General Tennis Discussions

General Discussion on Indian Tennis - Forums for TennisIndia.org

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
Omkara
Member
Member
Posts: 3849
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 9:03 am
Please enter the middle number: 1
Location: Mumbai
Contact:

General Tennis Discussions

Postby Omkara » Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:19 am

didn't know where to put it hence decided to start this thread. If someone finds an appropriate thread, the mods may merge this with the same.

I saw this in interesting bit of news item

Deaf Indian girl wins international tourney

User avatar
gbelday
Member
Member
Posts: 2762
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2003 12:44 am
Please enter the middle number: 1
Location: NJ

Re: General Tennis Discussions

Postby gbelday » Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:52 pm

Here is a touching farewell letter from Li Na to her fans. Copying (from facebook) the whole letter below. She is such a champion!

LETTER FROM LI NA:

My dear friends,

For close to fifteen years, we’ve been a part of each other’s lives. As a tennis player representing China on the global stage, I’ve trekked around the world playing hundreds of matches on the WTA tour, for China’s Fed Cup team, at the National Games and at several Olympic Games. You’ve always been there for me, supporting me, cheering me on, and encouraging me to reach my potential.

Representing China on the tennis court was an extraordinary privilege and a true honor. Having the unique opportunity to effectively bring more attention to the sport of tennis in China and all over Asia is something I will cherish forever. But in sport, just like in life, all great things must come to an end.

2014 has become one of the most significant years in my career and my life. This year was full of amazing highlights, which included winning my second Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open and sharing the extraordinary experience with my country, my team, my husband and my fans. It was also a year filled with difficult moments, such as having to deal with the inevitable - making the decision to end my professional tennis career.

The amazing moment in Australia was filled with joy, happiness and extraordinary sense of accomplishment. The task of finally making a decision to hang up my racquet felt a lot more difficult than winning seven matches in a row in the Australian heat. It took me several agonizing months to finally come to the decision that my chronic injuries will never again let me be the tennis player that I can be. Walking away from the sport, effective immediately, is the right decision for me and my family.

Most people in the tennis world know that my career has been marked by my troubled right knee. The black brace I wear over it when I step on the court has become my tennis birth mark. And while the brace completes my tennis look, the knee problems have at times overtaken my life.

After four knee surgeries and hundreds of shots injected into my knee weekly to alleviate swelling and pain, my body is begging me to stop the pounding. My previous three surgeries were on my right knee. My most recent knee surgery took place this July and was on my left knee. After a few weeks of post-surgery recovery, I tried to go through all the necessary steps to get back on the court.

While I’ve come back from surgery in the past, this time it felt different. One of my goals was to recover as fast as I could in order to be ready for the first WTA tournament in my hometown of Wuhan. As hard as I tried to get back to being 100%, my body kept telling me that, at 32, I will not be able to compete at the top level ever again. The sport is just too competitive, too good, to not be 100%.

Winning a Grand Slam title this year and achieving a ranking of World No.2 is the way I would like to leave competitive tennis. As hard as it’s been to come to this decision, I am at peace with it. I have no regrets. I was not supposed to be here in the first place, remember? Not many people believed in my talent and my abilities, yet I found a way to persevere, to prove them (and sometimes myself!) wrong.

I’ve succeeded on the global stage in a sport that a few years ago was in its infancy in China. What I’ve accomplished for myself is beyond my wildest dreams. What I accomplished for my country is one of my most proud achievements.

In 2008, there were two professional women’s tennis tournaments in China. Today, there are 10, one of them in Wuhan, my hometown. That to me is extraordinary! Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams – with thirty Grand Slam singles titles among them - are coming to my hometown to play tennis for the fans of China! Just as I didn’t think I could ever be a Grand Slam champion, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that some of the best female athletes in the world could play tennis in Wuhan, in my backyard.

My contributions to the growth of the sport in China are very special to me. But I don’t want to stop here. Together with IMG, my management company, we are putting together various plans on how we will continue to grow the sport of tennis in China. These plans include opening the Li Na Tennis Academy, which will provide scholarships for the future generation of Chinese tennis stars. I will also stay involved in the Right to Play, an organization dedicated to helping underprivileged children overcome challenges through sport. My philanthropic work will expand in scope as I continue to dedicate myself to helping those in need. What was once just a dream in China today is a reality.

On a personal side, I look forward to starting a new chapter of my life, hopefully having a family and reconnecting with those I did not have the luxury of spending a lot of time with while playing. I can’t wait to revisit all the amazing places I played tennis in and see the world through a new set of eyes. I look forward to slowing down and living my life at a new, slower, relaxed pace.

