Tennis talk

Krunic won her first title but how did we get there?

From the Coach's Seat - With Sarah Stone Winning a WTA title is something every player dreams about, and for Aleksandra Krunic, that achievement was realized last week. She won back to back matches coming back from a set and a break down to secure the Hertogenbosch title, catapulting into the top-40 for the first time in her career. So…

Cracking the Code – More women speakers equates to more female attendees, and here is why

It is no secret that coaching has always been an old boys club. Unfortunately, this rings true on an even greater level in tennis. Statistically, only 19 percent of registered tennis coaches in Australia are women. France has an even smaller proportion, where only 15 percent of registered coaches are female. On a global level, the number is fewer than…

Magdalena Maleeva’s successes on and off the court

Magdalena Maleeva is no stranger to success. Growing up, the Maleeva sisters were three of Bulgaria’s top tennis players. In fact, Magdalena and her sisters, Katerina and Manuela, combined for a staggering 40 WTA singles titles and each became WTA top- six players throughout the course of their careers. Despite having to share the spotlight with her talented sisters, Magdalena…

The process is more important than the result itself – Justine Henin

Seven Grand Slam singles titles, an Olympic gold medal, 43 WTA singles titles, and a total of 117 weeks as the world No. 1. These are just a few of Justine Henin’s accomplishments throughout her storied tennis career. Despite retiring from the sport in 2011, Henin has still remained an active member of the tennis community, dedicating her life to…

Creating the ideal environment for each female tennis player

Sports teach young athletes so much more than just the fundamentals of the game. They teach monumental life skills such as strength, character, grit, and commitment. However, young girls are dropping out of sports at an increasingly high rate. This dropout rate is even more staggering in the sport of tennis. Unfortunately, more than 70 percent of girls quit tennis…

Tennis coach Elise Tamaëla: ‘I love the game, but I do not like the tennis world’-

Female tennis coaches are scarce: besides Elise Tamaëla (34) there are only five others in the top hundred of the women's circuit. Recently she helped Kiki Bertens as interim coach in Charleston at her biggest tournament victory. With Elise Tamaëla as interim coach, tennis star Kiki Bertens won her biggest tournament win in Charleston. Now she is reunited with Raemon Sluiter in…

The Transition game: The forehand approach

I often take my students to various academies for match play, and I always observe whats been taught on some of the other practice courts. I see the usual groundstroke drills and techniques been rehearsed and fine-tuned, I see some good live ball drills and intense feeding drills, serve and return work, and some baseline footwork patterns been addressed. I hardly…

Technique, movement, and execution of tactics – Middle Ground: Triple Vision

One of the many issues I see with junior players, and professionals also for that matter, is that they focus too much on only their own side of the court. I think it's very important to focus on the other side of the net, not only to see how the opponent is doing mentally, but to track the ball off…

Know what type of player you are

In between lessons at my club I will often walk around the outside courts and observe matches between club level players and high performance junior level players. While all players seem to hit the ball well for their respective levels, the one thing that stands out is the lack of smart tennis that is being played. Players and coaches can…

Di Lorenzo receives annual Oracle US Tennis Award

Former Ohio State Buckeye Francesca Di Lorenzo flew out to Indian Wells California yesterday alongside WTCA President Ann Grossman Wunderlich. The pair has spent many years working together and it paid off in a very big way yesterday. Oracle Corp. CEO Mark Hurd, along with tennis Hall-of-Famer Tracy Austin, announced today that tennis professionals Francesca Di Lorenzo and Chris Eubanks…

Volley Master – Learning from Rennae Stubbs

A lot of my coaching on the professional tour has consisted of working with some of the worlds best doubles players. I have been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time working with Rennae Stubbs and the information I gathered about volleys was incredible. Rennae was coached by one of Australia's  best ever developmental and tour coaches, Ray Ruffels,…

Are Swing Volleys the Forgotten Stroke?

It's seldom practiced but one of the most important shots in women's tennis. Being able to build points and then finish at the net with efficient swing volleys is a must for a player wishing to make a living on the WTA Tour. It is true that having a bigger forehand equals shorter points, as the racquet speed on a…

WTCA Welcomes Tom Downs to the Team

Tom Downs is the newly appointed President of Education at the WTCA. A native of Australia, Tom has a wealth of experience over the past 15 years coaching at the highest levels of the sport. Tom has served as the director of coaching at the Harold Solomon Tennis Institute in Ft Lauderdale FL and during this role, he worked with…

