2014/07/30

Tennis News & Net Notes

Most clicked-on players: The WTA Tour rounds up the Top 20 most clicked-on players of 2013… #20 to #11 can be seen here.

Marion Bartoli Day 2 Press Conference

Marion Bartoli: #15 of the top 20 most clicked on WTA players in 2013

Year End Stats: From ATP World Tour: 2013 by the Numbers: First-time Winners, Qualifiers, and Doubles.

Djokovic 9 228

Novak Djokovic had the longest match win streak of 2013

Junior Orange Bowl, Day 3: Results and match reports from ITF Tennis.

Waiting for the Murray effect: LTA tennis funding at risk in Britain after decline in players via The Telegraph

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A Q&A with LTA Doubles Coach – Louis Cayer

 

Louis Cayer

Louis Cayer

A Q&A with LTA Doubles Coach – Louis Cayer

By Ros Satar

(July 29, 2013) The culmination of the grass court season has now finally subsided, save for a few die-hard forum fans reminding folks that Andy Murray really won it.

But just prior to that glorious two-week stint at SW19, Ros Satar was on duty for Tennis Panorama News at the  Eastbourne tournament, and there she caught up with Louis Cayer, the driving force behind another aspect of Britain’s tennis successes – the men’s doubles teams.

Britain now has seven players in the top 100, and they continue to register successes all over the world.

At Roland Garros, earlier this year, despite the absence of Andy Murray and early exits for the British women, it was the doubles players who carried the flag with Dominic Inglot (and his Philippine partner Treat Huey) eventually falling in the third round.

They repeated their progress at Wimbledon, as well as a third round for Colin Fleming and defending champion Jonny Marray.

It is easy to focus on the singles, but behind the scenes, the LTA has seen significant success with doubles coach and High Performance coach Louis Cayer at the helm, and he was very generous with his time to talk to Tennis Panorama News.

 

Ros Satar for Tennis Panorama: How long have you been with LTA

Louis Cayer: I started in 2007 and when I arrived in the UK there was zero players in the top 100, the best being James Auckland at 130.

I started to help Jamie Murray, and he moved from 270 to 27 in one year, and the summer after he won Wimbledon (Mixed Doubles title, partnering Jelena Jankovic).

 

RS: What was their thinking, then regarding doubles?

LC: Roger Draper wanted to bring in coaches that had worked with number one players and I had the reputation as a doubles expert.

[Draper] had three singles specialists (Brad Gilbert, Sven Lundgren and Paul Annacone) so suggested I work with the doubles players and bring four into the top 100.

They had thought about [recently] reducing [the funding] but then Jonny Marray won Wimbledon so they [kept] the support there.

 

RS: How do you go about developing players in the doubles?

LC: Of course, we develop a different type [of player].

They may have good serves, but less good with returns and volleys, but they can learn.

 

RS: Elena Baltacha also credits you with making her realise that she has skills she’d never utilised – tell us a little more about your other role.

LC: I am also in charge of the High Performance coaching.

I always have that philosophy – we first asses the performer, then the tennis player.

The performer is the attitude, the values the beliefs.

For Baltacha – it is to make her aware of her strength – the performer level, and then after that I go to the tennis level, make her understand more her game style and how to construct the point.

So I have the philosophy of coaching people tennis, and not tennis people.

There are players that are skilful but they don’t necessarily compete well, so they don’t play within themselves, or they take too many risks, or they play safe.

 

RS: With the doubles – what do you see more of – the performer or the player?

LC: If you are not the performer, then it’s sudden death every time – the dreaded super-tiebreaks.

Again look at the attitude and the energy and discipline.

You play high percentage tennis

I also work on how to get the partnerships stronger, responding with positive energy.

At the time of the interview, Jamie Murray and John Peers had lost their semi-final to the eventual winners and No. 1 seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares.

Within 30 minutes of the match I will ask them: “What do you learn from that?”

Right now they were feeling more pumped up to back out and practice, and that’s what coaching brings in a team.

