Roland Garros: Day 5 – Every Point (June 2012)

Posted on: June 6, 2012 |
Tags: costa del sol, Elite Tennis, Professional Tennis, roland garros, spain, Tennis Academy, Tennis Academy Spain

As we get to the business end of the French Open it gives me great pleasure to say that our boys are still alive and kicking…It is not what both players wanted, they would of course want to be in the singles as well as the doubles, but what they maybe don’t quite realise yet is that to gain the experience of playing deep in a slam either singles or doubles will be invaluable to their development and is all experienced ‘banked’. Tomorrow they play the French pair Favrot/Couchard in the quarterfinals and will need to be ‘at it’ from the start.

With the doubles rules nowadays…

  • Sudden death deuces
  • At one set all, a super tie break (to 10 points) is played for the 3rd  set

More than ever, every point counts. Even when serving at 40-0, you lose concentration and go to 40-15, you are now 2 points away from facing a break point. We are working hard on getting the boys to ‘reset’ after every point. You are always a point or 2 away from either getting back in the match or your opponents getting back into the match. Today the boys were a set and 3-1 up cruising and all of a sudden a sudden death deuce point – 10 mins from winning the match, but at the same time 20 minutes from losing it! So back to the set 3-1 40-40 point. Josh served to Kyle (Edmund) who hit a great return which Josh picked up on the half volley, it landed around the baseline and Kyle hit an amazing lob for a winner, break back and back in the middle of a dog fight for the boys only for the Umpire to get out of his chair to check the mark on the baseline…Kyle had called Josh’s (half volley) shot out before he hit his ball. The rules state that once a player makes a call their call must stand and in turn his lob did not count. The umpire checked the mark (which you do on a clay court) and the ball was touching the line and then called the score ‘set and 4-1 Ward Hibbert and Broady’ the margins in the sport are tiny!

I like my players on a doubles court to think , ‘OK 15-0, now lets get to 30, OK 30-0 now to 40, no problem 30-15, lets jam the big lad up and really take care of this point to get to 40-15’ and so on and so on. It is constant reset and go again, when ahead push for more, when behind, take time and get one point back at a time. I don’t see this way of thinking at Junior level yet, the boys are getting better, but still not ‘on it’ every point. Whereas the top doubles players in the world will not give you an inch ever, like a steam train coming at you over and over and over again. The improvements that can be made and we have not even discussed tactics or technique yet…another day!

Back to Paris and I had the opportunity to commentate alongside Jonathan Overend for BBC Radio 5 live on the Tsonga/Djokovic match and what a match it was. I certainly was not short of things to talk about there: the drama, the storyline, the ups, the downs. Who needs cinema these days when it comes to the latter stages of the grand slams? I must admit I have had a little taste of commentary and it is most certainly something I would love to explore further over the years…We shall see!

Tomorrow, Kyle Edmund is first up after a brilliant gutsy display today taking down the number 2 seed from Italy, Quinzi – remember both names! Josh and Liam are on 3rd for their doubles quarterfinal.

Each day is an exciting one!

Bonne Nuit

‘Jouer pour Gagner’

Dan Kiernan

Director, SotoTennis Academy

Inspiring Excellence | Tennis Academy Spain

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