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 JR Tennis Tournaments (North Carolina) (Raleigh, Cary, and beyond)

1/06 Raleigh Ice Cold L5                                             Raleigh NC

1/06 Downeast New Year Challenger NC L4           Snow Hill NC

2/03 2018 Polar Bear Shootout NC L4                       Snow Hill NC 

2/10 Raleigh Winter NC L5                                          Raleigh NC

2/17 Downeast Pre-Season Jr Challenge NC L4       Snow Hill NC

2/24 RRC Winter Championships NC L4                    Raleigh NC 

3/03 Mercedes Benz of Cary Junior Championships NC L4    Cary NC

3/10 Ebony Rc Junior NC L4                                    Raleigh NC

3/17 Southern Village Club Junior Championships NC L3/STA L4    Chapel Hill NC

3/23 KMS Jr Open NC L4                                            Kinston NC 

3/31 Snow Hill Spring Jr Open Tournament NC L4    Snow Hill NC

 

-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.

Tennis Training, Players and Parents

When working with kids in tennis the key player is the parent.    Usually it is one parent who is involved, it could be the father or the mother.   If you are working with a kid you have to constantly work to be sure the parent is “on board” with what you are doing.    The sooner you can make the kid “look” like a tennis player, then the more positive rapport you build with the parent.     Early on in the course of the child learning tennis, there is a chance that the parent will be questioning if the kid can “really do it” and if the kid can actually learn the game.      You will have to work with the kid and the parent to keep them “in it” the more the kid can play tennis, the better their skills will be and you will strengthen your case.

Also, the competition can be tricky.   Kids and parents have a tendency to overreact.   If the kid wins then the kid thinks they are “great” and their parent will be overjoyed at seeing how good their kid is at tennis.    That is good for you as the coach.     However, if the player gets on the court and loses then the kid thinks “they suck” and the parents are not impressed and it makes them wonder whey the kid is not winning and if they are even good at tennis.

The job of the coach is to help “sell the game” and help the parents understand that tennis is a PROCESS and it really does take time for the skills of the player to develop.

-DJ ROBO BISCUIT

November 26th, 2017

Tennis (October 29 2017)

 

When you work with a player and you work as a coach you have to look to see if there is talent.

The player needs to have some kind of talent.  It can take different forms.  They could have great balance.  They could have great strength.  They could have  a fast arm.   They could be very tough mentally.   They could have great hand-eye coordination.

If the player just has one of these talents then they are worthwhile to work with, it could just go be that they have good “balance” or could be they are “quick” on their feet.

Then the first thing to teach them is the forehand. And they need to be able to FEEL what it is like to hit a clean ball.    Right in the middle of their racquet with their arm extended.  So that way the player can understand that the technique does matter as opposed to flailing at the ball.

And then you want them to build some consistency with the forehand so they start to feel confident they can hit the ball a lot if they need to.

Then you move onto the backhand.

Then you develop topspin.

you want to teach the player to hit clean balls off of both sides and show them how to RALLY because you want them to understand what tennis is actually like.

-DJ ROBO BISCUIT

Tennis, College Tennis, Raleigh North Carolina

(Pictured above is Erin Faulkner, who has played at Michigan State and trained in Raleigh)

Here are some colleges to consider for tennis:

FURMAN

WESTERN CAROLINA

UNC GREENSBORO

APP STATE

UNC CHARLOTTE

 

Information on colleges and the players who play there can be found on “tennis recruiting . net”   you can see who the players are, how many stars they have, and what college they go to.

In order to play on a “nice” college team like a Lower D1 School or better, then the player needs to be a 3 star recruit or higher.  In order to go higher than 3 star, a player needs to compete in tournaments that are outside the state, and they would need a “sectional” ranking or a “national” ranking

DJ ROBO BISCUIT

Biscuit Review: Kabiru Ibrahim Tennis Raleigh North Carolina

Kabiru Ibrahim is a Master Tennis Coach in the Raleigh area.

This is a biscuit review of Kabiru Ibrahim who is a tennis coach working in the Raleigh area of North Carolina.  Kabiru has a specialization in developing juniors for tournament play.  This blogger has observed his players in action and can say that the players he trains often have extremely “clean” groundstrokes and usually his players are very “balanced” they rarely appear to be off-balance or court off-guard by how the ball is struck.

He successfully coached Erin Faulkner who went on to play at Michigan State.

Kabiru, in addition to his tennis training, will also do strength training with his players to develop their muscles and improve their ball-striking.

Kabiru Ibrahim was an accomplished player in his own career.  He had ATP Points playing for Nigeria (currently inactive but he still comes up on the ATP website which is pretty cool).  He also played #1 for Shaw University.

Kabiru is a mobile tennis center.  He can often be found coaching his players on public courts in the City of Raleigh.  This blogger has witnessed Kabiru hitting balls with his more advanced players and his ball-striking is still very impressive.  He is built sturdy and can really pound the ball when he wants to.  Many of his players are good at volleying as well; he appears to encourage them to play more of an all-court game.

This blogger recommends seeking out Kabiru if you are a strong player who needs to fine-tune his/her tennis game.  Kabiru is somewhat of a “groundstroke guru”  Also, if you are looking to have your son or daughter trained then he is an excellent coach if you are serious about tournament play as well as a potential college scholarship.

DJ ROBO BISCUIT gives Kabiru Ibrahim TWO Thumbs Up.

If you are looking to find Kabiru this blogger recommends contacting Millbrook Tennis Center at the Millbrook Exchange Park in order to get his contact information.

-DJ ROBO BISCUIT, September 2017, End of Post