Page 1

LEARN FROM THE PROS

Bouchard’s backhand Nadal’s forehand

TRAVEL: TENNIS TOURIST Rustic coaching holidays in France

USING LEAD TAPE

How to customise your racket

WIN!

A BABOLAT RACKET SIGNED BY RAFA

WWW.TENNISHEAD.NET | JUNE 2014

THE WORLD’S BEST TENNIS M AGA ZINE

RAFA 100 FACTS YOU NEVER KNEW

TIME TO GET DIRTY

ROLAND GARROS 2014

RACKET REVIEWS Don’t buy a racket until you’ve read our verdicts

VENUS RISING

Williams keeps on winning

KAZAKHSTAN

World’s most unlikely tennis nation

SWISS ON A ROLL

Federer’s Davis Cup target

VOLUME 5 ISSUE 2 JUNE 2014 £4.50

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH A TENNIS SNAPPER COMPREHENSIVE RESULTS AND RANKINGS

PLUS: MONICA PUIG PABLO CARRENO BUSTA JELENA JANKOVIC PATRICK MOURATOGLOU


A S IG N ED R A FA N A DA L R ACKET

CONTENTS JUNE 2014

40

20

RAFA NADAL 100 THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW

MONICA PUIG

48 SUBSCRIBE TODAY See page 6 for details.

GALLERY 22 SNAP SHOTS

KAZAKHSTAN

Stunning photos from Miami

72

WIN 59 GRASSCOURT TICKETS BNP Paribas Tennis Classic and The Boodles

80 BABOLAT RACKET BAG Our star letter wins every time

83 HEAD HEALTH GEAR BAND Sports bracelets for body and mind

PLANNING YOUR TRAINING PROGRAMME

84 SIGNED RAFA RACKET Money can’t buy this A-list prize

92 BABOLAT AEROPRO DRIVE RG Rafa’s racket of choice

BIG READ 08 HAWKEYE Federer’s Davis Cup bid

13 INSIDE OUT Mike Frey, Photographer

16 LOCKER ROOM Pablo Carreno Busta

20 HOT STUFF Monica Puig

34 VENUS WILLIAMS Winning is not everything

40 RAFA NADAL 100 things you never knew

48 KAZAKHSTAN The world’s most unlikely tennis nation

54 ROLAND GARROS 2014 Our guide to the in-form players

114 ACTION REPLAY Nadal v Federer Rome 2006 4 W W W.T E N N I S H E A D. N E T

54

ROLAND GARROS 2014

16

PABLO CARRENO BUSTA


PAGE 86

RACKET REVIEWS 94

CUSTOMISING YOUR RACKET

ACADEMY 64 FRAME BY FRAME Rafa’s forehand

66 LEARN FROM THE PROS

34

VENUS WILLIAMS

Eugenie Bouchard’s backhand

68 PATRICK MOURATOGLOU Big plans for the Academy

72 PERIODISATION Planning your training programme

75 BRAIN GAME Calming your nerves

76 NUTRITION Eating to recover from injury

“THAT’S WHAT MAKES THIS GAME SO ENJOYABLE, IS THAT IT’S NOT EASY” l lia ms Venus Wi

66

78

78 MATS MERKEL The demands of clay

80 ASK TENNISHEAD Our experts answer your questions

GEAR 83 GEAR NEWS Choosing a racket with Prince

86 RACKET REVIEWS Weapons for club players

92 PRO SHOP Kit you’ll want to get your hands on

93 JELENA JANKOVIC Why she loves her Prince

94 LEAD WEIGHTS Customising your racket

EUGENIE BOUCHARD’S BACKHAND

TRAVEL

76

98 FRENCH HOLIDAY Tennis fun in Bergerac

RESULTS AND RANKINGS 102 ATP & WTA TOUR Comprehensive Results

108 SINGLES WORLD RANKINGS Men’s and women’s top 100

NUTRITION

THE DEMANDS OF CLAY

110 TEAM TENNIS Doubles results W W W.T E N N I S H E A D. N E T 5


hawkeye

THE NUMBERS game [stats]

Significant patterns and percentages from the ATP and WTA tours Most clay court titles among active WTA players

Anabel Medina Garrigues

10

SERENA Williams

10

3 66

VENUS Williams

9

Flavia Pennetta

8

Maria Sharapova

7

Gustavo Kuerten

Courts with retractable roofs at the Madrid Open

€13,419,365

2,254

Number of aces served on clay by Nicolas Almagro before start of 2014 season (ATP leader)

Mirjana Lucic: 15 yrs, 56 days (1997 Bol) Longest women’s French Open final

Steffi Graf def. Arantxa Sanchez (1996), 3 hours 4 minutes (6-3 6-7 10-8).

82.54%

Maria Sharapova

85.53%

85.03% Monica Seles

Justine Henin

90.1% Steffi Graf

93.98% Chris Evert

79.8%

79.9% Ken Rosewall

Youngest player to win a WTA event on clay

Chris Evert

Winning percentage on clay (WTA)

Guillermo Vilas

81.4% Ivan Lendl

86.3% Bjorn Borg

93.4 %

Winning percentage on clay (ATP)

Rafael Nadal

31

Years since France had a men’s singles champion at Roland Garros

© RAY GIUBILO

Prize money on offer at ATP European clay-court events in Spring 2014

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Henri Leconte's world ranking when he reached 1992 French Open semi-finals

Mirjana Lucic

World ranking for Gustavo Kuerten when he won 1997 French Open

Nicolas Almagro

200

© RAY GIUBILO

1

3 4 5

Anabel Medina GarrigueS

Stats from WTA and ATP


HAWKEYE QUIZ

Tiebreak!