Clarity of vision, perspective, direction and objectives – they always go on court with a purpose.

When I talk about changing the belief – it’s not about us winning every point, it’s about us making them lose the point.

If you take that position, if you move a lot, if you create uncertainty, you will make them try low percentage shots – pressure through consistency, and forcing the other team to play out of their comfort zone, and then more mistakes happen.

I try to make [the players] more aware of percentage tennis, and that adds to the maturity of the players.

 

RS: The strength in depth gives Britain a lot more options, for example at Davis Cup?

LC: There is a system of play – any Brit can play with any Brit.

They won’t have many adjustments besides the human energy factor (playing with a different partner), but they don’t have any tennis adjustments.

They know what to expect, they know their territory, they know their role and they know their responsibility.

 

RS: For all this success and the popularity with die-hard fans watching intense matches on outside courts, doubles still does not get the air time it deserves?

LC: When I arrived we had zero players in the top 100, and a few years after (including Andy Murray) we had eight players in the top 100 and we were second-best country in the world.

For me, it’s a sense of satisfaction.  For a player, it’s easy for him to know if he has success – he just has to win a tournament.

A coach also wants to feel successful, we want to feel what we do makes a difference, so I was very pleased when we had that many doubles players, and now we’re respected as a country for doubles players.

Our guys came into the doubles with rankings that were 300 or better, and worked hard at mastering doubles, and are very professional.

They master their craft, they’ve won many tournaments – yeah they are winners!

 

RS: Looking ahead – how does the LTA build on these successes to bring through the next winners?

LC: I am coaching coaches with a more progressive approach.

They learn a little bit of technique every time, a little bit of tactics and then they can go practice, before coming back for a little more each time.

We coach the coaches, you should form people, not just inform people.

It’s a pilot course, but already the feedback is quite positive.

Another good thing for having the doubles players playing at the highest level (Masters, Grand Slams, winning tour titles) – at the end of the career, many will go into coaching.

They will be believable when they talk about serving for a Wimbledon title, playing on Wimbledon Centre Court – credibility.

You cannot be the best in the world, without being a high performer.

Therefore their values, beliefs – they have learned by playing at the high end of the same – it will be valuable.

RS: In talking to the guys (Colin Fleming, Jonny Marray, John Peers, Jamie Murray) they all credited you with why Great Britain was enjoying such strength in depth.

Marray: “We’re fortunate to get quite a lot of support from the LTA.

“In a lot of other countries, the doubles players don’t get anything, the kind of help we’ve been fortunate enough to get.”

Murray: “I don’t think any of it would have been possible without having Louis Cayer as our coach or certainly working with the doubles guys.

“He improved our levels tenfold and he had a lot of good results with many teams before that in Canada, he coached Ram/Erlich.

“He knows his stuff and he’s helped us a lot.”

Peers: Just being able to tell each one of us what to do whenever we need it.

“It’s actually good to have somebody in the know, whether we like it or not he’s right on the money, every time.”

Fleming: “We’re just fortunate to be playing in the big events, which is where we want to be and playing doubles, you still get a big buzz out of it.

“You’ll never catch us complaining”

LC: The LTA give a chance for them to have a career, to become great at something, to become winners, and it’s good.

For me, my secret as a coach – there is no secret.  I work damn hard, I tape every match, at night I do clips, I invest a lot of time [and] the players know that.

They say the best way to teach a value is to have it.

They know I work hard and if I ask them to work hard, they pay attention to details.

For high performance, you have to do more than forehand, backhand, technique and tactics,  you have to be able to work at the performer level – the person.

That’s what I work very hard at, and they appreciate that.

Ros Satar is a British Journalist- an IT journalist by day, and a sports journalist in all the gaps in between.  She is the co-founder of Britwatch Sports (britwatchsports.com). Follow her personal twitter at @rfsatar.

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Steve Johnson Secures Wimbledon Wild Card by Winning Nottingham Challenge

Steve Johnson AEGON Nottingham Challenge 2013, Nottingham, June 15, 2013.

