Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tactical Tennis Has Moved!

We've officially moved to a new home at New content is up, so come on over and check it out!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Southern Adult Indoor Open Review

A change of pace for today's post - a tournament review! This review is aimed more at the adult Men's Open competitor than spectators, although there is some excellent tennis to be seen. The Southern Adult Indoor Open is hosted by the Racquet Club of Memphis and is a pre-cursor to the excellent US National Indoor Tennis Championships at the same venue. For those who aren't familiar with it, the US National Indoor Tennis Championships is an indoor ATP/WTA event held each year at the Racquet Club, and is the only ATP/WTA level professional event in the world to be held at a private club. The list of past champions is impressive, including names like Roddick, Haas, Sampras, Edberg, Agassi and Connors.

The Southern Adult Indoor Open is held after Christmas each year (typically on or around the 27th of December) and grants the winner a wild-card into the qualifying draw for the National Championships in February. It draws college and Future-level players from all over the south, as well as nationally ranked juniors and others. Let's take a quick run-down of all of the major points regarding the tournament...

Breaking Down Bernard Tomic

The Hopman Cup, named for legendary Australian Davis Cup Captain Harry Hopman, is little more than an international glorified exhibition tournament. Featuring two-person teams (one player of each gender) from eight different nations, the round-robin format allows for some guaranteed matches leading into the start of the tennis season. Given the laid-back nature of the affair, Bernard Tomic's straight set defeat of Novak Djokovic earlier today will hardly send shock-waves through the world of tennis. It may however, cause at least a ripple. After a promising start to his professional career with a quarter-final run at Wimbledon in 2011 (where he lost in 4 sets to eventual champion.. Novak Djokovic), Tomic took a rather large step backwards in 2012 where his poor on-court performance wasn't helped by off-court drama such as a bizarre stand-off with Australian police and another incident involving Tomic fighting his friend and also possibly police in October. With the year ending so poorly for the young Australia, the shock victory over Djokovic brings us to the topic of today's update:

Is Bernard Tomic's Hopman Cup win over Djokovic more accident or omen? Was this a fluke victory over a sub-par Novak in a meaningless exhibition, or is Tomic primed to take his tennis career to the next level in 2013?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Overcoming Nerves And Fear On The Court

You wait patiently, if a little nervously, for your match. There are butterflies in your stomach, but they aren't too bad. You feel a little jittery - a small electric thrill of anticipation. Eventually the time arrives. It's match time. Your heart starts pounding in your chest. The butterflies seem to have somehow grown in size, and possible grown claws. Your legs feel heavy, your hands may even be shaking slightly. You look across the net at your opponent, and his game is intimidating. You begin to wonder how you're going to handle his forehand. The doubts, at first little whispers in the back of your mind become louder, grow stronger. By the time the first point is played, your carefully wrought game-plan seems a paltry thing - by the time a few games have played you're no longer even thinking about game plans.

Does this story sound familiar? Do you find nerves interfering strongly with your ability to play tennis to the best of your ability? If so, read on to find out exactly what those 'nerves' are, and what you can do to combat them.

Monday, December 24, 2012

5 Habits To Improve Your Mental Game

Today's update is at the request of viva_la_albert over at /r/tennis/.

I vividly remember an incident during a Stefan Edberg match many years ago. Edberg was the victim of a bad line call. He walked up to stand underneath the umpire's chair, stuck out his bottom lip and with a sharp outward breath blew his hair up a little bit. Edberg then turned around, walked back to the baseline and played the next point. "That," the commentator deadpanned, "is a Swedish tantrum."

Below is Tactical Tennis's short list of five ways you can improve your mental attitude on the court and become a better competitor....

Friday, December 21, 2012

Technology And Tennis: How And When Equipment Has Changed The Game

We see it in news articles about tennis. We hear it from the mouths of commentators on the TV. Tennis stars of years gone by lament about it. What am I talking about? The effect of technology changes on the game of tennis. Graphite frames? Mono-filament strings? We've come a long way from wooden rackets strung with natural gut. Which brings us to the question of today's article on Tactical Tennis:

What technology has really changed in the last forty years, and what effect has it really had on the game?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Part 3: Why Can't Michael Llodra Break Through?

Welcome to Part 3! We finished Part 2 with a big question: if a 6'3, athletic serve and volleyer is our best hope for serve and volley to return to the upper echelons of the game, why not Michael Llodra? He's 6'3. He's fast. His volley technique is superb. He has a world-class slice backhand and isn't afraid to chip and charge on second serves. His service motion is good, and his serve has garnered praise from his fellow pros. So why can't he break through? At 32 it isn't a question of him peaking.

So what is holding Llodra back?