether in a marathon, a 5k, or a championship bout, there often comes a moment when the winner separates him/herself from the field, and where the race/bout/tennis match concludes with the winner never in doubt.

Something about the 6-0 fifth set against Wawrinka, and the 6-0 fourth set against Murray stands out as the lesson Djokovic gives to us all – that is – tennis is less about winners and more about managing errors – tennis is about the pressure created when a player refuses to miss – and at the end of the day there is more value created in the mind of an opponent from their own errors than from the winners from the opposite end of the court.

And one more thing – the winning and losing has more to do with the second serve, than perhaps any other aspect of the game.

In the semifinals, Djokovic and Wawrinka had played to a draw after four sets, with the sets even at 7-6, 3-6 6-4 4-6.  Going into the fifth and final set we may have been expecting 12-10 or even 9-7 from matches they have had in the past.  But this 6-0 fifth set was different.  The two statistics that stand out were :

  • Winners – Novak edged Stanislas 7 to 5
  • Errors – Novak much stronger here making only 6 errors to Stans 13
  • Second serve points tells the story – Novak won 7 of 12, Stan was 0 for 9

In the finals the story was the same.  After 2 and one half hours the sets were split, Murray broke serve for a 2-0 lead in the third set – but then the wheels came off.  Murray won just one of the next 13 games.  Not from Djokovic’s winners, but more from Murray’s errors.

As regards pressure, the focal point of the match occurred with Murray serving at 3-4, 15-40.  His double fault spoke volumes about his previous matches with Novak, as well as about his suspect second serve. After dropping serve to go down, 3-5, he chucked his racket. “So many times,” he said. “How do you do it to yourself?”  The statistics for the fourth

  • Winners – Novak edged andy 8 to 5
  • Errors – Novak made only 3 unforced errors compared to 9 for Andy
  • Second serve – throughout the match Novak dominated winning 62% against Andy at 34%

The art of winning (in my opinion) is about the value of enabling errors, and what the accumulation of those errors does to the mindset of the opponent.  On that score, Pat Cash the 1987 Wimbledon champion was quoted,  “He hasn’t put up a great fight, he hasn’t. He absolutely collapsed. Sorry but you don’t put a rose tint on this. He melted down, he’s been disappointing and the bottom line is, the situation got too much.”

Novak’s lesson to Stan, to Andy, and to you and I

  • Value errors (theirs) more than winners (yours)
  • Improve your second serve – Novak’s said his has improved thanks to Boris Becker

PS – Pat Cash also offered the following, “It’s not boring to see two great players like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic compete in a final. What is getting mundane is watching the same tactic in every single match of every single grand slam for the last five or six years. Nowadays they all settle down and say ‘OK, this is going to be two hours of baseline rallies.’ The guy who outlasts the other one wins. It’s taken a lot of the skill out of tennis.”

Is this becoming the state of play within our modern game?

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For more tennis insights please visit Jim’s website: www.essentialtennisinstruction.com/ 

What You Need to Know about the Triumphant and Competitive Nadal

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Heavy topspin forehand, lefty slice serve, superior net game and great backhand – name it and he has it! Who are we talking about? No other than the competitive and the triumphant Rafael Nadal! And today together with his old friend and partner, Juan Monaco of Argentina, they clinched the doubles title in straight sets defeating Philipp Oswald and Julian Knowle on Friday.

Rafael Nadal stated “Playing with one of my best friends on tour is always very special.” While Juan Monaco said: “It’s an amazing feeling. I’m really happy and hopefully next year I can play again with my friend.”

This is Rafael Nadal’s fourth doubles title in Doha and ninth overall. “This has made it a positive week and I am going to be better prepared for Australia after winning this,” Rafael said after the 6-3, 6-4 winning score in the final of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open.

He also said that he can evolve faster with his movement by playing doubles and it helps to get the feeling of winning again. His goal is to arrive in Australia prepared and competitive and he also added “You can win, you can lose, but I am doing all the things I need to be ready for the action. It’s a big motivation to be back at my best level as quickly as possible, and that’s what I am trying to do.”

For sure his fans are all so proud and happy for his achievements. Vamos Rafa!