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2014 Australian Open Review

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2014 Australian Open Review


WHAT’S INSIDE LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

STYLING THE STARS

VERBAL VOLLEYS & QUOTABLE QUIPS

ATP UNIVERSITY

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JIMMY CONNORS: THE OUTSIDER RETURNS

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CLOSING SHOTS

CLAY SEASON QUESTIONS

RANKINGS

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2014 Australian Open Review

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Writers

Letter from the Editor

Erik Gudris

The clay season is perhaps the most charismatic time of year in tennis, with the sport’s true character taking the spotlight. Players glide across the red dirt in long, intense, high-topspin rallies, then celebrate a win with a fall to the ground that leaves their clothing covered in clay. It’s a surface that showcases a player’s athleticism, and it’s obvious the players enjoy competing on it. But it’s also a good equalizer. On clay, it’s anyone’s game, which means surprises are bound to happen in every tournament. And that’s exactly what we as fans are looking forward to in the weeks leading up to Roland Garros.

Chris Oddo

Who can stand up to the challenge of the red dirt? For many players who didn’t grow up on it, it’s a surface that takes them out of their comfort zone, maybe making them feel “like a cow on ice,” as Maria Sharapova once described. But with some hard work and determination, one can master the weakness, as Sharapova then did in winning Roland Garros in 2012.

Blair Henley

That’s part of the excitement we look forward to this time of year. We enjoy watching the players make the necessary adjustments to a slower, higherbouncing game. Maybe it’s the hue of the court, but somehow, the clay brings out the fire and passion in the players. So enjoy the tennis for the next couple of months, because it will certainly be heating up quickly.

blair@tennisnow.com

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2014 IW/ Miami Review

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2014 INDIAN WELL

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2014 Australian Open Review


LS/MIAMI REVIEW

2014 IW/Miami Review

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Word Play: Verbal Volleys & Quotable Quips from Indian Wells & Miami 8

2014 IW/Miami Review


Li Na was not interested in taking part in the doubles parade that occurs at Indian Wells, and here was her reason why: “When I was [standing on] the court I even didn't know what I have to do. Even I return, I was feeling the court so small. Everywhere is people. I cannot do it.” Roger Federer loves social media, but he is not going to let it take over his life. At least that is what he told reporters at Indian Wells (before he tweeted a selfie during a press conference, then a picture of himself with bird poop on his shoulder, mind you). “You just can't [start] being sucked into it too crazy. Otherwise all you start doing is spending time on the phone, and that's not what I want to start happening to me.” Former Grand Slam champion Tracy Austin knows a thing or two about the demands of tennis on a player’s feet. She opened up on the topic while commentating a Jiri Vesely-Andy Murray match, when the 20-year-old Czech was getting a blister treated. “Tennis player's feet are never the prettiest, but they get a little better when you retire though.” Tennis commentator Robbie Koenig was a little miffed about the controversy that occurred during Novak Djokovic’s straight-set win over Andy Murray in Miami, where the Serb was awarded a point even though his racquet made contact with the ball on Murray’s side of the net. He tweeted: “In this day and age how can we not use video technology to get the correct decision??? It literally takes 20 seconds.” Novak Djokovic had kind words about his friend Grigor Dimitrov when he crashed one of the Bulgarian’s press conferences at Indian Wells. “My friend Grigor here, best looking guy on the tour,” Djokovic said, as he put his arm around the Dimitrov. “You don't need to talk about tennis too much. You had so much success this year, let's talk about your looks.” Eugenie Bouchard is enjoying a fine run of form, and she’s also enjoying a healthy dose of support from a fan club that calls itself “Genie’s Army.” They have taken to presenting her with stuffed animals after her hard-fought wins, and Bouchard is having a good time with it.

Credit: Corleve

“Yeah, they get cuter and cuter,” she said, with the little dolls stacked up next to her during a press conference. “Look at this one. He has a turtleneck sweater with racquets on it. It's one of my favorites so far.”