LOCKER ROOM

PABLO CARRENO BUSTA

INTERVIEW: BRIDGET MARRISON

Do you come from a tennis-playing family? No, my parents didn’t play tennis. My sister, who is three years older than me, played tennis and I started playing because I watched her play and I liked it. Where is home for you? I come from Asturias in the north of Spain, but I live in Barcelona and I train there. It is difficult to play tennis in Asturias because the weather is always rainy. We don’t have many indoor courts, so seven years ago I went to Barcelona to train. What do you do when you’re not playing tennis? I go home to Asturias maybe 15 days a year but otherwise I stay in Barcelona. I have good friends there. I like to watch my football team, Sporting Gijon, and I like to go to the cinema. Do you enjoy spending so much time away from home? I like this life; I like travelling. I like staying in a hotel, watching TV or reading. This is my life and I like it. What was the highlight of your 2013 season? It was really an incredible year. I started the year playing in Futures tournaments in Turkey and finished the year at the Paris Masters. It was very intense because I played a lot of matches [112]. I lost to Roger Federer in the first round at Roland Garros. It was an incredible match – Federer is one of the best players in the history of tennis and it was a dream for me to play a match like that. You started 2013 by winning 35 matches in a row… When you’re playing well you play every day and you don’t think about the matches. You play every match like the previous day and you are winning every day. You get confidence and you play without thinking. It’s a really good sensation. Was it important to you to be voted most improved player? It’s important because it’s an award from the ATP where the players choose the winner. I think I fight a lot, I work hard and it’s 16 W W W.T E N N I S H E A D. N E T

1

Which former world No.1 recently won the doubles title in Miami, seven years after she last lifted a WTA trophy?

2

Which year did Tommy Haas reach the final of the Italian Open?

“When you’re playing well you don’t think about the matches” PABLO CARRENO BUSTA

recompense, a prize for all that work. What are your targets for 2014? I need to play my game. I know I’m a good player, I don’t make mistakes and I try to fight for every point. But I need to be more intense from the first point. I need to grow up. I think by playing matches at this level with the top players, for sure I will improve. You missed seven months of the 2012 season with an injury. How tough was that? I started 2012 ranked 130, and my objective was getting into the top 100. But I was in pain when I played – and we decided to stop because I had problems with my back and I needed surgery. Recuperating from the surgery was really hard. I love competition, so it was difficult not being able to play matches. I worked very hard on my recovery and I started playing seven months later. I didn’t feel great during the first few matches but now I feel fine. You have a lot of great role models to look up to ahead of you in Spanish tennis... Yes, we have a lot of good Spanish players. David Ferrer is an excellent example to me because he’s always working hard in every training session; he is always fighting. Sometimes I train with him, and with Tommy Robredo and some of the other Spanish players. When I train with Ferrer it is very intense. If you train with the No.4 in the world you have to be 100% because he is 100% too so the training is always fantastic. With so many Spanish players, how popular are you back home? There are a lot of Spanish players. Rafael Nadal is the best and Ferrer is one of the best in the world. For me, I work hard and I have to improve. It doesn’t matter to me if the people don’t know who I am. Will you get a chance to play Davis Cup this year? It’s difficult to get into the team with Nadal, Ferrer, Almagro. But I am young. I have a lot of time. Maybe in three or five years I'll have more chance.

3

Which is the only ATP Masters 1000 tournament that Novak Djokovic has never won?

4

Which former French Open doubles champion is now the tournament director at the Mutua Madrid Open?

5

Which Slovakian player upset Serena Williams at this year's Family Circle Cup in Charleston?

6

How many times did Justine Henin win the ladies singles title at Roland Garros?

1. Martina Hingis; 2. 2002; 3. Cincinnati; 4. Ion Tiriac; 5. Jana Cepelova; 6. Four

Pablo Carreno Busta was named the ATP's Most Improved Player in 2013 after jumping from No.654 to a career-high No.64 last season

SO YOU THINK YOU KNOW TENNIS...?


GALLERY

“The best performance of the tournament came in the right moment on Sunday – against the biggest rival.”  novak djokovic


Venus Rising After an outstanding career, and with all her recent health issues, Venus Williams would be excused for considering retirement. Not a chance... WORDS: Courtney Nguyen Courtney Nguyen is a freelance tennis writer based in California. Her daily work appears on Beyond The Baseline, Sports Illustrated's tennis blog. She also co-hosts a weekly tennis podcast called No Challenges Remaining. She can be found on Twitter at @fortydeucetwits.

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“Keep putting yourself up there, keep putting yourself in the right positions, then you’ll get your chance”

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100 facts Rafa Nadal you might not know about

So you thought you knew everything there was to know about Rafael Nadal? As the Spaniard aims to win a record-breaking ninth French Open title, Paul Newman uncovers 100 facts of which you might be unaware

1 When he was a teenager Nadal built up his arm muscles using a pulley device designed to prevent astronauts’ muscles from atrophying in space

2

Going into the current clay-court season, Nikolay Davydenko was the only top 100 player with a positive head-to-head record against Nadal, having won six of their 11 meetings

3

The Nadal family roots can be traced back to the 14th century

4

He holds the record for consecutive claycourt victories. His run of 81 successive wins was ended by Roger Federer in Hamburg in 2007

5

At the start of this claycourt season he had won 315 clay-court matches and lost just 21

6

He has played 85 matches on clay over the best of five sets and won 84 of them. His only defeat was to Robin Soderling in the 2009 French Open

7

He has won the French Open eight times but has made only four appearances at the Paris Masters 1000 tournament on the other side of the city at Bercy, where he has never won the title

