Nadal’s first match in Montreal

Rafa and Pablo Andujar won their first doubles match in Montreal.  They won against Ferrer and F.Lopez 6:7 6:1 12:10.
Tomorrow Rafa will play his 1st single match against Jesse Levine. Good luck Champ, just go ahead!534224_609660462388440_741807330_n


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Summer Hard Courts 101: What You Need to Know.

The Summer hard court season. The most unforgiving time on the tennis calendar. Relentless with the heat and brutal on the body. Week after week of tournaments labeled as The US Open Series that culminates into the largest and richest tennis event in the world…The US Open which starts on August 26th. The electricity of New York City, the buzz of the crowd and the largest winner’s check in grand slam tennis history makes the build-up to this event that much more exciting.

The hype is real, but so are the dynamics of playing on hard courts. All surfaces have their own unique characteristics. Here’s what you need to know about hard courts if you plan on playing or watching the professionals compete on this surface.

In terms of the speed of the ball and height of the bounce, clay is the slowest and highest while grass is the fastest and lowest (apart from some indoor carpet courts) and hard courts sit somewhere in the middle. Hard courts will offer the truest bounce as the surface is always even but they can be pretty unforgiving and will put a lot of strain on the body – especially the legs and knees.

But they do allow for firm footing, unlike clay and grass. Court manufacturers have softened hard courts in recent years by adding extra layers of rubber to the under surface. i.e. Rebound Ace.
This makes the ball bounce a bit higher and can, in some cases, slow the ball down.

This change in the ball characteristic can also bring a change in the height of the bounce and speed of the ball so you have to keep adapting to that. On average, a ball hit on hard courts will still have 68% of its initial contact speed after its bounce. Clay is much lower at 59% and grass courts are slightly higher at 70%. Anyone who has played on a variety of surfaces can feel the difference. In a game that relies on fractions of a second for timing, these small variances can be the difference between a clean winner and a embarrassing mishit that lands in the 10th row.

Conditions are often hot and humid during the American hard court season and can be oppressive in certain parts of the country – the temperatures rise to over 100 degrees on the court. Oh, and let’s not forget, hard court temperatures are usually 10-15 degrees hotter than what the mercury might read off the court suspended on a fence or post. It may be 90 degrees in the stands, but think about the feel of that hot asphalt. I’d be lying if I said I’ve never tried to cook an egg on a tennis court. It would be a bigger lie if I said that egg was not cooked quickly on the most steamy of Summer days. I’ve even flirted with the thought of throwing down a steak or two on the baseline to see the Maillard reaction go into full effect. The only thing that stops me is the look of pure disgust I’d receive from the “competitive” senior ladies doubles teams competing on the adjacent court. And while we’re at it, that’s not gum that you stepped on near the doubles alley, that’s the rubber sole of your shoe that is quickly reducing to a melty glob of nothingness. The good news for aggressive hard hitting players is that if you play in this type of heat at midday for example, you can expect the ball to be traveling pretty quickly through the air.

Preparation for the outdoor hard court season is crucial for players at all levels. Physical conditioning will be a deciding factor in many matches and proper hydration and nutrition can often provide an edge to performance. Mental toughness in the heat can also affect the outcome of matches.

When it comes to playing styles, medium-fast hard courts will suit the aggressive all-court player which Big serves and powerful ground strokes are the modus operandi. You will see more flat first serves especially if the court is playing fast, and more kick second serves as the court will take the top spin and ensure the returner is having to hit at shoulder or even head height.
You are less likely to see drop shots on this surface as the ball tends to sit up – so players will only play these when their opponent is well off the back or side of the court. Most winning ground strokes will be flattened out to make the ball travel faster.

Good luck to you and your game this Summer. Happy Hitting.

Thanks for Reading.

Kyle LaCroix @TennisTycoon

Video Tennis boy wonder Connor Stroud plays with passion & heart!

Connor Stroud is amazing! He is a 12 year old boy who plays tennis without hips, femurs or knees.

Conner Stroud hits balls as part of The Adaptive Teen Association of North Carolina during the second round of the Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University on August 21, 2012 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  He suffered from Bilateral Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency (PFFD), a birth defect that caused him to be born without hips, ankles, femurs or knees. Essentially he only had his tibia and feet from the waist down. Of the few affected by this rare condition, only 15% have both legs affected like Conner.

He shares the crazy passion for tennis we all do and is ranked # 101 in boys 12 and under in his home state of North Carolina.   In this video he is hitting with @andyroddick & Jim Courier.

.@Conner_Stroud doesn't have hips, femurs or knees. But ... on Twitpic


This video is from the USTA North Carolina celebration where you can see him play some more

I am so proud of Connor and his love for tennis.  I will think of him next time I play tennis and remember how much love he has for the game and how much we both gain from the best sport in the world! Connor you are amazing and the best!!

Lets all follow him on twitter here ! Send him a shout out!



Federer speaks about injury & ranking drop

Switzerland’s Roger Federer reacts during a break in the Swiss Open second round tennis match against Germany’s Daniel Brands in Gstaad yesterday. – Reuters pic, July 25, 2013.

Its been a long and dry summer for Federer fans who watch on as Roger struggles with back injury and uncharacteristic losses.  Just one year ago Roger Federer raised his game to defy critics who called for his retirement and end throughout 2009 & 2010.  First the back issues:

“I’ve had serious problems with the back, I had to get some anti-inflammatories last week in Hamburg due to the pain,” he said after yesterday’s loss, his third of the summer against an opponent ranked outside the top 50.

“I will have to do a lot of exercises and see how it all feels. My main priority now is to fix my back. I would love to be able to train at 100%,” said the former world number one.

“I’ll have to see if the rehab is enough to let me play in Montreal. If it is, I’ll go; if not, then it gives me another week.”

Second his drop in ranking and desire to win?

“I don’t think my ego would suffer if one day I was no longer in the top 10,” Federer told Le Matin. “There’s a moment when the rankings aren’t that important anymore. Honestly, I don’t even know what my current ranking is.  Today, my ranking isn’t that important to me anymore.”

“I don’t think my ego would suffer if one day I was no longer in the top 10,” Federer told Le Matin. “There’s a moment when the rankings aren’t that important anymore. Honestly, I don’t even know what my current ranking is.  Today, my ranking isn’t that important to me anymore.”

“In terms of rankings at least. Lleyton Hewitt is a great example in my mind. Whether he’s 170th, 20th or fifth, his ranking isn’t important to him. He just takes a lot of pleasure in playing.”

“I don’t have any problem with critics,” Federer said. “But I expect people to be honest. This situation is not new for me. In 2009 and 2010, people were already saying, ‘He’s won everything, now he’s done.’ The more people comment, the greater the probability that someone will say something stupid.”

I admire the positive attitude Roger Federer has about the sport.  Though he has played more matches than almost everyone current on the ATP tour, his love for playing Tennis still shines through.  Tennis is a tough sport on the body.  He has done a masterful job managing the pain and balance it takes to continue to play and continue to win.  I believe we are far from over for Federer. Even though the reality of wear and tear is hard to deny we are still talking about the most talented and majestic tennis player who ever picked up a racquet.  As long as Roger Federer is content to play, I am very content to watch and learn.