Archive for the 'Mens Pro' Category
Ferrer Falls As Fellow Masters Cup Hopefuls Reach QFs


Top-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer (pictured) experienced a China Open debut to forget on Thursday. The Tennis Masters Cup hopeful, who started the week at No. 6 in the ATP 2008 Race to Shanghai, lost his opening round match against World No. 95 Dudi Sela of Israel 6-3, 6-3 in 70 minutes. It was the pair’s first meeting.

Sela first beat a Top 10 player on Davis Cup duty for Israel against Fernando Gonzalez of Chile in the World Group play-offs last year and improves to 2-3 lifetime (1-2 in 2008). The 23-year-old Tel Aviv resident improved to 13-20 on the season, after recording back-to-back wins on the ATP circuit for the first time since ATP Masters Series Miami in late March.

Ferrer could only convert one of seven break point opportunities, while the World No. 5 lost his serve four times. The 26-year-old dropped to 42-19 on the season, which has been highlighted by two ATP titles at ‘s-Hertogenbosch (d. Gicquel) and Valencia (d. Almagro) with one runner-up finish at Barcelona (l. to Nadal).

Sela goes on to contest his first ATP quarterfinal since October 2007 at Tokyo (l. to Gasquet). He will attempt to reach his maiden ATP semifinal with victory over another Spaniard, sixth seed Tommy Robredo, on Friday. Sela has a 1-0 record, having beaten Robredo at ATP Masters Series Miami in March.

Robredo improved to 3-0 lifetime against Ivo Minar of the Czech Republic with a 6-2, 6-3 win in 65 minutes. The 26-year-old has captured his seventh ATP title at Bastad (d. Berdych) and finished runner-up in Warsaw (d. Davydenko) this season (32-18 record). The 2006 Tennis Masters Cup qualifier is currently No. 17 in the ATP 2008 Race.
Andy Roddick Second-seeded American Andy Roddick (pictured right), who lost to Ferrer in the Davis Cup semifinals in Madrid last weekend, hit 17 aces past countryman Brendan Evans in a 6-4, 6-3 win. The Nebraskan, who trailed Ferrer by eight points in the ATP 2008 Race to Shanghai at the start of the week, is attempting to clinch his place at the circuit finale for a fifth time.

Roddick, who has hit 618 aces in 46 matches this year (No. 2 in Ace leaders behind Ivo Karlovic), won 27 of 35 points on first serve, and saved two of three break points. A two-time titlist on the ATP circuit this year at San Jose (d. Stepanek) and Dubai (d. Lopez), the 26-year-old improved to 38-13 on the season while World No. 187 Evans dropped to a 1-3 mark.

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Tennis Rules Simplified

The rules of tennis are quite simple. The game itself is complex. "

Rule 1. Opponents stand on opposite sides of the court. The player who delivers the ball to start the point is called the server. The player who stands opposite and cross-court from the server is the receiver.

Rule 2. The right to serve, receive, choose your side, or give the opponent these choices is decided by a toss of a coin or racquet. If the choice of service or receiver is chosen, the opponent chooses which side to start.

Rule 3. The server shall stand behind the baseline on the deuce court within the boundaries of the singles court when playing singles and within the doubles sideline when playing doubles. All even points are played from the deuce court and odd number points played from the advantage court. The server shall not serve until the receiver is ready. Serves are made from the deuce court to the opponents service box on the deuce court. Advantage court to advantage box. If the server misses his target twice, he loses the point. If the ball hits the net and goes in the correct service box, another serve is granted. If the server steps on the baseline before contact is made, the serve is deemed a fault.

Rule 4. The receiver is deemed ready if an attempt is made to return the server’s ball. The receiver can stand where he likes but must let the ball bounce in the service box. If the ball does not land in the service box, it is deemed a fault and a second serve is given. If the ball is hit by either opponent before the ball bounces, the server wins the point.