9

Cincinnati is the only Masters 1000 tournament where he has lost first time out more than once. He was beaten by Juan Ignacio Chela in 2004, Tomas Berdych in 2005 and Juan Monaco in 2007

10

He has won titles in Europe, Asia, Australasia and North and South America but not in Africa W W W.t e n n i s h e a d. NET 41


KAZAK 4 8 W W W.t e n n i s h e a d. NET


Thanks to the passion, not to mention investment, of billionaire Bulat Utemuratov, tennis in the former Soviet Republic is booming WORDS: PAUL NEWMAN

HSTAN

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On Serena’s racket... When she’s fit and focused nobody can live with Serena Williams, once more the favourite to lift the women’s trophy

W

hile 2013 French Open men’s champion Rafael Nadal will start the Paris major as favourite to defend his title, the same is true of the ladies’ singles where American world No.1 Serena Williams will be expected to claim back-to-back victories after she beat Maria Sharapova in the final last June. Williams has twice proved – last year and back in 2002 – that her upbringing on American hard courts won’t stop her mastering the French clay, but her last two

titles, a tally which puts her tantalisingly close to emulating fellow greats Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, who each hold 18. It looks more and more likely Serena will eclipse that duo during the remainder of her career, and Steffi Graf’s Open era record of 22 is now well within touching distance. Of her challengers, Chinese world No.2 Li Na – January’s Australian Open champion and a former winner at Roland Garros – looks like her sternest rival. Li has proved she has the temperament to handle the biggest stages, although has lost her last ten meetings with Williams, dating back to 2008. Further down the WTA rankings, Aga Radwanska has struggled to stay 100% fit for much of this season – a must when taking to the clay – and the same can be said of former Grand Slam champ Victoria Azarenka, who lost early in Indian Wells and missed Miami with a foot injury that she picked up before January’s Australian Open. Maria Sharapova, another former champion, is always a threat thanks to her tenacity and incredible fighting spirit, but she too owns a dismal record against Serena – the Russian hasn’t beaten the world No.1 for a decade. That leaves punters looking further down the WTA ranking list for anyone who has the pedigree and belief to go all the way in Paris. Serena will arrive feeling very confident indeed. n

“Steffi Graf’s Open era record of 22 majors is now well within touching distance” visits are evidence that you never quite know what to expect when she hits the Roland Garros dirt in late May. Back in 2012 she crashed out in round one to Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano and, after teaming up with current Parisbased coach Patrick Mouratoglou following that defeat, came back 12 months later to sweep aside all before her. At 32 years of age, as she enters the twilight of her career, motivation to win the biggest events certainly isn’t an issue. Rejuvenated after being hospitalised with a pulmonary embolism in 2011, the American now owns 17 Grand Slam singles 5 6 W W W.t e n n i s h e a d. NET

The favourite: Serena Williams → Twice a former champion and a 17time Grand Slam winner, the American will hope to draw level with Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert on 18 major singles titles by winning in Paris. Still the player to beat in the women’s game, if her mind is on the job she is a class apart. Also has the benefit of feeling at home in the French capital – she is coached by Paris-based Patrick Mouratoglou.

© FREY @AMN IMAGES

[roland garros 2014]

The darkhorse: Dominika Cibulkova → Always a talented performer, her run to the final of this year's Australian Open has appeared to give her the belief she required to consistently take on the world’s best. A semi-final showing in Miami pushed her into the world’s top ten for the first time and her appetite for a scrap, boundless energy and fantastically positive body language on court will serve her well on the clay.

Home hope: Alize Cornet → With last year’s Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli now but a distant memory on the WTA tour, French support will rest on the shoulders of Alize Cornet. The 24-year-old has enjoyed some good form in 2014, beating Serena Williams on her way to the final in Dubai in February. With a decent draw, she’ll be hoping at least to keep the flag flying into the second week.


PHOTOGRAPHY © JUERGEN HASENKOPF

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ACADEMY

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[biography] Patrick Mouratoglou is the founder and Head Coach at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy which is based near Paris. Founded in 1996, it is now considered to be one of the best in the world and offers personalised training which is tailored to each of its players' individual needs.

MOVING ON The Frenchman outlines his vision for a brand new academy in the south of France Words: patrick mouratoglou

I

“The academy that I founded in Paris 18 years ago has been my pride and joy, but I have felt for a while that it might be time to move on”

n everyone’s life, as well as in a tennis career, there are two or three key moments when you have to make big decisions. I had such a moment quite recently. The academy which I founded in Paris 18 years ago has been my pride and joy, but I have felt for a while that it might be time to move on. Now my decision has been made: in 2016 we will open a new academy in the south of France, which I aim to make the biggest and best in Europe. I am so excited about it. The academy at Biot-SophiaAntipolis next to Nice will feature world-class facilities, including 33 courts, a state-of-the-art medical centre, swimming pools and a running track. There will be a school, a four-star hotel and spa, permanent accommodation for 150 young players and the capacity for more than 3,000 people to attend the academy for a training session for a week or more during the year. We have been running out of space in Paris. Although we had room to expand I wanted to explore other options, particularly in more favourable locations. In Paris it rains 180 days a year. In Nice, where the climate is much warmer, we benefit from 300 days of sun. Even when it rains in Nice you can usually play an hour or two after it’s stopped. In Paris when it rains you normally can’t play for the rest of the day. In Nice, where the weather is similar to what the players experience week in and week out on the tour, you can play outdoors 12 months of the year. W W W.t e n n i s h e a d. NET 69

academy

MOURATOGLOU


gear 2014 INTERMEDIATE R acket Re view

Club class Racket photography: richard washbrooke

In the second instalment of our three-part review of the best rackets on the shelves this year, we step out on court with the frames aimed at intermediate players

