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COACHING: IMPROVE YOUR TENNIS! Gasquet backhand and Sharapova forehand

TENNIS TOURIST DOWN UNDER

New Hopman Cup venue open for business

TOUR RESULTS AND RANKINGS

Fourteen pages of men’s and women’s action

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ANDY MURRAY TENNIS KIT!

WWW.TENNISHEAD.NET | JANUARY 2013

TH E WORLD’ S B E ST TEN NIS MAGA ZIN E

KING NOVAK ANA IVANOVIC

Can Djokovic stay ahead of the chasing pack?

Coaching chemistry and a return to form

JUAN MONACO The Argentine on the rise

ICONIC IMAGES Fabulous photos from 2012

FULL TOUR CALENDAR TENNISHEAD AWARDS THE BENEFITS OF GLUTEN-FREE DIETS GETTING TO KNOW DAVID GOFFIN SURVIVING JUNIOR TENNIS

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SIGNED HEATHER WATSON RACKET BAG!

2013 WHO’S HOT AND WHO’S NOT

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION

Behind the scenes in a TV studio VOLUME 3 ISSUE 7 JAN 2013 £4.50

INTERVIEWS: FERNANDO VERDASCO / HEATHER WATSON / PAT CASH / SOFIA ARVIDSSON


CONTENTS

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48 WIN!

HEATHER WATSON SIGNED BAG PAGE 22

GALLERY 24 Images: Magic moments from 2012

BIG READ 8 17 18 20 34 42 48 54 60 114

Hawk-Eye: News and views from the tours Inside Out: London coach Milton Gayle Hot Stuff: Belgian David Goffin Anne Keothavong: Looking back... Juan Monaco: Argentine on the rise Annual Awards: Who's grabbed the gongs? Ana Ivanovic: The Serb is aiming high Happy New Year: 13 stories for 2013 Behind-the-Scenes: Eurosport studios Action Replay: Australian Pat Cash

ACADEMY 70 72 74 76 78 80 82

Technique: Gasquet backhand Technique: Sharapova forehand Kids: Surviving junior tennis Wheelchair tennis: Improving movement Nutrition: Going gluten-free Save the Children: Get involved Ask tennishead: Win a ÂŁ50 PWP voucher

GEAR 86 News: The latest and greatest kit 89 Me and My Racket: Fernando Verdasco 90 Brands: The re-launch of Slazenger

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TRAVEL 94 Tennis Tourist: The Hopman Cup, Perth

THE TOURS 98 100 102 104 107 108 110 111

ATP & WTA: Reports from the Asian swing ATP & WTA: Round-up and results from October WTA Championships: Istanbul analysed Barclays ATP World Tour Finals: O2 results Davis Cup and Fed Cup: The finals ATP & WTA rankings: Top 100 singles lists Tramlines: Tour doubles round-up Tour Calendar: Dates for your 2013 diary

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24 HEAD TO WWW.TENNISHEAD.NET FOR ALL THE LATEST INFO


VOLUME 3 ISSUE 7

54 WIN! ANDY MURRAY ADIDAS KIT PAGE 88

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BRINGING YOU THE BIGGEST NEWS, VIEWS AND OPINIONS

haWkeYe

sPot liGht this tiMe...

head to www.tennishead.net for all the latest news

“Obviously there are other Grand Slams that need to react, and we are still in negotiations and we are still doing it behind closed doors” NOVAK DJOKOVIC

BIGGER, BETTER, RICHER The 2013 Australian Open will be the richest Grand Slam ever after a significant rise in prizemoney. But is it enough?

orGanisers oF the 2013 Australian Open announced that the Melbourne Grand Slam will offer a record AUD$30 million in January, up $4 million from 2012, which represents the biggest single increase in the history of the event. The move comes after pressure from the sport’s leading players, who want a fairer share of prizemoney among Grand Slam fields and a bigger slice of the profits generated at Grand Slam events. Not for the first time recently, there had been talk of a player strike if their wage demands had not been met and while the stars of the men’s game were satisfied with the increase, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer both said improvements need to continue.

“It’s a step forward, definitely,” Djokovic said shortly after Melbourne’s announcement. “They have clearly shown understanding for players’ demands and what the players had to say, so that’s really nice to see. Obviously there are other Grand Slams that need to react, and we are still in negotiations and we are still doing it behind closed doors.” Federer, the president of the ATP player council and one of a group of stars who met with Grand Slam officials during the Shanghai Masters in October, echoed the Serb’s sentiments. “It was good to see the Australian Open making their move, showing that they truly care about us, the players,” the Swiss said. “Now we’ll see where it takes us from here.

need to knoW: the australian open begins on january 14 2013 and winds up 8 W W W.t e n n i s h e a d. n e t


Open adopts Hawk-Eye for the first time with the technology making its debut on Rod Laver Arena.

20 YEARS AGO: ‘Mighty’ Monica

10 YEARS AGO: Sweden’s Thomas Johansson claims his only Grand Slam title when he beats Marat Safin in the 2002 Melbourne Park final.

Seles beats American Mary Joe Fernandez to win her fifth Grand Slam singles title in Australia in 1992.

© ray giubilo

NEWS

5 YEARS AGO: The 2007 Aussie

© ray giubilo

1 YEAR AGO: Novak Djokovic makes it three Grand Slam titles in a row with marathon back-to-back victories over Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal in Melbourne.

Melbourne makeover © juergen hasenkopf

What’s new in 2013...

• Andre Agassi to present trophy to 2013 champion (pictured below) • Pedestrian bridge over Olympic Boulevard, completing a link between the MCG, Melbourne Park and AAMI Park • Framework of second tier on Margaret Court Arena underway • Practice and recovery facilities at National Tennis Centre available to players

“The question is, are we that extremely happy with the Australian Open? It was nice to see they have made a move. Is it significant enough? I’m not sure. We’ll see how things play out in the next nine months.” Britain’s Andy Murray admitted, however, that a strike had been a last resort. “I think the Australian Open has stepped up really well,” said the Scot. “They’ve obviously listened to the players and the ATP and have made a real effort to improve things. You know, from my side, I never viewed striking at the Australian Open as a real option.” Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood, meanwhile, said he was happy with the discussions he had had with the game’s leading players. “We have talked about our long-term plans for player compensation, including further significant increases, and the feedback we have received from the ATP and the players has been positive,” he said. “We have plans for further discussions regarding distribution and will also be having talks with the WTA to get their feedback.” n

with the men’s final on jan 28

FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT...