(June 15, 2013) American Steve Johnson won his first grass court title  and a wild cart into Wimbledon by capturing the Aegon Nottingham Challenge on Saturday.

It is Johnson’s second ATP Challenger tournament win and first outside of the U.S. after he winning his first title in Aptos, California, in 2012.

“It means a lot to me. It is only my second tournament on grass and to come here and win it, play five good matches like I did and beat a player like Ruben is special,” Johnson said.

“That was a tough final, and to start with I felt I was fighting myself a little bit – I was uptight and nervous, it is my first grass court final, there were a lot of points and stuff on the line that people may not realize.”

Admitting to a bit of fatigue, Johnson hopes his grasscourt momentum continues at Wimbledon.

“Last week I was feeling a little tired and fried, and now to come out here and put a week together like this gives me a lot of confidence going into Wimbledon,” Johnson said.

Aegon Nottingham Challenge results – Saturday 15 June

Men’s singles – Final

S Johnson (USA) d R Bemelmans (BEL) 7-5 7-5

Men’s doubles – Final

[2] S Ratiwatana/S Ratiwatana d [4] P Raja/D Sharan 7-6(5) 6-7(3) [10-8]

Women’s singles – Semi-finals

E Baltacha (GBR) d [4] N Burnett (ITA) 6-0 6-4

[7] T Majeric (SLO) d [Q] M Miyamura (JPN) 6-0 6-4

Women’s doubles – semi-final

[2] J Glushko/E Sema d [3] M Miyamura/V Wongteanchai 1-6 6-4 [11-9]

Women’s doubles – Final

[1] J Coin/S Foretz Gacon d [2] J Glushko/E Sema 6-2 6-4

 

Aegon Nottingham Challenge – Order of play for Sunday 16 June

Centre Court (11am)

WS: E Baltacha v T Majeric

 

 

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LTA Chief Executive Roger Draper to Step Down in September

LTA Colleague - 14/12/11 - Dec '11.

(c) LTA

(March 13, 2013) Roger Draper will step down as Chief Executive of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) at the end of September 2013.

 

“It has been a huge honor to serve the sport that I love so much and to play my part in leading British tennis, Draper said who has been in the position for seven years. “I have been very lucky to work with fantastic people both at the LTA and across the wider tennis community, and I would like to thank them all for their passion, commitment and hard work.

 

“As a result, the sport is entering a very exciting phase, and now is the right time for me to hand over the baton to a new leader who can build on what has been achieved in recent years, and take British tennis to new levels.”

 

David Gregson, Chairman of the LTA Board, said: “Roger has made a significant contribution to the development of British tennis, and Peter Bretherton (LTA President) and I would like to thank him for all his hard work in driving these changes. His passion and enthusiasm for the sport will be much missed. Roger will be staying on as CEO until the end of September, and we shall now start the process to appoint his successor”.

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Watson, Robson, Keothavong and Konta Named to British Fed Cup Team

FedCupLogo

(January 7, 2013) Heather Watson, Laura Robson, Anne Keothavong and Johanna Konta have been announced by the Lawn Tennis Association as Great Britain’s Fed Cup team for the  Europe/Africa Zone Group I tie that will take place from February 6-9 2013 at the Municipal Tennis Club in Eilat, Israel.

 

Elena Baltacha who is currently recovering from injury will also be traveling with the team. The team will be led by Judy Murray who was appointed as Fed Cup Captain back in December  of 2011.

 

Judy Murray said: “Last year’s Fed Cup was a great experience for all of us and we came close to securing a place in the World Group for the first time since 1995. Heather and Laura have pushed themselves up into the top 50 in the WTA rankings this year and they will have wonderfully experienced back-up in Anne and Bally who have 22 Fed Cups between them. Jo Konta makes her debut on the team after a terrific 2012 season which saw her break into the top 150. We have a great squad and we will be aiming to put ourselves in World Group contention once again.”

