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RAFA&ROGER The Legends Grow

The

TEAM APPROACH From Unity to Victory

WINNING RELATIONSHIPS WHEN FRIENDS ARE RIVALS BUILD A BETTER TEAM

GRAND

SLAM SOUVENIR

ROLAND GARROS RECORDS WIMBLEDON HISTORY CROWNING NEW HEROES

AUG / SEPT 2017 A$7.50 / NZ$8.40 / US$7.50

tennismag.com.au


contents AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2017 VOL.42 NO.5

16

PURE JOY From sparkling revivals, to exciting breakthroughs and history-making highs, there has already been much to celebrate in 2017.

FEATURES 20 ON TOP OF THE WORLD Despite another early loss at Wimbledon, Karolina Pliskova enters the US Open hard court season as the world No.1.

24 FRIENDS FIRST Despite the high sporting stakes, friendship comes first for many top names.

26 TENNIS COUPLES: GAME, SET, MATCH?

Life on tour means lots of matches – and this is not just limited to the tennis variety. 4

AUSTRALIAN TENNIS MAGAZINE

EDITOR Vivienne Christie ASSISTANT EDITORS Leigh Rogers Daniela Toleski FOUNDING EDITOR Alan Trengove GRAPHIC DESIGNER Andrea Williamson ADVERTISING MANAGER Nicole Hearnden ADMINISTRATION & SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER Camille Green PHOTOGRAPHS Getty Images John Anthony COVER PHOTO Getty Images COVER DESIGN & PHOTO EDITING Andrew Hutchison AFL Media

Australian Tennis Magazine is published by TENNIS AUSTRALIA LTD, Private Bag 6060, Richmond, Vic 3121. Ph: (03) 9914 4200 Email: editor@tennismag.com.au Distributed by Network Distribution Company Printed in Australia by Webstar The views expressed in Australian Tennis Magazine are not necessarily those held by Tennis Australia. While the utmost care is taken in compiling the information contained in this publication, Tennis Australia is not responsible for any loss or injury occurring as a result of any omissions in either the editorial or advertising appearing herein.


28 A UNION OF DREAMS

A healthy partnership between a coach and player is vital to success.

32 A SPECIAL CONNECTION

LA DECIMA… WITH LOVE

The relationship between players and fans is important – and it is one that is stronger than ever.

Showcasing a magical relationship with Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal created history as he became the first man to win 10 Grand Slam titles at one event.

34 EIGHT IS GREAT

Roger Federer’s eighth Wimbledon title, arguably his most popular Grand Slam victory, underlined his growing status as “greatest ever”.

39 A SLEEPING GIANT AWAKES

A dream Wimbledon was also a dramatic reawakening as Garbine Muguruza claimed a long-awaited second major title at Wimbledon.

61 A GAME OF SPIRIT

It is camaraderie rather than conflict that shapes top-level tennis, as the French Open demonstrated in a memorable way.

REGULARS 8 12 14 15 65

FAN ZONE BREAKPOINTS ONE TO WATCH TWENTY QUESTIONS YOUR GAME

80 84 86 88 90

54

SIMPLY FEARLESS

A fearless Jelena Ostapenko became the youngest French Open champion in two decades, signaling her arrival as a star in an unexpected but captivating way.

49

AUSSIE WATCH RANKINGS SCOREBOARD KIDS’ CLUB LAST WORD


LINKED IN

FIRST SERVE

TEAM SPOTLIGHT

Success is most enjoyable when you are sharing it with someone else – as these teams who are lighting up the game in 2017 can attest… ROGER AND MIRKA FEDERER

The Swiss champion’s continued success would not be possible without the support of his wife Mirka – and he knows it. “She’s the key to a lot of this,” Federer said after winning his unprecedented 19th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. “She’s been amazing support for me. She’s the best. I’m happy she allows me to chase our dreams really, because she’s in it as much as I am.”

VENUS WILLIAMS AND DAVID WITT

Boasting more Grand Slam match wins than any other woman in the past 12 months, Venus Williams’ resurgence has been remarkable. The 37-year-old American has overcome health, injury and personal challenges to continue chasing her dreams. Long-time coach David Witt has shared the highs and lows of the past decade – and their perseverance is now paying off.

RAFAEL AND TONI NADAL

When a four-year-old Rafael Nadal first picked up a racquet, his uncle Toni spotted his natural talent. Their lifetime collaboration has since netted an incredible 15 Grand Slam titles, making Rafael the second most decorated male player and Toni the most successful coach in Grand Slam history. “I owe a lot to Toni, but he also owes a lot to me,” Rafa wrote in his autobiography.

