Monday Oct 25th

Roger Federer won his 64th ATP title ion sunday in Sweden at the Stockholm Open.Good news for swedish tennis ’cause when you win a tournament,your’e likely to go back there next year.”Act as if you belong” is an expression that I personally,morally disagree with,but when you are playing tennis it’s most probably the single most imprtant “weapon” to use that your opponent can’t do anything about!Victoria Azarenka uses it better than most and she’s back on the winning trail after claiming the title in Moscow.She will be very “dangerous” in 2011,as the WTA tour is missing a “dominant”player right now!
WOW just spent a weekend in south New Jersey in Doylestown at “the Tennis Club of Doylestown and at the Cherry Hill Health and Raquet club.

For Wow, did two days of clinics and an exhibitionevent at the Doylestown Tennis racquet Club,where we conducted three “sold out clinics”and at the Cherry Hill Health and Raquet Club in south New Jersey.Both days went really well and as always WOW still “has never met a stranger”It’s amazing to me how good it feels to interact with people on and off the tenniscourt who are truly having a great time and all it really takes “is doing your best”and”live in the moment”.Everyone involved also did their best to raise money for the Cooper Childrens hospital in Cherry Hill.,there’s a lot of people to thank for this weekend,Mark Macler,Ed/karen and Jim in Doylestownand Chuck/Brian in Cherry Hill and for me personally-Cameron and Mark,great job,you had all your “boxes ticked” again!You who read this blog, wll be”hearing”from me again in a week.”Be safe” and “take a lot of chances”

Just my thoughts!

Roger Federer won his 900th ATP tour match on thursday at the Stockholm Open and I would be very surprised if he hasn’t won his 1000th match before the end of 2012.Not only is he winning matches,he’s actually a better player right now than ever before.Hiring Paul Annacone as his coach was nessecary to try learn to play more aggresive,which is what he needs to do to beat Rafael Nadal ever again.The only problem is that both Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray love to play against “aggressive”players,but even though Roger lost to Djokovic at the US Open,he did have two matchpoints and was actually to defensive on at least one of them,I still like his chances in a 3-5 set match against both of those guys.Will we get to see a Federer-Nadal matchup at a Grand Slam in 2011?If we do and if RF keeps up his “new style,it could be the “greatest match of all time!Stay tuned for more blogs,in general on sundayevening/mondaymorning.Have a good weekend,Mats
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Who’s the favorite?

Robin Soderling-Tomas Berdych,this is like a videogame.There really is no gameplan here,just hit the ball “better”than your opponent.Soderling has the “edge”,fasten your seatbelts!!

Playing like the guys!

Finally,we have a great match-up in the womens final.
Samantha Stosur-Franchesca Schiavone are pretty much unknown to people on the street,but to me they are real players,as in,they don’t have to play their best to still win!Both are very “crafty” and move really well,which then translates into “I will give myself the best chance to win”.It’s an intriguing final
whatever happens.Maybe the best we have ever seen here at The French Open,since Navratilova-Evert,when tennis came second to “character”!!

Days 8, 9, 10

Have not written for a few days due to social commitments and late nights (of tennis). The past few days have been unbelievable…the most notable being yesterday where Mats’ fellow Swede, Robin Soderling, defeated Goliath in convincing fashion. It is worthy to note, that this is the first time a player has defeated defending Champions in back-to-back years at Roland Garros (Nadal last year) since Mats had in 1984 and 1985 where he defeated Yannick Noah and Lendl respectively (thanks to Greg Sharko from tennis channel for that bit of information). Robin was hitting the ball so hard and looked such at ease. Good luck to him!

On other notes, filmed a three minute spot for Game Set and Mats which aired last night! Lorenzo Fonzeworthy was the alter ego. Dlouhy and Paes keep cruising as they defeated the Polish team of Frystenberg and Matkowski 6-1, 6-3 and are now in the Semi-finals. Good luck to them as well! Mats and I have also been discussing of how to create the ulimate WOW experience here at the French. We are in the process of putting together a dream getaway, so if anyone is interested please shoot us an email. Bright sunny skies today should be a great day for tennis! Nadal plays in two hours!

French Open Day 7

Another rainy day at Roland Garros. What a small difference there is between the top pros. Henin should have lost that match or at least I think it should have been closer. Sharapova came out firing. She was up 2-0 and 40-0 against Henin’s serve. She was blasting balls on the first break point, and Henin’s slice backhand kept her in the point until Sharapova missed a routine forehand. Unbelievable. Henin was able to save that service game which changed the entire outcome of the match. The difference is so small!!!! Watched Dlouhy and Paes win again (fairly convincingly on Court 2). Also filmed a three minute spot for Game Set Mats which will air tomorrow night. I helped out last time at the Australian. This time my role is as Lorenzo Fonzeworthy, a struggling tennis pro. Let me know what you think! Caught a bit of the Murray stomping as well as attended a live interview with Mats with the tennis channel.

