Cheating Without Cheating: Tennis “Backhand” Tactics August 12, 2006Posted by ticktockclok in Mental.
These are the low-down, dirty tactics that you know you’re not supposed to use, but do anyway. You’ll never use these in a tournament or competitive match- if you have any conscience at least. But, they are valid tactics in time of desperation. Some I’ve used, becasue people use them accidentally anyway. But others you will find in dark alleys under your show. Low-down.
1) Good Job!: You’re playing match, and your opponent’s forehand is a monster today. He’s been hitting return winners all over the place, and you have nothing to stop him. Maybe you’re hitting a bunch of weak shots in fear, which he’s just pounding you. Well, just make some small talk on the changeover, and tell him how great his forehand is going, and ask how he’s doing it. If you’re feeling courageous, ask him to show you a few forehands. After this little chat, he’ll lose it. He’ll be out of the zone, and begin to think of how exactly he’s hitting the tennis shot. Start getting more aggressive, and push to the net as he hits pathetic shots. Reversal of roles!
2) Tie Your Shoe: This dirty tactic is best used on second serves and with shoes with hard to tie laces. What you do is extend the opponent’s wait, and possibly getting them out of the zone as they get frustrated at your inability to tie your shoe. Use sparingly, if you even do. You could very well be attacked if you start using this one every point. You could do it with a tied shoe, but then you have to cover the motion and fake very well. Imagine using this in a doubles team! One person ties their shoe, gets ready, then the other guy pauses the point and starts to tie his! You had better be careful here. The net opponent could catch you with tied shoelaces! A similar thing to do is move balls out of the way at the last moment which are on the service line, or make a big fuss about a few balls coming into your court.
3) The Bad Feeder: You have a few balls in your pocket, and the other guy is serving and in need of a few. “Accidentally” hit them to the side, not far enough that he won’t run for it, but not close enough that he can just stick out his racquet. This will get him short of breath, and also somewhat annoyed at you. An advantage to this tactic over the other two is that you can use it multiple times, saying ‘sorry’ each time.
So, if you’re ever feeling a little bit cunning and sly, give these a go! Just don’t mention that I told you!
I’m Back August 9, 2006Posted by ticktockclok in Uncategorized.
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Hey all, took a break from blogging, but I’m not gone!
Anyway, here’s the major tennis news:
1) Lindsay Davenport is back! She was out with a back injury, but is bringing back hope for a US win at the US Open. She’s playing at the Chase Open, and as of now the score is 7-6 4-6. I hope she can edge out a victory!
2) Federer is cruising! Big surprise there!
3) Blake’s cruise button has broken! He was at a high point, and still is, but has stopped his streak of great tennis. He recently got crushed by Gasquet, one of the biggest young talents, 3-6, 3-4. I haven’t lost hope in him at all- he’s one of my favorite players- but I’ll have to wait and see if he can prove himself at a number six world ranking.
Topspin July 28, 2006Posted by ticktockclok in Topspin.
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Hey, ‘the kid’ here.
Ahh, topspin. Love it, hate it, kill it, worship it. Those are the steps I’ve taken in topspin, consecutively.
Love it: I wasn’t even hitting topspin. It was just a cool flashy thing to show off to my 8 and 9 year old tennis playing friends which proved I was better than them! I think it was more of a slice which after bouncing would swerve way to one side or the other. Maybe not topspin, but it sure had a cool factor.
Hate it: The stage where I was beginning to figure out what topspin actually was. I was a complete failure at it, and only managed to hit a shot in 1 in 4 times. Whether I was hitting with topsin, I don’t know. But I never threw my racquet. Off the court.
Kill it: I reverted to my previous “slice everything” strategy. I became the expert of the dropshot, squash shot, and backhand slice. Even my serve started to get backspin on it! Unfortunately, I met someone who hits every ball flat, hard, and gets it in. So I was just batting practice for him. I couldn’t compete at the high school very well either.
Worship it: I got a PI. I hired one to find clues as to what the problem was with my groundstrokes. He just found out that I had gum on the bottom of my shoe. No, not really. I got a ‘private instructer’. He’s taught me often in group lessons before, so we know each other well. I fixed my forehand first, with a radically different stroke, and then went on to my pathetic backhand, which has now gained the ranking of ‘apathetic.
You’re always learning. I started with the basics, and went back to the basics again.
