Before the two big events in Indian Wells and Miami, players often like to get ready by practicing for a week or 10 days somewhere preferably not in the city and the club where the tournament will take place but in the same climate to prepare physically and mentally. Even though the season is still young, it does feel to some of the players as if it has been going on and on already.
Before Indian Wells, adidas invites some of its tennis athletes to come to Las Vegas and work with my colleagues (Sven Groeneveld, Darren Cahill and Gil Reyes) and me. Sven Darren and I do the work on court, and Gil focuses on the work in his gym with machines that he created himself especially for the need of tennis players.
Besides Fernando Verdasco all the girls got a chance to have a hit and chat with the 22-Grand Slam tennis legend Stefanie Graf, who still nowadays shows what a great athlete and tennis player she is.She spent some time on court with Andrea Petkovic. It is of such great value that she comes out and spends time on court and passes on her experience. All the girls were totally excited about that. Apart from Stefanie Graf coming out to the courts the girls were actually practicing a lot with each other as well. It was a great group and you could feel that there was some team bonding going on.
In general, these periods are very important to the players because they really get a chance to work on their game and make adjustments and improvements. The players were hitting a lot of balls and doing a lot of drills that they would never do when they are getting closer to competition.
Daniela Hantuchova was working on her baseline game. The intensity is high and the quality as well.
Daniela’s physical trainer is also here, making her working extra hard with a resistance band during the drills.
My colleague Sven Groeneveld feeding balls from the other side of the court. Daniela and I were doing drills together so the intensity could be even higher. We were hitting lots of serves to get a good rhythm here in the desert. The balls are flying a lot more than usual.
Christina McHale and Daniela were also playing points and rallying in the desert sun.
With Sorana Cirstea we were doing some interval drills in order to keep the intensity up. She is also writing daily blogs for the WTA that are very interesting read and can be found and read here.
Fernando Verdasco was here, too, playing points with a young and talented college tennis player and working on his volley game. But besides working hard there was one game that was nearly played before and after every practice session.
On Sunday we did a “road trip” together with Sorana Cirstea from Las Vegas to Indian Wells, which took approximately 4 hours but was a lot of fun.
To get more information follow the players who were in Las Vegas:
I am very much looking forward to the two upcoming events because they are both so different.
Stay tuned for more.