Tennis is an individual sport and as players, our job is to spend a lot of time focusing on ourselves. But no player can ever become a champion alone and nobody knows this better than me. There isn’t enough space here to thank everyone who has travelled on my journey with me and contributed to my success. But I must thank those that have stuck with me through the highs and the lows and have helped me become the person that I am today.

THANK YOU TO:
• My mother – for your never-ending support. Through the laughs and the tears, you’ve always been there for me.
• My father – you were taken away from me way too early and I haven’t been the same since. You’ve remained the sunshine in my life and I am who I am because of you.
• Jiang Shan – you’ve been by my side for 20 years. You are my everything and I am grateful to have shared my life with you.
• My first coaches Ms. Xia Xiyao and Ms. Yu Liqiao - for putting me on the tennis path.
• Madame Sun and the Chinese Tennis Association - thank you for being trailblazers for tennis in China.
• Mr. Hu Dechun and the Hubei Sports Bureau – for understanding me and supporting me through the years.
• Women’s Tennis Association – for your passion for women’s tennis and hard work growing it around the world.
• Mr. Chan Hongchang – for supporting me when I first decided to become a professional tennis player in 2008. You helped me make up my mind.
• Thomas Hogstedt – for introducing me to professional tennis.
• Michael Mortenson – for helping me win my first Grand Slam.
• Carlos Rodriguez – for pushing me beyond the limits I thought I could reach.
• Alex Stober – for taking care of me all of these years and pulling me together when I was falling apart.
• Erich Rembeck and Johannes Wieber – for finding a way to make me pain free, over and over again.
• Fred Zhang and the Nike team – you’ve been my guiding light, my support system and my biggest cheerleader. I will never forget it.
• To my agent Max Eisenbud and the entire IMG Team - for being the best management company in the world and for taking care of me every day.
• To all the sponsors that have supported me through every stage of my career.
• To my relatives, friends, and everyone who has helped me throughout my career – for always being there for me and for your never-ending support.
• To my fellow tennis players – for being a part of my journey all of these years. I have so much respect for all of you.
• To everyone in the media who’s covered my career and helped the growth of tennis in China and around the world.
• To the amazing tennis fans around the world – for your unyielding support of our sport and for playing every tennis match along with me.
• And lastly, to tennis fans in China – for getting on the bandwagon and staying on it! I am grateful to each and every one of you for pushing me to be my best, embracing me and loving me unconditionally. There is no limit to how far we can take the sport of tennis in China, together.

When I started playing tennis, I was just a neighborhood kid with an after-school hobby, not realizing what magical journey lay ahead of me. If I only knew what a vehicle the sport of tennis, along with my success, would become for my beloved China. While my journey hasn’t been easy, it has been rewarding. I’ve seen change happening in front of my eyes, young girls picking up tennis racquets, setting goals, following their hearts and believing in themselves. I hope that I’ve had the opportunity to inspire young women all over China to believe in themselves, to set their goals high and pursue them with vengeance and self-belief.

Whether you want to be a tennis player, a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher or a business leader, I urge you to believe in yourself and follow your dream. If I could do it, you can too! Be the bird that sticks out. With hard work, your dreams will come true.

LI NA

User avatar
jaydeep
Moderators
Moderators
Posts: 20818
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 8:59 am
Please enter the middle number: 1
Location: India

Re: General Tennis Discussions

Postby jaydeep » Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:24 am

Wow .. Now respecting more.

User avatar
Varma
Member
Member
Posts: 2027
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 2:49 am
Please enter the middle number: 1
Location: Irvine, CA, USA

Re: General Tennis Discussions

Postby Varma » Wed May 04, 2016 8:52 pm

Very well written articles to celebrate the life of Tim Gullikson, who helped Pete Sampras reach his potential! It's been 20 years since Tennis lost a special man.

20 years on - A tribute to Tim Gullikson: Part-I
20 years on - A tribute to Tim Gullikson: Part-II

- Varma

User avatar
gbelday
Member
Member
Posts: 2762
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2003 12:44 am
Please enter the middle number: 1
Location: NJ

Re: General Tennis Discussions

Postby gbelday » Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:43 pm

I watched Jared Donaldson destroy Viktor Troicki at the US Open last night. He has a great game, tough to find any major flaws. Very quick/fast and has a great serve. Taylor Dent did a great job with his serve.

