save opportunities.

So I’m sitting here getting ready to watch about 5 hours of tennis with the Rogers masters final followed by the western & southern open final. Murray and Del Potro are going head to head in somewhat of a surprise final with both Nadal and Federer having been in the tournament and both going out before the semis. I’m a little hestitant in calling in a surprise final since Murray was threatening to surpass Nadal for the number 2 ranking in this tournament and del potro showed the tennis world what he was really made of this time last year when he came in 3rd in the US open series and followed that up with a QF showing at the Open.

            So anyway, I want to address something I heard Brad Gilbert say during one of the earlier matches. A player was struggling at an important stage of the match and BG was speculating what his coach would say to him at that moment and went on to say that he thought the ATP tour should adopt the rule that the WTA recently has that coaches can come out on the court to give their player advice during a changeover. What an unbelievably terrible rule.

One of the reasons tennis is so special is that while the pro is competing there is no one else out there for them to rely on or blame. You don’t get a teammate (excluding doubles) or a coach to draw up a play for you or help you realize patterns in the match that are working against you. I don’t understand the reasoning behind this rule. Clearly, it’s a choice and there are plenty of players that choose not to use it. If you’re a professional tennis player and you can’t figure out how to turn a match around and need someone to tell you, you shouldn’t be out there. That’s what scouting is for. Its not like players have never figured out what was going wrong in a match, changed the strategy around and ended up coming out on top. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for advancements in the game. I love the idea that they can challenge line calls with the shot spot to be sure and be able to let a close call go and not affect them throughout the match.

PAUSE: wow! Amazing point by del po to get to the first set tiebreaker! Kind of feels like Del Po stole that first set. How’d he do that?

Anyway, remember when Serena Williams would pull out notes during the changeovers? After I saw that, I started doing it for my own matches so I can attest to how helpful it is. You can write notes for yourself for any possible situation you could find yourself in. For example: Not serving well? Get the toss up and make sure you finish into the court. Relax your arms and explode up into the ball. Blam! Fixed! I hope it doesn’t seem like I think its easy being a pro. I’m not saying that, but I do think that pros should be able to get themselves through a match without needing to be coached after every set. Like I said before, I support improvements in the game as time passes but that certainly doesn’t apply to everything and on-court coaching is one of those things that has no place in the game.

Right on cue just as I’m finishing this up, Dinara Safina is losing to Jelena Jankovic and a commentator says “She needs her coach to come out and give her a new attitude”. WHAT!?! This is the number one female in the WORLD and you’re telling me she can’t figure out how to turn this match around on her own? Vomit.

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~ by ksportsb on August 16, 2009.

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