After some amazing tennis yesterday with a great comeback and win from Sabine Lisicki, there is a promise of much more amazing tennis to be played.
photo by Cynthia Lum
Novak Djokovic, who has his spot in the men’s final against Andy Murray, has been traveling with a quite a big team around him throughout the past years. His tennis coach, Marian Vajda, is an experienced coach that always has been there for Novak when he needed him. Miljan Amanovic is Novak’s physio. He used to work in basketball and football before teaming up with Nole. He has been working with Novak for many years and I believe he is a great person to have around with his great sense of humor and the perfect mentality when it comes to getting work done. The physical trainer of Nole is Gebhard Phil-Gritsch. He used to work with Thomas Muster a former French Open champion. He is very experienced and knows exactly what he is doing. He always says how little improvements can have a huge impact. I guess he has been spot on. When he started working with Novak in the end of 2010 he worked a lot on the flexibility which was clearly to see in 2011.
In my eyes, Tommy Haas is definitely what other people would call an “underachiever.” The talent and feel he has for the game is truly impressive. Unfortunately, until 2012 he was always forced to take time off due to injuries. Besides Christian Groh (who travels a lot with him Tommy) he has also taken Ulf Fischer on board to complete his team. And in 2012 he has hired a physio (Carlos Costa) who travels with him and is following him like his own shadow.
Not sure what happened yesterday, but it seems that some serious injuries were forcing these players to not play. Rumors were going around Wimbledon that the grass courts could be the reason, but Richard Lewis, CEO of the All England Club, published a statement regarding this subject.
“The court preparation has been to exactly the same meticulous standard as in previous years and it is well known that grass surfaces tend to be more lush at the start of an event. The factual evidence, which is independently checked, is that the courts are almost identical to last year, as dry and firm as they should be, and we expect them to continue to play to their usual high quality.”
Richard Lewis, Chief Executive The All England Club
I have been here since Wednesday helping at the adidas house here in the Wimbledon village to set up the distribution. Five times a year the adidas contracted players do receive new products. One of the occasions is here at Wimbledon. The players receive a big bag with the Wimbledon gear and a complete new range of products with new color-ways for in between Wimbledon and the US Open where they then get new products again.
Rafa has been absolutely dominating the clay court season, besides his loss in Monte Carlo against Novak Djokovic, after having won there eight consecutive times before! He will be on fire and ready to play Novak for a spot in the RG finals. But at the same he has a lot of respect for how Novak has been playing. I predict it will be a brutally long match with long exhausting rallies and great points!
Tsonga vs Ferrer
This is the first French Open semifinal for both of these players and one of them will go through to the finals. Tsonga, who hasn’t lost a set yet (even when playing Roger!), is definitely on a roll! His on court performance has impressed me a lot and I am looking forward to seeing him play today. And how many sets has David lost so far? Take a guess. Correct…none! They both seem to have conserved a lot of energy out there and this will be another great match to look forward to!
What a crazy day here at Roland Garros today. Rain and showers. The players have been on and off the court.
It is very tough for the players to handle these kind of situations because they have to stay warm and be ready to go back on court at any time. Injury prevention is a very important issue, especially with the wet and cold weather. The courts are heavy and slippery at the same time which certainly increases the chances of getting injured if not properly warmed up before going back on!
Rain delays are also tough mentally because you have to be to switch the game face on when needed. That is not an easy part either!
I got here yesterday and it is a very cold and partly cloudy today. We have been at a club offsite (approximately 15 minutes walking distance from Roland Garros). Due to the qualification matches on site, the players go to other clubs in order to get some practice hours in on court. Thiemo De Bakker practiced with Grigor Dimitrov this morning. Other players such as Laura Robson, Ashley Barty, Caroline Wozniacki, Marin Cilic and
many others are here as well.
There are several clubs where players go and train on their days off during the tournament and I will give you some more information over the coming two weeks.
It’s not an easy day for the players with all the rain. But dealing with it is part of the job!