Funny Picture July 26, 2006Posted by ticktockclok in Uncategorized.
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What do you think these tennis players are thinking? This was during the 2005 Australian Open Semi-Final. Nalbandian blew a huge two set lead, and he was ahead 4-1 in the final set. I can’t stop cracking up at Nalbandians face, haha. He just got whooped by Marcos ‘I Only Do Good At Grand Slams’ Baghdatis.
Roddick Gets New Coach July 25, 2006Posted by ticktockclok in Uncategorized.
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And his name is Jimmy Connors!
“First of all, it’s just belief,” Roddick said. “It means a lot when someone who has won as many tennis championships as Jimmy Connors comes through and says, ‘I believe in you. I think you can really do some great things, and here’s how.’
I think this will work out well. It already has started: Roddick had a very strong showing at the RCA championship. If he just tweaks his game here and there, I’m sure he’ll be in for a heckuva ride.
James Blake vs. Andy Roddick RCA Championship July 24, 2006Posted by ticktockclok in Uncategorized.
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Could you ask for a better match? Honestly, this match was one of the best ones I’ve ever seen, in terms of excitement. The play from both players was incredible. This match showed a glimmer of hope that just perhaps, American tennis could have a revival. I’m happy for Andy Roddick and James Blake. Andy’s had a bad streak, and the great tennis he played today certainly removes some of those blemishes on his career. James Blake, on the other hand, has always had to play second fiddle to Andy, and he showed the US that he could prove his number one seeding in the tournament and World 5 ranking are not bloated.
Roddick’s serve was great. He was on fire, and both players displayed a large amount of aces. When Blake goes home tonight, I hope he and his coach think about what went wrong with this serve, though. Blake had an large amount of double faults. He had to work much harder because of this. Roddick, on the other hand, has the same old backhand troubles. He didn’t have it so much this round, but in the previous rounds, he exposed himself way too much with the slice backhand. The slice backhand should normally be used as a defensive shot or an approach shot. He just used it everywhere though! You should try to get some videos of Pete Sampras’s old matches. Now there is a man who can slice!
Anyway, when both these solid players retire, I hope they keep this match in their mind as their career highlights. It may not seem like much, but to me, it was a great match.
Tennis Meet Breakdown July 22, 2006Posted by ticktockclok in Uncategorized.
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Hey, this is Aniket posting, the other blogger’s son. I thought I’d share my disaster at a recent tennis meet. I play on a travel team during the summer. Normally I play in the U17 division, but this time, since I’m still 14, my coach put me in the U14 division. I’m good friends with the kid I was playing, but I also knew his technique was horrible. I’ve been taking private lessons this summer, so I’ve learnt about many technical mistakes that I’ve always had on my groundstrokes and serve, and fixed them. So now, I can hit with much more topspin. Anyway, I hadn’t had much time to practice my recent fix-up: my flat serve. As a result, my opponent broke me on nearly all my serves. He didn’t do much; he just sat back and watched me double fault multiple times. Nevertheless, I still had a 5-2 lead over him as the match progressed. In our meets, we play an “8 game proset”, meaning you play first to eight, win by two. Also, we play with no advantage on the second deuce. Now, back to the match. I lost the next 6 games back to back. And 4 of them were in this “second deuce”! You can imagine how annoyed I got, but I guess it shows you how important it is to be mentally tough, so you can get those “need to win” points.
US Open Qualifiers July 20, 2006Posted by ticktockclok in Uncategorized.
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Hey everyone, this is my first actual post! As you may know, the upcoming Grand Slam is the US Open. We’re only in the qualifiers right now, but sniffing through the news about the qualifiers can sometimes help you weed out the phonies and find out who could break through!
Marat Safin recently lost to an unknown named Wesley Whitehouse, ranked 512th in the world. I’m sure that Safin’s mind broke down, and that he must have started to play out of anger rather than being cool and collected. Safin has got to get his act together. I won’t deny it, he’s a load of fun to watch. Every time I see him playing tennis, though, he makes some uproar around once every two games. Either the ump’s an idiot, his opponent distracted him, the fans are too noisy. Well, that is exaggerating, but heck, the guy has a museum in Russia with the hundreds of rackets he’s broken!
Nothing really interesting happening in the tennis world really, though. All the world’s top players are automatically in, and don’t bother with these minor events. You might see a couple stars just out of injury, trying to rebuild from a heavily dropped rank, but thats about it.