French open commentary

Murray, Federer and Djokovic come through stern tests at the French.  Surprised?

Djokovic saves 4 match points against Tsonga with the French crowd at full partisan strength.   Neil Harman writes in The Times today, 'What reserves of character this Serb possesses. The more he is questioned, the more dynamic his answers.'

Federer comes back from 2 sets down to beat Juan Martin Del Potro.  Ed Smith in the same newspaper comments, 'The manner of the victory - its resolve and resilience - suggests that Federer may still be adding new gears to his game.  Winning ugly has always seemed a bit beneath him.  It seems ridiculous, given all he has achieved and the 16 grand-slam titles already under his belt, but gritty wins such as this suggest that Federer may still be adding to his CV.'

Finally, Matthew Syed on Andy Murray:  'The Scot, who was competing against Richard Gasquet, found himself roundly jeered, and that was just when walking out to begin knocking up. Many commentators condemned the behaviour of the crowd, but Murray, for his part, welcomed it.  'That is the most fun I've had on court for a long time,' he said, 'I didn't shy away from the fact that the crowd wanted me to lose.  It was like a football crowd and I like football.'

Djokovic plays his best tennis when the biggest questions are asked.

Federer goes into the gutter to grind out a win.

Murray carves out a sense of fun with his taste for aggression and confrontation.

Come the hour, come the men.


Been wrestling with a few problems recently?  Personally, I get them thrown at me every day and they always fall into one of two categories.

1.  'First order' problems can be solved either by doing more or less of what we're already doing.  We work harder or we work less hard.  We put more resources against the problems or we put less.

2.  'Second order' problems can't be solved by first order solutions - doing more or less of the same thing.  They can only be solved by doing something differently.  

Perhaps it just comes down to this: do we need to work harder, or do we need to work smarter?  

LTA High Performance Accreditation

Subject to agreement of contracts we are thrilled to announce that Halton Tennis Centre/Everyball International Academy has once again been offered LTA High Performance Centre Level 1 status for a further 3-5 years. In the new LTA Performance Landscape there will be 8 HPC Level 1 centres across Great Britain and 4 International HPCs, which recognises Halton/EBI as one to the top 12 clubs/programmes in the country. Support will be spread across 2 age categories, 11&U and 12&over.

One of our key objectives for 2012-2013 will be to increase our base of potential young performance players (ages 5 -7) through our recently launched 'Aspirantes' (aspiring ones) Programme. We will also be extending this programme out into Buckinghamshire offering funding to help 2 selected clubs identify and develop players through the new 'Bucks Aspirantes Programme' to begin in September.

Our 11&U programme will continue to support 'players in progress', with the coaching and S&C teams working hard to raise standards to increase the number of LTA matrix/Regional Talent ID players. Our 12&over programme will help players gain and improve TE and ITF junior rankings, as well as prepare players for the AASE scheme and possible scholarships to US College tennis or British Universities tennis. The return of 17 year old Katy Dunne (Junior World ranking of 108) to Halton after a year of training at the National Tennis Centre will inspire younger academy players to pursue the performance journey as she sets herself the challenge of main draw Grand Slam qualification in 2013. She now begins preparations for this year's Junior Wimbledon where she hopes to qualify/earn a wildcard.

This week sees Sebastian Harris, Lauren Armstrong, Scarlett and Holly Hutchinson compete on the clay-courts at Queenswood School, Hertfordshire in the LTA Spring Nationals.

One of EBI's Aspirantes gets to grips with a high bouncing ball!

Children Learn What They Live - Dorothy Law Nolte

If children live with criticism,
They learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility,
They learn to fight.

If children live with ridicule,
They learn to be shy.

If children live with shame,
They learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement,
They learn confidence.

If children live with tolerance,
They learn to be patient.

If children live with praise,
They learn to appreciate.

If children live with acceptance
They learn to love.

If children live with approval,
They learn to like themselves.

If children live with honesty,
They learn truthfulness.

If children live with security,
They learn to have faith in themselves and others.

If children live with friendliness,
They learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Who's the greatest?

It's been said that the greatest amongst us are those who can serve and not mind.  The ones who can put others in the spotlight.  The ones who can create and not fear to fail.  The ones who can risk and not worry about ridicule.  The ones who come with their strengths and weaknesses, their happiness and their sorrow.  The ones who come humbly as themselves.  That's how to be great.

Ricky roundup

There was heavy 'Everyball' involvement at the sharp end of the Rickmansworth LTA Grade 3 event which concluded on Saturday.

In summary:

Calum Mckinlay beat Joe Tingey in the 16s boys final 6-3, 6-1 having one of the best weeks of his young career in which he also took out the number 1 seed Jake Muns and number 3 seed Michael Shaw each with tie break wins.  Well done Calum for an excellent week and also to Joe for consistently being at the sharp end of these events year after year.

Gavin Mckinlay and Jack Mordey won 18s boys doubles beating Calum and Joe 6-2, 7-5, whilst Tor Pisani beat Carly Williams in the U21 final 6-4, 6-3 as well as reaching the semis of the 16s as well.


Jack Mordey lost in the final of the u21s against Adam Coyne whilst Gavin lost to Adam in the 18s final in a close fought match, 4-6, 1-6 in which he performed extremely well.  


Sam Gough made semis of the 14s losing to rival Michael Shaw, with Jake Williams winning the consolation final.  Sam and Toby Rogers (comeback kid!)  beat Halton's Oscar Glenister and Jake Williams to get to the finals of the 14&U doubles.

Below Calum and Tor take home their victory spoils.

Well done to all players!

Halton's Everyball player Holly Hutchinson makes her move

Halton's Holly Hutchinson justifies her seeding and more at the LTA Grade 2 14&U event in Nottingham this week.

Holly, the tournament's 7th seed, plays Eden Richardson tomorrow in the semi-finals after taking out 4th seed Sian Payne today in two close sets, a win that will see her break into the Top 10 14&U Girls in GB.

See Holly's 1st round pre-match interview in which she beat Camille Verden Anderson 6-4, 6-2.

Congratulations also to Everyball's Joe Tingey and Calum McKinlay who will meet each other over the weekend in the boys 16&U final at the LTA Grade 3 event in Rickmansworth.

'Mind the gap'

Reminded last week of the quote: 'train like you fight, and fight like you train'.

At certain stages within the training programme, minimising the 'gap' between practice and competition is critical, and has to be the responsibility of coach AND player.  For the coach to use creativity around climate setting and conditioning of drills where 'consequence' is an integral part of each session and for the player to bring a 'match' like attitude of effort and competitiveness to the court.