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Credit: Corleve Tennis writer Barry Flatman is not too high on Maria Sharapova’s serve after watching her fall to Serena Williams for the 15th straight time in Miami. He tweeted: “Is there anything as inconsistent in tennis as Maria Sharapova’s serve? Lamentable at times, breathtaking at others.” Even Kevin Fischer of the WTA made light of Maria Sharapova’s ineptitude against Serena Williams. He tweeted: “The last time Sharapova defeated Serena, the most popular movies in the box office: The Incredibles, The Polar Express and Ray.” Sloane Stephens says she doesn’t miss the college experience she gave up for pro tennis. “I am a sorority of one. Sloane Phi Sigma or whatever. Girls are full of drama. To be in college in a sorority, that would be overwhelming.” Novak Djokovic was a much more confident athlete after winning his second career Indian Wells-Miami double. Here’s what he had to say about taking down Rafael Nadal in the Miami final. “If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best, you know. You have to win against the best players in the world. That's the biggest challenge you can have.”

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Venus Williams played some awesome tennis in Miami, and she prides herself on playing hard no matter how good she feels or what form she is in on a given day. After taking out Casey Dellacqua to reach the quarterfinals, she said: “Yeah, I mean, if I go down it's never easy. At least my opponent knows they have to go to the end of the earth to take me out no matter what the circumstances.” Does it sound like Andy Murray was tired of talking about the controversial call that went against him during his quarterfinal loss to Novak Djokovic? “I don't need to keep getting asked about it. If it was over the net, it was over the net, and I was right to complain and that's it. I was correct.” Ben Rothenberg is always there to make the case for women’s tennis, and we thank him for that—but easy on poor Bernard Tomic already. “The first five games of the women’s final took the same time as the entire Nieminen-Tomic match. 28 minutes.”


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Newly minted member of the top 10 Dominika Cibulkova isn’t afraid

“When one big babe plays another big babe, the rallies get little.”

of having her life change drastically now that she’s becoming a big star.

And, exhibit B, which was uttered during Caroline Wozniacki’s 6-1, 6-0 shellacking of Sloane Stephens.

“Yeah, maybe it will change in some way, but I will still be the same Domi.”

“Is she trying to act cool? Or is she just not caring?”

Italy’s Camila Giorgi is not about to spend press conferences talking

And, last but not least, there was this gem from Gael Monfils, which

about all the different investors that she and her father owe money

was tweeted mid-match:

to, even though it’s what most people want to discuss with her after Jon Wertheim’s incriminating article about her family finances went

“Apologies for my poor attitude in the 1st set. Rain delay now

public earlier in the year. When asked if she planned to use some

looking forward to getting back into the match and give 100 %

of her Indian Wells prize money to pay investors back, here was her

again.”

agitated reply. Should we be surprised that Monfils lost? “Actually, I don’t want to talk about that. For me, just I’m playing a tournament, so I don’t think about that… I’m saying to you that I just want to talk about tennis, not this stuff… Is not part of the game.” John Isner is concerned about the state of American tennis. Well, sort of... “Selfishly I'm just worried about myself, really. I certainly want all those guys to do well. But at the same time, it's not my concern at all. My concer n is myself and just trying to keep moving forward and keep getting better and get back to where I want to be.”

Credit: Corleve

Lleyton Hewitt notched his 600th win in Miami. Big deal, right? Not to him: “To tell you the truth, I totally forgot.” Roger Federer was realistic about his fast start in Miami, which saw him drop 10 points on serve in his first two matches against Ivo Karlovic and Thiemo de Bakker: “Right now I'm doing a good job. But then again, you know, this wasn't Andre Agassi on the other side, or Djokovic.” After her 6-1, 6-3 victory over Coco Vandeweghe in Miami, Serena Williams gave her thoughts on what it means to be sexy and strong. “I think it's really important for females to realize that you can be strong but still be sexy at the same time. There is nothing wrong with being strong and beating up on the boys.” Mary Carillo was up to her usual tricks in the Tennis Channel broadcast booth during the Sony Open. Here’s exhibit A:

