Tennis News

From around the world

Bryan Brothers, Hewitt Featured In Houston Doubles

  • Posted: Apr 06, 2019

Bryan Brothers, Hewitt Featured In Houston Doubles

Bryans going for seventh title in Texas

Top seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan will have some top-level competition at this week’s Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship, which starts Monday in Houston.

The six-time champions will open against American wild cards Robert Galloway and Nathaniel Lammons, but looming on the other side of the draw are wild cards Jordan Thompson and Lleyton Hewitt. The Aussies played together earlier this year at the Sydney International, where they made the semi-finals (l. to Cabal/Farah).

Houston will be Hewitt’s fifth doubles event of the year. The 38-year-old Hewitt, who retired from singles in 2016, also played in Brisbane with #NextGenATP Aussie Alex de Minaur, at the Australian Open with countryman John-Patrick Smith and at the New York Open with 19-year-old Aussie Alexei Popyrin.

You May Also Like: Hewitt Enjoys Return To Long Island For The New York Open

I’m lucky I could still go out there and compete reasonably well on the doubles court. It’s easier on your body and covering half the court. For me, to play with the young Australians is exciting,” Hewitt said at the New York Open in February. “I get to know them a little bit better as well and [see] how they handle different situations.”

The Bryan brothers won their sixth Miami Open presented by Itau and their 39th ATP Masters 1000 title on 30 March. It was their second title since Bob returned to action in January (Delray Beach). He missed eight months last year because of a right hip injury that required him to undergo hip replacement surgery last August.

Read & Watch: Bryan Brothers Back In Business With Sixth Miami Title

Source link

Djokovic, Nadal Star In Funniest Moments Of 2019 So Far

  • Posted: Apr 06, 2019

Djokovic, Nadal Star In Funniest Moments Of 2019 So Far

Kyrgios, Auger-Aliassime also play contributing roles

Novak Djokovic’s tennis career is going swimmingly well, but when the Serbian decides to put away his racquets for good, he could have a successful second career in acting if he wants.

You May Also Like: Rafael Nadal: Stand (Back) And Deliver!

The World No. 1 plays a starring role in the funniest moments of the 2019 ATP Tour season so far. Djokovic’s impression of an Italian journalist at the Australian Open, and when he taught his trademark celebration to Italy’s No. 1 Fabio Fognini made the cut.

Rafael Nadal, Nick Kyrgios and Felix Auger-Aliassime also feature prominently in the hilarious compilation. Watch Now

Source link

Rafael Nadal: Stand (Back) And Deliver!

  • Posted: Apr 06, 2019

Rafael Nadal: Stand (Back) And Deliver!

Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers explains the benefits for the Spaniard

Why does Rafael Nadal stand so far back to return serve, especially on clay?

It’s an extreme strategy that other players seldom employ to the same degree, but it works wonders for the Spaniard. An Infosys Insights deep dive into Rafael Nadal’s dominant return game on clay courts reveals that his ultra-deep court position to return serve creates several small benefits that all add up to one big advantage.

The data set comes from a random sampling of 20 of Nadal’s clay court matches in the past two seasons, where he went 18-2. The two losses both came against Dominic Thiem, at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open and the 2017 Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.

Advantage One: More Returns In
When Nadal stands way back, the serve naturally slows down more at contact than it does for a returner who stands closer to the baseline. Nadal also gets to make contact with the ball at a lower height, which is much more in the strike zone around his waist than up higher around his shoulders. All that adds up to more returns back in the court.

The return of serve stroke typically has a shorter, blocking motion compared to a regular groundstroke. But because Nadal stands so far back and creates more time, he is able to take full cuts at the return and deal with it much more as a full-blooded swing than a blocking stroke.

You May Also Like: Why Rafa’s Return On Hard Is Still Impressive

20-Match Analysis
First-Serve Returns Made
Nadal = 84.1%
Opponents = 79.4%

Second-Serve Returns Made
Nadal = 90%
Opponents = 85.2%

More returns in means fewer free points for the server.

Advantage Two: More Points Won
Once Nadal makes his return from deep near the back of the court, he immediately looks to move forward to a more regular baseline position to develop the point. Very few players have the strength to return the ball deep to the server when standing so far back in the court to return, which is one of the reasons why more players don’t do it.

Nadal not only puts more returns in play, he wins the ensuing rallies considerably more often than his opponents, who are returning from a more traditional position.

20-Match Analysis
First-Serve Returns Won
Nadal = 44.7%
Opponents = 31.1%

Second-Serve Returns Won
Nadal = 52.4%
Opponents = 33.2%

The obvious two questions:

Would Nadal enjoy such healthy win percentages over his opponents if he stood in a more traditional return position? Probably not.

Should opponents stand far back like Nadal to return serve as well? Again, not advisable.

Nadal has made a career out of hitting an extreme forehand with extreme technique that works for him. The same can be said of his ultra-deep return location.

The beauty of our sport is that there are many different ways to be successful, and what works incredibly well for one player may not be a good fit for another.

Source link