L

ighter, more forgiving, and more powerful than many advanced frames, yet offering more touch and spin potential than most improver’s rackets – intermediate frames are aimed at club players of all shapes, sizes and ages. If you are looking for your second racket, you’re coming back to the game or you’re almost ready for a pro frame, there’s likely to be a racket here that will feel good in your hands. The true selling point of an intermediate racket is its versatility. Over the next few pages you will find lightweight rackets that pack a punch and others that play like bona fide advanced frames without the tiny sweetspot. Not only do they suit a wide range of players – they are also good enough to stick with when your game starts improving. We have broken down this year’s test subjects into three categories – development rackets, for competitive players honing their technique; friendly frames, aimed at players looking for more forgiveness from their racket; and the lites, which closely resemble more advanced frames without the weight.

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Who are intermediate rackets aimed at? Nobody learns tennis overnight – it takes dedication and perseverance to get started, and a lifetime to master. Intermediate rackets are aimed at those on that journey, helping them to get as much out of the game as possible by sacrificing some of the attributes of an advanced frame, such as a heavier weight or enhanced feel, in favour of greater power, a larger sweet spot and, typically, a lighter frame. These rackets are designed for players ready to experiment with more spin and feel, and less power, than entry-level frames without being as hard going as pro-level advanced rackets.


RACKET REVIEW

Testers’ Choice

[REVIEW GROUP 1]

Next step Three rackets designed with game progression in mind – solid technique will get you the best results from these frames, but they’ll soak up the off-centre strikes as well

GEAR

best VALUE

Babolat Drive Team RRP: £119.99 // Head size: 100 sq.in // Unstrung weight: 275g String pattern: 16x19 // Balance: 33.0cm // Beam: 23mm

Testers’ Choice

→ The focus is on feel with the Drive Team. The Side Cortex Dampening System promises to wipe out high-frequency vibrations, leaving the low-frequency feedback to reach your hand. The results are impressive in another frame that packs a punch and remains easy on the shoulder. Our testers found themselves playing ‘the Babolat way’ with this one – opting for slightly more extreme topspin grips than usual and plenty of wrist snap to get the most out of the racket – but were impressed with its versatility. A candidate for all age groups, given the lightweight frame, large sweet spot, comfort and emphasis on touch.

best OVERALL

Dunlop Biomimetic M4.0 RRP: £199.00 // Head size: 100 sq.in // Unstrung weight: 310g String pattern: 16x19 // Balance: 31.5cm // Beam: 23-24-23mm dual taper

Testers’ Choice

→ Dunlop revamped its Biomimetic frames to cater for the emerging generation of players, and the M4.0 – a straight replacement for the old Biomimetic 400 – is a surefire winner. The M stands for moderate swing speeds (the F in the advanced F4.0, replacing the standard Biomimetic 400, stands for fast), but plays like a pro frame without wiping out your arm in the process. The flare of the butt-cap has almost disappeared, which takes a little getting used to, but once you’re over that this racket was a fine pro-frame mimic – there was no fear of swiping the ball into the back fence, and the head-light weighting made it agile at net. All the attributes of a quality Dunlop frame with the adaptability required to cater for both traditional and modern styles. A true-blue all rounder.

“the biomimetic m4.0 plays like a pro frame without wiping out your arm in the process – a surefire winner”

Baseline beast

Tecnifibre T-Flash 285 RRP: £139.99 // Head size: 100 sq.in // Unstrung weight: 285g String pattern: 16x19 // Balance: 32.5cm // Beam: 24-25-21mm dual taper

→ As our testers found with its bigger brother (the T-Flash 300) in the advanced racket test, you have to commit to playing with spin to get the best out of this one, but when you do it rewards you in spades. The 285 is perfect for players with long swing patterns and extreme grips, with enough pop to attack from the back or step into the court and take on the short ball. Tecnifibre themselves bill the 285 as an attacker’s frame with an emphasis on “power stability”, ideal for up-and-coming baseliners being trained to play in the mould of Nadal and the spin kings.

Our tester s

Testing, testing… All rackets were play-tested indoors by our quartet of testers at Dukes Meadows Tennis Centre in Chiswick. www.dukesmeadows.com

Alison Taylor Head coach, Westside Tennis Club in Wimbledon A British and Canadian national champion. She is sponsored by Prince.

Thomas Holland Westside club player Thomas plays with plenty of spin from the baseline and is an accomplished doubles player.

Jo Kirby Westside’s resident racket technician

Michael Beattie Tennishead gear editor and club player

Jo has experience of playing with a wide range of rackets.

His game is built around his flat forehand and ropey single-handed backhand.

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EXPERT INSIGHT

PROSHOP WWW.PRODIRECTTENNIS.COM

Pro-Direct is one of the UK’s leading online tennis stores and every month they give us an insight into which items of kit we’ll be seeing the best players in the world using and wearing

MUST HAVE! BABOLAT AEROPRO DRIVE RG - BLACK CLAY £165.99

As part of the Babolat and Roland-Garros collaboration, Babolat has developed the official Roland Garros range of tennis equipment including this year’s French Open edition Pure Drive. The legendary and emblematic Pure Drive features GT Technology, a hybrid material combining braided carbon fibres and tungsten filaments throughout the entire racket to enhance control and feel. Renowned for its power and topspin, the AeroPro Drive is Rafael Nadal’s favoured racket and is named as such for its streamlined profile and revolutionary frame design, which is the result of extensive research, pinpointing players’ needs in providing maximum playability for all skill levels.