Rule 5. The server always calls his score first. If the server wins the first point, he gets a score of 15. Scoring is done like a clock. See example below. Love means zero in tennis. The second point is called 30. The third point is called 45 (now-a-days known as 40) and game is won when the score goes back to love. If the score is 40-40, also known as deuce, one side must win by two points. Advantage-In means if the server wins the next point, he wins the game. Advantage-Out means the receiver has a chance to win the game on the next point.

LOVE 15-30-40

Rule 5. After the game, the opponents serve. Games equal 1. The first to win 6 games, by two, wins the set. The first to win 2 sets wins the match. If the score is 6-6, a tie-breaker is played. This is scored by one’s. The first team to score 7 points winning by two wins the set. The tiebreaker continues until one side wins by two. Hence, Game-Set-Match.

Rule 6. If the ball goes into the net, or outside the boundaries of the court, the player who hit that ball loses the point. If the ball hits the net during the point and goes into the opponents court, the ball is in play. A player loses the point if he touches the net, drops his racquet while hitting the ball, bounces the ball over the net, hits a part of the surroundings such as the roof, or a tree, the ball touches him or his partner, he deliberately tries to distract the opponent.

Rule 7. A let is called during the point if a ball rolls on the court or there is a distraction from someone besides the players on the court.

Rule 8. A ball that lands on the line is good.

Rule 9. If players serve out of turn or serve to the wrong person or court, the point or game will stand and order will be resumed following the point or game.

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Tennis Court Etiquette

The following rules of etiquette are mostly common courtesy, and should be followed whether you’re playing tennis at the country club or at public courts. Most of us know the right thing to do, we just need a gentle reminder every now and then.

Show respect and courtesy
To your opponent(s), your partner, and others on or near the courts. Keep your voice down and confined to your court as much as possible so as not to disrupt players on adjacent courts. If you get into a loud dispute with your opponent, take it off the court and away from other players.

Do not walk onto another court during a game
Wait for the players to finish the game, or minimally the point, before walking onto their court. It is very distracting to have someone disrupt a game in progress, so if you must cross another court, do so after the game is finished, and go around the court, not through the middle.

Do not retrieve your ball from the other court
As with the above, it is common courtesy not to disrupt players on court during a match. If your ball rolls onto an adjacent court, wait for them to finish the game and kindly ask for “a little help” to get their attention. Under no circumstances should you run over onto their court in the middle of a game to retrieve the ball yourself.

Always wear proper tennis shoes
This isn’t because of the country club dress attire, it’s because black-soled shoes leave marks on the courts that are difficult to get off. Make sure you wear tennis shoes onto the courts. The proper shoes also give your feet the needed lateral support when running down balls, and making abrupt changes in direction.

Use the tennis courts for tennis
A great deal of money goes into maintaining tennis courts, and it is not for BMX racing with bicycles or roller hockey and rollerblading. These other activities can damage the court surface, leaving it unplayable for tennis players, and can result in a large expenditure for repairs.

Close the gate behind you
Whether you’re coming onto the courts, or leaving, it is common courtesy to close the gate behind you. This will keep the balls inside the confines of the gate and they won’t roll outside.

Pick up after yourself
Don’t leave empty soda cans or old tennis balls out on the court when you leave. Dispose of any garbage you have in trash containers on or near the court – if there aren’t any, take it with you. If you have old tennis balls that you don’t want anymore, don’t leave them on the court – give them to the park and rec or local school.

Monitor children on the courts at all times
Everyone who plays tennis wants to encourage kids to play the game as well, but the kids must also follow these rules. Since kids can tend to get distracted, it’s up to the adults with them to assist. Stray balls, running around and yelling are actions that need to be managed.

Have fun!
The entire objective of playing tennis, aside from being good aerobic exercise, is to have fun. You can follow these rules of etiquette and still have a good time on the courts - the players on adjacent courts will appreciate it.

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How to buy Strings for your Tennis Racket.

There is a lot more to tennis strings than meets the eye. After all, many people, when looking at a tennis racquet, see only the frame – and the frame is what these people spend most of their focus and money on. They might spend hours, days, weeks, months finding the perfect frame, and then neglect spending that much time picking out the right tennis strings and the right string tension – but tennis strings are extremely important!