Malek Jaziri

• Eight clay courts finished, providing valuable preparation for players heading to Davis Cup and Fed Cup ties in February

The 28-year-old made history at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow in October when he became the first Tunisian ever to reach the semifinals of an ATP World Tour event.

• Viewing deck over the practice courts

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• Entrances for Hisense Arena and two new balcony areas overlooking Grand Slam Oval

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Then ranked 112th in the world, the right-hander beat Rajeev Ram, Viktor Troicki and conqueror of Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon this year, Lukas Rosol.

‘Jazz’, as he’s known, also scored a couple of Grand Slam singles victories this year. He beat Philipp Petzschner at Roland Garros and Jurgen Zopp at Wimbledon.

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The man from Tunis also represented his country at the London Olympics where he beat Lu Yen-Hsun before falling to John Isner.

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American Andre Agassi won the Aussie Open on four occasions and he’ll be back in Melbourne on finals day

Midway through the summer he peaked at what is so far his highest singles ranking. He appeared at No.69 in the ATP list on July 16.

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He began playing the sport aged five, speaks four languages (Spanish, French, English and Arabic) and his idol growing up was Pete Sampras.

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Subject: Feliciano Lopez Venue: Dubai Photographer: Juergen Hasenkopf

Âť I love it when players show a bit of emotion and this happened after Feliciano missed an easy shot in Dubai. I think he was quite embarrassed!

Subject: hsieh su-wei Venue: pattaya, thailand Photographer: Juergen Hasenkopf

Âť This shot was taken in Pattaya, Thailand, during the PTT Pattaya Open in February. We were just on our way back from an official tournament beach barbecue and I asked her if she could climb on to the wall. She is a lovely person, and I always enjoy her unpredictable and slightly crazy style of play.


Subject: Rafael Nadal Venue: Melbourne Park Photographer: Mike Frey

 This picture was taken at the Australian Open where the temperature on Rod Laver Arena was close to 40 degrees. The players were really suffering from the heat and Rafa sat trying to cool down during a break in the third set. To me, the determination on his face and the dripping sweat sums up his spirit. He is a warrior and a fierce competitor and has been sorely missed this year since Wimbledon. The photo was shot from behind the umpire’s chair while Rafa was sitting under an awning, so the mottled striping on his face was the sun reflecting through the sunshade.


ana i va no v ic British coach Nigel Sears has helped Ana Ivanovic rediscover her best tennis in 2012. They make the perfect unit, says the Serb WORDS: PAUL NEWMAN Paul Newman is Tennis Correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday

Dream team 4 8 W W W.t e n n i s h e a d. n e t


"I’m just happy now that I’ve found the right person and that I didn't give up, because it has been hard at times" W W W.t e n n i s h e a d. NET 49


ana i va no v ic

er season did not finish the way she would have wanted, with Serbia losing to the Czech Republic in the Fed Cup final, but it has still been a memorable year for Ana Ivanovic. After repeatedly struggling to live up to the promise of her 2008 French Open victory, the 25-year-old Serb finished 2012 at No.13 in the world rankings, her highest year-end position for four years, and enjoyed her best season in Grand Slam competition since her Roland Garros triumph. Most importantly of all, she has at last found a coach, Nigel Sears, who she believes can take her back among the world’s elite. Ivanovic appeared to have the world at her feet when she won the French Open and subsequently became No.1 in the world. However, her results in Grand Slam tournaments tell the story of her subsequent decline. Until this year’s US Open, Ivanovic had failed to reach the quarter-finals of 17 successive Grand Slam tournaments, suffering four first-round defeats along the way and losing to unheralded opponents like Ekaterina Makarova, Kateryna Bondarenko and Johanna Larsson. In the spring of 2010 she even dropped out of the world’s top 50, less than two years after topping the rankings. Injuries played a part, but what appeared to be at the root of Ivanovic’s problems was her failure to find the right coach. Until linking up with Sears, she had worked with five different coaches since starting out on the women’s tour, not counting the adidas personnel to whom she kept returning on a temporary basis when she found herself working on her own again. “I made some choices that weren’t right in the past,” Ivanovic admits. “It cost me in terms of my confidence and everything. But I think that some things happen for a reason and I think it was my fault as much as someone else’s. I’m just happy now that I’ve found the right person and that I didn’t give up, because it has been hard at times.” Sears was head coach of women’s tennis at the Lawn Tennis Association in London when Ivanovic 5 0 W W W.t e n n i s h e a d. NET

approached him in the summer of 2011. He first made a name for himself coaching some of Britain’s leading men, including Jeremy Bates and Mark Petchey, but in more recent times he has worked almost exclusively with women. He coached Amanda Coezter and Daniela Hantuchova and then spent five years at the LTA, where he helped a succession of British women to make their mark on the international stage. Given her track record in terms of coaches, you might think Ivanovic was a difficult player to work with, someone who always blames others when things are going wrong. However, the description could not be further from the truth. The Serb is one of the sweetestnatured players on the women’s tour and seems to have a smile and a kind word for everyone. She admits, nevertheless, that she has felt uncomfortable with the intensity of her relationships with some of her coaches in the past. The itinerant nature of professional tennis means that players and coaches often spend many hours a day in each other’s company, which can put major pressures on both parties. “Our job is quite strange in that we hire a coach and therefore we’re the boss,” Ivanovic said. “But coaches tell us what to do and I think some [male] coaches might struggle with the idea of a girl being the boss and telling them: ‘I don’t want to see you now. I want to have some time to myself.’ So many coaches try to hold on and are too controlling – and that doesn’t make for a healthy relationship. That’s why I think you find a big difference in the relationship between men and their coaches and between women and their coaches.” When Ivanovic played at last year’s Hopman Cup in Perth alongside Novak Djokovic she looked with envy at her fellow Serb’s relationship with his entourage. “I saw how much fun they have and how relaxed they are,” she said. “That’s always something that’s going to help you perform better because you’re in a positive environment. Girls are a little bit different to guys.  We are so much more stressed about everything. It was such a nice thing to see. I was thinking: ‘Why can’t I do that within my team?’” Both Sears and Ivanovic think it helps that he has a daughter  – Kim, Andy Murray’s long-term girlfriend –


