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FEBRUARY 2014 VOL 39 No. 2

contents

14

GIANT STEPS First time titles and career-best Australian Open performances mean a giant step forward for the Big Game and the players who star in it.

FEATURES 18 STAN AND DELIVER

Stanislas Wawrinka established a new world order as he defeated Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to claim a maiden major at Melbourne Park.

24 THIRD TIME A CHARM

Li Na showed character and the best of her competitive spirit in winning a second Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.

34 SMALL CHANGES FOR A BIG DIFFERENCE

Australia’s most credentialed coaches share some small pieces of advice that could make a big difference to your tennis.

52 MATCH DAY NUTRITION A guide to meeting nutritional needs on match days that are complicated by long matches, weather delays and other unexpected events.

54 REGAINING THE MOMENTUM

Form can unravel quickly when you feel a match slipping away – but if you lose momentum, you can regain it too.

70 BACK WHERE SHE BELONGS

Casey Dellacqua is back inside the top 80 and determined to build on a stellar Australian summer.

50

TRAIN LIKE THE PROS

The stars of the Australian summer of tennis not only provide inspiration, but an example of how to train for the Big Game. FEBRUARY 2014 AUSTRALIAN TENNIS MAGAZINE

3


FEBRUARY 2014 VOL 39 No. 2

37

BIG GAME SWAGGER

Long touted as Australia’s Generation Next, Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis appear increasingly ready to take a bigger step in the big game.

REGULARS 8 BREAKPOINTS 10 THE HITTING WALL 56 GEARING UP 57 BE THE PRO 64 FROM THE CLUBHOUSE 72 LOOKING BACK 74 RANKINGS 76 SCOREBOARD 80 KIDS’ CLUBHOUSE 82 LAST WORD

31

RISE OF THE GIANTS

Reaching new tennis heights can take on a literal meaning in world of increasingly tall opponents, but bigger players also have weaknesses – and ways for you to exploit them. 4

AUSTRALIAN TENNIS MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2014

FIONA HAMILTON

EDITOR Vivienne Christie ASSISTANT EDITOR Daniela Toleski FOUNDING EDITOR Alan Trengove GRAPHIC DESIGNER Andrea Williamson ADVERTISING MANAGER Nicole Hearnden

ADMINISTRATION & SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER Daniel Heathcote PHOTOGRAPHS Getty Images, John Anthony, Image(s) licensed by Ingram Publishing COVER PHOTO Getty Images COVER DESIGN Andrew Hutchison

Australian Tennis Magazine is published monthly 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.


FIRST SERVE

Big Games, Giant Spirits

Y

ou don’t have to be the biggest players in the game to claim the biggest of the Big Game prizes. It helps, though, to have a giant spirit. That was the take-home point of Australian Open 2014 as Li Na and Stanislas Wawrinka claimed career-defining titles, shaping the season to come in the short term and even the Big Game itself in the longer one. At 172 cm and 183 cm respectively, neither of the newly crowned champions are literally big in a modern game of 190- or 200 cm-plus giants. Less measurable but more profound are the fighting spirits of Li and Wawrinka, who’ve overcome more than most to make their mark in the modern era. For Li, the expectations of millions of excited observers in her homeland – coupled with her own sky-high ambitions – have at times been a load too heavy to carry. So much so that when she suffered an early exit at the 2013 French Open, the 32-year-old almost quit tennis completely. Persevering for just that little bit longer provided her with another Grand Slam trophy, adding to the one she claimed at the 2011 French Open. Wawrinka has faced a different challenge. The Swiss star has not only been overshadowed by prolific countryman and good friend Roger Federer throughout his career but battled to make any inroads at all against the game’s

Nexnt th mo

6

Big Four. But that all changed this Australian Open. Wawrinka is the first man to defeat the top two seeds at a Grand Slam since 1993 and in the process, rose to world No.3. The impact of their victories is vast. Li joins an elite group as one of just six active women to boast multiple majors; more significant will be the growth of her alreadyincredible influence on tennis in China, and throughout Asia. How far can the megastar rise? Wawrinka crashed one of the most impenetrable clubs in world sport. Only he and Juan Martin del Potro have broken the stranglehold that Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Federer have held at the majors since 2005. Has the Big Four had its day? While fans ponder those questions they can also consider the lessons that Australian Open 2014 provided for their own tennis – all of them explored in this Big Game special. It’s possible to beat a bigger player, wrestle momentum in your favour and overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges to claim the biggest rewards that tennis can offer. Just ask Li and Wawrinka. Vivienne Christie editor@tennismag. com.au

TENNIS TRAVEL

How far can tennis take you? Our special travel issue shows you the game’s best locations, top tournaments and all the tips and inside information you’ll need to get the most from your tennis on the road. March issue on sale from 28 February.

