Vic Braden, tennis legend, dies at 85

Yesterday, the tennis world lost a legend. Chances are, if you have picked up tennis in the last 50 or so years, you have learned a thing or two from Vic Braden – player, instructor, author, innovator and lover of all things tennis.

It was no secret that this man loved every minute he spent on the tennis court. And if he could help you out with a forehand or backhand, his smile beamed even bigger. Famous for making his students laugh, Braden leaves a legacy of devotion to the sport and tennis innovation.

The list of contributions he made to the sport is endless. A co-founder of the Jack Kramer Club in California, Braden was known for creating interest and enthusiasm with tennis. He had a way of teaching that made tennis fun and kept players in the sport for life. He used video analysis to really break down fundamentals with his players and had an interest in studying everything about tennis. He created a tennis college and research center in Coto De Caza and then followed up with more of them in Utah and Florida. He also founded the Junior Tennis Ambassador Program, which helped younger kids learn at a young age how to coach others.

Braden, who passed away at the age of 85 of a heart attack on Monday, was still teaching his “Laugh and Win” style of tennisĀ up until March of this year. The world of tennis is better because of him and we will miss his infectious smile.

Play with heart,

Michelle

10 reasons why tennis is better than the NFL

The 2014 NFL season is upon us!

Now before you guys get on me for being a football-bashing-tennis-fanboy, I want to let you know that like most red blooded Americans, I am pumped! I’m probably more excited than the average enthusiast. I love watching it, playing it, drafting for my fantasy football teams (I’m in 3 leagues this year!), going to games up in San Francis, er, Santa Clara. I love me some football!

But I want to take some time to give tennis some due props. Because I love me some tennis too! If football is #1 on my list, then tennis is 1A. But football and the NFL are doing just fine without my endorsement (they made over $9 billion in revenue last year).

Football and the NFL are awesome but so is tennis, and in some ways, tennis is even more awesome:

1. Way More Action
If you’re watching tennis on TV, chances are good that you are actually watching a point being played out. According to an article by the Wall Street Journal, the average NFL game features only 11 minutes of action. That is 11 minutes in about a 3 hour broadcast. 11 minutes!

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5 reasons why Roger Federer will win it all in NYC

Us Open 2013

5. New Racquet
In case you haven’t heard, who am I kidding, of course you’ve heard. Roger Federer is swinging a new racquet! And it’s called the Wilson Pro Staff RF 97 Autograph. Not only does it have a new paint job, but more importantly, it has a larger head size than his old 90 square inch racquet. Bigger head size means less shanks, larger sweetspot, and more power. This new racquet has Federer playing like the Federer of old.

4. No Rafa
Here’s a fun fact for you: of the last 6 wins Rafa has had over Federer, only one has been on Rafa’s beloved clay. The rest were on hard courts. A 10-23 record pretty much says it all. If you liked that first fun fact, here’s another for you: Roger and Rafa have played each other 33 times and they’ve yet to play each other at the US Open. Guess we’ll have to wait at least 1 more year. The guys over at fivethirtyeight.com did a great write up about this.

3. Easy Draw
Federer’s potential QF matchup is with Grigor Dimitrov, aka, Baby Fed. Real Fed has never lost to Baby Fed. Yup, Roger is a perfect 1-0 against his Mini Me. And WHEN, not if, he makes it past Dimitrov, he gets David “Mr. Consistent” Ferrer. That should be a close, highly contested match considering that Ferrer is 0-16 lifetime against Federer. #sarcasm

2. Big Mo’ is wearing a Betterer tee.
Big mo’, or momentum, is definitely sitting in Roger’s box. In the last couple of months, Federer has made the final of Wimbledon, made the final of Toronto (Masters 1000) and most recently, won Cincinnati (Masters 1000). Someone call FDNY because Fed is on fire.

1. He’s Roger Freaking Federer
At the end of the day, this is the man whom many consider the GOAT. The greatest of all time. It doesn’t matter that he’s in his 30′s because A, technology has helped all athletes play further into their careers and B, he doesn’t get hurt because he moves like a ninja cat. Is that tough for me to admit as a major Rafa fan? Maybe a little. But I have to give it up to him because when it comes to playing and coming up big at the Majors, he has:

- Won 17 Grand Slam singles titles.
- Appeared in 25 single’s Grand Slam finals, including 10 in a row.*
- Made semi-finals of 23 consecutive Grand Slam events.*
- Made quarter-finals of 42 Grand Slams.*
- Reached the finals of every Grand Slam at least 5 times (the only man to do so).

*all time record

The last time Federer won here was in 2008. He's due.

The last time Federer won here was in 2008. He’s due.

So on September 8th, 2014, don’t be surprised when Roger Federer is the last one standing, holding his 18th Grand Slam title.

What do you think? Is Fed going to win it all this year?

Jason, TW