 

British No. 1 Heather Watson said, “Playing Fed Cup is always a highlight for me during the year. Most of the time we are out there playing for ourselves, but it’s a lot of fun and a great honour to compete as a team and represent our country against the best in the world.” Watson ended 2012 at a career-best No. 49 (currently No. 47) in the world winning her first career WTA singles title at the Japan Open, having already claimed Tour doubles titles at Stanford and Dallas in the USA during the summer.

 

Robson said, “’I am really excited to be part of the Fed Cup team again and I can’t wait to get back out there and hopefully win all of our matches.” Robson ended a career-best season in 2012 close to the Top 50, highlighted by a Silver Medal in mixed doubles at the Olympics, beating former Grand Slam champions Kim Clijsters and Li Na at the US Open and then becoming the first woman since 1990 to reach a WTA singles final, before Watson went one better, three weeks later.

 

“I can’t believe this will be my 12th time representing my country,” said British No. 3 Anne Keothavong. “I feel really proud how we have grown as a team in the last couple of years and came so close to making World Group II last year. It’s an added motivation knowing how close we were to try and take the extra step in 2013.”

 

Johanna Konta, is making her Fed Cup debut: “I’m so excited it’s beyond words and a real thrill to be nominated alongside Heather, Laura, Anne and Bally.”

 

The Aegon GB Fed Cup Team will contest the Europe/Africa Zone Group I, alongside 15 other nations, all vying to take the top two spots and progress to the World Group II play offs in April.

The 16 tennis nations in the Europe/Africa Zone Group I include: Austria, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Great Britain, Hungary, Israel, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Turkey.

 

The format will be four groups, each having four teams, all competing against each other (three matches) in Round-robin format. Play starts on Wednesday, 6 February and continues every day. The winners of each group will play off (Group A v Group C and Group B v Group D) to determine which two nations will advance to the World Group II Play-offs in April 20-21, 2013. All other nations will compete for positional Play-offs, including the final two relegation spots.

 

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Tennis News Net Notes

RafaelNadalTasteofTennis

(December 13, 2012) A quick look at the recent news in the world of tennis.

The Chilean newspaper La Tercera reports that the Vina de Mar tournament wants to offer Rafael Nadal a $1.2 million appearance fee to play the tournament. Vina del Mar is a clay court event played the week of February 4, 2013.

Nadal confirmed on Tuesday that he’ll play the exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi in late December. “Can’t wait to get back on court in Abu Dhabi at the end of the month,” said on his Facebook page and Twitter account. “I won the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in 2010 and 2011 – would love to get my hands on the trophy again this year!”

Nadal has been off the tour with a knee injury since losing in the second round of Wimbledon.

 

Serena Williams and Andy Murray have been nominated for a Laureus Sports Award. Williams is nominated in the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year category while Murray is up for Breakthrough of the Year award.

Williams was also tapped on Wednesday by the French newspaper L’Equipe as Sportswoman of the year.

 

Wimbledon recorded record profits in 2012. The Lawn Tennis Association reports that profits jumped 7.1 percent to a record $60.8 million dollars.

 

Former  No.  1 Kim Clijsters bid farewell to tennis on Wednesday in an exhibition match against Venus Williams in Belgium. Clijsters won the match 6-3, 6-3. Clijsters played her last competitive match at the US Open.

 

The ATP finalized the sale of the Los Angeles tournament to Bogota, Colombia on Wednesday.

The ATP World Tour 250 event tournament will take place July 15-21, 2013 at the Centro de Alto Rendimiento in Bogotá, the same venue that hosted an ATP World Tour event from 1997–2002.

 

The Lawn Tennis Association Limited (LTA) appointed David Gregson as independent Chairman of the LTA Board on Wednesday.

David is the Chairman of Precise Media Group, and of CRI, a leading UK health and social care charity. He is also a Director of the London Legacy Development Corporation, which is transforming the Olympic Park following the 2012 Games, and a member of the Advisory Board for the Sutton Trust, promoting social mobility through education.

Maria Sharapova and Samantha Stosur have committed to play the Bank of the West Classic. The tournament will take place July 22-28 at Stanford’s Taube Family Tennis Stadium.

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