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Jimmy Connors – The Outsider Returns After several years away from the game, Jimmy Connors is making up for lost time both on and off the court. By Erik Gudris Controversial, outspoken, legendary: All describe one of the game’s greatest competitors. Once out of the spotlight, Jimmy Connors is making his presence felt again in the world of tennis. Though the Hall of Famer recently published his long-awaited autobiography, took part in a widely talked about documentary, and enjoyed (well, not really) a brief coaching stint with Maria Sharapova, Connors was absent in one key place – a tennis court. That all changed when Connors participated in the recent PowerShares Series events, where some of the sport’s greats battled each other in a unique one-night-only format throughout the United States. His appearances in Charlotte and Nashville marked the first time Connors competed in public since his recent recovery from hip surgery. Waiting for him across the net was none other than his old nemesis John McEnroe. Their rivalry in the late 70s and early 80s defined the sport then and often created “bad blood” between them whenever they squared off.

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While things have calmed down between them in the years since, Connors admitted he still feels something special whenever he sees McEnroe again. “I guess my relationship with Mac, ever since when we stopped playing, I guess that's documented how it was when we played. The further you get away from being what you used to be, the calmer things should get. But there's no guarantee about that,” Connors said. “To slough that off, that will never happen for me. That was pretty special. To slough that off and say it's something we had and move on, I mean, it is, but there's still that little feeling of something about it.” While McEnroe acknowledges Connors as one of his greatest opponents, he finds it hard to pin down one match that sums up their rivalry. It may well be the 1984 Wimbledon final when he beat Connors in straight sets.


“The best I ever played was a one-sided match at Wimbledon,” McEnroe said. “You know, he wasn’t having a good day and I was but that sort of capped off the best year I ever had. There was certainly more memorable and closer matches we played in numerous situations, including Wimbledon and several times at the US Open. We had a lot of big matches but it would be hard to pick the one. If I had to, it would be the one where everything worked perfectly together that day.” While Connors is certainly eager to talk about his past and the memories he created during his Hall of Fame career, he’s not so sure what’s his next move will be in today’s current tour. One of them will likely not be coaching. When asked if he would Erik Gudris coach a current player again, Connors gaveby a resounding “No!” “I say that quickly because, whew, wow, I could write a one page book off of that,” Connors said with a laugh.

“Look at some of the names in this country that have been the absolute best and they don’t take advantage of it. That seems crazy to me.” At age 61, Connors continues to keep his options open for what his next venture will be. Though interested in being present at the biggest events again, he doesn’t just want to show up and attend. He also acknowledges that after three hip surgeries, he doesn’t have the cagey movement that won him eight Grand Slam titles, but he still loves hitting the ball and being out on court. “I'll be honest, it hasn't been an easy trail. What the hell, I still enjoy the tennis. That to me is the key. I get everything out of the tennis that I always did. It's just a matter of going out. I mean, I'm not 25 years old anymore. There's no secret about that. What I get out of it now is what I put into it. I try to put in as much as I can.” Whatever Connors’ next move will be, one thing is for sure, he will only give it 110%. We wouldn’t expect anything else.

Though not mentioning any specific names, it was clear Connors referenced his very brief and turbulent stint with Sharapova last summer that ended after one match. Connors also coached Andy Roddick a few years ago, but linking up with another top player is not on his horizon. “As much as I enjoyed being with Andy (Roddick), traveling around, he was a major champion. When you hit that height Maria also things change, things are different, attitudes are different. As much as you want it, it's still a different way of thinking. I would rather find somebody young that's moldable, would probably be the best way to say it.” While overseeing an emerging talent is something Connors might undertake down the road, it’s the current crop of American players that many feel need help now. With American men, aside from John Isner, struggling to climb into the elite ranks of the tour, discussion continues as to what to do about it. While Connors would agree that the game has changed, he insists finding a way to win has not. “Obviously there’s more to tennis than just playing tennis. There’s a difference between playing the game and winning. And figuring out winning is why (Roger) Federer, (Rafael) Nadal and (Novak) Djokovic are winning. They figured it out. For these (American) guys, I don’t know what it takes. First thing that they will say is, ‘We play a different game than you did.’ I would say, figuring out a way to win is not a different game. That’s in every game.” The bigger issue for Connors, however, is not the current state of U.S. men’s tennis, but the need to attract more kids into participating and, hopefully, finding the next champion. “The problem now is finding young kids to play. That’s where the U.S. has fallen way behind. Getting young kids involved in a program where they can be the best and have a chance to be the best and give them what it takes to figure that out.” Connors feels that he, along with other American greats, should have been asked years ago to be more involved in the developmental process.

