I have played tennis competitively for the last fifteen years of my life but it was only about five years ago that I really started enjoying the game of doubles. I remember the exact match when doubles finally made sense to me. I now enjoy doubles more than singles and have been getting my fix weekly in the TW Friday Doubles League.
However, I am always looking for ways to improve my doubles game. I was lucky enough to run into Mark Woodforde (part of the successful Woodies doubles team) down at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA. He allowed me to pick his brain and answered my questions on how to become a better doubles player. I compiled them in video form for everyone to benefit from. Enjoy!
Tennis is a game that can be quite demanding. Especially on the level it is being played here at the BNP Paribas Open.
Tennis has become more physical – being fit enough to play long three set matches! The players are constantly working on getting fitter and stronger. The young are trying to build up, and the “veterans” are trying to maintain and use their experience. After being on the tour for such a long time they know what is good for their body and what works!
Having said that physical trainers and physios are more important to the players than ever before.
Being here at the event in the final weekend is always something very very special! Caroline Wozniacki won the tournament in 2011 and that meant a lot to the entire team of course!
Fewer and fewer players are still here. Most of them have actually left already or are on their way to Miami.
In the beginning of the tournament it is always very very crowded of course and lots of distractions for all players. The players have commitments to do photo shoots or or have other obligations to their sponsors. This all happens in the beginning. So a lot of action as you can imagine!
Making sure you practice enough, do the physical work, get treatment, recover, get all the obligations done and last but for sure not least have some down time and some alone time to relax.
But now it’s quite and the players here can be more relaxed. Of course they are here to win the tournament, but having played that many matches, the confidence level goes up, and the players now have a lot more time to relax and get ready for the next match!
Today I would like to talk a hit more about how the players are getting ready for their matches on “match day” and what they are doing on a “day off.”
Usually on a day off the player finds another player to hit with to play some points. They warm up and then get a sweat going for about 50-75 minutes. But there are also players like Juan Martin Del Potro who hit with heir coaches or have a hitting partner with them, as Maria Sharapova does, for example. This guarantees they will be able will work on their game without any other player being present.
Del Potro goes out for an easy hit with his coach; he stays relaxed and just makes sure he keeps feeling the ball well and doesn’t lose the timing.
After an exhilarating fourth round win against qualifier Ernests Gulbis, Rafael Nadal is showing he once again belongs on the hard courts. On Stadium Court of the BNP Paribas Open, Rafa matched his fierce performance to his style. On top, he rocked the Nike Spring 2 Premier Rafa Crew in an Atomic Teal colorway with pops of Anthracite and Volt. Make sure to check out the back that highlights Rafa’s name in laser cut vent holes. Rafa paired the crew with the Nike Spring 2 Premier 8″ Short, which is a little bit shorter than the shorts he used to wear on court. The shorts feature a Velcro closure, side pockets and no-sew back seam for comfort. Known for his speed, Rafa sports the durable and supportive Nike Air Max Courtballistec 4.3 in the White/Anthracite/Volt colorway. Lastly to get the spin and control he needs, Rafa swings the newly updated Babolat AeroPro Drive.
Rafael Nadal at the BNP Paribas Open
Check back here for more of the players’ gear at the BNP Paribas Open.
In the past few years, hybrids have been all the rage. Hybrid cars, hybrid pets, hybrid fruits and vegetables (ever heard of a grapple or broccolini?), so why not tennis bags?! Introducing the Head Djokovic Tower Bag with Stand. A cross between a tennis bag and golf bag.
Djokovic with his new Head bag at the BNP Paribas Open
Novak Djokovic has been using this bag at this week’s BNP Paribas Open. It’s a really well made bag featuring all the bells and whistles. Stuff like an insulated racquet compartment, backpack straps, padded grab handles, but the “stand” out feature has got to be the kick stand legs. Not only do they allow easy access to one of the accessories pocket, where one can store their phone, wallet and keys, but it also keeps a majority of the bag away from the ground, keeping it clean. This is a great bag for those who play on clay.
Congratulations to Andy Murray for winning the Laureus Awards for Breakthrough in 2012!
A well deserved title!
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A lot of the players stay here even though they are not in the tournament any more. One of the reasons is definitely because it is a lot quieter than the upcoming event in Miami. Another reason is that there are so many courts available for the players to practice.
Usually once out of the draw the players want to leave but it is a jut different here with some of them.
This obviously gives the spectators a chance to see how the players are practicing and why they are working and emphasizing on preparations for the next event and of course getting better!
While the players are practicing and getting ready for their next round matches, behind the scenes everyone is getting ready for the expansion of the venue! The work will begin Monday, March 18, right after the finals on Sunday.
A new Stadium 2 court and four additional practice courts will be built, and I think everyone is looking forward to come back next year!
The project is supported by the players of course! For more information click in the link go to the BNP Paribas Open website.
Roger Federer kicked off his first round here at the BNP Paribas Open with a convincing win over Dennis Istomin on Stadium Court. Not only was he playing impressively but also was dressed sharply. He came out wearing the Nike Spring 2 Premier RF Polo in a deep royal blue that features no-sew bonded seams, mesh insets for ventilation and a low profile bonded zipper placket. On the bottom, Roger sported the Nike Spring 2 Twill 10″ Shorts that are the perfect combination of style and performance. On Federer’s feet, he wore the comfortable and supportive Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour in his own custom iD colorway. There is a similar retail version of white and team orange colorway available. And of course, Roger was using his trusty Wilson BLX Pro Staff 90 racquet.
Yesterday, it actually turned out to be a sunny day at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. But from 3:30 p.m. on the temperature dropped, and a warm jacket was a good item to have in the bag.
Andy Murray, pictured above, practiced and signed some autographs afterward.
The top 32 seeded players have a later start here because they have a bye here. This means they can practice and prepare a bit longer than the non-seeds. Usually after match day you have a day off. It is a bit like at the Grand Slams.