WIN AN AEROPRO DRIVE RG – BLACK CLAY Even if your clay court prowess is questionable, this Roland Garros-inspired frame from Babolat will give your game just the boost you’re looking for – on all surfaces! To enter go to www.tennishead.net/win

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ADIDAS BARRICADE CREW TEE

NIKE NOVELTY KNIT DRESS

£44.99

→ This will be worn by Serena Williams at the French Open. Made with Dri-Fit fabric that lifts sweat away from the skin to help keep you comfortable and a mesh back panel and skirt for enhanced breathability, the Novelty Knit Dress also has a flat-seam construction to minimise irritation caused by chafing.

→ The Barricade Crew Tee will be worn by Andy Murray at the 2014 French Open and is an incredibly comfortable shirt made with strategic climacool® ventilation and an active FORMOTION® fit that follows the natural movement of sport for a greater comfort in motion.

WILSON JUICE 100 £118.99

£69.99

HEAD YOUTEK GRAPHENE SPEED PRO LTD EDITION

→ The Juice series delivers maximum power for the widest range of styles and is ideal for nearly all levels of play. A lightweight, forgiving frame in a mid-plus head size with Amplifeel 360 and Parallel Drilling technologies, that offers speed and manoeuvrability from the baseline or the net.

£156.99

NIKE ZOOM VAPOR 9.5 TOUR CLAY

ADIDAS WMNS CC ADIZERO TEMPAIA III

£99.99

£89.99

→ This is a semi-updated version of the former Vapor 9 Tour and is Roger Federer’s shoe for the French Open. Featuring a Dynamic Fit system and a stylish and fast sublimated graphic for lightweight breathability and style, the Vapor 9.5 Tour provides lightweight, yet firm cushioning.

→ To be worn by adidas pros at the 2014 French Open. Having received an update consisting of a new look, an all-new climacool® mesh upper and an out-of-the-ordinary semitransparent outsole, the Tempaia III is built for multi-directional speed and a more comfortable, universal fit.

→ Incredibly popular during the testing phase with HEAD’s tour players, this is the racket of choice of Novak Djokovic. It boasts exceptional touch and comes with Graphene technology, which has a breaking strength 200 times greater than steel.


gear [ME AND MY RACKET]

Jelena Jankovic

Prince Red LS 105

The former world No.1, who has played with Prince rackets for most of her career, explains what she looks for in a frame, and why she has never smashed a racket interview: Bridget Marrison

You started playing with the Red LS 105 at the start of the year. How do you like your new frame? I just love it. It gives me great control and precision, a lot of power and it is very loyal. It is a very dependable racket. What do you look for in a racket? It’s important to have the right amount of power and precision. If you have too much power and no precision it doesn’t work. The balance of power and precision in my new racket is the perfect combination for me. You’ve been professional for 13 years now. How much has your racket changed since you started playing? Every year the technology is improving and a lot of new things keep coming out, but to be honest I like one kind of racket. There are little things that you can do to add to it and improve it, but I never make too big a change because I think it is difficult to get used to. You only have the off-season to try out new things and you have to feel comfortable with it and ready to go when the new season starts. You can try out little changes but if you don’t like it you just stay with what you’ve got. What tension do you string your rackets at? I string them very tight. It depends on the weather, but 31 or 32kg, sometimes even 33kg. When I go on court I have a few rackets strung at different tensions, some looser, some tighter, just in case. If the ball is flying then I take the tighter one and if it is not going I take the looser one, so it

“I’ve never smashed a racket in my life… it’s not the racket’s fault, it’s my fault!” depends on the conditions and how I am striking the ball. How do you know which racket is which? The stringers mark them for me. I mark the ones that I would like to start the match with, I just put them in order – it’s a nice selection that I can just pick from. How many rackets do you take on court? Eight. How are interested are you in racket technology? I think the racket is one of the most important parts of our job. You have to love the racket and feel comfortable with the racket in order to play well. I love Prince, I have been playing with them for so long, and some of the biggest moments in my career were played with Prince. Do you keep your old rackets for sentimental reasons? I do actually, I have a big basket full of rackets that I have used; when I first started my career, and when I was world No.1, I had the Prince O3 Speedport White. It’s nice to have those memories and keep a couple at home, so when I stop playing tennis I can get them out, just play for fun. Do you remember your first ever racket? It was a Wilson and I only had one when I

just started. It was someone else’s racket and they gave it to me. I remember that the strings didn’t break for so long, like a year or more. I’m not sure if I still have it or not. Do you have any superstitions? No. I just put on a clean grip and go. Have you ever smashed a racket? I’ve actually never smashed a racket in my life! I’m one of those rare people that I just remember the times when I only had one racket and now that I am sponsored by a great company like Prince I appreciate that and I don’t throw it – it’s not the racket’s fault, it’s my fault! n

[Tech specs]

Prince Red LS 105 head size length unstrung weight string pattern cross section

105 square inches 27.25 inches 280 grams 16 x 19 23mm

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results [april 7, 2014]

wta rankings RANKING

1

PERSONAL

ACHIEVEMENTS

FORM Suffered shock SF defeat to Alize Cornet in Dubai, where sister Venus won title. Lifted 59th career trophy in Miami, beating Kerber, Sharapova and Li en route to title. Three days later lost Charleston opener to world No.78 Jana Cepelova.