ASHLEIGH BARTY AND CASEY DELLACQUA

The popular Australian doubles pair has successfully reunited this season, returning to the world’s top 20 after winning two titles from four finals in the past two months. A close friendship is the reason for their outstanding results believes Barty: “She’s my best friend and it’s just really nice to be able to be out there with your best mate.”

JOHN PEERS AND HENRI KONTINEN

A Wimbledon semifinal appearance reaffirmed John Peers and Henri Kontinen’s standing as one of the world’s best doubles teams. Since teaming up in 2016, the duo have steadily climbed up the ranks and won ATP World Tour Final and Australian Open titles. “We’ve stuck together and worked really hard,” Peers said of their partnership. “The benefits are starting to pay off.”

JELENA OSTAPENKO AND ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES A shoulder injury has prevented two-time Roland Garros doubles champion Anabel Medina Garrigues from continuing her doubles career this season, so at their shared manager’s suggestion she began coaching Jelena Ostapenko during the clay swing. “I’m a rookie but I’m enjoying it,” Medina Garrigues said of her foray into coaching – one that has already netted a Grand Slam title. Leigh Rogers 6

AUSTRALIAN TENNIS MAGAZINE

G R E ATNE SS

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t the conclusion of one of the most glorious eight-week periods this sport will ever experience, it was reasonable to pause and wonder what feat is greater: the 10 French Open titles that made Rafael Nadal the most successful man at one Grand Slam? Or the eighth Wimbledon victory that saw Roger Federer stand apart – yet again – as the most prolific champion of modern times. In numbers, Rafa is an obvious winner. In context of his age and the ease with which he extended his record-breaking tally of majors overall, Roger may have an edge. But each champion has long been as popular as the other – so in sentiment, the fan favourites are almost certainly matched. It was only fitting then, that in marking milestone French Open and Wimbledon fortnights with a special extended issue, Nadal and Federer stand together on our souvenir cover. Both men, after all, have shaped a magical time. It’s pertinent too for the fact that this edition is also a “relationships” special. Few players have better demonstrated the bonds that exist in the game better than the Grand Slam greats. Quick to highlight the priceless contribution of long-time coaches and other key supporters, each has shown how much they value the team approach. It helps, of course, that Nadal and Federer simply love to compete. “I am happy,” said the Spaniard with his 10th French Open secured. “I am enjoying every week and I want to continue [to] enjoy more beautiful weeks.” Federer too, showed unfi ltered joy as he became the fi rst man in history to accept the gentleman's Wimbledon trophy for the eighth time. “It means the world to me,“ said the

emotional Swiss. “It’s just magical really. I can’t believe it.” Jelena Ostapenko and Garbine Muguruza, popular women’s champions at the French Open and Wimbledon, have a similar spirit. The fearless Ostapenko, who only celebrated her 20th birthday en route to the Grand Slam breakthrough that also marked her fi rst career title overall, competes with abundant passion. And Muguruza, who now has as many Grand Slam titles as she does lower-level ones, makes no secret of her love for the big stage. It highlights the most important point in a celebrated time. Of all the relationships in tennis, the most important one could be with the game itself – and as that translates to history-making performances from some of sport’s most beloved champions, that’s as rewarding for the fans as it is for the players themselves. Vivienne Christie editor@tennismag.com.au


20 Questions with …

SAM STOSUR

Sam Stosur

Do you have any superstitions? No.

BORN: 30 March 1984, Brisbane, Australia

What has been your most extravagant (most expensive or biggest) purchase I bought myself a very nice watch when I made top 10.

FASTFACTS LIVES: Sydney, Australia HEIGHT: 175 cm CAREER PRIZE MONEY: USD $17,027,910 SINGLES RANKING: No.38

CAREER-HIGH RANKING: No.4 (February 2011) CAREER-HIGH DOUBLES RANKING: No.1 (February 2006) CAREER TITLES: 9 singles, 24 doubles DID YOU KNOW? Japan is one of Sam’s favourite places in the world to visit. At 23 July 2017

court in Miami one year (in 2006, second round when Mauresmo was ranked world No.1). I just felt like digging a hole and jumping in it at 6-0 2-0.