In fact, tennis strings are key to how your tennis racquet performs. After all, while your racquet frame may affect the way in which you swing and where the ball will come into contact with the tennis racquet, the frame never actually touches the tennis ball (at least, it shouldn’t.) It is the tennis strings that come in contact with the ball. It is the tennis strings that are at the heart of the game – they are the heart of the racquet.

So, before you act like many other tennis players and simply neglect your tennis strings, here are a few things to consider and things that you should know about tennis strings:

Different tensions of your tennis strings can give you better control or power:
Control: use a higher string tension. (This is best for more experienced players).
Power: use a lower tennis string tension – this will make the tennis ball fly farther.
Other tennis string factors can affect the power and control that you will get with your swing, as well:
Control: for great control, use thicker tennis strings and greater string density.
Power: fewer strings means more power (this decreased string density also generally generates more spin). Thinner strings means more power. Elastic strings mean more power.
Strings with softer coating, soft tennis strings, will vibrate less.
Strings made with Kevlar or Kevlar hybrids last the longer than your average synthetic gut or nylon.
A lower tennis string tension will also help your strings last longer.
Having a lower string tension will also reduce the stress/impact on your arm when hitting the ball.
You should restring your racquet at least twice a year. If you play often, then you need to restring your racquet more often!
Natural gut tennis strings are still used today, and they are still good strings. Of course, it is generally more reasonable to choose tennis strings made out of synthetic gut, instead – they will last longer and be less affected by humidity, etc.

As you can see, there is much more to tennis strings than you might have thought. And if truth be told, this article is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tennis strings. This article is here merely to give you an idea as to what types of tennis string set-ups are available. Now you can go out and experiment and find the best tennis string tension, density, thickness, etc. for you.

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How to Buy Tennis Shoes

Does the Shoe Fit ?Tennis is all about balance. You have to maintain good balance when you swing. You have to strike a balance between power and control on your shots. Few people, however, think enough about the balance that has to exist between their feet and their shoes.

The truth is, it’s critical that your footwear be properly matched to the anatomy of your feet and the surface you play on. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to blisters, ankle and knee pain, and loss of movement on the court. But when your shoes and feet are in sync, you’ll feel good and play your best tennis.

What’s Your Foot Type?
The first step in finding the right shoe is to figure out what type of foot you have. There are three basic foot types. While only a podiatrist can give you a fully accurate analysis of your foot type, you can evaluate yourself at home too.
The next time you step out of the shower, take a close look at the footprints your wet feet leave on the floor. If you see a crescent-shaped footprint with little or no impression made by your arch, you have a supinated foot. Supinators tend to wear out the outside part of the bottom of their shoes (the lateral side) before the medial (big toe) side. Supinators also tend to have wide feet and need to look for a shoe that provides extra room in the forefoot and toe box. They also need a shoe with extra cushioning to compensate for their high arches.
If your foot leaves a wet mark on the floor that’s completely filled in, arch and all, you have a pronated foot. Pronators often have flat feet, and the medial portion of their shoe bottom wears down before the lateral part. People with this foot type often need extra support from their shoes so a mid-cut model or a shoe with extra stability on the medial side is usually a wise choice.
If you’re one of the few people who leave a wet footprint with a moderate amount of arch, you have a neutral foot. Consider yourself lucky-this is the most efficient and biomechanically versatile foot type. Players with neutral feet can play tennis in almost any shoe.

Understand the Design
You know your foot type. Next up is understanding the shoe’s design so you can pick the one that will perform best for you. There are four parts of a shoe you need to consider:

Upper:
The top portion of the shoe, or the upper, is usually made of leather, synthetic leather, or a combination of materials. If you need extra support, look for lacing systems that thread into reinforcements going down the sides of the shoe; they’ll provide added stability.
When you try a shoe on, be sure the upper is comfortable against the top of your foot and is not too tight. If you drag your toe when you serve, look for a durable toecap. And if you hit your forehand from an open stance (that is, with most of the front of your body facing the net), you’ll benefit from additional material along the medial portion of the upper since that area often slides along the court and wears down faster as you play.