"We give each other some space. I've learned over the years that this is a healthy thing" Nigel Sears

Ivanovic says she appreciates and responds to Sears' honest approach to coaching

of the same age. “We have a good professional working relationship and we give each other some space,” Sears said. “I’ve learned over the years that this is a healthy thing.” Ivanovic agrees. “I think it’s very important to keep some distance, so that once you go on the court you can become more professional,” she said. “He really respects it if I want to spend time with my friends and don’t want to have breakfast, lunch and dinner with him. There are times when the only people you spend time with are the people in your team. That’s hard, because I think: ‘I’m a girl. I want to hang out with other girls. I just want to be a normal young woman.’” Sears says that “every day is different” with women players. “More than anything, you’re dealing with a greater swing of emotions,” he said when asked to compare working with men and women. “You also have to figure out what women respond to and perhaps be a little bit more sensitive than you would be when dealing with men. You can probably afford to be a little bit more direct with the men in terms of communication. I think you have to practise your listening skills with women. I’m really happy that I’m now working at a time when I’ve had a lot of experience. Believe me, I draw on that experience every day.” The Briton, nevertheless, is not the sort to hold back in his criticism, which is fine by Ivanovic. “Most of the coaches just tell you: ‘No, no, you’re doing well. This is fine,’” she said. “But I actually want someone who will tell me what I didn’t do right, so that I can improve. Sometimes it’s important to lie a bit and build up a player’s confidence, but at other times you want to hear the truth.” Can Sears be quite hard in his comments? “Yes – and sometimes it upsets me,” Ivanovic said. “But I think it’s better that way because it pushes me to W W W.t e n n i s h e a d. NET 5 1


ana i va no v ic improve. And as much as I’m a perfectionist, he’s a perfectionist too. He’s always trying to make me better – and that’s the only way to work.” Ivanovic’s British connections do not end with Sears. She has been a frequent visitor to London to see her brother, Milos, who has been studying there, and to consult Mark Bender, a physiotherapist who worked with her at three of this year’s Grand Slam tournaments. She has also trained at the National Tennis Centre at Roehampton. The director of her management company is another Briton, Gavin Versi, who is a former freelance journalist. Joseph Sirianni, a former top 200 player from Australia, has joined her team as a hitting partner at several tournaments this year and she hopes to use him more in 2013. Ivanovic is spending most of the off season training in Dubai before heading to the Hopman Cup in Perth, which will be her only tournament before the Australian Open. Players of Ivanovic’s stature tend to judge themselves on their results in the biggest events and it has been her performances at Grand Slam level this year that offer her the greatest encouragement for the future. Having reached the fourth round at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon and the third round at the French Open, Ivanovic played in her first Grand Slam quarter-final for four years at the US Open before losing to the eventual champion, Serena Williams. “Nigel and I have worked very well this year,” she said. “I’ve made good progress, as shown by my improvement in ranking. Perhaps more importantly, I was able to finally reach a Grand Slam quarter-final

The Serb enjoyed a solid year at the majors in 2012 and in New York went on to reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final for four years

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on the r is e How the Serbian star reached the world No.1 ranking...

Ivanovic also tasted success for her country this year when the Serbs reached their first ever Fed Cup final in Prague in November

after so long. I feel like I’m well-placed to achieve my goal of getting back to the top 10 early next year, then see how far I can go. Next year I’m looking for greater consistency. I feel like I played some great matches this year, for example against [Caroline] Wozniacki in Indian Wells, but I also had some disappointing results. But I’m definitely moving in the right direction and I’m close to the top 10. Unfortunately I didn’t win a WTA title, but on the other hand we enjoyed a lot of success in the Fed Cup.” Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic were the inspiration as Serbia reached their first Fed Cup final. In the end they fell just short of emulating the Davis Cup feats of Djokovic and company two years earlier, but Ivanovic, whose preparations had been disrupted by a hip injury suffered the previous month in Moscow, had the satisfaction of keeping the final alive on the second day in Prague with her victory over the home favourite, Petra Kvitova. It was the sort of win that Ivanovic used to enjoy regularly, for she was no one-hit wonder: in the five Grand Slam tournaments from the French Open of 2007 to Roland Garros in 2008 Ivanovic reached three finals, one semi-final and one fourth round. Does her coach believe she can rescale those heights? Sears is too wise an owl to burden his player with any such expectations. “I stay away from that kind of question,” he said. “You just focus on getting better every day. She’s already been world No.1. She’s already won the French Open. If she just concentrates on getting better and reminds herself that she is that kind of level, then you have a lot more chance of achieving those things again. Firstly you have to see the ranking go up. You have to have wins registered against other top players. And she’s starting to do that again. Then you have to find yourself in the top 10 and in the second week of Slams regularly before you can start talking about winning them.” n

Born in Belgrade on November 6 1987, Ana Ivanovic was inspired to begin playing the sport aged just five years old by watching the great Monica Seles. Growing up in her war-torn home city made training as a promising youngster difficult but it didn’t stop her from quickly becoming one of the best juniors in the world. She reached the girls’ singles final at Wimbledon in 2004 (where she lost to Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko) before wasting no time in making a successful job of the oftendifficult transition from juniors to the professional tour. In 2005, Ivanovic won her first WTA singles title as a qualifier in Canberra, Australia, where she beat Melinda Czink, and a couple of years later began to push towards the very top of the rankings. In 2007 she reached her first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros, followed up by a run to the last four at Wimbledon. After reaching another major final in Melbourne in early 2008, Ivanovic went one better at the next major when she beat Dinara Safina to claim her first Grand Slam singles title in Paris. Two days later she reached the summit of the WTA singles rankings where she went on to spend a total of 12 weeks.

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ACADEMY

maria sharapova

forehand

With the one-handed backhand ticked off, David Lewis continies his technical analysis by studying world No.2 Maria Sharapova's running forehand

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Maria is moving quickly to the ball to take advantage of a shorter reply. An aggressive player, she typically dictates points with powerful baseline shots. In this sequence, we see her putting an end to the rally.

back to basics

2

Maria has dropped her racket head so she can impart topspin, allowing her to hit hard but with a significant amount of control on the ball for measured aggression. Her body is well balanced and her eyes are focused on the ball.

Her contact point is out in front and she has squared the racket head to the ball. She continues to use her legs to attack the ball. With her swing, timing and placement, she is applying a tremendous amount of pressure.

keep it simple

Stay alert to any shots that your opponent hits that look like they're going to drop short so you are ready to pounce on weak balls. If your forehand is your best shot, make sure when moving forward you 7 2 W W W.t e n n i s h e a d. NET

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position yourself early on in your preparation to use that stroke. If your opponent has hit a ball that lands anywhere inside your service line, it is an invitation to attack and approach the net. Make them pay!


ivan lendl IJTA news: virginia snaps up wilson The Ivan Lendl International Junior Tennis Academy was celebrating its first college placement recently after one of its students, Nic Wilson from Tennessee, verbally committed to play for Virginia Tech from 2013. Wilson was one of the first students to join Ivan Lendl IJTA when it opened

its doors in August 2011. In just a year, Wilson has improved his game thanks to daily instruction by the Academy’s world-class staff on classic fundamentals, leading-edge biomechanics, strength and fitness training, and mental preparation.

GOLDEN RULE As illustrated in this sequence, Maria is always looking to move up to a short ball quickly, to take time away from her opponents and deny them time to recover from a defensive position on the court.

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She has made contact with the ball but remains locked in on the ball, which is evident in her facial expression. Her court position is now paramount to capitalise on a weak return from her opponent.

attack-minded maria

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Maria has almost completed the follow through. Her weight is now on her front foot and you can almost hear her trademark grunt, sending an additional message to her opponent about the maximum exertion during the shot.

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Maria’s follow through resembles throwing a scarf over the shoulder and around the neck. Some players will wrap the racket around their chest. Each player should do what feels most natural.

2012 return stats

Maria Sharapova is one of the most devastating ball strikers on the WTA tour and this is evident in the Russian’s match stats over the last 12 months. Maria finished second behind only Victoria Azarenka in the

‘points won returning second serves’ standings during the 2012 season. This demonstrates her attacking intentions from the very first ball of every rally – even when her opponent is serving. W W W.t e n n i s h e a d. NET 7 3

academy

frame by frame


PROSHOP

LEAVE IT TO THE EXPERTS

Pro-Direct is one of the UK’s leading online tennis stores and every month they share their expertise and inside knowledge to give us an insight into which items of kit we’ll be seeing the best players in the world wearing in coming weeks. Here’s a preview of what’ll be on show Down Under in 2013...

COMPETITION

VISIT WWW.PRODIRECTTENNIS.COM

RACKETS

£161.49 Renowned for its power and topspin, the AeroPro Drive is Nadal’s racket and has always been at the forefront of racket technology. The fifth generation of the famed AeroPro has arrived complete with new Cortex Active Technology .

WILSON BLADE 98 18X20 £144.49 The Blade 98 is Milos Raonic’s favoured racket and provides ample control for the modern, aggressive game as well as the confidence to play with effortless power and accuracy. The new Blade 98 has been the recipient of one of the most stunning paint jobs ever.

SHOES

ADIDAS ADIPOWER BARRICADE

NIKE AIR MAX COURTBALLISTEC 4.3

£85.49 The Australian Open edition men’s adiPower BARRICADE shoes are part of 2012 US Open champion Andy Murray’s Barricade Collection for 2013 and come with all the technology you’d expect from one of the most reputable brands in the game.

£85.49 Perfect for the serious and aggressive player, Nike’s stylish but functional exposed Max Air unit in the heel delivers lightweight cushioning, impact protection and comfort, while the Lunarlon cushioning system in the forefoot offers springy response.

CLOTHES ADIDAS BARRICADE SEMFIT

ADIDAS WOMEN’S SMC BARRICADE D

£39.99 The adidas Barricade SemFit is a flattering, semi-fitted crew top, which forms part of Andy Murray’s 2013 Australian Open Collection. As ever, this latest version comes with sweat-wicking properties owing to CLIMACOOL® ventilation – and with FORMOTION® design for a great fit.

£79.99 The women’s Barricade 2013 Australian Open Collection is exclusively designed by Stella McCartney. The Barricade Dress will be worn by Caroline Wozniacki and not only features bags of style, but comes with every performance element for which adidas is famed.

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© RICHARD WASHBROOKE

BABOLAT UNISEX AEROPRO DRIVE GT STRUNG

Win! WIN! A COMPLETE ANDY MURRAY ADIDAS TENNIS KIT TENNISHEAD AND PRO-DIRECT have teamed up with adidas to give one lucky reader the chance to kit themselves out from head to toe – just like US Open champion Andy Murray. One adidas Barricade SemFit top, one pair of adidas Barricade shorts and one pair of adidas adipower Barricades are up for grabs in a prize worth over £150.

