Tenniszine - UK tennis blog.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Ticking over

It's been quite cold in the UK over the last few days, temperatures below zero even in the South where I live. I went for a run in the cold after Xmas which was not pleasant and had to worry about not stepping on ice patches. Last night it was warmer and I had my regular weekly hit with a coach and was hitting better than him. My wrist is better but my arm still slightly bothering me, even when I'm not or havn't been playing!

At last there is some tennis activity with the Hopman Cup as many of the players, men and women gather in Australia, although there are other tournaments elsewhere in the world.

Most of the news at the moment is about the return of Martina Hingis to the tour, and some discussion on the injury toll from 2005, with both Safin and Nadal still injured.

Interesting list of predictions for 2006. Not sure I agree with all of them and will have to think about my own list.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Last hit before Xmas break

Today I went to the club and had my last hit before Xmas. Alas my wrist is playing up once more! This is since last Sunday when I played for two hours. I don't think there's a specific injury but just general inflammation and tendonitis. Just when I my arm has been getting better, something else flares up.

It seems Roger Federer shares my enthusiasm for going to Australia at this time of year. Of course he has business to attend to with Tony Roche, but I find it strange he plans on playing in Doha before Kooyang and the Australian Open. I don't think I could cope with all the travel fatigue and jet-lag. I suppose he feels obliged to defend his Doha 2005 title, and the points.

What can I say about Puerta? A ban for eight years is the end of his career. I will leave the comments to Boris Becker.

Happy Christmas.

Monday, December 19, 2005

A winter game, in Australia

Judging by the photo and reports from Australia about Jelena Dokic's success in qualifying for an Australian Open wildcard by winning the playoff's, maybe I should think about spending my winters there. Certainly a trip to the slam in Melbourne is something to dream about.
At least Eurosport usually shows the event in the UK. So that's something to look forward to.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

A winter game

The latest issue of British Tennis magazine has an article about playing outside in the winter, something I've blogged about in the last few weeks. Last night was the coldest so far this winter in the south, -3 degrees C on my neighbours min-max garden thermometer.
Although I've hit with one of the coaches a few times lately I've missed a few club sessions, but encouraged by the magazine article and the bright sunshine during the day, I turned out Sunday evening and played for two hours, first hour doubles and second hour singles. My form was pretty good considering I'm not playing much at the moment. The temperature was a balmy 6 degrees.
I agree entirely with Andy Murray's choice of Barcelona as his base.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

ATP and WTA 2006 tour schedule

The ATP schedule for 2006 has been published as a pdf  here or non-pdf by the BBC here.
The WTA schedule for 2006 has been published here or by the BBC here.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Tennis doldrums

Not much time for blogging or tennis with work related end of year activity taking me around the country. Ah, the pleasure of cheap hotel rooms and driving in torrential wind and rain, or on icy roads for early morning starts.
I have played twice since my outing to the Seniors Masters Tennis as reported in my last blog, which was won by Paul Haarhuis. I saw the match on BBC. Courier was outgunned in the first set, but like a true champion he made Haarhuis, who was clearly in the zone, have to keep the level up in order to win. Myself, I tried to carry over the inspiration gained from watching Courier and Bruguera play in my own games, and to some extent that worked.
The good news is that my arm is nearly recovered from  the golfer's elbow I first reported back in May and I am back to using my regular racket. I no longer have pain doing normal activity, stretching or playing, and have stopped the regular icing and application of NSAID creams. I will maintain a low schedule in winter until it's completely gone and just hope the corrections I have made to my forehand, along with the forearm strengthening will prevent a recurrence next year.
For all tennis elbow sufferers this sounds interesting. Or scary!
There's a few interesting items in the world of tennis:

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Seniors Masters Tour at the Royal Albert Hall

On Friday I spent the afternoon with my daughter at the Royal Albert Hall in London for the Masters tennis from the Seniors Delta Tour of Champions.

We saw Courier v Pioline and Bruguera v Jarryd. Two matches of contrasting styles.

Courier beat Pioline 6-4 7-5 and his legendary inside out forehand was working well, as was his serve. Pioline on the other hand was not at his best at the net and his serve was not firing well enough to serve-volley. Even so, Courier was made to work for his win. Power was most evidence in this match.

Bruguera beat Jarryd 6-4 6-4 and I was stunned by his magical clay-court style albeit on a medium fast indoor hard court surface. He mixed heavy top spin on both sides with slice also on both sides (forehand too), and showed deft touches with lobs and drop shots. Jarryd was uneasy coping with the heavy topspin, and this was something that pinned Jarryd back such that he was unable to effectively show his skill at the net from being a former world no.1 at doubles. This was a match of skill and finesse.

Tomorrow in one semi-final Courier will face McEnroe who beat Muster, much to my surprise. Just goes to show what a competitor and tennis player McEnroe is. In the other semi-final Bruguera takes on Haarhuis who as I remember used to be Sampras' nemesis.

The matches were played with the hawk-eye line system. The players were able to challenge calls they thought were incorrect. Courier asked for a few and was right about half of the time and it was the same case for Bruguera. It was interesting to see Bruguera apologized at one stage to Jarryd for incorrectly challenging a call.

We also saw an 'entertaining' doubles match with Chris Wilkinson and Henri Leconte v Mikael Pernfors and Joakim Nystrom. Chris Wilkinson, former UK no.1 and current over-35 world champion played very solidly and Henry Leconte showed his usual skill despite growing midriff, and they really won quite comfortably 6-1 6-4.