Insole:
This is the portion of the shoe that your foot rests on, and it’s the least technical part of the operation. If you’ve had foot problems and wear orthotics, check to see if the insole is removable. In most cases it will be, allowing you to replace a worn-out insole with an over-the-counter one that provides extra cushioning.

Midsole:
The midsole is the section that lies between the shoe bottom and the insole. It’s generally made from ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) foam or polyurethane (PU) and in many cases is supplemented by air or gel inserts. The midsole supplies a shoe’s cushioning.
It can often be tough to tell when the midsole breaks down and ceases to perform, but as a rule of thumb, a two- or three-day-a-week player will wear out a midsole in five to six months. Frequent players and people who are extremely aggressive on the court will go through midsoles more quickly due to the pounding they give their shoes.

If your shoes don’t feel as cushioned as they did when they were new, the midsole may be shot. You should consider buying a new pair.

Buying Shoes Can Be DifficultOutsole:
This is where the rubber meets the road. The outsole’s design affects the traction you’ll get on hard and clay courts.
Herringbone designs that form a tight, wave-like pattern perform best on clay, while outsoles with the most variation in the design (a little herringbone here, a wider groove there) give you the best traction on hard courts.

An outsole should also be durable enough to stand up to your style of game. If you play often or wear out shoes quickly, look for heavy-duty outsoles and try to get a pair with an outsole warranty; if they don’t last, you can send them back to the manufacturer to get them replaced.

Heavy or Light?
How heavy should a pair of tennis shoes be? Well, light is nice, but heavy has its advantages, too.
The lighter your shoes, the faster you can zip around the court. So why are tennis shoes almost always heavier than running shoes? The stop-and-start demands of tennis require that shoes have ample cushioning, extra support, and more durable outsoles, all of which add weight.
In an effort to lighten up their shoes, manufacturers often use an hourglass-shaped outsole design for some models. But this may move the shoe’s flex point toward the middle of the shoe, near your arch, rather than at the ball of the foot, where your foot naturally bends. (To test a shoe’s flex point, hold it firmly around the heel in one hand and press the palm of your other hand against the sole at the toe end. Notice where the shoe bends. If it’s back toward the arch, you could have problems with support and stability.)

Only you can decide how much weight you’re willing to live with in the name of increased stability and durability. Consider owning two pairs of tennis shoes: a lighter game-day shoe and a heavier training shoe (this technique has been used by distance runners for years). If you practice in a heavier shoe and play your matches in a lighter shoe, you’ll feel quicker in competition and you’ll go through your shoes more slowly while you’re at it.

The Bottom Line
When you get beyond fashion and examine the function of footwear, you’ll wind up performing better on the court. What more could you ask of a tennis shoe?

4 STEPS TO A PERFECT FIT
Buying a pair of shoes should be an educated endeavor, not something that you leave to the luck of the draw. When purchasing tennis shoes, keep the following things in mind:
-Buy shoes after you’ve played tennis or late in the afternoon (feet typically swell 5 to 10 percent after exercise or by the end of the day). And be sure to bring the same kind of socks you wear to a match so that you can accurately gauge what size shoe you need.
-If the salesperson or shopkeeper doesn’t measure each part of your feet, he or she isn’t fitting your shoes properly. Be sure that the length and width of each foot are measured before you buy anything. It’s not uncommon for people to have one foot that’s larger than the other. If that’s the case, buy a pair of shoes to fit the larger foot.
-Bring your old shoes. The wear on your used pair will help a smart fitter determine how much support, cushioning, and durability you need. The salesperson may also ask you what shoes you’ve worn comfortably in the past.
-Based on your foot type, support needs, and style preferences, your fitter should be able to recommend at least two or three different pairs of shoes to try.

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