Mats Merkel: From the Australian Open 2013, Day 4

Rise and shine to you all on a hot day here at the Australian Open! Supposedly up to 102 degrees today here. So far it’s overcast.


Your opponent is not the only one out there! The sun and the heat are not to be underestimated! If it’s not match day, players try to stay out of the sun as much a possible and try to avoid practicing in the mid day sun/heat. Therefore they try to practice early between 8:30 and 11 a.m., or they even go indoors like Serena Williams did yesterday for her session.

The Australian Tennis Federation ha built a new indoors facility called NTC (National Tennis Center) where the players can go to have their hit indoors.



The players therefore start drinking lots of fluids even one or two days before the match day!

Because they are aware that Melbourne is usually hot, they and their teams make sure they do everything to avoid possible heat exhaustions or even a heat stroke on court. Electrolytes are being added to their drinks because through sweating a lot of these get lost.


Serena Williams has a contract with Gatorade ( Alexander “Sascha” Bajin who has been traveling with her for over six years now told me that Gatorade sends products in advance. Once they have Serena’s address they send her whatever she needs for the approximate of 2.5 weeks here in Melbourne.



That’s what players put around heir neck during change-over to cool down the system.

When I worked with Fernando Verdasco in 2008 and 2009 within the adidas player development program, we always would make him to one for the match.


Basically you take a long bag (sometimes you get that when you get your racket string up – the racquet is in that bag) put plenty of ice cubes in its and make some holes in it. Afterward you wrap it in a long towel and tape it up so you can put it around your neck and it doesn’t open up.

As you can see below nearly all of the players use them – so no matter where you are in the world and what level of tennis you’re at always make sure you take good care of your body.

Andy Murray cooling down during change over. imagee

Caroline Wozniacki also trying to stay cool…


Before speaking about the results I would like to wish Ross Hutchins a fast recovery! He had been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and has had his first treatment last week!


Also I would like to wish luck to Brian Baker who injured his knee very badly yesterday in the match against Sam Querry. He has to undergo surgery!

Today Ayumi Morita, one of the adidas players I work with, beat the German Annika Beck 6-2, 6-0. Ayumi has matured a lot since last year. She handles herself very well and stays calmer when under pressure. That is also part of tennis  – “growing up” as a player! Nice job, Ayumi.


Next round she will face Serena Williams, who just beat the young upcoming Spanish player Garbine Muguruza.

Jo Tsonga, whose warm up I watched this morning, won in straight sets against Ito on Margaret Court Arena.


Nice work, Jo!


Right now Andy Murray is on court in the midday heat also using the ice-towel. Right after Andy’s match Caroline Wozniacki faces Donna Vekic. I had a warm up with Caroline at 12:30 for half an hour, and she was in good form.


Caroline is wearing the new range called “barricade by Stella McCartney” that had its launch last Sunday. Only four female players from adidas are wearing this range. Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Kirilenko, Andrea Petkovic and Laura Robson.

Check it out on the Tenniswarehouse website:

Young british tennis star Laura Robson (with Australian roots) will face Petra Kvitova tonight after the night session match of Roger Federer against Nikolay Davydenko.


Enjoy day 4 of the Aussie Open and as the Australians say “Good on Ya, mate”

Mats Merkel


PS: Order of Play for Day 5 below




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