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But beating Nadal in Miami, and even on the red clay of Monte Carlo, is a totally different animal than defeating the Spaniard at Roland Garros. Djokovic learned that the hard way last year, as he suffered his fifth loss in five attempts to solve the Spaniard in Paris, aka “Rafa's house.” Could the sixth time be a charm for Djokovic, or will Nadal continue to add layer upon layer to the almost unfathomable legend that he is building on Court Philippe Chatrier? We're dying to find out... Will Serena Williams Continue to Dominate the Dirt?

Five Burning Questions for the 2014 Clay-Court Season By Chris Oddo With Indian Wells and Miami in the rear view mirror, tennis fans are about to embark on the long, circuitous road to Roland Garros, an enriching journey that takes us through Monte Carlo, Stuttgart, Madrid, Marrakesh, Rome, Strasbourg and more. Now that we're strapped in and ready for a wild ride full of heavy topspin, delicate drop shots, artfully crafted slides and―of course―clay kisses, let's examine some of the burning questions surrounding the 2014 clay-court season. Can Djokovic Be Nadal's Kryptonite on the Terre Battue? The king of clay will set out to rewrite the history books yet again, as Rafael Nadal will bid for a ninth Roland Garros title in 2014, and though there exists the slightest possibility that Nadal could be taken out in another dramatic upset as he was by Robin Soderling of Sweden in 2009, the heavy lifting will more than likely have to be done by the only player to have made any inroads against Nadal on the red clay over the last few years: Novak Djokovic. Remarkably, the Serb has won three of his last seven against Nadal on clay, including a stunning upset in 2013 that finally handed the Spaniard his second loss at Monte Carlo after a run of eight titles and 46 consecutive match wins. Can Djokovic continue to encroach into Nadal's staked-out territories in 2014? It certainly seems possible after the way he handled Nadal in the Miami final, handing the Spaniard only his third career loss in which he won less than 40 percent of the points.

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World No. 1 and 17-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams has not lost on clay since falling to France's Virgine Razzano at the first round of the 2012 French Open. Serena has long been known to keep her most humbling defeats stewing inside her own personal cauldron of desire, and apparently the loss to Razzano on clay has inspired Williams to prove to herself and the world that she is not only the greatest woman to ever play the game (certainly up for debate) but she is also as good on clay as she is on her preferred grass and hard court surfaces. Williams, who lost only one set en route to her second Roland Garros title in 2013, has won 28 clay-court matches in a row, but she'd need to snatch another 97 if she'd like to match Chris Evert's hallowed record of 125 consecutive wins on clay. Can she do that? Doubtful. But Williams can certainly run the table again this year, especially if she continues to embrace her passion for all things French and keeps drinking from that fountain of youth that her coach Patrick Mouratoglou has constructed for her at his academy, which is strategically located adjacent to Paris.


Will Roger's Renaissance Continue?

“Life always has a challenge; you just have to face it.”

