Tennis Mailbag (cont.)
Strikes me that we haven't had a contest in a while. Let's kick this off and we'll post the winners during the U.S. Open. Here's the deal: In a paragraph (please keep these under, say, 250 words) tell me about your best random encounter with a professional tennis player. Winners will get a Prince O3 Speedport Racket autographed by the Bryan Brothers.
No Andre Agassi ceremony this year but the USTA announced that the 2008 U.S. Open will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the founding of tennis' Open Era. The U.S. Open's Opening Night on Aug. 25 will launch the celebration with an on-court ceremony highlighting the 40 U.S. Open singles champions in the 40 years since 1968. Throughout the tournament, the U.S. Open will feature additional celebrations and special tributes to past champions.
After a slow start to the year, has there been a hotter player post-Wimbledon than Juan Martin del Potro? JMDP beat Andy Roddick in the final to win the Countrywide Classic in L.A. last weekend. Look for this kid -- still a teenager -- at the U.S. Open.
Rohan Bopanna and Eric Butorac won the L.A. doubles.
I'm told we had a dead link for the Pete Sampras petition last week. Check out this one. Also, the name of the group is "Samprasfanz" not Sampras Fans.
I still find it remarkable that this is legal, but a New Yorker sent this link to the two-handled racket.
Interesting riff from Tom Franklin of Chatham, N.J.: " I thought I'd weigh in on your high ball toss comment regarding the greater likelihood of inaccuracy with a higher ball toss.
One of the most important components of any good serve is the player's own rhythm with the motion. One of my most effective methods for teaching the serve to new players is to instill a sense of rhythm to the motion (one-two-three-snap!). Each player develops their own comfort level with the precise timing of this rhythm, with the back swing and toss effecting timing the most. Some players like a nice relaxed rhythm with a higher ball toss, while others shorten the rhythm with a lower toss. Whichever way the server feels most comfortable, I'm OK with it.
Small changes in toss trajectory due to wind or small adjustments due to the sun are of small consequence when compared to the sense of rhythm a player develops. Steffi Graf and Novak Djokovic are great examples of exemplary servers with a slightly slower, more relaxed rhythm, with an easier back swing and a higher toss. Roscoe Tanner would be an extreme example of a quicker rhythm and much lower toss. By concentrating on a comfortable rhythm, players also become less fixated on individual aspects of the total motion and become effective, even dominant servers more quickly. So I say, if it feels good, toss-em high!"
Marcelo Rios moved to the top of the South African Airways Rankings after capturing his second Vale do Lobo Grand Champions CGD title in three years.
In the interest of equal time, here's Rainer Schuettler firing back at the ITF.
Erwin Karreman of Regina, Saskatchewan: You proposed to leave Dominica Cibulkova off the hook for retiring at matchpoint. What about Boris Pashanski, who retired facing six match points against Mathieu Montcourt in a challenger in Finland last week?
Nice to see Taylor Dent in the Legg Mason draw. And I write that with Misti May competing in the background.
This week;s unsolicited book rec: Jeff Pearlman's Boys Will be Boys.
Twin brothers and USPTA certified tennis teaching professionals, Angelo A. and Ettore Rossetti broke the Guinness World Record for the longest tennis rally last weekend.
H. Giovanni of New York: I just noticed on that Web site with the Suicide Pool a bunch of U.S. Open tips. Thought that I'd share it with you and your readers.
And Matt Rush of Easton, Pa., sends us:
HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYONE!