On Tennis and Talent

On coaching tennis and Talent.

When teaching tennis, if you are looking for a student who can be a winner then you must seek out someone who has “talent.”  It can take different forms.  Some players have great hand-eye coordination, some players are very balanced in their movement, some players have natural strength.  There are some men and women who are more “built” to be playing Softball or baseball: they are not that fast, they are a little bit chunky or heavier, but they can hit the ball with great power.  These players can be quite good on the junior level since they can develop big serves and lots of power with their groundstrokes.

Some players are gifted with speed but they are “slight of build.”  And perhaps not only are they speedy but also “patient.”  Some players have a natural talent for patience.  So, at the junior level and in tournaments they become the “pushers.”  They get all of the balls back and they wait for a mistake to happen.  And they are willing to play all day and hit as many balls as possible to wait for the mistake to occur.

The kids who are able to succeed the most, they usually have a combination of talents.  Perhaps they are competitive with a strong desire to win the matches.  If the “competitive nature” is mixed in with a good hand-eye coordination and natural strength then you have the potential for an extremely good player.  If the player is athletic and can develop “weapons” to play with, then they will be able to surpass players who are less gifted.

 

-DJ ROBO BISCUIT

2018 Pro Men To Watch

Federer and Nadal are the 2 big players of 2017.  Will they be able to keep the magic flowing in 2018?     Nadal is still very dangerous on Clay at the French.  Federer could literally beat anybody if he is healthy and playing well and Federer is most likely still the favorite at Wimbledon.

I think if Dimitrov keeps his head straight then he can maintain his time in the top 10.  And Dimitrov is incredibly dangerous.  He played amazing at the World Tour Finals but I’ll be curious to see if he can maintain his form.

The Young Guns of Zverev and Thiem are definitely the big dangers to the elite players since both of them have a lot of energy and both of them hit the ball huge off the ground.

Also, If Jack Sock and Del Potro keep their bodies healthy then they are both incredibly dangerous to the rest of the field.   Sock has a unique power game with his huge spin on the forehand and he has become more crafty and versatile, as well as being faster.   Del Potro is also super dangerous with his big serve and big forehand, if his timing is there he can boss around the other players.

I will be very curious to see if Djokovic and Murray come back to form, since they are returning from injury.   I think both of them had a rough 2017.   Djokovic had very noticeable losses to Nick Kyrgios in Indian Wells and Mexico.   Murray lost to Pospisil at Indian Wells.   I think Murray can come back to the top 5 but I am not sure about Djokovic, I think Djokovic has lost some of his drive and lost a lot of confidence.

The biggest player to watch in 2018 will be Nick Kyrgios.  Nick Kyrigos has the whole game, huge serve, big forehand, touch, volleys, sneaky backhand, no fear.     He has the ability to beat all of the top players.   He is prone to having meltdowns and to lose his focus and motivation.  If Kyrgios is focused then I have no doubt that he can move right up towards the top 5.

Also, if Raonic is healthy, then Milos can return to the top 10.   The combination of his massive serve with his forehand and his desire to go to the net makes him mega dangerous especially on the hard courts and grass courts.   On the Clay courts, Raonic is a dud, he can’t keep up with any of the spaniards.  If Raonic is healthy, look for him to do some damage at the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open.

I hope that Gilles Muller can keep it up, he had a great upset over Nadal and I love Muller’s lefty attacking game.     I hope that Diego Schwartzman will stay solid as rock and continue his climb up I think he can move close to the top 20.     Also, I hope that Gasquet will stay healthy because he has the ability to get inside the top 15.

Andrey Rublev, Ryan Harrison, Denis Shapovalov, Jared Donalson, and Hyeon Chung are the young gun players to watch in 2018.  Rublev had a big run at the US Open and his ball-striking is excellent.   Ryan Harrison is more of a veteran but it seems that he has found his mental game again.   Shapovalov is mega talented and lefty and it is no fluke that he was able to beat Nadal.   Donaldson is super steady and had that clay court training in Buenos Aires, I think Donaldson will continue to grind his way up into the top 30.   Chung hits the ball in a unique way but it is also no fluke that he won the next gen tournament;  Chung was having a good run at the French Open last year but had a difficult run in with Nishikori.

Also, I think that Matthew Ebden is back in the game.  Look for Ebden to move his way up and get into the top 50.

Overall, the men’s game has a lot of talent right now.  I think 2018 is going to be a year of upsets with various players like Thiem or Shapovalov or Rublev beating well-known players at big events.    It is good to see that the ATP is trying to help the young players since the “old guard” of Fed, Nadal, Murray, and Djoko are hitting 30+.   I’ll be watching the year closely.