AUSTRALIAN TENNIS MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2014


The

THE E BIG (NUMBERS) GAME

How big has the Big Game become? Some numbers from Australian Open 2014 tell the story. Number of players who competed across all events – singles, doubles, juniors, wheelies and legends

690

16

50km

Amount of string used

Number of Grand Slam champions who contested the main singles draw

6

Number of aces served by Serena Williams, the highest in the women’s draw

Male Grand Slam champions represented – Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Juan Martin del Potro, Lleyton Hewitt

234 km/h

4200 +

Fastest serve of the men’s draw, recorded by Sam Groth (AUS)

Number of racquets strung in the Wilson stringers hut

63,595

202 kp/h

Record night/day attendance record set on first Monday of Australian (breaking the previous record of 63,520 set in 2012)

Fastest serve of the women’s draw, recorded by Nadiya Kichenok (UKR)

45

39

Most number of racquets strung by any one player (Serena Williams)

79 Number of aces served by Kevin Anderson, the highest in the men’s draw

10

Female Grand Slam champions represented – Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Li Na, Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, Ana Ivanovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Samantha Stosur, Venus Williams, Francesca Schiavone

49

nations represented in 256 players competing in main draw singles

39

countries represented in men’s singles

42

countries represented in women’s singles

15

number of French men in men’s singles (highest number)

12

number of US women men in women’s singles (highest number)

$1 million + Amount raised for the Roger Federer Foundation and Australian Tennis Foundation at Roger Federer and Friends FEBRUARY 2014 AUSTRALIAN TENNIS MAGAZINE

7


Giant steps First-time titles and career-best performances made the Australian Open a Grand Slam of milestones and breakthroughs – along with a giant step forward for the Big Game and the players who star in it. 14

AUSTRALIAN TENNIS MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2014


AUSTRALIAN OPEN

L

i Na will always be China’s first Grand Slam champion. That milestone occurred at the 2011 French Open, accompanied by history, fanfare and a rapid rise to superstardom that was at times as overwhelmingly as it was rewarding. In many ways, though, her second major triumph – occurring when she defeated Dominika Cibulkova to claim Australian Open 2014 – is even more ground-breaking. Won with the best of the much-loved champion’s character on show, it also required all of her gritty spirit. Just six months ago, she’d toyed with the thought of retirement. Fighting on in her career would prove prescient for Li, who saved a match point in the third round before charging all the way to the title – becoming, at age 31, the oldest

women’s champion in the tournament’s history. Not that age is any impediment to Li’s ambition. With her passion reignited by becoming a member of an elite group on the WTA Tour – she is one of just six active players with multiple Grand Slam titles – Li is determined to keep adding to her major success, knowing that she is more ready now than she was in 2011. “Because first time, to win the French Open, I really didn’t prepare for that,” she said. “I didn’t know what I should do after the win. Also nobody tell me what I should do.” With coach Carlos Rodriguez having previously taken Justine Henin to multiple Grand Slam titles, there is no shortage

“If you practise well, if you work hard, you will always have a chance to be in a great position to play your best tennis.” StanISlaS WaWrInka FEBRUARY 2014 AUSTRALIAN TENNIS MAGAZINE

15


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ANALYSIS

gIantS

Reaching new tennis heights has taken on a literal meaning in some cases, with many players now standing 196 cm or above. But while taller players often have a physical advantage, there are ways of exploiting their weaknesses too. MICHAEL FILOSI explains how you can beat a bigger player.

RISE of thE

FEBRUARY 2014 AUSTRALIAN TENNIS MAGAZINE

31


INSTRUCTION

Small changes for a

big

difference Making the little things count is as true in tennis as it is in life. Some of Australia’s most credentialed coaches shared some small tips that could make a big difference to your game.

Movement matters

W

ith all the athletes we work with at the National Academy in Sydney there is an enormous focus on a player’s balance, their base and their posture. A strong core and the ability to use the ground correctly is so important to enjoy your tennis. Remember the best movers in tennis are the best players. Ben Pyne, National Academy Coach, NSW

The right grip

Y

ou’ll often achieve your best tennis results using the continental grip. The benefits of using this grip include: — Greater control and accuracy. — The ability to hit a variety of serves with different types of spin (slice, topspin, kick, flat). — More power and speed. Jarrad Bunt, National Academy Coach, NSW

34

AUSTRALIAN TENNIS MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2014


PICTORIAL

For some it was a return to top form; others a first experience of it. Either way, the Australian summer of tennis provided some big game stars with the best possible start to season 2014.

LLEYTON HEWITT


AUSTRALIAN O PASSION ISSUE

THE STYLE SPECIAL

FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME

TRANSCENDING

TENNIS

NI CK KYRGIOS

OVAK N AND THE GRAND

M SFIGLA HTERS

AO BLITZ

Is Jerzy Janowicz the new player prototype?

AR ST GAZING

ROGER

2014

HOW YOU CAN PLAY THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN

FEDERER

20

HOW WILL YOUR FAVOURITES FARE?

BE INSPIRED!

Peter Luczak's first club

THE PERFECT

AYINg PL PHYSIQUE

ShOUldE BEAT A BETTE

R PLAYER FITNESS FOR EXPLOSIVE STRENGTH TODD WOODBRIDGE 'S DOUBLES TIPS IS CRAFT YOUR

COM ING

VOGUE Who’s on the rise?

TENNIS

HITS+

MISSES

5

Alicia Molik’s first club

LLEYTON

LEARNI NG FROM YOUR LOSSES WHEN TO USE A DROP SHOT

ria Ma sereNa

FORGOTTEN ART?

SINGLE-HANDE D BACKHA ND NEW IN NUTRITION

1

8/19/13 7:36 PM

IT T HEringW spirit

EASY

& the best bodies in tennis today

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h COM MON INJU RIES T h CHO OSE THE PER FEC PARTNE R – WIT H E TOD D WOO DBR IDG h LEA RNI NG TO LOV E TRA ININ G h SERVE SCH OOL

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RET URN S

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Australian Tennis Magazine - February 2014