Serena WIlliams

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

This year: $1,245,585 Career to date: $55,429,066 Career-high ranking: 1 (08/07/02) Career titles: 59 Last title: Sony Open, WTA Premier, Miami, USA, March 2014

2

li na

china Born: 26/02/82 Lives: Wuhan, China Height: 5ft 8in Weight: 143 lbs

This year: $3,094,685 Career to date: $16,393,874 Career-high ranking: 2 (17/02/14) Career titles: 9 Last title: Australian Open, Grand Slam, Melbourne, Australia, January 2014

3

agnieszka radwanska

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

This year: $1,215,373 Career to date: $15,385,382 Career-high ranking: 2 (09/07/12) Career titles: 13 Last title: Korea Open, WTA International, Seoul, Korea, September 2013

4

victoria azarenka

belarus Born: 31/07/89 Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco Height: 6ft Weight: 154 lbs

This year: $360,255 Career to date: $23,714,697 Career-high ranking: 1 (30/01/12) Career titles: 17 Last title: Western & Southern Open, WTA Premier, Cincinnati, USA, August 2013

5

simona halep

romania Born: 27/09/91 Lives: Constanta, Romania Height: 5ft 6in Weight: 132 lbs

This year: $936,430 Career to date: $2,976,075 Career-high ranking: 5 (17/03/14) Career titles: 7 Last title: Qatar Total Open, WTA Premier, Doha, UAE, February 2014

6

petra kvitova

czech republic Born: 08/03/1990 Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco Height: 6ft Weight: 154 lbs

This year: $284,390 Career to date: $12,183,612 Career-high ranking: 2 (31/10/11) Career titles: 11 Last title: Toray Pan Pacific Open, WTA Premier, Tokyo, Japan, September 2013

7

Angelique Kerber

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

This year: $570,141 Career to date: $5,994,678 Career-high ranking: 5 (22/10/12) Career titles: 3 Last title: Generali Ladies Linz, WTA International, Linz, Austria, October 2013

8

maria Sharapova

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

This year: $430,816 Career to date: $27,126,661 Career-high ranking: 1 (22/08/05) Career titles: 29 Last title: Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, WTA Premier, Stuttgart, Germany, April 2013

9

jelena jankovic

serbia Born: 28/02/1985 Lives: Dubai, UAE Height: 5ft 9in Weight: 130 lbs

This year: $495,295 Career to date: $15,823,370 Career-high ranking: 1 (11/08/08) Career titles: 13 Last title: Copa Claro Colsanitas, WTA International, Bogota, Colombia, February 2013

10

dominika cibulkova

sLovakia Born: 06/05/1989 Lives: Bratislava, Slovakia Height: 5ft 3in Weight: 121 lbs

This year: $1,553,926 Career to date: $5,818,172 Career-high ranking: 10 (31/03/2014) Career titles: 4 Last title: Abierto Mexicano Telcel, WTA International, Acapulco, Mexico, February 2014

Points: 12,375

Points: 7,585

Points: 5,980

Points: 5,441

Points: 4,695

Points: 4,370

Points: 4,110

Points: 3,961

Points: 3,955

Points: 3,720

down 2

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

11-100 RANKINGS

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Climbed to career-high No.2 21 despite losing to world No.134 22 Petra Cetkovska in Doha. 23 Bounced back during USA 24 hard-court swing, reaching SFs 25 in Indian Wells (l. to Pennetta) 26 and lifting runner-up trophy in 27 Miami (l. to Serena Williams). 28 29 Reached last four in Doha (l. to 30 Halep) but suffered 2R defeat 31 in Dubai (l. to Pennetta). 32 Reached final in Indian Wells 33 but struggled with a knee 34 injury as she lost in straight 35 sets to Pennetta. Reached 36 Miami QFs (l. to Cibulkova). 37 38 Withdrew from Doha with left 39 foot injury and returned too 40 soon in Indian Wells, where she 41 was beaten in opener by Lauren 42 Davis. Missed Miami as she 43 continued to struggle with 44 problem and also skipped clay 45 event in Monterrey with injury. 46 47 Defeated Errani, Radwanska and 48 Kerber en route to the biggest 49 title of her career in Doha. Fell in 50 Dubai 1R (l. to Cornet) but 51 reached career-high No.5 52 ranking after SF appearance in 53 Indian Wells (l. to Radwanska). 54 Missed Miami with toe injury. 55 56 Reached QFs in Doha (l. to 57 Jankovic) before losing opener to 58 Suarez Navarro in Dubai. 59 Suffered defeat by Cibulkova in 60 Indian Wells 4R. Defeated 61 Ivanovic in three to reach Miami 62 QFs, where she was beaten by 63 No.4 seed Sharapova. 64 65 Mixed results for Kerber, lifting 66 runner-up trophy in Doha (l. to 67 Halep) before falling in Dubai 68 opener (l.to Ivanovic). Suffered 69 shock defeat to world No.72 70 Torro-Flor in Indian Wells 71 opener before reaching Miami 72 QFs (l. to Serena Williams). 73 74 After short break from tennis for 75 TV role at Winter Olympics in her 76 native Sochi, Sharapova failed to 77 defend her Indian Wells title, 78 suffering shock 3R defeat to 79 Camila Giorgi. Reached SFs in 80 Miami, where she lost to 81 eventual champion S Williams. 82 83 84 Reached Doha SFs (l. to Kerber) and reached QFs in Dubai (l. to 85 S Williams). Defeated 86 Wozniacki en route to Indian 87 Wells QFs (l. to Radwanska) 88 before falling in Miami opener 89 to Vavara Lepchenko. Reached 90 Charleston QFs (l. Bouchard). 91 92 93 Bounced back from shock 1R 94 defeat to Alisa Kleybanova in Doha to win title in Acapulco (d. 95 McHale). Maintained form to 96 defeat Kvitova en route to 97 Indian Wells QFs (l. to Li) and 98 reached Miami SFs (l. to Li) to 99 break into top 10 for first time. 100