One last piece, the prize money has increased more at the Grand Slams.  It is crazy.  Sloane Stephens got 3.7 million at the US Open (good for her!)    And at the Australian Open it looks like the winner is going to get 4 million !!!    This is huge money.   I’ll be curious if the numbers just keep going up,     up to 4.5 million, and then 5 million, etc etc.

Let me know what you think.

-End of Post, DJ ROBO BISCUIT,   stay fluffy!

 

2018 Pro Women To Watch (WTA)

These are women to watch in 2018.

Jaimee Fourlis (Ranking: 324)   18 year old Jaimee Fourlis will be a player to watch on the WTA tour.   Fourlis has an athletic build and is a big striker of the ball.  She has had good junior success and is ready to make her breakthrough on the pro stage.    She has a wildcard into the Australian Open and will most likely be seen in the lead up tournaments as well.

 

Destanee Aiava (153)  17 year old Aiava of Australia is also set to gain ground in 2018.  She won the Wildcard playoff in Australia so she is into the year’s first grand slam.  Aiava has a good athletic build and hits the ball very strong off the ground; she has easy power.   In 2017 she defeated Bethanie Mattek Sands.

 

3) Wozniacki.   Expect more winning and more consistency from Wozniacki.  By the end of 2017, Wozniacki was looking to be the most “solid” of the players with her movement, her returning, and her backhand looking the most consistent.

4) Bundle Group –    Look for Svitolina, Ostapenko, and Garcia to continue their winning ways.   Svitolina has the best “all around game” of the top 10 women.   If Ostapenko is “hot” then she can beat any player by just hitting winner after winner.   Look for Garcia to have more wins especially against players like Wozniacki and Halep.  Garcia is striking her groundstrokes very cleanly and her swing volley as well as her aggressive play is strong!

5)  Ashleigh Barty.  World #17 Ashleigh Barty is extremely dangerous.   She is a very talented and athletic player.   If she is playing well I expect her to produce upsets and work her way close to the top 10.

 

6) NOT Kerber.   I think players have figured out how to beat Kerber and she has lost some of her confidence.

7) Maria Sharapova.   Expect Sharapova to continue her climb up the rankings.   Sharapova has an extremely strong competitive spirit combined with some of the other players.  You will see various players give up once they start losing, but Sharapova will continue to fight for the whole match.    She has the heart of a champion.

8) Naomi Osaka of Japan.  Osaka is a huge striker of the ball.  Expect her to do more winning in 2018 and work her way up the rankings more.

9) Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil.    She is very solid and clearly has more of a clay court style game.  She is lefty and is very consistent.  I expect her to continue her winning ways and to climb the rankings.

10) Sabalenka of Belarus. The 19 year old World #73 is like a young Sharapova.  She is a grunter and a big striker of the ball off of both wings.  I expect her to win more matches (as long as keeps her on straight)

 

Also, assuming they are healthy, If Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka come back for the full season then they have good chances of dominating the tour.  They will face opposition from players like Pliskova or Venus or Sharapova.  But when they are playing well, Serena and Azarenka are extremely hard for the other women to beat.

Let me know if you agree or disagree.  Or just let me know what players you think are the ones to watch in 2018.

-End of Post, DJ ROBO BISCUIT

Sampras Forehand, Robert Lansdorp and Tennis Training

Pete Sampras had a great forehand.  Many he said he had one of the best on-the-run forehands of all time.   Sampras hit the forehand very flat and he DROVE through the ball often to devastating effect.      His clean hit and clean swing on the forehand side also allowed him to develop a clean attacking approach shot.

Sampras uses what is known as the “Lansdorp Forehand”   it uses a classic grip and does NOT use heavy topspin or a western-grip.    Robert Lansdorp is a famous coach who is a living legend.   He trained Sampras and Davenport and Tracy Austin and Maria Sharapova.

If you want to read some interesting opinion on training I would check out the blog that Robert has (or maybe used to have):     https://robertlansdorp.wordpress.com/philosophy/

 

Lansdorp he stresses “Discipline”      and he is big on the players being focused.   He also wants the players to spend a lot of time on repetition.   Some might say “ball after ball after ball”          He has a “tough guy” approach and he demands discipline of the player.   I think Lansdorp is a great coach and his track record really speaks for itself.    I am sure he has rubbed many people the wrong way throughout his life BUT I can say for sure, that now, in a time where American tennis is looking weak … and people are asking “where are all of the champions?”     People need to be looking at Robert Lansdorp and his teaching approach.

-DJ ROBO BISCUIT

P.S. If you google Lansdorp or the “Lansdorp Forehand” you can easily find more information about him.

Turn Pro Christopher Eubanks (Big Man)

Eubanks should go pro.

He played well against Fritz and Donaldson.   Fritz is a power player and Donaldson was a more solid version of Fritz and Donaldson had more training on the red clay so you can tell he plays with more margin of error.    In the end, Harrison was too strong and crafty for Eubanks.   Also, it was clear that Eubanks was not “on his game” against Harrison.    In his match against Fritz and Donaldson,  Eubanks played well by dominating with power tennis.   Big serving and big forehands.   He is 6 foot 8.   He should be able to crack more aces and hit more serves that are unreturnable.   if he has the desire then he should go Pro,  If Karlovic and Isner can do it then Eubanks can do it.      It was a great display by Eubanks and I think he could win more by “going for broke more often”    Attacking when his opponent is serving and going for aces in his game similar to Karlovic and Isner.   Also, Eubanks has a good one-handed backhand and a good slice.   He should continue to get up to the net.

I was happy with how Eubanks played and I hope he will keep playing more tournaments.  He has the game right now to be around the top 60 or top 70 of the ATP and he is going to have to “grind” to pull his game up to the top 30!   But Isner and Karlovic could do it.

-DJ ROBO BISCUIT

Brazilian Tennis (Beatriz Haddad Maia)

She is on the rise!  Number 76 in the world Beatriz Haddad Maia.  One of the few high level female players from Brazil.   She is lefty.  She plays more of a counter-punching style based on being consistent.  It appears she has more of a skill-set for constructing points on the clay.

 

 

Haddad Maia does not possess any big powerful weapons but she can slice her lefty serve and she can MAKE BALLS!

 

Also, the Brazilian male player MONTIERO plays pretty well, he is a lefty and a good clay court grinder with a pretty clean game (very spin spin).

 

Hurray for tennis!   I hope that Beatriz Haddad Maia can keep winning and pull her ranking up into the top 50!!!

DJ ROBO BISCUIT

American Tennis at Wimbledon 2017

Madison Brengle!  Alison Riske!  Jared Donaldson!

Madison Brengle knocks out Petra Kvitova.

Alison Riske defeats Mladenovic! (french player)

Jared Donaldson makes it past Lorenzi and must play Dominic Thiem!

You would think the USTA and American Press would be going nuts!   This is great tennis success for American youngsters!      But these players are not household names.     There is nothing fancy about Alison Riske, she is a baseliner with a counterpunching game.   Jared Donaldson is a grinder and a basher who plays rock solid because he honed his game in Buenos Aires (very smart).    Madison Brengle has a super ugly game.  I am exaggerating by writing that.   Her game does not look like Maria Sharapova at all.   You can tell that Brengle did get her strokes fine-tuned over and over again by Rick Macci and Robert Lansdorp and Nick Bolletieri.   For Brengle,  she is always changing the spins, she does not often have full follow-throughs.   She likes to use the forehand-chip ball to change the pace.     You can see she is often hitting her backhand very flat.   In my opinion, Brengle is the BRAD GILBERT of the Women’s game, she plays the game like chess and she forces her opponent to play worse and worse as they adjust to her style of play.   I’m a big Brengle fan!!!     But the USTA does not like her, they never give her any praise!!!   You could have a list of American players and they would skip over her.   The only way possible for Brengle to get some love from the USTA would be if she made it to the Semifinals of a grand slam and knocked out multiple seeds, they would be like “Damn, this girl is good at winning matches.”     Life is tough for Brengle, she has had to grind and grind and grind.   And she can not overwhelm her opponent with power.   Sometimes Brengle will surprise her opponents with a winner off either side but she will often wait for an error or try to make her opponent uncomfortable.

I hope these non-famous players can keep on winning!  I am happy for them because I know their rankings will go up!!!

Also, keep an eye on Osaka!  Naomi Osaka is a huge threat to Venus Williams!

Go American tennis!  And go unconventional tennis!

Stay fluffy, DJ ROBO BISCUIT, July 6th 2017

French Open Update 2017 (Biscuit needs to get better)

Hello All,

Here is an update on this year’s French Open.  I had previously said that these women would make the Quarterfinals.

Angelique Kerber

Dominika Cibulkova

Simona Halep

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Carla Suarez Navarro

Lauren Davis

Daria Gavrilova

Laura Siegemund

 

Only 3 of them are still left in the tournament.  Kerber lost, Cibulkova was upset by Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, Davis was knocked out, Gavrilova lost, and Siegemund was out with injury.

Simona Halep

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Carla Suarez Navarro

These 3 are the players to watch.  Also, Ostapenko is very dangerous; CiCi Bellis I think will lose to Caroline Wozniacki.  Muguruza is a former champion.    Svitolina is talented.  And Pliskova is #2 in the world.

So now look for these 8 in the quarterfinals.

Simona Halep

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Carla Suarez Navarro

Ostapenko

Wozniacki

Muguruza

Svitolina

Pliskova (World #2)

(and here is one more contender: Timea Bacinsky)

 

The current women’s pro tour is extremely difficult to predict.  It appears to be very common that in grand slams the upsets just rain like hellfire.  Unknown players get HOT and rip winners; the seeds get cocky and can’t make their shots, and some players just mentally breakdown.  Just look at Ons Jabeur of Tunisia!  Nobody was expecting her to come through qualifying and then knock out Cibulkova.

 

Also, on the Men’s side: Tsonga was upset in the first round.   Nick Kyrgios was defeated by Kevin Anderson of South Africa.   Monfils will play Richard GasQUET (I am expecting Monfils to win that one, BUT Richard is extremely talented on the clay)

It looks like there is a high chance of NADAL and MURRAY and DJOKOVIC and WAWRINKA going deep in the tournament.

 

(End of Post)

Stay Fluffy!

 

Update to French Open 2017 picks from the Biscuit

UPDATE

Hey! This is my early French Open Prediction (with an update). I’m doing the prediction based on my tennis knowledge and my keeping up with the tour so far this year (also, I can not predict if people will get injured and pull out right before the tournament).  Now I am adjusting for current news.

For the WTA this will be the 8 women in the quarterfinals:

Angelique Kerber

Dominika Cibulkova

Simona Halep

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Carla Suarez Navarro

Lauren Davis

Daria Gavrilova

Laura Siegemund

Kerber is a counter-puncher. Cibulkova is a grinder. Halep’s game is well suited for the clay (hopefully she doesn’t get knocked out by Shelby Rogers early on). Kuznetsova is a beast and knows how to win on clay. Navarro is a dirt-baller with a beautiful one-handed backhand. Lauren Davis is fast and a grinder, she plays great on the clay.  Gavrilova is a battler who loves the fight and will feed off the French Open crowd. Siegemund has been playing really well on the clay and she has a really nice game so I have faith that she can make it deep.

ATP French Open QuarterFinals:

Stan Wawrinka

Juan Martin Del Potro

Rafael Nadal

Dominic Thiem

David Goffin

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Gael Monfils

Nick Kyrgios

I’m expecting Murray and Djokovic to get knocked out. For some reason they are very beatable right now. Tsonga and Monfils have the French crowd to motivate them. Kyrgios is box-office and if his head is in the game then he can hit right through the clay no problem. Dominic Thiem is MONEY on the clay with his game. It is harder on the men’s side due to the depth of competition. There are some very tough clay court players like Zeballos or Ramos Vinolas or Carreno Busta or Pablo Cuevas and these guys can be VERY VERY dangerous. But those are my picks!

I hope my fans will comment or my haters will let me know how bad my picks are! I also challenge other people to make an early prediction!!!

Thank you to all my fans and viewers! Stay fluffy!

-End of Entry, DJ ROBO BISCUIT

Lesser Known Pro Players (of Tennis)

On this post I want to highlight some pro players who are good or cool who are much less famous than the players who always win titles and such.  The Pro Tour is big and there are many players who are always battling to get inside the Top 100 and get fame/fortune.

CAGLA BUYUKAKCAY – is a Turkish tennis player.  Currently 157 in the world on the WTA circuit.  With a career high of 60 in the world.  In 2016, she won the Istanbul Cup defeating Danka Kovinic in the finals.

IPEK SOYLU – is another Turkish tennis player.  Currently 155 in the world.  She has had success on the ITF circuit and in 2014 she won the US Open Girls doubles.  Only 21 years old, so she still has time to make her WTA tour success.

SABINA SHARIPOVA – obviously her name is very similar to Maria’s.  She is an Uzbek tennis player.  She has won title on the ITF circuit.

JANG SU-JEONG – A south Korea player.  Age 22.  She has had ITF success.  Currently 125 in the world.

BEATRIZ HADDAD MAIA – A 20 year old player from Brazil.  Currently 108 in the world.  She has won 2 doubles titles on the WTA tour.  She appears to be “on the rise.”

 

Mens:

ALEXANDER BUBLIK – he is a lesser known “young gun” only 19 years old from Russia and playing for Kazakhstan.  He is talented and can win matches at the highest level.

MARIUS COPIL – Currently at a career high ranking of 90 in the world!  Romania.  One-handed backhand.

CASPER RUUD – 18 years old from Norway.  He is another ATP young gun.  He is currently a Yonex player.

 

The ATP and WTA is vast.  Usually the light is always shown on players who make it to the semifinals of tournaments.  I do my best to follow up and coming players to see if they are able to win just one match here and there and slowly pull the ranking up so they have the opportunity to actually play the real players.  Real players being top 100 tennis players.  On the ATP and the WTA, once you are top 100 then you are for real.  If you are a pro player who is consistently top 80 in the world then you are making a good living.  Sometimes, the lesser known players, in the course of one year they only have one or two notable wins.  It is a grind!

I hope my post can bring a little more light to some of the lesser known players on the tour.

Thank you!  DJ ROBO BISCUIT