Well the sun is finally out here in Milan…
Let’s hope this is the start of the summer in traditionally rainy venues for Milan, Paris and London where the tennis calendar all magnetise over the coming weeks. A grand slam in Sotogrande sounds like a better idea to me!
Since I last wrote, Liam Broady won a strong match on an indoor court than can only be described as ‘ice’ – his mind was strong and he took his chances when they came – tactics went out the window on this court! Luke Bambridge continued his great recent form with a good win over well favoured Belgian Cagnina.
We ate at my now new favourite restaurant around the corner from our hotel! The service was second to none: our table was filled with bread, fruit, beautiful side dishes and this was before we ordered! The little details this restaurant went to mean this restaurant will always stand out for me. Oh yeah we also had the pick and mix factory complimentary at the end of the meal…Margins make a difference!!
Back to the court. Today has been an early start, as Kyle Edmund and JWH were first up hitting at 8am. We arrived at 7.45 to find the clay courts playable after all the rain – great news!
Josh has been preparing for his exams the last few weeks meaning his has not prepared as he would have liked for this event on the court. He hit the ball well today, but came up short 6-3 7-5 against a very talented French Player Hayls.
Pre-match JWH chat involved looking for his set plays, looking for big targets on returns and an acceptance mentally that he may not be feeling the ball 100 percent given the circumstances, an error Josh has made in the past. Today he performed well, he served at 60 percent 1st serves, made 80 percent of returns, but they escaped him when it mattered.. Margins!
In the first set Josh had a break chance to get back to 4-4 and missed a smash by a centimetre…margins! In the second set Josh showed a real brave fight and from 4-2 down won 14 out of 15 points in a row looking like a real player then at 5-4 30-0 Josh missed a second serve return on the tape at the top of the net, his opponent reacted well to win 12 out the next 14 points for victory…Margins!
You want to know why as coaches we ask for hours of dedicated work with purpose day in day out? It is to make sure we turn those small margins in our favour – going from a good player to a great player, just like my new favourite restaurant around the corner.
Director, SotoTennis Academy
Inspiring Excellence | Tennis Academy Spain