The Problem With Stereotypes in Tennis

  Any casual observer can see how much sport has changed for women over the past ten or twenty years. Back in the 90s when I was grinding out a living on the tennis tour things could be rough for us: not only was equal prize money at my home Slam a distant dream, the very idea was ridiculed whenever…

Always Something to Learn

When you think about a valuable lesson you’ve learnt or know or have seen and want to share I’m sure you’re all like me and stop… think…. then try to decide where to start. So, I decided to write this and have a relationship with the Australian Open, the players, the coaches and the “TEAM”. Most pros have a “TEAM”.…

The Wizard Called Woz

It just goes to show there are still different ways to win tennis matches, especially Grand Slams! The offensive counter punching with interjections of all court tennis demonstrated by Caroline Wozniacki is proof of this. It’s amazing how successful her relatively simple style of play has been and for so long. For years, we’ve heard that Wozniacki lacks the weaponry…

How Social Media Has Transformed College Tennis Recruiting

It might be stating the obvious but in most cases, young teens feel pressured into posting pictures of themselves (maybe not in the most professional light) to gain instant attention. It's all about 'likes' and friends commenting on the way they look. This instant gratification might make them feel amazing in the short term, but what most young athletes don’t…

Unlocking the Secrets to Coaching Female Players

  If you are reading this, chances are you and I have something in common - tennis is a sport we love to play, watch and coach. It is a great way to keep active and stay healthy, with the added bonus that the game can be played across the ages, from 7 to 77 year olds. While tennis is…

Nicole Pratt Wins Inaugural ‘Flory Award’

In honoring the life of beloved former WTA tour coach and ATP tour player Andrew Florent, last week the WTCA named its 'Spirit of Coaching' award after him. At the WTCA Conference NYC, Nicole Pratt was named the winner of the inaugural 'Flory Award'. Fittingly, the Australian Fed Cup captain was once Flory's mixed doubles partner. The WTCA board nominated 6…

Using Doubles for Singles

As we all know tennis is a unique sport. It however can become even more unique when you take a look at singles and doubles, and see how they can be so different. Variations between singles and doubles include, scoring system, tactics, as well as different mental and physical efforts. Many singles players don't want to play doubles, in order to save…

Lindsay Davenport Heads Up WTCA Conference NYC

Lindsay Davenport was always a standout. Her all court ability became apparent early in her playing career. As junior she won the 1992 US Open junior event and the 1992 Australian Open junior doubles title. Davenport would go on to reach the number one ranking in the world in both singles and doubles, a feat very rarely achieved. After her…

What’s With The Shoes? – Moving on Grass

The main draw of Wimbledon started earlier today. The third major of the year, in today’s game, is quite unique. Apart from having to wear all white (and indulging in champagne and strawberries during the men’s and women’s finals), this slam is played on the historic grass courts of the All England Club. There was a time when 3 of…

Monitoring a Players Training Load

There’s no secret that tennis is demanding. How demanding? That's tough to say. I mean, how do we measure the intensity and stress of a practice or match? Furthermore, what about all the other things players do to prepare for competition - like weight training, plyometrics, med ball exercises, stretches and more!?! Traditionally, time on court has been the go…

When runners-up is actually a massive victory – Celebrating Ash Barty and Casey Dellacqua

Sometimes coming in second best doesn't actually mean you didn't win, in fact Casey Dellacqua and Ashley Barty were winners today in Paris. They fought valiantly in the Roland Garros doubles final today, where they were out played by the number one seeds Lucie Safarova and Bethany Mattek Sands, the final score being 6/2 6/1. It many not be the…

Jaimee Fourlis Wins Last Wildcard into Roland Garros

It was a great battle today today in Paris on the Jean-Bouin courts. Two young Australian's vying for the last main draw valid card into the main draw at Roland Garros. Fourlis got out of the gates quickly with penetrating backhands going cross-court through the side line. The first few games of the second set were very tight, with Jaimee…

Playing for pennies – This is the reality

Without the majors, most of the professional tennis players in the world wouldn't even be able to afford to compete unless of course they came from a lot of money or found someone kind enough to fund their dreams. The next stop on the professional tennis circuit is Roland Garros, a time for many to add to their depleted bank…

Female Tennis Demands Explosiveness

A little while back I wrote an article about strength training for tennis. More specifically, I wrote that physical training for tennis should stop focusing on “fancy drills” and start targeting specific & relevant qualities to today’s game. This was highlighted by an article outlining Azarenka’s off-court regime - which comprised of heavier strength & power training. In this post,…

Practicing Gratitude – Maintaining a growth perspective

Gratitude is a great way to keep things in perspective. Successful coaches appreciate that coaching is a journey. A fixation on results only hampers a coach’s ability to be effective. Practicing gratitude means taking the time to reflect upon what we are thankful for. As coaches, we have the privilege of helping others. Keeping a journal or travel notes is…

How fast should you swing at a second serve?