While Grand Slam titles provided Sam Stosur with priceless memories, she equally cherishes the humbling early experiences that set her on the path to that glory. The Aussie favourite explains more to BARRY WOOD. What is the greatest benefit of being famous? It seems that the more famous you are people want to give you stuff, so that would be one benefit I guess (laughs). What quality do you most like in other people? I would say just treating someone the way you like to be treated, being a good person. What annoys or frustrates you the most? Sneakiness, probably. What do you most like about yourself? I think I’m pretty easy going, and then again I try and treat people the way I want to be treated. I think that can take you pretty far but sometimes unfortunately it doesn’t happen.

What do you dislike in yourself? My knees. I don’t like my knees. What has been your best moment on a tennis court? Oh, winning the US Open for sure ( beating Serena Williams 6-2 6-3 in the 2011 fi nal). What has been your worst moment on a tennis court? I’ve had a few low points, but probably losing to Amelie Mauresmo love and love on the centre CELEBRATED AUSTRALIAN: The 2011 US Open champion is also a three-time winner of the Newcombe Medal.

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you have given yourself when you started your career? Probably, even if it was really difficult, invest in yourself better maybe. Like, don’t take short cuts, but try and do things a bit easier. But you can only do that once you’ve got money. Those experiences are kind of cool too because they make you what you are. I don’t know, maybe give everything your best shot to do well … but as I say, those experiences make you who you are too and sometimes it’s impossible to do it better at that point of time in your career. What is the best advice you have ever been given? I would say just enjoy what you do. What would be your perfect day? Well, if it involved tennis then win your match maybe second on, job’s done, go to the beach, go to a Japanese restaurant, eat some good food, have a coffee. Away from the tennis? All those things without the tennis!

What living person do you most admire? I don’t know. There’s not one person that I necessarily think ... Probably some of my best friends, I’d say. My best friend I’ve known since I was eight. What is your greatest fear? I don’t really like flying. That’s the only thing that sort of scares me. That’s pretty tough for a tennis player. It sucks. I didn’t like it and I came good, and now I’m like urgh again. What is your most treasured possession? Probably all my photos. Maybe my computer because they’re all on there. If you weren’t a tennis player, what would you like to be? I would have been in some other sport. I played everything in school. Sports Day was the best day of the year, so if I didn’t gravitate to tennis I would have gone down some other road. I think I would have always wanted to be an athlete of some sort. Where is the best place you’ve been? I like home in Sydney. And I went camping down the east coast of Australia and stopped in a few different places and that was pretty cool. Back to basics. Kangaroos, birds stealing your food, that kind of stuff. It’s fun. Where would you most like to go that you haven’t been to yet? On safari in Africa. Who would you most like to have as a dinner guest? Jerry Seinfeld. How would you like to be remembered? Just for being a good character, tried hard whenever I went out on court, gave my best and could shake hands if I got beat and enjoy the moments when I won. AUSTRALIAN TENNIS MAGAZINE

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FEATURE

A second-round Wimbledon defeat wasn’t in Karolina Pliskova’s plans. The silver lining? She’s the new world No.1, perhaps an appropriate mantle as she prepares to return to the tournaments that last year helped propel her to the top. By MATT TROLLOPE

O K S I L P A N I L O K AR

VA :

E H T F O ON TOP

D L R O W

K

arolina Pliskova wasn’t really paying attention to the Wimbledon women’s fi nal. As Garbine Muguruza and Venus Williams slugged it out on Centre Court, the Czech was instead doing a photo shoot. How do we know this? Because she tweeted about it – right in the middle of that fi nal. This social media move was reminiscent of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova; the superstar duo have been known to post on their social media channels content completely unrelated to the final the other is contesting the same day. Pliskova may not own the swag of major titles that Serena and Sharapova have accrued, but she does now have one thing in common with them – a stint atop the WTA rankings. Perhaps the timing of her tweet suggests the behaviour of a Grand Slam champion many pundits believe she’ll one day become. Pliskova rose to world No.1 – the fi rst Czech woman to do so – when Angelique Kerber failed to