To enter the competition go to www.tennishead.net.


gear

Me and my racket Fernando Verdasco Dunlop Biomimetic M3.0 interview: Jamie Renton

“Padel is a great game! It’s very social, easy to play and lots of fun. Everyone should try it!” Fernando Verdasco

What do you do with your old rackets when you’ve finished with them? I give them to friends, kids, fans – they are the ones using some of my rackets today. I also keep some of the frames for my personal collection. What would you consider to be your best moment with a racket in hand? Every morning I go on court. I am doing what I have wanted to do since I was born. Padel tennis (played with perforated bats, instead of rackets) is huge in Spain. Have you played? Padel is a great game! It’s very social, easy to play and lots of fun. Everyone should try it! n

Dunlop Biomimetic M3.0

Tech specs

Do you remember your first ever racket? I was three years old when I got it and I only remember the colour – white! How long have you played with Dunlop? For two-and-a-half years, but I always had Dunlop rackets at home when I was a kid. What do you like most about your Biomimetic M3.0? It is very fast through the air and has great control. Are you interested in racket technology and customisation? Of course! I want to know every development that can help improve my game. I have someone to [customise] it. He is much better than me! He adjusts the grips and the weight of the racket. How many rackets do you take with you on court? Between six and eight. I like to have at least six in case the match goes long! What strings and tensions do you use? Luxilon strings at around 21-23 kg. What conditions would make you change your string tension? The speed of the court and if it’s a heavy day, cloudy or rainy. Do you use a vibration dampener? No. I don’t like them. Do you smash rackets often? I did… I’m not proud of it but sometimes I get frustrated and it’s not easy to control your emotions. Any superstitions? I like to treat every day the same, if I have good feelings. Have you ever forgotten or lost any rackets? One day I went to the court and I had no rackets to play [with]. I’d left my thermo bag in the locker-room!

© DUNLOP juergen hasenkopf ©

Spanish lefty Fernando Verdasco has played with a Dunlop on tour for over two years. He tells us why he relishes getting a racket in his hand every day

spanish heat → Fernando Verdasco has played during the most successful era of Spanish tennis but has still managed to win respect for his talent and game even while Rafael Nadal has been dominating headlines back home. Verdasco reached a careerhigh ranking of No.7 in2009 after featuring in an epic Australian Open semi-final against Nadal earlier that year. The 29-year-old has won five singles titles – four ATP 250s and one ATP 500 trophy on home soil in Barcelona in 2010. He reached the final of the Monte Carlo Masters the same year.

head size

98 square inches length 27 inches unstrung weight 298 grammes string pattern 16 x 19 cross section 22 mm W W W.t e n n i s h e a d. NET 8 9


world rankings

November 12 2012

wta rankings RANKING

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PERSONAL

ACHIEVEMENTS

FORM

11-100 RANKINGS

Followed her runner-up finish at the US Open with a run to the last eight in Tokyo, but pulled out in advance of the quarter-finals with fatigue. Ended the season strongly with titles in Beijing and Linz and a semi- final finish at the WTA Championships.

11 Marion Bartoli (FRA) 12 Nadia Petrova (RUS) 13 Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 14 Maria Kirilenko (RUS) 15 Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 16 Roberta Vinci (ITA) 17 Lucie Safarova (CZE) 18 Julia Goerges (GER) 19 Kaia Kanepi (EST) 20 Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 21 Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 22 Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 23 Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 24 Venus Williams (USA) 25 Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE) 26 Jie Zheng (CHN) 27 Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 28 Klara Zakopalova (KAZ) 29 Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 30 Tamira Paszek (AUT) 31 Urszula Radwanska (POL) 32 Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 33 Christina McHale (USA) 34 Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) 35 Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 36 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 37 Sabine Lisicki (GER) 38 Sloane Stephens (USA) 39 Mona Barthel (GER) 40 Shuai Peng (CHN) 41 Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) 42 Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 43 Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 44 Alize Cornet (FRA) 45 Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 46 Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 47 Simona Halep (ROU) 48 Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP) 49 Heather Watson (GBR) 50 Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) 51 Anna Tatishvili (GEO) 52 Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) 53 Laura Robson (GBR) 54 Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 55 Petra Cetkovska (CZE) 56 Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) 57 Olga Govortsova (BLR) 58 Monica Niculescu (ROU) 59 Petra Martic (CRO) 60 Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) 61 Romina Oprandi (SUI) 62 Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 63 Kiki Bertens (NED) 64 Timea Babos (HUN) 65 Andrea Hlavackova (CZE) 66 Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 67 Marina Erakovic (NZL) 68 Arantxa Rus (NED) 69 Elena Vesnina (RUS) 70 Vania King (USA) 71 Jamie Hampton (USA) 72 Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 73 Johanna Larsson (SWE) 74 Shahar Peer (ISR) 75 Camila Giorgi (ITA) 76 Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 77 Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino (ESP) 78 Annika Beck (GER) 79 Polona Hercog (SLO) 80 Mandy Minella (LUX) 81 Nina Bratchikova (RUS) 82 Iveta Benesova (CZE) 83 Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) 84 Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 85 Melanie Oudin (USA) 86 Mathilde Johansson (SWE) 87 Ayumi Morita (JPN) 88 Casey Dellacqua (AUS) 89 Kai-Chen Chang (TPE) 90 Alexandra Cadantu (ROU) 91 Alexandra Panova (RUS) 92 Misaki Doi (JPN) 93 Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 94 Lauren Davis (USA) 95 Melinda Czink (HUN) 96 Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 97 Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor (ESP) 98 Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 99 Eleni Daniilidou (GRE) 100 Stephanie Foretz Gacon (FRA)

victoria azarenka

belarus Born: 31/07/89 Lives: Monte-Carlo, Monaco Height: 6ft Weight: 145 lbs

This year: $7,923,920 Career to date: $16,857,277 Career-high ranking: 1 (30/01/12) Career titles: 14 Last title: Generali Ladies Linz, WTA International, Linz, Austria, October 2012

2

maria sharapova

russia Born: 19/04/87 Lives: Bradenton, Florida, USA Height: 6ft 2in Weight: 130 lbs

This year: $6,508,296 Career to date: $23,151,623 Career-high ranking: 1 (22/08/05) Career titles: 27 Last title: Roland Garros, Grand Slam, Paris, France, May 2012

Reached the quarter-finals in Tokyo where she fell to Sam Stosur for only the second time in 12 meetings, but stepped up a notch with back-to-back finals in Beijing and at the WTA Champs, losing to Azarenka and Serena respectively.

3

Serena WIlliams

usa Born: 26/09/81 Lives: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA Height: 5ft 9in Weight: 155 lbs

This year: $7,045,975 Career to date: $41,797,909 Career-high ranking: 1 (08/07/02) Career titles: 46 Last title: WTA Championships, Istanbul, Turkey, October 2012

In her first tournament since winning her 15th Grand Slam title at the US Open, Williams powered through the rest of the field in Istanbul to win the year-end WTA Championships for the third time, without so much as dropping a set.

4

Agnieszka rADWANSKA

Poland Born: 06/03/89 Lives: Krakow, Poland Height: 5ft 8in Weight: 123 lbs

This year: $4,101,542 Career to date: $11,051,677 Career-high ranking: 2 (09/07/12) Career titles: 10 Last title: BNP Paribas Open, WTA Premier, Brussels, Belgium, May 2012

Saw off Wozniacki and Kerber in straight sets in Tokyo, only to fall to 18th-ranked Nadia Petrova in the final. Won four more matches by the end of the year, reaching the last eight in Beijing (l. to Li) and semi-finals in Istanbul (l. to Williams).

5

Angelique Kerber

germany Born: 18/01/88 Lives: Kiel, Germany Height: 5ft 8in Weight: 150 lbs

This year: $1,972,362 Career to date: $3,285,179 Career-high ranking: 5 (22/10/12) Career titles: 2 Last title: e-Boks Open, WTA International, Copenhagen, Denmark, April 2012

Managed four wins in Tokyo and Beijing, benefiting from Azarenka's withdrawal to reach the semi-finals in the former before pulling out herself (at 6-0 3-0 down to Sharapova) in the last eight in Beijing. Ended year with three defeats in Istanbul.

6

Sara Errani

ITALY Born: 29/04/1987 Lives: Bologna, Italy Height: 5ft 4in Weight: 132 lbs

This year: $3,110,636 Career to date: $4,779,270 Career-high ranking: 9 (09/07/12) Career titles: 6 Last title: XXV Italiacom Open, WTA International, Palermo, Italy, September 2012

Unable to build on her semi-final run at the US Open during the Asian swing, Errani fell to Petrova in the Tokyo quarter-finals before retiring from her first match in Beijing with a thigh injury. Returned in time for Istanbul, but managed just one win (bt.Stosur).

7

li na

CHINA Born: 18/01/88 Lives: Wuhan, China Height: 5ft 8in Weight: 143 lbs

This year: $2,280,646 Career to date: $9,316,704 Career-high ranking: 4 (06/06/11) Career titles: 6 Last title: Western & Southern Open, WTA Premier, Cincinnati, USA, August 2012

Won a solitary match in Tokyo (l. to Wozniacki) but found form on home soil in Beijing, beating world No.3 Radwanska en route to the semi-finals, where she was eventually stopped by Sharapova 6-4 6-0. Managed just one win in three in Istanbul (bt. Kerber).

8

Petra Kvitova

Czech Republic Born: 08/03/90 Lives: Fulnek, Czech Republic Height: 6ft Weight: 154 lbs

This year: $2,732,875 Career to date: $9,045,748 Career-high ranking: 2 (31/10/11) Career titles: 9 Last title: New Haven Open at Yale, WTA Premier, New Haven, USA, August 2012

Achieved just one win in her final three WTA events, losing early in Tokyo and Beijing before pulling out of Istanbul with a viral illness one match into her title defence. Won one of two matches in Prague to help the Czechs win the Fed Cup.

9

Samantha Stosur

australia Born: 30/03/84 Lives: Gold Coast, Australia Height: 5ft 8in Weight: 143 lbs

This year: $1,936,184 Career to date: $11,817,987 Career-high ranking: 4 (21/02/11) Career titles: 3 Last title: US Open, Grand Slam, Flushing Meadows, New York USA, September 2011

Sandwiched semi-final runs in Tokyo and Osaka around a first round defeat in Beijing (l. to Goerges) before reaching her 12th career final in Moscow (l. to Wozniacki). Replaced Kvitova at the WTA Championships but fell to Sharapova and Errani.

10

Caroline Wozniacki

denmark Born: 11/07/90 Lives: Monte-Carlo, Monaco Height: 5ft 10in Weight: 128 lbs

This year: $2,408,670 Career to date: $14,171,097 Career-high ranking: 1 (11/10/10) Career titles: 20 Last title: Kremlin Cup, WTA Premier, Moscow, Russia October 2012

Made up for a disappointing start to the year with a strong finish, winning titles in Seoul and Moscow either side of a quarter-final run in Tokyo and two match wins in Beijing. Snuck back into the top 10 after reaching the final in Sofia (l. to Petrova).

Points: 10,595

Points: 10,045

Points: 9,400

Points: 7,425

Points: 5,550

Points: 5,100

Points: 5,095

Points: 5,085

Points: 4,135

Points: 3,765

down 2

10 8 W W W.t e n n i s h e a d. NET


rankings

november 19 2012

South African Airways ATP Rankings RANKING

1

PERSONAL

ACHIEVEMENTS

FORM

11-100 RANKINGS

Compiled a stunning end to 2012, winning 15 of his last 16 matches with titles in Beijing (bt.Tsonga), Shanghai (bt.Murray) and at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals (bt. Federer), with defeat in Paris (l. to Querrey) the only blip on an otherwise flawless end of season.

11 Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 12 Juan Monaco (ARG) 13 Milos Raonic (CAN) 14 John Isner (USA) 15 Marin Cilic (CRO) 16 Gilles Simon (FRA) 17 Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI ) 18 Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) 19 Kei Nishikori (JPN) 20 Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 21 Tommy Haas (GER) 22 Sam Querrey (USA) 23 Andreas Seppi (ITA) 24 Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 25 Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) 26 Jerzy Jankowicz (POL) 27 Mardy Fish (USA) 28 Florian Mayer (GER) 29 Jurgen Melzer (AUT) 30 Martin Klizan (SVK) 31 Radek Stepanek (CZE) 32 Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 33 Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) 34 Marcel Granollers (ESP) 35 Julien Benneteau (FRA) 36 Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) 37 Kevin Anderson (RSA) 38 Viktor Troicki (SRB) 39 Andy Roddick (USA) 40 Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 41 Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) 42 Pablo Andujar (ESP) 43 Denis Istomin (UZB) 44 Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) 45 Fabio Fognini (ITA) 46 David Goffin (BEL) 47 Benoit Paire (FRA) 48 Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) 49 Marinko Matosevic (AUS) 50 Lukas Lacko (SVK) 51 Albert Ramos (ESP) 52 Bernard Tomic (AUS) 53 Michael Llodra (FRA) 54 Alejandro Falla (COL) 55 Grega Zemlja (SLO) 56 Robin Haase (NED) 57 Santiago Giraldo (COL) 58 Go Soeda (JPN) 59 Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) 60 Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE) 61 Brian Baker (USA) 62 Xavier Malisse (BEL) 63 Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) 64 Victor Hanescu (ROU) 65 Benjamin Becker (GER) 66 Tatsuma Ito (JPN) 67 Carlos Berlocq (ARG) 68 Gilles Muller (LUX) 69 Igor Sijsling (NED) 70 Ryan Harrison (USA) 71 Daniel Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 72 Leonardo Mayer (ARG) 73 Ivan Dodig (CRO) 74 Lukas Rosol (CZE) 75 Lukasz Kubot (POL) 76 Bjorn Phau (GER) 77 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 78 Gael Monfils (FRA) 79 Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) 80 Roberto-Bautista Agut (ESP) 81 David Nalbandian (ARG) 82 Lleyton Hewitt (USA) 83 Simone Bolelli (ITA) 84 Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 85 Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP) 86 Jurgen Zopp (EST) 87 Michael Russell (USA) 88 Filippo Volandri (ITA) 89 Olivier Rochus (BEL) 90 Guillaume Rufin (FRA) 91 Steve Darcis (BEL) 92 Blaz Kavcic (SLO) 93 Flavio Cipolla (ITA) 94 Albert Montanes (ESP) 95 Tobias Kamke (GER) 96 Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) 97 Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 98 Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 99 Joao Sousa (POR) 100 Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA)

Novak Djokovic

Serbia Born: 22/05/87 Lives: Monte-Carlo, Monaco Height: 6ft 2in Weight: 176 lbs

This year: $12,803,737 Career to date: $45,686,497 Career-high ranking: 1 (04/07/11) Career titles: 34 Last title: Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, London, England November 2012

2

roger federer

switzerland Born: 08/08/81 Lives: Bottmingen, Switzerland Height: 6ft 1in Weight: 187 lbs

This year: $8,584,842 Career to date: $76,014,777 Career-high ranking: 1 (02/02/04) Career titles: 76 Last title: Western & Southern Open, ATP World Tour Masters 1000, Cincinnati, US, August 2012

Comfortably won two singles matches on Davis Cup duty but failed to match his indoor dominance of 2011 at the end of the season, losing in the semi-finals in Shanghai, and in finals in Basel and at the year-end championships in London.

3

andy murray

great britain Born: 15/05/87 Lives: London, UK Height: 6ft 3in Weight: 185 lbs

This year: $5,708,230 Career to date: $24,855,621 Career-high ranking: 2 (18/08/09) Career titles: 24 Last title: US Open, Grand Slam, Flushing Meadows, New York, September 2012

Followed his US Open triumph with a surprise loss to Raonic in the Tokyo semi-finals, before losing to Djokovic in a thrilling final in Shanghai. Stunned by surprise finalist Janowicz in Paris and won two of his four matches at the year-end finale at The 02.

4

rafael nadal

Spain Born: 03/06/86 Lives: Manacor, Mallorca, Spain Height: 6ft 1in Weight: 188 lbs

This year: $4,997,448 Career to date: $50,061,827 Career-high ranking: 1 (18/08/08) Career titles: 50 Last title: Roland Garros, Grand Slam, Paris, France, June 2012

Hasn't played since losing to Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon in June as a result of a knee problem – missing Spain's Davis Cup final defeat to the Czech Republic, but is expected to return in time for the Australian Open in January.

5

David Ferrer

Spain Born: 02/04/82 Lives: Valencia, Spain Height: 5ft 9in Weight: 160 lbs

This year: $4,409,340 Career to date: $17,049,089 Career-high ranking: 4 (25/02/08) Career titles: 18 Last title: BNP Paribas Masters, ATP World Tour Masters 1000, Paris, France, November 2012

Made last four in Kuala Lumpur and won his 17th career title in Valencia either side of retiring from his Beijing opener with a stomach virus. Won his first Masters crown in Paris, went 2-1 at The O2 and won both his singles matches in the Davis Cup final.

6

tomas berdych

czech republic Born: 17/09/85 Lives: Monte-Carlo, Monaco Height: 6ft 5in Weight: 200 lbs

This year: $2,973,967 Career to date: $13,127,993 Career-high ranking: 6 (18/10/10) Career titles: 8 Last title: If Stockholm Open, ATP World Tour 250, Stockholm, Sweden, October 2012

Reached quarter-finals in Toyko and semi-finals in Shanghai before beating Tsonga to win his eighth career title in Stockholm. Fell to Simon in the last eight in Paris and won just one match in London before helping Czechs to historic Davis Cup triumph.

7

juan martin del potro

argentina Born: 23/09/1988 Lives: Tandil, Argentina Height: 6ft 6in Weight: 214 lbs

This year: $3,031,003 Career to date: $10,853,349 Career-high ranking: 4 (11/01/10) Career titles: 11 Last title: Swiss Indoors Basel, ATP World Tour 500, Basel, Switzerland, October 2012

Won back-to-back titles in Vienna (d.Zemlja) and Basel, beating Federer in the latter for his first win over the Swiss since 2009. Won just one match in Paris but progressed to the semi-finals at the year-end finale in London after beating the world No.2 again.

8

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

france Born: 17/04/85 Lives: La Rippe, Switzerland Height: 6ft 2in Weight: 200 lbs

This year: $2,376,640 Career to date: $10,676,927 Career-high ranking: 5 (27/02/12) Career titles: 9 Last title: Moselle Open, ATP World Tour 250, Metz, France, September 2012

Reached three finals in four tournaments after the US Open, winning in Metz (bt.Seppi) before falling to Djokovic in Beijing and Berdych in Stockholm. Also reached quarter-finals in Shanghai and Paris but lost final three matches of 2012 in London.

9

janko tipsarevic

serbia Born: 22/06/84 Lives: Belgrade, Serbia Height: 5ft 11in Weight: 183 lbs

This year: $2,063,737 Career to date: $6,530,738 Career-high ranking: 8 (02/04/12) Career titles: 3 Last title: Mercedes Cup, ATP World Tour 250, Stuttgart, Germany, July 2012

Reached semi-finals in Bangkok(l. to Simon) and Vienna (l. to Zemlja) and quarter-finals in Tokyo (l. to Raonic) and Paris (l. to Janowicz) but struggled to recover from illness at the year-end finale, losing all three of his round robin ties in London.

10

richard gasquet

france Born: 18/06/86 Lives: Neuchatel, Switzerland Height: 6ft 1in Weight: 185 lbs

This year: $1,562,677 Career to date: $7,360,013 Career-high ranking: 7 (09/07/07) Career titles: 7 Last title: Thailand Open, ATP World Tour 250, Bangkok, September 2012

Won his seventh career title in Bangkok (bt. Simon) but fell in the second round in Beijing (l. to Zhang), Shanghai (l. to Stepanek) and Paris (l. to Anderson). Run to last four in Basel saw him return to the top 10 and serve as alternate at year-end finale in London.

Points: 12,920

Points: 10,265

Points: 8,000

Points: 6,795

Points: 6,505

Points: 4,680

Points: 4,480

Points: 3,490

Points: 2,990

Points: 2,515

W W W.t e n n i s h e a d. NET 10 9


ACTION Replay Pat Cash

Pat Cash during Wimbledon's 'Parade of Champions' celebration in 2000

© juergen hasenkopf

“I’d never ever played against anyone who returned and passed and lobbed like he did. His lob was ferocious, the spin he got on the ball was unbelievable”

December 1986

A 21-year-old Pat Cash carried the hopes of his nation into the 1986 Davis Cup final against Sweden. The Australian remembers an entertaining weekend that was filled with drama interview: Jamie Renton

I

was very much the leading player and the team was relying on me. The whole country was talking about nothing else and I was playing in my home town. I was shaking – I was very nervous and I felt it was my job to win this tie. I remember a lot of really loud Swedes in the stadium. Beer was expensive in Sweden and cheap in Australia so they were well tanked up! They were singing and chanting and making nearly as much noise as the rest of the stadium. But I developed a technique with my sports psychologist of imagining I was playing on a court surrounded by glass walls. I could hear everything, see everything but I was separate from what was going on in the crowd. It helped me focus and I got very good at doing that. It helped me through my Davis Cup career. In many ways, the mission wasn’t so much to beat [Sweden’s No.1] Stefan Edberg, but to beat Mikael Pernfors. He was an unknown quantity because he hadn’t been on the circuit very long. We knew him as a French Open finalist but we didn’t know whether he could play on grass and it was a fast grass court. He took us all by surprise. The first match against Edberg was unbelievably tight, it could have gone either way. Stefan wasn’t playing that well and I began nervously but I ended up winning in straight sets. Afterwards, while I was getting a massage, I heard that Paul McNamee had lost to Pernfors – he’d been absolutely annihilated. I was in shock. 114 W W W.t e n n i s h e a d. NET

The next job was to focus on the doubles match. Fitzy [John Fitzgerald] and I were a good doubles team and we won two good sets, played one not so good and came out in the fourth set and won. We couldn’t really expect Paul to beat Edberg in the fifth rubber [on Sunday], and so it was my job to beat Pernfors, the ‘clay court guy’. I’d never ever played against anyone who returned and passed and lobbed like he did though. His lob was ferocious, the spin he got on the ball was unbelievable. Because it was such a quick grass court, he didn’t have to do much with his serve, he just had a good, accurate slice serve and it would zip off the court very quickly. He was using the pace of the grass really well. After two-and-a-half sets I realised I had to pull my finger out. I was shell-shocked. All I was doing was just hanging in there as best I could. We were playing in really tricky, windy conditions so I couldn’t just unload with serves. Also, Kooyong centre court cambered off at the ends. It was three inches higher in the middle than it was at the baseline, so we were playing with a high net. That’s significant, particularly for me – I’m not a tall player – so in windy conditions I couldn’t hit the ball hard, really go for my serve. When I got the third set I thought. ‘OK, I’m on my way.’ Bit by bit by bit I got on top of him but it was nip and tuck. He was playing out of his mind. I think I was down break point in the third set and if I’d lost that – two sets down and a break – that would have been it. I’ve always thought it was a greater thrill winning the Davis Cup than it was winning Wimbledon. Playing for your country hardens you up and it makes you a better player. n

1986 Davis Cup Final Kooyong, Melbourne, Australia Australia 3-2 Sweden P Cash (AUS) bt S Edberg (SWE) 13-11 13-11 6-4 M Pernfors (SWE) bt P McNamee (AUS) 6-3 6-1 6-3 P Cash & J Fitzgerald (AUS) bt S Edberg & A Jarryd (SWE) 6-3 6-4 4-6 6-1 P Cash (AUS) bt M Pernfors (SWE) 2-6 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-3 S Edberg (SWE) bt P McNamee (AUS) 10-8 6-4 Pat Cash was speaking at the launch of a new tennis wall at the Barclays Spaces for Sports (BS4S) Arsenal FC Flagship community sports facility – Rosemary Gardens, Islington.


T hi si sas el ec t i onofpa gesf r om t hel a t es ti s s ue . E a c h i s s uei sbur s t i ngwi t hf ea t ur esa ndphot os . T os ubs c r i bet oei t herdi gi t a l orpr i ntv er s i ons s i gnupa t :

www. t enni s hea d. net / s hop


Tennishead: Volume 3: Issue 7