All serves can, and should be, hit with identical technique and a fast swing speed. Sound crazy? It’s not. First and second serves are often taught and thought of as 2 different strokes. This approach makes the already difficult stroke more physically complicated and mentally stressful, especially for women. Swing speed on first and second serve should be the same,…

First serve please

  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the serve in the modern game is important. In the past, this was mostly true on the men’s side, but today, female tour players can hit bombs just as well. And although there’s a saying in the tennis world that goes something like “you’re only as good as your…

Breaking through – Julia Boserup into top 100

A lot of great things have happened in Julia Boserup's career since teaming up with coach Raj Chaudhuri 12 months ago. After her first major break through in 2016, Boserup told the L.A times that she couldn't really say how or why she broke through, but teaming up with Raj appears to have been the catalyst in her charge up…

Being a self-promoter

These days, one of the first places an employer looks is at the social media pages of a prospective athlete. Coaches must think carefully about political posts and pictures they decide to share with the world, and most importantly, the way they discuss women’s tennis. Social media can be a great way for a coach to build a profile. Many…

Davenport leads a surge in female coaches

The wheels have started to turn in professional tennis coaching. Historically, WTA tour players have been coached almost exclusively by male coaches. Now in 2017, things are starting to change. For top players, it's not always an immediate transition from playing to coaching. Sitting court side and playing every point without any control of the outcome is an adjustment, even…

The most important seat in the crowd

It’s not always in the coaches’ box on a stadium court, but in a players mind their coach’s seat is usually the most important one in the crowd. A coach’s role during matches is pivotal. Though they are not allowed to coach from the sidelines, the coach often plays a crucial part in the result of the match. Of course coaches…

When should juniors play up

The majority of junior parents were not professional tennis players so will look to seek answers for the correct tournament pathway from various sources. A question many coaches get is should my daughter be playing up? Playing up means a junior player competes in a tournament against older athletes or higher ranked athletes. It really depends on the situation. Sometimes players are…

How to lose a player in one day

It can happen in a moment. The coach thinks everything is going perfectly but when a player is left in tears it's not a good sign. Coaches can lose a player in one day. Once the trust is gone the relationship will crumble. Although all players are different here are a few scenarios that could spell the end in your coaching relationship.…

The journey after a coaching partnership

It was September 10, 2011 when I watched Samantha Stosur dismantle a stunned Serena Williams in the final of the U.S. Open. This time around I was watching it on the big screen with a couple of friends at a sports bar in Denver. It's a lot different watching the match on TV compare to court side. As the coach you…

College recruiting – A student athletes nightmare

Junior year marks the beginning of a whole new world for a competitive tennis player. When September 1st rolls around, every athlete is fighting for a spot and a chance to prove their worth. College coaches become the most important people in their lives, and nothing takes precedence over finding the perfect school. This process of finding a player's perfect…

Why players should play doubles

Wimbledon was the first Grand Slam to be played, in 1877, however it only included men. In 1885, Wimbledon included women, making it the first Grand Slam for females, therefore beginning what would be and continues to be an evolutionary growth in the field of tennis. For about the next 120 years, all players who played singles also played doubles and,…

Serve and Volley

There are a number of classic “reasons” for the lack of serve and volley among women in the modern game of tennis.  Opinions and quotes from fans, players, coaches and commentators are many but here is the short list, true or not, in this court of opinion: “The return is too big”  “Women’s serves are not big enough and they…

Volley With Your Feet

Imagine this, you send your daughter down to the local baseball club to try out for their team. The first thing the coach asks her is, "can you catch"? Of course this talented youngster can catch, especially with a big mitt on her hand. In any case, to impress the coach and so as not to drop the catch, your daughter immediately employs great…

Confidence Breeds Success

"Confidence breeds success and success certainly breeds confidence" In sport, self-confidence is one of the most frequently cited psychological factors though to affect athletic achievements. So how do we get confidence? The fact is we live in a competitive world and if you can’t keep your cool, stay focused, and find a way to win against your own demons, you’re…

How to Choose the Right School

Choosing the perfect college is the first major and possibly life-altering decision a student athlete ever faces. This decision not only determines the player's home for 4 years, but also involves social pressure, academic needs, and tennis opportunity. Basically, this decision encompasses every aspect of a junior tennis player's life. While the gravity of this choice is quite blatant, the…