would be something wrong defend her points from reaching with me (laughter). the Wimbledon fi nal a year “Defi nitely I'm trying to take earlier and when Simona Halep it only the positive way and not fell in the quarterfi nals. putting much pressure on me.” Pliskova becomes the fourth Until a year ago, there was “slamless” WTA No.1 in the no real external pressure or past nine years, after Jelena expectation of any kind, simply Jankovic, Dinara Safina and because she’d failed to truly Caroline Wozniacki. Yet while fi re on the biggest stages. In that trio was, perhaps unfairly, August 2016 she hovered just criticised and even derided for inside the top 20 having won ascending the summit without a handful of minor WTA titles, one of the game’s four biggest a player capable of titles to their name, NEW MILESTONE: an extremely high there’s perhaps a A fiercely-determined level and always greater sense of Karolina Pliskova is the dangerous yet prone legitimacy attached first Czech woman to to inconsistency to Pliskova’s feat. reach world No.1. and lacklustre Although she performances. hasn’t won a major Then came Cincinnati. She title yet, many sense it’s only a swept to the biggest title of her matter of time. career by routing world No.3 "Not really strange (when Garbine Muguruza and No.2 people tip me as a Grand Slam Angelique Kerber in her last champion); I always believed in two matches. A few weeks later, some things like this,” Pliskova she stormed to the US Open told Australian Tennis Magazine. final, becoming just the fourth “But definitely until US Open woman in history to beat both (last year) no-one talked like this, so it was a big change there. Venus and Serena Williams at the same Grand Slam event. And obviously this year I'm The Flushing Meadows result playing like very good, so that's why they talk in this way. If they was notable, because until then she’d cleared the second would not talk about me, there

AUSTRALIAN TENNIS MAGAZINE

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WIMBLEDON

34

AUSTRALIAN TENNIS MAGAZINE

EIGH


GHT IS

T A E R G

In a flawless fortnight at the All England Club, Roger Federer did not drop a set en route to a record eighth Wimbledon title – a wildly popular victory. At nearly 36 years of age, the enduring superstar is producing the best tennis of his life as he underlines his status as an all-time great. By MATT TROLLOPE

I

n 1998, we were given the fi rst glimpse of a grasscourt giant in the making when Roger Federer won junior Wimbledon. Exactly 19 years later, in SW19, he won Grand Slam title number 19 with victory in the 2017 gentlemen’s singles event. Federer completed a sublime campaign by sweeping to a record eighth singles championship, beating a physically-impaired, emotionally-overwhelmed Marin Cilic in an anti-climactic fi nal. Yet the disappointment in the contest was quickly replaced by the thrill of the celebratory scenes that followed. Federer wept as his four children – older twins Charlene and Myla and younger pair Leo and Lenny – joined the rest of his family in the player box for the trophy presentation.

Next, he told the perennial Sue routinely beats them. Barker: “To be back here, and “History is made,” just feeling great and holding said Wimbledon on the trophy now, and the Facebook, with a stylised tournament I played, not WIM8LEDON graphic. dropping a set, it’s just magical. Nike Court declared on It’s just too much really. Twitter: “You don’t play “It’s disbelief that I can achieve @rogerfederer on grass. You such heights.” play on his grass.” A tweet Then came the procession of from Federer himself, reading fun formalities. The “#19 tastes great”, viewing of his name, EMBRACING HISTORY: generated more already inscribed on than 390,000 Roger Federer’s eighth Wimbledon the club’s honour roll. likes and title was his first A trip through the almost 145,000 without losing a set, corridors of Centre retweets. his remarkable feat Court, celebrating This was completed against with wife Mirka and arguably the Marin Cilic in the final. parents Robert and most popular of Lynette, meeting the all victories. Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The subsequent records and receiving congratulations were a reporter’s and from fellow legends Rod Laver, statistician’s dream. Stan Smith, Manolo Santana and Federer now owns the most Stefan Edberg. Then onto the Wimbledon gentlemen’s balcony, trophy still in hand, to singles titles ever, clear wave to the thousands of adoring of seven-time champions fans gathered below. William Renshaw and Social media melted down. Pete Sampras. At almost Several top players expressed 36 years of age, he’s the their excitement and admiration tournament’s oldest for a man who, in most cases, Open Era champion and


S E K A AW

A SLEEPING GIANT

WIMBLEDON

A dream Wimbledon was also a dramatic reawakening as Garbine Muguruza claimed a highly-anticipated second major at Wimbledon. KRISTINA MOORE reports

AUSTRALIAN TENNIS MAGAZINE

39


Rafael Nadal


FRENCH OPEN

LA DECIMA …

E V O L

WITH

Rafael Nadal showcased a magical relationship with Roland Garros as he became the first man to win 10 Grand Slam titles at one event. VIVIENNE CHRISTIE reports

