Does this friend go to South, If so I think I know who it is, how do you usually do against him?
No he doesn't go to South. We're about even though, when his game is on its really hard to stop him, and vice versa I would like to think.
Anyway -- If I don't get out on a court and hit soon, really soon, I swear I will __________. I'll fill in the blank later when I think of something I will do.
I want to get back on court so badly. So many new things I want to do and I really think I will improve very soon for a while - I had kinda plateaued last year during my season and in my attempt to improve I think I actually got worse (transition time - I didn't really get bad but I played much worse than what I was previously - sorta like sometimes you have to take a step back to spring forward).
I have actually read a lot of the lessons articles and I think next time I am on court I am going to focus on improvements, like taking the ball early, hitting with a closed stance etc.
Also while at home I have been (with the globe ball, see my picture above) trying to change up my serve a little. I saw Gasquet's serve and its really pretty cool especially on the deuce court. So I have been trying to do that little throw yourself up at the ball thing. Effects are hard to see when the ball hits a door or the stairs and on carpet. I don't know how effective it will be in real life though - right now I am look to put speed on the serve, I don't care how fancy it is. I have been placing the ball quite effectively for some time now and I have heard I have a serving stance/motion like Murray. And he serves madd fast - why can't I? Also I would like to be more bold and try to place my second serves as well, and of course improve my second service a lot, its not terrible but a good player can really kill it. I topspin it a lot expecting others to have trouble (because I have trouble with high service returns) but only a few people so far have commented on the high bounce and have visibly had trouble returning my service returns. If you are tall and/or can return high balls well, my serve's useless. I might still be able to slice it but again I need to work on it for consistency and placement.
Also I am most excited for my backhand.
Biggest difference .. and don't you laugh at me cuz this would probably seem obvious to you - I am telling you no one has ever taught me this stuff, back when I was in high school it was still only about getting my forehand and serve into play and my coach did a wonderful job with that, and once that was a little stable he had naturally to deal with the other players, especially since I was a junior/senior by the time I started playing decently and so I really wasn't the 'future' of our team..
so biggest difference which even I think I should have picked up by myself naturally but didn't was - when you watch Federer you know how he waits for a ball with both hands on racquet, swings at his forehand and then waits for the next ball with both hands on his racquet ? well thats it. I never actually held the racquet with two hands - so I always had a forehand grip. So for my backhand you know I used to always wonder how I am supposed to change the grip with my one hand and hence always had trouble, last summer I taught myself to sorta slide the racquet into a comfortable backhand position and the result was obvious, my backhands were good. Now after watching federer and seeing how when you hold the racquet with two hands and you see the ball coming you can do anything you want comfortably with your two hands and use it on the backhand to bring the racquet back and the flow through, the right hand to the ball and the second hand for the balance behind you (so much easier and better since the second hand is already behind you from the backswing).
You know how dumb I felt? I always just swing my forehand and then kinda just wait for the return and after I see the return I run this way or that to get to the ball, rarely ever really modifying the grip. That would also explain why I have only been slicing backhands for 4 3 years and never actually swinging through a normal (flat/topspin) backhand.
This also leads to fitness because I see how federer seems to have so much time between each shot, like when you see him, he hits his shot, gets back in place, has both hands on his racquet ready to do whatever he needs to, reads the opponents shot, sees the ball and what its doing, decide what he wants to do and then go to ball, actually GO to the ball not wait for it, and do exactly what he wants and then get back to the beginning, watching the ball. I used to do none of that literally. I hit the ball see where the ball's coming back, sorta see where my opponent is and hit the ball away from him (if its my forehand) or just slice it to keep it in play if its my backhand. Yeah I have gone considerably beyond that but still when I see Federer I am amazed at what he does and even more amazed that I hadn't though of doing some things that are obvious almost.
Seriously, I can't thank Scott enough for those videos over the last two three months. I have already decided to dedicate my first Grand Slam trophy to this board - uhh lets change that to my first tennis recognition - which I hope will come this fall at our college's little tennis competition - Thats going to be even tougher this year considering how after the Division 1 team is cut, all those kids recruited from Nick Bolleteris and where not will join in this little "normal people" competition. (Rutgers budget cuts - real famous - almost as famous as our football team after this season - did anyone see James Blake and his brother wearing "Save Rutgers Tennis" t-shirts? Now you know why I like this guy even more? ). Last year I beat this kid 6-0 in the first round and lost by the same score in the second round. It was embarassing considering how this kid all he did was get the ball back in play and made me make the winners and errors - and my errors beat my winners. Everyone who was watching said whenever they saw a point they thought I was clearly going to win. I thought so too. Turned out I didn't
This was supposed to be a short entry since I am supposed to be studying for my exams. Its anything but short. And this internet connection won't even let me post this now. No way I am abandoning this post after typing this much. This is going to be saved on notepad and posted once the computer and the router are fully restarted.