Ryan Dominic from the interview yesterday was kind enough to give me some pointers and tips. I thought they were really interesting and decided to post them so that you could all read it! Here it is:
These tips are in no particular order. They are helpful suggestions for you to help you with not only your tennis game, but in any sports and even in life.
• Remember, it is a privilege to be participating at this event. You are not only one represent Canada, but all the kind folks who have support you with sponsorships
• Practice sportsmanship in all situations at all costs.
• Be responsible for your actions
• Be a friend, and create a positive environment. Try your best to meet as many people as you can. This experience will last a long time, and you have the opportunity to build many positive friendships.
• Enjoy yourself and promote enjoyment for others.
• For any matches before 10am, always warm up by running at least 15 minutes. Try to time your run so that you have about 10 minutes to rest before you start walking on to the court. This way your body is warm, muscles loose and you’re ready to play.
• Make sure you drink at least 1 litre of water at least 1 hour before your match. If you feel like getting dehydrated in a match, guess what, it’s already too late. That’s why it crucial that you drink before your matches.
• Watch carefully your opponent in the warm up. How does he move? Is his forehand stronger than his backhand? Weak volleys? Etc….
• When rally with ground strokes, hit 70-80% of these crosscourt.
• When volleying, expect to hit at lease 2 volleys to win the points. The 1st volley should be the set up volley for the second.
• Try to get as Many 1st serves in as possible. If you can’t put a lot of power on it at least try to put some placement on it. For example, if your opponent has a weak backhand return, I would be serving 80% of my serves to his backhand. If he is even on both sides, MIXED IT UP!!!. Don’t let him get used to a pattern, or the same serves all the time.
• When in trouble or defensive situation, LOB!!! Remember w hat Ryan does; remember how this simple tactic kept you back. This will also give you TIME!!!
TIP FOR PLAYING SLOWER SURFACES
• Hit ground strokes higher and deeper
• Relax. This will give you some time to recover after long points. Remember, you have 15 seconds between points. Use Them!!!
• Use more topspin, but be careful not to hit ground strokes short
• Don’t go for aces, nor is it wise to serve & volley too much. It is OK to serve & volley occasionally to keep your opponent honest or if you are at 40-15 or 40-0
• On short ball, don’t be afraid to drop shot or go for short angles. And remember, when dropping shot it is better and safer to drop shot longer than shorter and in to the net. (You don’t need the most perfect drop shot, the idea is to get him running and either forces him to make an error or put up a kill shot for you)
• Don’t try and end points quick…you usually wont able to. Fitness is a key. If you or your opponents aren’t prepared to run, you or he is at a servere disadvantage. Always run your opponent on clay…tests his fitness. He may fade in the latter stages of the match. BE PATIENT!!!
GENERAL MATCH TIPS
• Stay with a winning strategy and change a losing strategy. If you are down 2 breaks in a set, you have to change your game and quickly.
• Pay attention to his patterns. I.e. does he always try to pass crosscourt on his forehand? Does he only approach on his backhand? Etc…then take advantage of them!!!!
• You have to try and develop a strategy or “game plan” before each match. Knowing what you trying to do in a match before it is played greatly increases your chances of success. Example. If you are playing someone with poor ground strokes, plan to approach to the net a lot and force him to pass you
• If you are not moving well on the court or are fatigued. A) Increase the amount of liquids that you are taking between games, Remember what I said, at least 1 litre of water, 1 hour before each match. Stay away from sport drinks, they’re crap. B) Change your shirt C) Take your time, slow down the pace of the game. D) Take deep breaths.
• Errors, not winners, determine who wins the match!!! You need to be consistent. Let your opponent make the mistakes. Maybe you will have to wait 6 or 7 shots before he misses or you have a chance for a winner, but you must wait and be patient. Don’t miss balls and wait for your opportunity. I can’t stress this enough, especially on clay!!!
• If you are playing a player that’s good all around, you won’t beat him by just staying back and just hitting with him. You have to mix it up. As well, you must mix up your shot selection. You must Serve & Volley to keep him honest, approach the net aggressively to pressure him, out-rally him to show your persistence and that you are more fit that he is, slow the pace of your shots up & down to show how versatile you are (i.e. high topspin deep one shot and slice shallow the next)
• Be patience. Remember you are on clay. It may take 20 rallies before you win the point. Don’t try to hit the big winners until the right ball (opportunity) comes along
• Don’t show your opponent that you are mad or upset after you miss an easy ball. Just turn around start and image in your mind how you should of hit that ball, and I guarantee that next time you will
• After losing the first set, don’t give up, many opponents let their guard down after they win the first set, this a good time for strike and even up the match!!!
• Take notes of players you may play in the next round. If you are finished your match and you will play winner of a match that playing, Go watch it. If you know who you will play, Study him. What are his weaknesses? Good footwork? Weak second serve? Great Forehand? Take notes so you can take advantage of his weakness, and stay away from his strengths.
• Get every ball back!!! Let him miss!!!
• Slow down a losing game …speed up a winning game.