Rafael Nadal has changed his game

Rafael Nadal lost last year in the French Open to Robin Soderling,the only loss so far at the claycourts of Roland Garros.
If you are able to hit shots from both sides at shoulderheight with a lot of power you will feel like “this guy” isn’t as good as everyone says!Suddenly the unbeatable “Rafa” doesn’t seem intimidating at all.You can “drive”your shots deep into the court,which is where most players are vulnerable,and so is Nadal.
The most agressive player wins on clay today,not the defender!Which is why Nadal is so hard to beat,’cause he in general dictates the point.
But he is now using different strings in his raquet,he get’s less spin and therefore his shots goes further and deeper into the opponents court.What he is really trying to prevent is the “likes of”Robin Soderling feeling like -if I play my game I can win!So Nadals shots now “land” closer to the baseline with more power and less spin.That means that Roger Federer doesn’t have to face the “short shot”that lands on the serviceline and “jumps” way up,”out of the strike zone.Nadal has suddenly let more players “into the match”,yes,maybe he solved the one problem but he has created another one,namely Roger Federer,even on clay!!
The only Grand Slam Nadal hasn’t won is the U.S Open,the same surface as the Australian Open,which he won in 2009,beating Federer with the same tactics that he uses at the “French”!I’m guessing that “Rafa” doesn’t ever want to feel like he did pretty much all of last year after the loss to Soderling here at Roland Garros.Defenseless!
He is going to win more in the future on all surfaces because of the “change”,but winning here will be “more complicated’.

French Open Day 6

Only took one picture today!!!!!!! It was all that needed to be taken.


Practiced twice today for two hours with Mats on the clay. Holy smokes! There is a reason he was the king of Clay. Probably the best he has ever played against me. As a heavy American I could never get my feet under me. He glided! It was pretty awesome to watch his movement from across the net even as he took it to me. Spent the day watching Venus…clearly…. and then got a chance to watch my buddy from the Juniors Jamie Cerretani with his partner Adil Shamasdin almost beat Gael Monfils and Josselin Ouanna on Court 2. They had some unbelievable points! They were broken at 3-3 in the third. They had their chances though. Its awesome to see someone you grew up with (even though he lost) succeed at what he is doing.

French Open Day 5

Rain, rain and more rain…matches at Roland Garros did not start until 3:30. Had a nice five-mile run in the rain through Paris and headed to the courts. Watched the beginning of the Dementieva match vs. Garrigues on court 2. What a court!!!!! Pedestrians walking the street can stop and peer over to watch the match. After the first set, I ran over to catch a few games of the Roddick match. I have now found where my credentials can get me into all courts. Watched a few games and rushed to court seven to watch the beginning of the Dlouhy, Paes match (team we practiced against) versus Brunstrom and Rojer. Our guys won the first set 6-3. They controlled the second set, but with a few rain delays, had trouble-holding momentum. At 6-5, Dlouhy and Paes held two match points that their opponents fought off with big serves (second serve ace on the line was one. The match was tied 6-6 when the heavens let loose. After thirty minutes matches resumed and I decided instead to watch the end of Monfils vs. Fognini which was 5-5 in the fifth (having been suspended due to darkness the night before). Had a great seat for that.  They both came out almost pushing the ball.  Fognini won the match 9-7. Monfils had been up 40-0 in the last game. Once completed, sprinted back to the Paes/Dlouhy match and saw that they were in the third. They had lost the breaker 8-6 (although they were down 6-4 in the breaker so I heard). They were down a break in the third but turned it around with big returning. At 5-5 both guys upped their level and energy. Paes at one point looked up and spouted “Time to get fired up” and then ripped a forehand return which was then followed by a fist pump and loud “come on!” Pretty awesome to see!!!!!  They won 7-5 in the fifth. Watched them play with Karel and Paes’s trainer Moose (formerly Sampras’ trainer and very cool guy). Finished up with Mats interviewing with the French local paper and a brief session with Andy Murray’s clay court coach. Hopefully tomorrow will be brighter skies!

Day four French Open

Holy smokes what a day! Arrived to Roland Garros at 12:30 to make a 1 o’clock luncheon with Lacoste (Mats sponsor) where we had lunch with Madame Lacoste (Mrs. Lacoste) and friends. Ran into Bahrami (exhibition specialist) as well as Jason Richardson (one of the greatest handball players of all time). Had an unbelievable meal, and headed off to the Lacoste shop on site. Another unbelievable world! The shop is strategically but secretly hidden. Started to watch the Monfils vs. Fognini match until the rain delays began. Decided to seek shelter in the commentator’s booth with Mats where I filmed a video of his and his commentators’ thoughts on the match. Tried to upload the video but to no avail. (I will figure it out) After a forty-minute delay, matches finally resumed and Monfils held firm control. The match seemed not so interesting, so I left to visit Eurosport and watch all the matches from the control room. I waited until the score was 3-0 in the fifth set Fognini when I decided to return to watch the train wreck that was occurring. What a sight it turned into. At 4-4 the tournament director came to the court and (what seemed like he was asking) was to see if the players wished to keep playing. Monfils did. Fognini did not.  The decision was made to continue play and Fognini argued! The fans were relentless. They were hissing and booing for seven straight minutes while he complained. There were no lights; the scoreboard light was needed to illuminate the court, as were the lights from behind the courts. Fognini, after being assessed a point penalty, decided he would play. It was a complete circus. I could barely see the ball. Fognini held serve (barely). Monfils then served where Fognini had two match points that he completely choked. He missed two returns in a row. Monfils was cramping so bad in his right leg and, as a result, was spinning first serves in that had absolutely no pace. It was unbelievable! Every fan was screaming for Monfils to pull through. Monfils held on to save the match and play was suspended at 5-5. Mats then finished the day by filming Game Set Mats. What a day!!!!!