Sara Errani (ITA) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) Sabine Lisicki (GER) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) Roberta Vinci (ITA) Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) Sloane Stephens (USA) Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) Samantha Stosur (AUS) Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) Alize Cornet (FRA) Kaia Kanepi (EST) Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) Lucie Safarova (CZE) Sorana Cirstea (ROU) Andrea Petkovic (GER) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) Klara Koukalova (CZE) Venus Williams (USA) Elena Vesnina (RUS) Jamie Hampton (USA) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) Elina Svitolina (UKR) Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) Yvonne Meusburger (AUT) Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) Garbine Muguruza (ESP) Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) Madison Keys (USA) Kurumi Nara (JPN) Annika Beck (GER) Peng Shuai (CHN) Zhang Shuai (CHN) Alison Riske (USA) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) Varvara Lepchenko (USA) Karin Knapp (ITA) Jana Cepelova (SVK) Casey Dellacqua (AUS) Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) Monica Puig (PUR) Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) Christina McHale (USA) Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) Zheng Jie (CHN) Marina Erakovic (NZL) Alexandra Cadantu (ROU) Laura Robson (GBR) Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) Lauren Davis (USA) Anna Schmiedlova (SVK) Polona Hercog (SLO) Karolina Pliskova (CZE) Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor (ESP) Camila Giorgi (ITA) Ajla Tomljanovic (CRO) Vania King (USA) Urszula Radwanska (POL) Paula Ormaechea (ARG) Caroline Garcia (FRA) Stefanie Voegele (SUI) Virginie Razzano (FRA) Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP) Monica Niculescu (ROU) Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) Petra Cetkovska (CZE) Patricia Mayr-Achleitner (AUT) Dinah Pfizenmaier (GER) Kimiko Date-Krumm (JPN) Coco Vandeweghe (USA) Mona Barthel (GER) Alison van Uytvanck (BEL) Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) Johanna Larsson (SWE) Sharon Fichman (CAN) Shahar Peer (ISR) Belinda Bencic (SUI) Teliana Pereira (BRA) Zarina Diyas (KAZ) Julia Goerges (GER) Donna Vekic (CRO) Julia Glushko (ISR) Petra Martic (CRO) Katarzyna Piter (POL) Misaki Doi (JPN) Mandy Minella (LUX)


RANKINGS

emirates ATP Rankings RANKING

1

PERSONAL

ACHIEVEMENTS

FORM

11-100 RANKINGS

Saved match points against Pablo Andujar in Rio SF before going on to win title (d. Dolgopolov). Ukrainian had his revenge in Indian Wells, upsettting defending champion in 3R. Bounced back to reach Miami final (l. to Djokovic).

rafael nadal

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

This year: $2,113,557 Career to date: $66,746,320 Career-high ranking: 1 (18/08/08) Career titles: 62 Last title: Rio Open, ATP 500, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, February 2014

2

novak rafael nadal djokovic

serbia Spain Born: 22/05/87 03/06/86 Lives: Manacor, Monte Carlo, Mallorca, Monaco Spain Height: 6ft 2in Height: 6ft Weight: 1761in lbs Weight: 188 lbs

This year: $2,137,476 $5,714,859 Career to date: $55,776,687 $60,271,921 Career-high ranking: 1 (18/08/08) (04/07/11) Career titles: 43 57 Last title: Sony French Open, Open, Grand Slam, Paris, ATP Masters France,1000, June 2013 Miami, USA, March 2014

Became the first man to win the Lost to Federer in Dubai SFs same Grand Slam tournament but had his revenge in Indian eight heover defeated Wellstimes with when victory Swiss David Ferrer in FrenchIndian Open final in final. Completed double the toWells-Miami claim his 12th majorfor title. second time (also 2011) in with Suffered his first 1Rindefeat a victory over passDarcis Slam when heNadal lost totoSteve $60m in career money. on opening day atprize Wimbledon.

3

stanislas Wawrinka

switzerland Born: 28/03/1985 Lives: St Barthelemy, Switzerland Height: 6ft Weight: 179 lbs

This year: $2,591,965 Career to date: $11,355,086 Career-high ranking: 3 (27/01/14) Career titles: 6 Last title: Australian Open, Grand Slam, Melbourne, Australia, January 2014

Unbeaten start to 2014 ended at the hands of Kevin Anderson in Indian Wells 4R. Fell to in-form Dolgopolov in Miami 4R. Lost Davis Cup rubber to Kazakhstan's Golubev but beat Kukushkin to help Swiss reach SFs for first time since 2003.

4

roger federer

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

This year: $1,627,892 Career to date: $80,846,307 Career-high ranking: 1 (02/02/04) Career titles: 78 Last title: Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, ATP 500, Dubai, UAE, February 2014

Came from behind to beat Djokovic and Berdych en route to sixth title in Dubai. Reached Indian Wells final (l. to Djokovic) but fell in Miami QFs with defeat to Nishikori. Won both singles rubbers to help Switzerland reach Davis Cup SFs.

5

TOMAS Berdych

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

This year: $1,395,938 Career to date: $17, 501,338 Career-high ranking: 5 (19/08/13) Career titles: 9 Last title: ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, ATP 500, Rotterdam, Netherlands, February 2014

Ended 16-month title drought with victory in Rotterdam (d. Cilic). Continued form in Dubai where he reached final (l. to Federer). Fell in Indian Wells 2R (l. to Bautista Agut). Was forced to withdraw from Miami SF against Nadal with illness.

6

david ferrer

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

This year: $520,371 Career to date: $22,438,413 Career-high ranking: 3 (08/07/2013) Career titles: 21 Last title: Copa Claro, ATP 250, Buenos Aires, Argentina, February 2014

Won third successive title in Buenos Aires (d. Fognini) but fell in Rio SFs (l. to Dolgopolov). Retired from Acapulco QF against Anderson with adductor strain and missed Indian Wells with the injury. Returned to reach Miami 4R (l. to Nishikori).

7

juan martin DeL potro

argentina Born: 23/09/88 Lives: Tandil, Argentina Height: 6ft 6in Weight: 214 lbs

This year: $198,558 Career to date: $15,345,947 Career-high ranking: 4 (11/01/10) Career titles: 18 Last title: Sydney International, ATP 250, Sydney, Australia, January 2014

Returned from wrist injury in Rotterdam, where he reached QFs (l. to Gulbis). Retired from Dubai opener against Somdev Devvarman with recurrent wrist problem. Underwent surgery in March to repair damaged ligaments in left wrist.

8

Andy murray

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

This year: $538,459 Career to date: $30,810,302 Career-high ranking: 2 (17/08/09) Career titles: 28 Last title: Wimbledon, Grand Slam, London, UK, July 2013

Reached Rotterdam QFs (l. to Cilic) and reached first SF since comeback from back surgery in Acapulco (l. to Dimitrov). Fell in Indian Wells 4R (l. to Raonic) and slipped down rankings after failing to defend title in Miami, losing to Djokovic in the QFs.

9

john isner

usa Born: 26/04/85 Lives: Tampa, Florida, USA Height: 6ft 10in Weight: 238 lbs

This year: $450,159 Career to date: $6,169,298 Career-high ranking: 9 (16/04/12) Career titles: 8 Last title: Heineken Open, ATP World Tour 250, Auckland, New Zealand, January 2014

Bounced back from shock Australian Open 1R exit to reach Delray Beach SFs (l. to Cilic). Fell in Acapulco opener (l. to Karlovic) but reached Indian Wells SFs (l. to Djokovic) to break back into top 10. Reached 4R in Miami (l. to Berdych).

10

Richard Gasquet

france Born: 18/06/86 Lives: Neuchatel, Switzerland Height: 6ft 1in Weight: 165 lbs

This year: $291,203 Career to date: $10,313,116 Career-high ranking: 7 (09/07/07) Career titles: 10 Last title: Kremlin Cup, ATP 250, Moscow, Russia, October 2013

Reached final in Montpellier, where he lost to compatriot Monfils. Fell in Rotterdam 2R (l. to Kohlschreiber) and reached Marseille SFs (l. to Gulbis). Beaten in Indian Wells 3R by Verdasco before losing to Federer in Miami 4R.

Points: 13,730

Points: 11,680 6,860

Points: 5,760

Points: 5,355

Points: 4,720

Points: 4,640

Points: 4,260

Points: 4,040

Points: 2,715

Points: 2,635

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100

Milos Raonic (CAN) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) Fabio Fognini (ITA) Tommy Robredo (ESP) Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) Tommy Haas (GER) Kei Nishikori (JPN) Kevin Anderson (RSA) Nicolas Almagro (ESP) Jerzy Janowicz (POL) Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) Ernests Gulbis (LAT) Gael Monfils (FRA) Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) Marin Cilic (CRO) Gilles Simon (FRA) Vasek Pospisil (CAN) Fernando Verdasco (ESP) Florian Mayer (GER) Feliciano Lopez (ESP) Dmitry Tursunov (RUS) Benoit Paire (FRA) Andreas Seppi (ITA) Pablo Andujar (ESP) Marcel Granollers (ESP) Ivan Dodig (CRO) Joao Sousa (POR) Nicolas Mahut (FRA) Radek Stepanek (CZE) Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) Juan Monaco (ARG) Federico Delbonis (ARG) Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) Robin Haase (NED) Lukas Rosol (CZE) Jeremy Chardy (FRA) Julien Benneteau (FRA) Lu Yen-Hsun (TPE) Ivo Karlovic (CRO) Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) Denis Istomin (UZB) Igor Sijsling (NED) Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) Albert Montanes (ESP) Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) Andrey Golubev (KAZ) Jurgen Melzer (AUT) Carlos Berlocq (ARG) Kenny De Schepper (FRA) Matthew Ebden (AUS) Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) Bradley Klahn (USA) Marinko Matosevic (AUS) Jiri Vesely (CZE) Benjamin Becker (GER) Steve Johnson (USA) Alejandro Falla (COL) Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) Michal Przysiezny (POL) Dudi Sela (ISR) Adrian Mannarino (FRA) Bernard Tomic (AUS) Dusan Lajovic (SRB) Aleksandr Nedovyesov (KAZ) Martin Klizan (SVK) Alejandro Gonzalez (COL) Filippo Volandri (ITA) Dominic Thiem (AUT) Sam Querrey (USA) Lukasz Kubot (POL) Santiago Giraldo (COL) Alex Bogomolov Jr (RUS) Stephane Robert (FRA) Leonardo Mayer (ARG) Somdev Devvarman (IND) Victor Hanescu (ROU) Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) Donald Young (USA) Tobias Kamke (GER) Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) Jack Sock (USA) Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) Daniel Brands (GER) Michael Russell (USA) Lukas Lacko (SVK) Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) Victor Estrella Burgos (DOM)

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

results

[april 7, 2014]


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Tennishead Volume 5 Issue 2  

Rafael Nadal returns to our cover as we preview the 2014 French Open and uncover 100 facts you might not know about the Spaniard

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