Here is an Interesting article on the spent time in Argentina training on red clay (when he was 15). On this forum, we were recently discussing about Ramkumar and his training on red clay during his formative years. I hope that training pays off for Ram in the coming years.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/02/sport ... .html?_r=0

User avatar
jayakris
Moderators
Moderators
Posts: 22677
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2002 7:24 am
Please enter the middle number: 1
Location: Irvine, CA, USA
Contact:

Re: General Tennis Discussions

Postby jayakris » Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:18 pm

gbelday wrote:I watched Jared Donaldson destroy Viktor Troicki at the US Open last night. He has a great game, tough to find any major flaws. Very quick/fast and has a great serve. Taylor Dent did a great job with his serve.

Here is an Interesting article on the spent time in Argentina training on red clay (when he was 15). On this forum, we were recently discussing about Ramkumar and his training on red clay during his formative years. I hope that training pays off for Ram in the coming years.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/02/sport ... .html?_r=0

I keep repeating that just going and sitting on clay isn't enough to build a tennis player, and nobody listens to me :) ... In my opinion Ramkumar's game and confidence was destroyed in Spain because they didn't coach him enough and made use of the publicity in India (harsh accusation, I know, but that is exactly what it looks like to me). They managed his playing schedule about as badly as one could imagine.

I kept saying that Ramki MUST play junior events, and he played almost none. He got to play very few tennis matches, win or loss, when he was 16 and 17 and he paid for it, by not knowing situational details and instincts that come only from paying a lot. That would be okay, if you are at least training and getting coached, but if you are on the road for months on end with a loss or 1 win and out every week, you get very few matches to learn too. You need about 50 to 100 wins in the ages 16 and 17 at competitive levels, junior or pro, to become a tennis player who is somewhat ready for the pro tour. Check what age RamK was, when he got to that many wins. The Spanish experiment just delayed him 2 to 3 years and messed up his mind too, and that is still somewhat visible (kudos to him for having the mental strength to still survive and reach where he has!).

Jared Donaldson lives right here in Irvine, California, where I am. There is NO comparison of any sort between how these two got ready for the tour. He trained off and on for extensive periods (important!) in Argentina but he wasn't out there playing on clay courts week after week and picking up losses. He mostly played events on hard courts.

RamK is almost exactly 2 years older than Jared, so let us look at a comparison year by year, till they reached age 19.

Jared Donaldson - Born 1996 October
2011 - June onwards - 6 junior events (turned 15 in Oct)
2012 - 18 junior events (turned 16 in October)
- Played 2 hardcourt futures with 3 wins!
2013 - 3 junior events
- Went basically 1 win and out in 5 futures, and then reached US open Q3 suddenly (turned 17). 3 more futures with 4 wins.
- He basically trained most of the year, it seems.
2014 - Hit a stride in the futures series and started rising to challengers easily. Kept on going.
2015 - Reached top 135 by age 19.

Ramkumar Ramanathan - Born 1994 November
2009 - 4 junior events (turned 15 in Nov)
2010 - 1 junior event (turned 16 in Nov)
- Trained for 3 months in Spain in Apr-June. Not sure what he did the rest of the year.
2011 - 0 junior events
- 7 R1 losses in Spain futures, 2 ESP futures with a couple of wins. Came to Indian futures and lost 3 R1s in a row (continued it for a year more!)..
- Had 4 months of training early in the year, and then only 3 weeks of coaching in Barcelona from June through Sep (weekly-losses period in spain).
2012 - 22 futures events (india, spain, morocco, whatnot). Went past the first round only in Decemebr in India, Unbelievably bad!
2013 - Reached top 700 by age 19

Do you see where things went wrong? The bold lines will show the crucial difference. Check what these two were doing at age 16 and 17. Who played ITF juniors, and who didn't? If you look closely at the surfaces of where these two played the futures, that also will be quite revealing. Clay coaching is fine, but just going and playing week after week on clay events in Europe is utterly useless. If you look at the number of matches played (whichever level, juniors or pro)), it will be more striking and you will know what went wrong. I knew it, and I am sure a few others here knew it too, about 5 years ago. In my opinion RamK is still struggling to get over some of the mental demons he picked up in 2011, the crucial year when he should have been managed well. To see how he lost event after event in the first round even in India in 2012, should make anyone cry.

Jay

vatsal323
Member
Member
Posts: 1660
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:57 am
Antispam: No
Please enter the middle number: 5

Re: General Tennis Discussions

Postby vatsal323 » Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:35 pm

jayakris wrote:
gbelday wrote:I watched Jared Donaldson destroy Viktor Troicki at the US Open last night.
Here is an Interesting article on the spent time in Argentina training on red clay (when he was 15). On this forum, we were recently discussing about Ramkumar and his training on red clay during his formative years. I hope that training pays off for Ram in the coming years.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/02/sport ... .html?_r=0

...
Jared Donaldson lives right here in Irvine, California, where I am. There is NO comparison of any sort between how these two got ready for the tour.
...
RamK is almost exactly 2 years older than Jared, so let us look at a comparison year by year, till they reached age 19.