It's clear to anybody who has been watching that Roger Federer has cast aside his doldrums from 2013 to emerge as a force to be reckoned with once again this season. Though clay is not considered his best surface, the five-time Roland Garros finalist and 2009 champion knows a thing or two about playing on the slippery stuff. Most don't consider Federer a threat to win Roland Garros―not while Nadal is still roaming the grounds in his indomitable fashion―but nobody thought he could do it in 2009, either. Now that he's back in the ATP's top four, Federer should benefit in Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros by not getting stuffed into Nadal's quarter of the draw. The longer Roger can avoid Nadal, the better his chances of doing real damage at the -Libigger Na clay-court events. Federer's best shot at winning an 18th Grand Slam will likely come at Wimbledon or the U.S. Open. But even so, the 17-time champ can lay the foundation for a great summer by being a surprise success on the clay this year. The tools that he'll need to have success on dirt― consistency, fitness, movement, creativity―should all help Federer reach peak performance mode for the long haul. Who Will Shock and Surprise Us? Last year at Roland Garros, in one of the most emotional, tearinducing three-match stretches in recent memory, Tommy Robredo engineered back-to-back-to-back comebacks from two sets down to reach the French Open quarterfinals. It took tennis fans―and Robredo―by surprise, and instantly became one of the top moments of the 2013 tennis season. Who will be this year's Tommy Robredo, coming out of the woodwork to blow our minds? Who will be 2014’s Francesca Schiavone, a longtime journeywoman who suddenly harnesses all her talents to make a miraculous run to the title, as the Italian did in 2010? Will it be Flavia Pennetta, an excellent clay-courter with 156 career wins on the surface, who has never been past the French Open's round of 16? Will it be fan favorite Jelena Jankovic, a three-time Roland Garros semifinalist who owns 121 career clay-court wins? Could Alexandr Dolgopolov build on his fine form to become a force on the clay this season? Will the abundantly talented Grigor Dimitrov be the next to break through on the men's side? One thing's for certain: We don't know who or when yet, but there will be surprises, and plenty of them. Will Sharapova, Wawrinka and Azarenka Return to Form? Will Li Keep Hers? Maria Sharapova, the 2012 Roland Garros champion, has gone 35-3 on the clay since the beginning of 2012. Though she's been lethal on the surface, even earning the nickname “Claypova,” sheCorleve hasn't Credit: made any inroads against Serena Williams, losing all six sets that she's contested against Williams on clay, which includes last year's French Open final. But if there is one surface where one can imagine Sharapova finally ending Serena's reign of terror over her, why not clay, where Sharapova will have that extra smidgen of time to prepare for Serena's big blasts from the baseline? Stan Wawrinka has cooled off in a big way since winning the Australian Open (he did not reach the quarters of Indian Wells or Miami), but the Swiss No. 1 (yeah, that's right) will begin his road to Roland Garros as the world No. 3. Will the return to a slower surface help him get back to a patient, movement-based game and thus facilitate a righting of the ship?

Victoria Azarenka has been a non-factor due to injuries for most of 2014. Will she find her footing on the clay and get herself the fresh start she so badly needs? Vika has proven that she can be a force on dirt―she was a set away from last year's French Open final―when she's healthy and focused, but getting healthy and focused at the same time is proving to be a very difficult endeavor for the 24-yearold. One of the most pleasant surprises of 2014 has been Li Na. The pioneering Chinese thunderbolt (and comedic genius) has vaulted into the No. 2 spot in the rankings after winning her second Grand Slam in Australia, and she backed up that title with a run to her first Premier Mandatory final in Miami. The clay is where all the big stuff began for Li in 2011, as she walloped groundie after groundie en route to her maiden Slam title while all of China (and the world) looked on in admiration. Does she have more clay magic in her?

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TENNIS HAIR: Styling the Stars by Blair Henley

Grammatical issues aside, we can only imagine that the mantra “look good, feel good, play good” is one to which many professional tennis players subscribe. But, unlike the average celebrity who can carefully craft the perfect look for a red carpet appearance or even a grocery store visit, tennis pros – superstars in their own right -- are most commonly displayed to the public in the sweaty, unflattering heat of battle. And with clothing determined by apparel sponsors, hair can help set a player apart from the pack. Stylist to the stars, Julien Farel, has been helping tennis players “look good” on the court for years, crafting fashion-forward, lowmaintenance hair styles for the game’s top names. The 46-year-old Frenchman honed his tennis hair chops at the French Open’s on-site salon before founding his own pop-up salon at the U.S. Open in 2007. When he opened his fourth eponymous salon location in Miami, Florida, in 2012, he wasted no time setting up shop at the nearby Sony Open. Even with an ever-expanding business, working with athletes offers a welcome change of pace for Farel. “They are wonderful competitions, and I also feel like those younger players are all good looking and fit,” he said, his French accent as thick as his age-defying head of hair. “It’s also where we can shine because on the tennis court, there’s not much with the clothes. It’s all about how they are going to look and how the hair is going to move.”

Star Clients Farel has worked with Rafael Nadal, Victoria Azarenka, Novak Djokovic, Ana Ivanovic and many more, often booking over 20 appointments a day at his on-site pop-up salons. While most cuts are relatively straightforward, he vividly remembers one (unnamed) player several years ago at the U.S. Open who asked to trade his flowing mane for a shorter ‘do. When he lost his match the next day, Farel drew parallels to Samson of the Bible. “I felt like we had cut his strength away,” he said, laughing. “I thought it was so odd that he came to us for a crew cut. He had this great long hair. I was like, ‘Are you sure? Are you crazy? Do you want to scare away the women?’” The highest profile players will skip the on-site setup and visit one of Farel’s full-service salons, located near the players’ hotels in both New York and Miami. “Usually when they come by, we close the salon,” Farel explained. “Sometimes Nadal comes in the middle of clients, giving kisses and hugging and giving pictures to everyone. I thought that was really wonderful that he was so humble.”

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As particular as Nadal is on the court with everything from his meticulously placed water bottles to those unruly wisps he tucks behind his ears before a serve, he’s come to trust Farel to create a no-nonsense hairstyle. “His hair helps with his performance, and it’s very important to him for sure,” he said. “It’s a power weapon. When he comes to my chair, I do what I want. I usually give him a look where it’s framing his face properly. We also try to make sure when he takes off his bandana, his hair falls into place.”

happy I did it. It was fresh, it was new, and you let it grow a little bit.” When asked about the fascination with his chocolate locks, the 17time Grand Slam champion played it cool. “People are crazy in general about hair, keeps on changing,” Federer said, smiling. “Weather makes your hair go crazy with the humidity, everybody hates it. So it goes curly. Some then love the curls, some don't. It's a bit too much sometimes.”

Farel is involved in Nadal’s hair care regimen even when he’s not cutting his hair. The Spaniard uses Farel’s patented anti-aging hair care product Restore, which promises to clean, condition and moisturize.

Andy Murray has made hair headlines for the wrong reasons. Criticism of his unruly mop prompted the 26-year-old to clean up his cut. Farel thinks it was a good move.

“The grass needs water and the grass needs great dirt,” said Farel, a landscaper of the scalp. “You really need to properly hydrate the dirt, the dermis, to make sure the hair is performing.”

“The British guy, Murray, I think he’s a really talented player. [His hair] is really good, but at some time, you need shape it a little bit to make sure it doesn’t look like a bush from the 70s,” Farel said with a chuckle.

The Holy Grail of Tennis Hair Even with celebrity clients like Gwyneth Paltrow, Richard Gere, Kate Moss and Michael J. Fox in his Rolodex, there is one more name Farel would like to add to his portfolio: Roger Federer. And he knows just what he would do if he got to run his hands through the holy grail of tennis hair. “I don’t see him with a ponytail looking like a Samurai as he looked many years back, and I don’t see him with short hair either,” he said. “I’m friends with the face of Ralph Lauren men. He has this South American Latino look, and this is the way I could cut Roger because he has the same textured hair.” Federer made headlines in early 2013 when he debuted an uncharacteristically short crew cut after patronizing a local salon on a tour stop. “I went down the street from some hotel and my hair was super short,” he said. “I'm like, ‘Oh, my God.’ And then in hindsight I was

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Beyond Farel’s vision for the notable tennis names that sit down in his chair, he hopes his salon is an anticipated retreat for players. Some come multiple times throughout a tournament, one day for a haircut, the next for a manicure or pedicure. “The tennis player goes from the gym to training to go to play the match, so they need to have some down time where they can come and chill out,” Farel said. “They know we’re not going to harass them. Some take their iPod and listen to music. At the end of the day, it is their time, and they have to focus.” Farel, a tennis fan and recreational player himself, will work to provide a quality product during his second year on the grounds of the Sony Open, though he won’t be asking for any pointers. “I think the best tip they would tell me at my level is just to practice!”


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ATP University: P

By B

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2014 IW/Miami Review


Players Get Schooled

Blair Henley

Professional tennis players train daily to prepare for the ups and downs of competition. After all, many of them have dreamt of showcasing their skills for adoring fans since they first got their hands on a tennis racquet. But even with parents, coaches and agents in their corner, not all of them are quite as well equipped to deal with the rest of the pro athlete package. Peripheral topics like dealing with the media and managing finances are somehow less riveting for teenage ingénues than the idea of impending fame and fortune.

With that in mind, the ATP created a program to help its rising stars build a foundation for a successful career on and off the court. Established in 1990 as an initiative from the Player Council, the ATP University is a mandatory, three-day seminar open to those ranked inside the top 200. Twice a year, a new group of young athletes comes together for education on topics like social media, anti-corruption, financial management, media training and anti-doping.

Austria’s Dominic Thiem was one of 11 players to graduate from the most recent session, which took place in Miami just before the Sony Open. Currently the youngest player ranked inside the top 100, the 20-year-old already has a presence on various social networks. As for deciding how much personal information to share with the public, he came away from his University experience with some good rules of thumb.

“They told us to share what you would also tell your grandmother,” Thiem explained with a smile. “You can share what you would put on a big advertisement board. You shouldn’t take pictures at 5 a.m. in a bar or something. They showed some embarrassing pictures of stars, and it was helpful to avoid some embarrassing moments.”

Like most pros, Thiem missed out on a conventional education, studying from home once he hit high school. The ATP University experience deposited him back into a classroom environment for the first time since 2009. “It started at 8:30 like real school and ended at 2:00," he said. "It

felt like I was back in school with nice guys and different teachers. I enjoyed it a lot.”

ATP Director of Player Development Erika Kegler says graduation from the University has become a rite of passage.

“I’ve heard many players say they were looking forward to coming,” she said. “Just getting to this level identifies them as one of the next elite players to emerge.”

Classes are taught by a combination of ATP executives, industry insiders and outside sources. The ATP hires a professional media trainer to spend time with each athlete, conducting and critiquing mock interviews. Players also hear from a tournament director who explains the year-round process of event planning and execution. Players are often surprised to find out how much work goes into a one or two-week tournament. Unlike many other professional sports where signing bonuses are doled out before the real work has begun, most University attendees have yet to hit the big time. It’s the perfect opportunity to teach them the basics of life in the public eye.

“This is the point where they are playing at a more consistent level at the ATP tournaments,” Kegler said. “It’s a good time when they are still malleable and willing to listen. When you have more responsible guys on the circuit it definitely helps the ATP shine a little bit brighter.”

Now in its 25th year, the ATP University has seen over 900 players pass through its doors. The program and its attention to detail have undoubtedly helped to shape the ATP World Tour brand. Plus, the players actually enjoy it. Just ask Thiem.

“It was three nice days. I wish it could happen more!"

2014 IW/Miami Review

23


FILA VINTA SONY

As the official supplier of t back to its roots with a new limited edition shoe, whic bears the official colors of th of white, orange and royal b subliminally featured on the of the color and

In a special debut for the Son rey joined Grammy nominate as he spun the latest mixes o stage in Miami. Querrey look

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2014 Australian Open Review

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GOES AGE AT Y OPEN

the Sony Open in Miami, FILA went w edition of the Original Tennis. The ch sold out in one day on fila.com, he Sony Open in a color combination blue, with the Sony Open Tennis logo e back and the sock liner reminiscent d texture of a tennis ball.

ny Open Original Tennis, Sam Quered DJ and Producer Clinton Sparks on the Sony Open Entertainment ked like a natural in the DJ booth!

25

2014 Australian Open Preview

25 2014 2014 Australian Australian Open Open Review Preview Credit: Corleve


Selfie Squeeze: Fan favorite Ana Ivanovic spent some quality time with enthusiastic fans at a meet and greet on the grounds of the Sony Open.

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2014 Australian Open Review


Double Trouble: Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka recaptured their Olympic doubles glory with a run to the Indian Wells semifinal.


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2014 Australian Open Review


Full Stride: Despite a questionable start to the 2014 season, Novak Djokovic seems to have hit full throttle on the American hard courts.


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2014 Australian Open Review


Domi-nation: Dominika Cibulkova continued to build on her success Down Under with three-set wins over Venus Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska in Miami.


Ready for Takeoff: An under-the-weather Ernests Gulbis had an early exit in Miami, but not before showcasing that funky forehand backswing.

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2014 Australian Open Review


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2014 Australian Open Review


PhenomeNadal: What back problems? Nadal put concerns for his health to rest with a trip to the Sony Open final.


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2014 Australian Open Review


Pump It Up: After skipping Indian Wells, Serena Williams came out firing in her quest to secure a record seventh Sony Open title.


Flight of the Nole: Novak Djokovic notched one for the record books by becoming only the second man in history to win the Indian Wells-Miami double twice.

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2014 Australian Open Review


Flight of the Nole: Novak Djokovic notched one for the record books by becoming only the second man in history to win the Indian WellsMiami double twice.


RANKINGS

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2014 IW/Miami Review

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Nadal, Rafael Djokovic, Novak Wawrinka, Stanislas Federer, Roger Berdych, Tomas Ferrer, David Del Potro, Juan Martin Murray, Andy Isner, John Raonic, Milos Gasquet, Richard Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried Fognini, Fabio Robredo, Tommy Dimitrov, Grigor Youzhny, Mikhail Haas, Tommy Nishikori, Kei Anderson, Kevin Almagro, Nicholas Janowicz, Jerzy Dolgopolov, Alexandr Gulbis, Ernests Kohlschreiber, Phillip Monfils, Gael

ESP SRB SUI SUI CZE ESP ARG GBR USA CAN FRA FRA ITA ESP BUL RUS GER JPN RSA ESP POL UKR LAT GER FRA

13,730 11,810 5,740 5,252 4,720 4,640 4,260 3,975 2,715 2,710 2,635 2,615 2,340 2,140 2,130 2,090 2,075 1,985 1,940 1,750 1,715 1,690 1,655 1,510 1,510

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Williams, Serena USA Li, Na CHI Radwanska, Agnieszka POL Azarenka, Victoria BLR Halep, Simona ROM Kvitova, Petra CZE Kerber, Angelique GER Jankovic, Jelena SRB Sharapova, Maria RUS Cibulkova, Dominika SVK Errani, Sara ITA Pennetta, Flavia ITA Ivanonic, Ana SRB Wozniacki, Caroline DNK Lisicki, Sabine GER Vinci, Roberta ITA Suarez Narvarro, Carla ESP Stephens, Sloane USA Stosur, Samantha AUS Bouchard, Eugenie CAN Pavlyuchenkova, Anastasia RUS Makarova, Ekaterina RUS Cornet, Alize FRA Kanepi, Kaia EST Flipkens, Kirsten BEL

12,660 7,585 5,980 5,441 4,695 4,370 4,185 4,150 3,961 3,720 3,645 3,270 3,120 2,740 2,720 2,685 2,660 2,550 2,485 2,445 2,245 2,240 2,155 2,110 2,085


2014 INDIAN WELLS/MIAMI REVIEW 2014 Australian Open Review

43

2014 Indian Wells/Miami Review  

As the American hard-court swing ends and the clay season begins, we're giving you a preview of what to expect on the road to Roland Garros....

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