The Off Season
January 17, 2017
With tennis being such a global sport and all parts of the World wanting to have their piece of the action, it can be a long and grueling year for professional players. The top players have around 6 weeks from mid November till the end of December to both refresh their bodies and minds and also put in some serious strength and conditioning to prepare themselves for another year of pushing the limits.
But before we get to the off or pre season, let’s recap an amazing finish to the tennis year. Normally post US OPEN can get a bit boring and people’s attention is already focused on the AUSTRALIAN OPEN but if you switched off your tennis alerts this year you missed some serious headlines!
The Asian swing saw Nick Kyrgios win the Japan Open becoming the first Aussie to win a tournament of that level since Lleyton Hewitt did it over 10 years earlier! We saw Andy Murray continue his invincible second half of the year somehow reeling in and eventually over taking Novak Djokovic in a script writer’s dream, the final of the ATP Tour end championship in London. The year end number one all down to one match in which Andy continued his momentum cruising to victory. But we still weren’t done as attention switched to the Davis Cup Final and a football stadium like atmosphere in Croatia where Argentina took the trophy for the first time ever! Highlighted by the remarkable comeback from injury of Juan Martin Delpotro who also came back from 2 sets down against Marin Cilic in a do or die 4th rubber for the Argies!
Avid tennis followers probably needed the break as much as the pros!
So here we are in the off season. Players have hopefully taken a break and refreshed and are now fully into pre season training. During this time players hit the track and the gym hard!
On court sessions can be grueling twice a day for a minimum of 2 hours. Everyone is looking for an advantage and everyone goes about it in their own way. Some guys like Jim Courier or Novak Djokovic are happy to show the World the training they are doing. They do this through videos, social media or like Novak’s extremely insightful book, Serve to Win , about his rigorous training and diet. Others like Pete Sampras or Roger Federer are extremely private and secretive about their training. I see valid points in both personal preferences. The Couriers and Djokovics of the World are happy to show their work, I would imagine in the hope of scaring off the opposition and the belief that no one else can be working as hard as they are. The Sampases and Federers believe they have a secret and want the World to think there is something mysterious and ground breaking happening in a private gym to give them the edge.
This year under the vision of Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt there were a series of camps in Melbourne. The Davis Cup Squad and then the best under 23’s. I think it is great to do the fitness in a team group environment. That way you push each other and each reach a new individual level.
Let’s face it, if you are going to suffer you might as well suffer in company!
The boys have worked really hard and I’m expecting an exciting Aussie Open from the Australian contingent.
Written by: Jaymon Crabb
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