Jared Donaldson - Born 1996 October
...
Ramkumar Ramanathan - Born 1994 November
...
Do you see where things went wrong?
...


Jay _/\_

User avatar
gbelday
Member
Member
Posts: 2762
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2003 12:44 am
Please enter the middle number: 1
Location: NJ

Re: General Tennis Discussions

Postby gbelday » Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:54 pm

Jay, I knew you would jump on this. That's great data. I am not disagreeing with you that RamK's coaching may have been messed up in Spain. He's got a few flaws that shouldn't exist if someone were playing closer attention to him. I did say something to that front in my earlier post a couple of days ago. A few years ago (when we were discussing RamK a lot on this forum), I was pretty convinced that the path that the coaches in Spain laid out for RamK was the right one (play hard tournaments, dust off the losses, toughen up, and keep moving and eventually the wins will come). But now I am beginning to question that pathway. RamK's tournament schedule should have been managed better.

The things that I read these days have me convinced that juniors should play a mix of tournaments (some higher level, mostly at their level and some at a level lower). The win/loss percentage should be about 65/35. If you are winning a lot, then move up and keep an eye on that ratio and adjust accordingly.

User avatar
jayakris
Moderators
Moderators
Posts: 22677
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2002 7:24 am
Please enter the middle number: 1
Location: Irvine, CA, USA
Contact:

Re: General Tennis Discussions

Postby jayakris » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:01 pm

^^ Absolutely. I wasn't writing it thinking you hadn't noticed it. It was basically for everybody to understand this issue. I had written in all kinds of different ways about the need to win that 65% of matches at the competitive level that you mention (some percentage like that), and getting enough matches. Also important is actual coaching, meaning the right breaks for 1 or 2 months type periods between sequences of 3-4 events so you stay sharp in the events (again to not lose in R1 and lose chances to play), as well as improve based on what went wrong in the losses. Yes, there is a right mix for this. Nobody can get it perfect, but it was clear that RamK was being put through an extreme case of unnecessarily risky schedule (in fact, I think it was lazy management by the Spaniards who didn't have him as a priority of any kind, like he was to us, but I don't know enough to accuse them). TNTA should hvae asked questions, but they seemed to have the "deer in the headlights" look, with the Spaniards, and were pining for attention in India to their great efforts to help Ramk (which indeed deserved credit).

sameerph
Moderators
Moderators
Posts: 20944
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 4:26 pm
Antispam: No
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: MUMBAI

Re: General Tennis Discussions

Postby sameerph » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:38 pm

That is excellent comparative data, Jay. We were all shouting from the rooftops at that time about RamK skipping juniors at all. But, the way he eventually progressed after late 2013 made me think that it all was fine and those stints helped him.

Perhaps not especially after seeing how the Spanish guys have not been able to fix his basic technique on backhand after working 3-4 years with him.

What he went thru in 2011 to 2013 was really not an ideal preparation to become a successful top 100 player. I can only say it was somewhat better than Yuki who basically stayed in India and went for short 1 month or so stints at IMG.

User avatar
jayakris
Moderators
Moderators
Posts: 22677
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2002 7:24 am
Please enter the middle number: 1
Location: Irvine, CA, USA
Contact:

Re: General Tennis Discussions

Postby jayakris » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:48 pm

Here is the match W-L comparison, somewhat clearly establishing that getting enough matches at the right time is a big ingredient to get your tennis to various levels. I looked at the number of competitive matches played in the juniors and pro levels. I counted manually, so some numbers could be off by a 1 or 2 here and there.

Ramkumar Ramanathan W-L record by year
2009 - juniors 10-4
2010 - juniors 2-2
2011 - pro 8-16
2012 - pro 9-21 except for india F16 in december (4-1) - Moved to top-800
2013 - pro 3-10 till the ESP F7 breakthrough final (4-1, June 16th) moved to top-700
- pro 8-13 followed by India F11 title (13-1 futures run) - moved to top-400

Jared Dinaldson W-L record by year
2011 - juniors 14-5
2012 - juniors 30-17, pro 3-2
2013 - juniors 1-2, pro 6-7 till a 5-2 run - Moved to top-700, 1-3 after that
2014 - pro 22-10 to Move to top-500 and then it was up and up

Now let us look at the match records at the times when they seemed to start winning a bunch at a certain level and started moving up

Ramkumar Ramanathan Cumulative Record and Ranking Moves
29-43 (72 matches) till the first upward ranking blip.
36-54 (90 matches) till the next upward move to top-700
48-68 (118 matches) till finally he started the futures run and beat Somdev in 2014 Chennai Open, and into top-400.

