A Review of Sugarpova

As a blog writer, I enjoy incredible perks. A platform for writing whatever I want. An excuse to watch even more tennis than I otherwise would. Free tennis gear that companies want me to review.

Yeah, that last one hasn’t happened yet. (Hey, Nike! Send me some free stuff and I promise to can the snark about your Smurf clothes!)

While I wait for the swag to start rolling in, I’ll review cheap stuff I can afford to buy myself, starting with Maria Sharapova’s candy line, Sugarpova. Continue reading “A Review of Sugarpova”

Friday Fashion Face-off: Wimbledon Best-Dressed Man Award

For the first time, I’ve been dreading writing the Friday Fashion Face-off. How am I supposed to find best-dressed man nominees in a sea of white short-sleeve shirts and shorts? What a snooze-fest. But I guess this is why I make the big bucks.

I considered just nominating the four semi-finalists, but that would leave us with Rafa Nadal and three of the geekiest-looking guys on tour–John Isner, Kevin Anderson, and Novak Djokovic. (I’m a vegetarian, but Djokovic really needs to start eating some steak. Seriously anemic-looking.) Continue reading “Friday Fashion Face-off: Wimbledon Best-Dressed Man Award”

The Serving Challenge Update (with Bonus Face-off!)

I’m on day eight of my July Tennis Challenge. For those who aren’t following this blog as closely as they should, my plan is to improve my serve by serving 100 balls a day.

All I initially planned to do was add a knee bend to my current service motion. That by itself would present a challenge as I’d have to get used to an altered rhythm and timing. But the change was small, and I felt confident of eventual success.

But then my club pro got involved. He was unimpressed with my simple knee bend idea. (Really, he’s been unimpressed with my serve from the day I met him, particularly my serving grip. Every year, he’s after me to change. Every year, I tell him it’s not happening.) Continue reading “The Serving Challenge Update (with Bonus Face-off!)”

Who Loves a Bad Boy?

We’re into the second week of Wimbledon, with its dress code, strawberries and cream, and curtsies to the royal box. The most traditional of tennis tournaments, Wimbledon is where we’re most forcefully reminded of the sport’s gentlemanly underpinnings. On its quiet, clipped grass, decorum is valued as highly as skill.

It’s a setting made for the Federers and Borgs of the world. The elegant, the humble, the gracious.

Against this backdrop, the bad boys of tennis stand out. In the past, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe played the bad boy role. The best modern avatar is Nick Kyrgios. Continue reading “Who Loves a Bad Boy?”

Friday Fashion Face-off: Wimbledon Best-Dressed Woman Award

What the heck is going on at Wimbledon? We’re only halfway through the third round, and we’ve already lost eight of the top ten women. They’re dropping like flies over there, so maybe we better get to the best-dressed award before any more fall by the wayside. Continue reading “Friday Fashion Face-off: Wimbledon Best-Dressed Woman Award”

July’s Tennis Goal

I play fewer competitive matches during the summer, which makes this the perfect time for tinkering with the mechanics of my game. (I never want to be transitioning to a new stroke when my team is in the midst of a season!)

My game offers so many areas for improvement: get more bite on my slice, increase the topspin on my forehand, keep my eye on the ball more, split step, finish my shot, improve the consistency of my service toss, develop more punch on my backhand volley….

That’s a lot to think about, and too often I fail to improve in any area because I’m spreading my focus too thin.

So I decided to take the month of July to work on only one thing–beefing up my serve. I already have a decent serve, but I can add more zip by incorporating a knee bend. Continue reading “July’s Tennis Goal”

Playing the Score

Have you ever hit a loose return wide, only to realize that it was game point? Or netted a would-have-been-so-amazing drop-volley to give your opponent set point?

Many players go through a developmental phase of struggling with score awareness. Two issues cause problems during this phase–understanding the significance of the score and choosing the right shot. Continue reading “Playing the Score”

Friday Fashion Face-off: The Greatest Match Ever Played

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the epic Nadal-Federer Wimbledon final, generally acknowledged to be the greatest match in the history of tennis. I haven’t seen enough matches to weigh in on that claim, but it was certainly a beaut. (For those interested in revisiting the match, the Tennis Channel will be airing a retrospective titled Strokes of Genius this Sunday, July 1 at 8 p.m. EST.)

As always with these two, it’s the clash of styles that made this battle so wildly entertaining. You have the Swiss gentleman, all smooth elegance and balletic grace, versus the Spanish upstart, all popping biceps and ripping power. With such a stark choice, it’s easy to pick a favorite, although the true tennis fan surely has to admire both men. Continue reading “Friday Fashion Face-off: The Greatest Match Ever Played”

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