AUSTRALIAN TENNIS MAGAZINE

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S E L R FE A FRENCH OPEN

SIMPLY

The future of women’s tennis arrived in the most unexpected but captivating way as the fearless Jelena Ostapenko became the youngest French Open champion in 20 years. LEIGH ROGERS reports

A

booming backhand return winner sealed a famous French Open victory for Jelena Ostapenko. The 20-year-old became the fi rst Latvian Grand Slam champion and fi rst unseeded woman to win Roland Garros in 84 years. “I was just trying to go for shots when I could and match point, I was just, ‘okay, I have nothing to lose, I’m just going to hit winner’,” Ostapenko explained. And it is exactly what the world No.47 did, fi ring her 54th winner of the match to seal an unexpected victory. “She played really well, all the credit,” conceded fi nalist Simona Halep, who would have become world No.1 had she won. “She was hitting very strong. At some point I was like a spectator on court. She deserved to win.” The Romanian was not the only experienced opponent left in awe during Ostapenko’s stunning Paris breakthrough. “If she’s on, with the way she plays, she’s very hard to play against because she hits the ball hard, she goes for winners,” said Australian Grand Slam champion Sam Stosur, who lost to Ostapenko in a three-set fourth round battle.

AWESTRUCK: Simona Halep congratulates Jelena Ostapenko after their captivating French Open final. 54

AUSTRALIAN TENNIS MAGAZINE

Former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki had no answers in the quarterfi nals: “Obviously she’s on her way up,” the Dane noted. “She is young and reckless, in a sense. She’s not afraid of anything. She’s a big hitter,” Timea Bacsinszky conceded after their semifinal. The Swiss player was amazed at the composure Ostapenko, eight years her junior, showed in the high-pressure situation. “Is she nervous or does she feel pressure? Maybe she drinks pressure. I don’t know,” Bacsinszky was left to question. Ostapenko, who admits she prefers grass and hard courts, played an aggressive and fearless game on the Parisian clay. She struck an incredible 299 winners in seven matches

during the tournament, more than any other man or woman. In comparison, men’s champion Rafael Nadal hit 166. The 177-centimetre Ostapenko hits the ball hard too. Her average forehand speed during the tournament was clocked at 122 kilometres per hour. It was faster than men’s world No.1 Andy Murray and only four kilometres slower than Nadal’s feared left-handed weapon. Murray was super impressed after watching her performance in the women’s fi nal. “She just went for it. She took her chances. She didn’t blink. She stuck to the way she played the whole event. That’s what was most impressive for someone so young playing in the fi nals of a

Slam for the fi rst time,” Murray, who lost his fi rst four Grand Slam fi nals, said. Former world No.1 and 18-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Navratilova was impressed by the manner in which the Latvian became the youngest woman to triumph at the French Open since Iva Majoli in 1997. “Some players come of age during tournaments – Jelena Ostapenko did it right here this week,” said Navratilova after the fi nal. “She played like a champion that she now is, her first major title but surely not the last one,” she later tweeted. An unexpected result? Perhaps, but Ostapenko’s potential was no secret. The Wimbledon girls’ singles champion in 2014, she made a statement in her Grand Slam main draw debut at the All England Club the following year. Drawn against then world No.9 Carla Suarez Navarro, her first meeting against a top 60-ranked player, Ostapenko recorded a stunning 6-2 6-0 victory. She had also won her fi rst two career meetings against twotime Wimbledon champion Petra


S

JELENA OSTAPENKO

“I like extreme things and that’s probably why I play aggressive tennis.”


YOUR GAME

YOURGAME

Boost your on-court performance

66 LESSONS FROM THE PROS

There are many different relationships in tennis but as many top players demonstrate, the most important one is with the game itself.

69 MIND GAME

Achieving long-held goals presents a new challenge, as Andy Murray’s problematic reign as world No.1 has proven.

70 GAME DAY

Competing against a friend provides opportunities to develop both your game and your character.

72 COACH INSIGHT

To deliver results as a coach, developing and managing complex relationships is a critical focus.

74 INJURY WATCH

A physiotherapist is a valuable ally for players determined to achieve peak physicality.

75 FITNESS

Building the right team can be the key to thriving in an individual sport.

76 ANALYSIS

Understanding the tiebreak is the first step to flourishing in that high-pressure situation.

AUSTRALIAN TENNIS MAGAZINE

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Australian Tennis Magazine - August/September 2017  

Grand Slam Souvenir

Australian Tennis Magazine - August/September 2017  

Grand Slam Souvenir