Jared Donaldson Cumulative Record and Ranking Moves
54-33 (87 matches) when he moved to top-700
77-46 (123 matches) when he was ready to move to top-400

Look at the numbers in red. The number of matches played are strikingly similar at similar points. The difference is that Jared did not have demons from his losses (as he was at 63% when he reached top-400 levels), unlike RamK who had more bad memories of losses (a poor 41% W-L record when he reached top-400 levels). Plus Jared did it 1.5 to 2 years earlier.

Bottom line - Scheduling matches properly, and playing both juniors and pro levels with the right healthy mix are important.

Jay

User avatar
jayakris
Moderators
Moderators
Posts: 22677
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2002 7:24 am
Please enter the middle number: 1
Location: Irvine, CA, USA
Contact:

Re: General Tennis Discussions

Postby jayakris » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:56 pm

sameerph wrote:That is excellent comparative data, Jay. We were all shouting from the rooftops at that time about RamK skipping juniors at all.

We were right in shouting from rooftops. He might have got coaching that was enough to bring him to the levels he reached, but he was clearly delayed by 2 years for no reason.
But, the way he eventually progressed after late 2013 made me think that it all was fine and those stints helped him.Perhaps not especially after seeing how the Spanish guys have not been able to fix his basic technique on backhand after working 3-4 years with him.

I was following him closely those days, and at the crucial time in 2011 he was not being coached. He got extended stints in 2010 for 3 months and a bit in early 2011 (in the cold weather in Barcelona? I am not even sure!). But I know that he could not have been at Sanchez-Casals for coaching from March or so through end of the year pretty much. May be a week or two somewhere. That was the time to fix the issues when he was losing first rounds one event after another. Did they fix his techniques later? I don't know. May have tried to.
What he went thru in 2011 to 2013 was really not an ideal preparation to become a successful top 100 player. I can only say it was somewhat better than Yuki who basically stayed in India and went for short 1 month or so stints at IMG.

My problem is that having a 41% winning percentage in your career when you are trying to move up from top-400 is extremely unhealthy, mentally. Luckily his home ground Chennai ATP came to help to give him a boost, as he had the nice run there in 2014. he has been fine since then, except for occasional loss of steam for inexplicable reasons. Considering everything, he is dong better than what i expected then, but I am sure he is still bothered by the negatives from the Spanish experience, even if his tennis might have improved, coaching-wise (not sure).

(Perhaps we should move all of this to the Ramki thread?)

sameerph
Moderators
Moderators
Posts: 20944
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 4:26 pm
Antispam: No
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: MUMBAI

Re: General Tennis Discussions

Postby sameerph » Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:07 pm

He has a travelling coach with him these days which even Yuki and Saketh do not afford. So, in that sense TNTA must be applauded to support him. But, of course it looks at the earlier stage, they gave them in the hands of the Spanish guys and did not bother to check if the things are going in the right direction.

Somewhat similar things are happening to Sasi Kumar Mukund these days who is also supported by TNTA, it seems. He too skipped juniors and went thru string of losses in Spain/ Tunisia etc. this year. But, he is 19. So, perhaps somewhat better equipped to deal with it. ( although perhaps not as talented as RamK is). He has done better in last few weeks when he came to Asia to play futures.

Sin Hombre
Member
Member
Posts: 2204
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:59 pm
Antispam: No
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: Chicago

Re: General Tennis Discussions

Postby Sin Hombre » Sat Sep 03, 2016 2:08 am

We should also consider the possibility that Donaldson is a bit more talented than RamK.

User avatar
jayakris
Moderators
Moderators
Posts: 22677
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2002 7:24 am
Please enter the middle number: 1
Location: Irvine, CA, USA
Contact:

Re: General Tennis Discussions

Postby jayakris » Sat Sep 03, 2016 3:09 am

Sin Hombre wrote:We should also consider the possibility that Donaldson is a bit more talented than RamK.

Very much so, but we'll never know, actually! But we do know that both are certainly good enough to be in the top-400, and ramK could have got there faster with fewer losses in his record.

In fact, my point is that talented or not, you do need a certain number of matches before you would get to a certain level. Just by believing that you're a champion, that you are like Nadal, and that you would automatically become a champion if you train like him, is foolhardy. You've got to PLAY a lot, against various levels of competitiveness in the opponents, and get through a lot of match situations to develop instincts - because no amount of instincts developed from academy practice will replace certain aspects you get only from match play situations.


Return to “General Tennis Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests