Legendary tennis coach and founder of IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis program, Nick Bollettieri, spent some time watching the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California this past weekend. Bollettieri watched a lot of matches, analyzed a few players, and had some insights to share.
These are Bollettieri's thoughts on...
...Andy Murray vs. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez: Andy Murray lost in the first round, but I contend that he simply got beat by Garcia Lopez, who played the match of his life. It was truly a shock to witness their match, especially considering how well Murray has played - including his recent win. Lendl has made a difference including no mental breakdown throughout the match, even when behind.
...Christina McHale vs. Petra Kvitova: All I have to say is "Wow!". I was talking to myself and even scratching my head throughout the match, contemplating exactly what was happening. To hear the announcer talk about McHale playing Junior ITF tournaments last year and 1 year later being in the 20's, beating the No. 3 player in the world - it was amazing.
McHale lost the first set because she could not get her first serves in. Despite this she was able to make a huge adjustment for the secondset. She won the second set by doing two things. She gotmore first serves in and she movedKvitova deep, side-to-side, and down the middle when in trouble.
The book on Kvitova is the following:
1. When she is "on", WATCH OUT.
2. When she loses focus, the balls will go just about anywhere.
There is no question in my mind that McHale will avoid being a one-hit wonder. The U.S.T.A. has done a superb job with her.
It's sad to witness Andy trying to compete because no matter how hard he fights there is just a lack of fire power. He doesn't control play and put his opponent on the defense like he used to be so good at doing. There are several things I noticed with Andy this weekend:
His serve is inconsistent.He stands 6 to 10 feet behind the baseline.His backhand lacks fire power because his top hand does absolutely nothing.His movement is far below what it used to be (much of this due to his ankle injury).He is confused and frustrated from always being on the defense.
What must he do?
He has one of the most outstanding coaches on tour in Larry Stefanki - Larry must tell Andy:
Do not go back more than 2 or 3 feet behind the baseline.
Let's put your slice to sleep or send it on vacation.
Get to your backhand and hit the ball.
Andy should do what Agassi did every day: he would take his bottom hand off the racket and hit all his backhands with his left hand. This exercise will force Andy to accelerate on contact with the palm of his left hand facing outside at the end of his hit.
He must also come forward to hit all his forehands and backhands. He must attack the net more often and, when inside the baseline, also come to the net.
He must contain his frustration and get back to the old Andy. Hit the tar out of the ball while doing some serving and volleying.Andy cannot leave the game as he is now playing. He must get back on track and dictate play, pump his fists, and know he can win again.
1. No player is more tenacious than Rafael Nadal.
2. Yes, Nadal has a unique follow-through on his forehand, ending up-and-over his hitting shoulder.Be careful, as there is only one Nadal - make sure to wear a helmet when you tennis lovers try to copy this shot.
3. What most tennis fans do not know is that Nadal is one of the best volleyers on tour. Why? He moves to the ball with his feet and gets eye level when hitting low volleys - by bending his knees.
4. He gets a lot more aggressive when behind. Opponents should know that and beat him to the punch - go for it before 'Rafa' does.
5. Nadal has incredible racket head speed, especially when hitting on the run.
6. Players must force play and make earlier contact with the ball when playing Nadal. You cannot give him time. This is why Novak Djokovic is so tough against Nadal.