aHEAD of the Game

A player can usually base their success on how far they get in a tournament. And the larger the tournament and deeper into the draw they get, the more success that can be celebrated after grinding away for two weeks. So how would a brand measure their success? Seems like success could be measured with how many players the brand has using their product in the final rounds of each tournament. With that being said and with the quarterfinals and the semifinals set at the Sony Open in Miami this week, let’s take a gander at what racquets the players still in the draw are using.

Sony Open 2013

Andy Murray using his HEAD Youtek Radical Pro in Miami at the Sony Open – Photo by Cynthia Lum

HEAD currently has six out of the eight men that are in the quarterfinals of the Sony Open using their racquets (and in case you haven’t heard, Djokovic lost yesterday, so he isn’t in that count).  This bunch of HEAD players includes Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych, Richard Gasquet, Marin Cilic, Gilles Simon and Tommy Haas.

On the women’s side, already into the semifinals is HEAD Youtek Graphene Instinct MP user Maria Sharapova and Roberta Vinci is currently playing her quarterfinal match this evening with her HEAD Youtek IG Extreme Pro 2.0.

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Action starts for seeded WTA players at Sony Open 2013

Yesterday there was a monsoon-like storm, and matches had to be suspended for hours. In seven years I have not experienced anything like this here in Miami.

Today is the first day when a part of the seeded players will be starting their matches. Caroline Wozniacki is warming up for her match later on against Karolina Pliskova, who is a big server.

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Day 2 at the Miami Sony Open

Hello everybody,

The players have been coming out early in the morning this week down here in Miami to escape the heat. And more importantly, so they can secure their own court to practice on and have the luxury of using a full court instead of splitting one with any of their tour rivals.

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Caroline Wozniacki practicing in Miami

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Serena Williams practicing in Miami

On Tuesday, I had a quality practice with Caroline Wozniacki on Centre Court but today even
though coming out at 8:30am she didn’t get a show court.  Even Serena Williams didn’t get centre court to practice on today when coming out at 8:30am. She was practicing out there on one of the regular practice courts with her hitting partner Sascha Bajin and her coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

 

Both Caroline and Serena will be opening up play tomorrow in Miami.  Serena will play Flavia Pennetta second on the Main Stadium, while Caroline’s first match is against qualifier Karolina Pliskova and will be third on over on the Grandstand.

Kevin Anderson is continuing to grind and work hard here in Miami. He was already hitting them big when I arrived to the site this morning at 8:15, he must have started  around 7am. It looks like he won’t officially take to the courts until Friday, which gives him enough time to adjust to the Miami heat and humidity.

Great effort by all of them.

Enjoy the Tennis!

Mats

@matsmerkel

Tennis pros adjust to Miami playing conditions for Sony Open 2013

Laura Robson on court in Miami

Heather Watson on court in Miami

Hello from Miami!

There is a big challenge besides the jet lag that some of the players do fight after traveling from the West Coast to the East Coast: the different climate!

Miami is much more humid than Indian Wells. The balls seem to stay much longer on your strings maybe even stick to them. The courts are a little slower and the balls are sitting up. The timing has to be adjusted, and mostly for players who have gone deep in the tournament in Indian Wells, there is only a short period of time to get ready. But then again the seeded players get to start later in the first week.

It has been raining, so the humidity really starts kicking in, and the balls are bloating up, and the strings lose tension quickly.

Drinking plenty of fluid here in Miami and replenishing the electrolyte storage is an absolute necessity. So always remember to stay hydrated when playing tennis or doing sports in such a climate.

This morning, before a 9 a.m. practice time, the courts had to be dried with machines because they do not dry fast enough without any help from outside.

Ayumi Morita is playing versus Heather Watson. It’s one set all at the moment. Also Laura Robson is out there practicing with Zeljko Krajan (former ATP Top 80 player), her coach.

Robson

Robson

Enjoy your day.

Greetings from Miami.

Mats
@matsmerkel