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Archive for the ‘GLTF’ Category

PostHeaderIcon USGO 2013 Player Interview – Jarrett Zarate (VIDEO)

Jarrett Zarate, a USGO participant from San Diego CA, caught my eye early on at this year’s tournament. Sure he’s tall and good-looking, but that’s not what got my attention. Every time I saw him I couldn’t help but think, “Marinko Matosevic!” I didn’t find anyone who agreed with me (and Jarrett had never even heard of him), but I stand by my assertion!

Even though he was getting ready for World Team Tennis, Jarrett graciously agreed to be interviewed for my site. We chatted about a variety of subjects, including a special spectator that was in attendance for his matches. But I’ll let you hear about that from him in his interview.

Once again the wind sound against my phone is problematic, and way more noticeable than I’d like.  But it’ll have to do until I build a soundstage.  🙂

PostHeaderIcon USGO 2013 Player Interview – Matt Henry (VIDEO)

While doing bag checks at this year’s USGO, it occurred to me that I might as well take this opportunity one step further and learn more about the participants in this year’s tournament by doing a more formal interview.

Matt was the willing volunteer for my first bag check, and a fitting choice for my first player interview. He’s funny and outgoing, which made it easy. The sound levels are a little off, and you can hear the wind starting to pick up as we talked. But I still think it came out okay.
Hope you enjoy it.

PostHeaderIcon My 2013 USTA Chronicles: Match #5 versus Golden Gateway A


Date: 5/11/2013

Location: San Francisco State University

Conditions: Outdoors, overcast, cool, humid

Doubles or Singles Played: Doubles

Match Result: 6-1 6-2 Loss

Season Record: 2-3

Match Notes: Lost a tough one today in doubles 1 and 2. The fact that we were out there a long time for that score doesn’t make me feel any better about the loss.  I didn’t play badly, but I certainly didn’t play well enough to combat the seasoned doubles play of my opponents.

My partner for today’s match was Tom, a teammate I haven’t partnered with this season. He was solid, and we got along well (he’s a very nice guy), but a new partnership is almost always at a disadvantage against teams that have played together previously: like our opponents. (I hope we get a chance to play again before the season is over.)

Also, I hadn’t played since last week’s match, and I could definitely have benefitted from a midweek hit.  That wasn’t possible after getting a mild case of food poisoning. I pretty much just had to chill most of the week.  But since tennis is a game of familiarity and feel, I wasn’t as on top of my game today as I could have been, and it showed.  Especially on my serve.

My groundstrokes were decent: forehand more so than backhand. The main issue today was my serve. There were no “Sharapova” moments like last week, but it was still a mediocre service day. I couldn’t get it out wide when I needed, and didn’t put nearly enough first serves into play. I held 2 of 4 times at the service line, and that’s not nearly good enough at the 4.0 level to get the job done.

Earlier this season, one of my teammates and I talked about the need to play at least 2-3 times a week in order to be ready to compete at this level.  I did that heading into last week’s match and came out with a win. I wasn’t able to this week and came away with a loss.

Midweek practice might not necessarily have produced a win, but it sure would have made my overall game a lot tidier today.

PostHeaderIcon “Ask Marla” #3 – Tips to Help Upper Body/Shoulder Strength

Ask Marla

This week’s question comes from Peg S. of San Francisco.  Though it’s directed towards the ladies, I think everyone can benefit from Marla’s reply.

Question: You’ve coached a lot of women. What are the top three upper body strength exercises you would recommend?

Answer: Upper body strength, with a focus on the shoulders) is extremely important in achieving good racquet control and preventing injury. Here are my top three suggestions:

1.  Push-ups

2. Seated Rows (machine or band)

3.  Internal/External Rotation with a band.

And I can’t stress enough the benefits of simple push-ups. That is, regular push-ups, not “girl” push-ups! 🙂

SFTennisFreak Note: Both women and men can benefit from exercises that can help protect the muscles of the shoulder, like the rotator cuff. Take it from someone who’s had shoulder surgery! Instructional videos to help with the above exercises tips are readily available online, like this one for internal/external rotation with a Theraband.

Thanks Marla!
Got a tennis question, but no one to ask?
Send it via email or tweet for “Ask Marla”, a (hopefully) weekly (or biweekly) question-and-answer with Marla Reid of San Francisco’s City Racquet Shop.


About Marla Reid

Marla Reid is a respected tennis pro/coach in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s coached nationally-ranked teams and players at Occidental College, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, University of Kansas, and Florida Tech, and has over 15 years of experience at the NCAA Division I, II, and III levels. Marla has an M.A. in Exercise Physiology, and is a seasoned racquet stringer.

About City Racquet Shop

City Racquet Shop offers, superior products/services, outstanding customer service, and a community-oriented destination for tennis players to shop, hang out and talk about tennis.

City Racquet Shop online: www.cityracquetshop.com
City Racquet Shop on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/city-racquet-shop-san-francisco
City Racquet Shop on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cityracquetshop

PostHeaderIcon My 2013 USTA Chronicles: Match #4 versus Presidio YMCA

(Fourth match in the documentation of my 2013 USTA Adult League season)


With Eddie after the match

Date: 5/5/2013
Location: San Francisco State University
Conditions: 60-65, overcast and windy
Doubles or Singles Played: Doubles
Personal Match Result: 6-3 6-2 Win
Team Match Result: 2-3 Loss
Personal Season Record: 2-2

Match Notes: After the slice and dice nightmare of last weekend at SFTC, I made a return to winning ways in today’s doubles match with my partner Eddie. Conditions were mostly fine in spite of a few sprinkles. Temperature was pretty mild, and the early winds died down as the match progressed.

I played doubles with my buddy Eddie, a tricky lefty who hits with almost as much spin as Rafa (j/k, but only slightly). He’s solid on both sides with lefty spin and an ability to work crafty angles.  He’s also aggressive at the net (which makes my life easier when serving). With his strong lefty game and my pace, we’re a formidable team if we execute well.

Our opponents were decent players.  One had great hands at the net and came in whenever possible.  The other was okay from the baseline with a strong serve, but prone to to mishits if pressured.  It was a little hard to gauge how we would match up at first, but I felt pretty good about our chances.

After falling behind 1-3, we pretty much steamrolled through the match. Between my pace and Eddie’s spin, they had a difficult time with our groundstrokes. And though the one guy had great hands on his volleys, there’s not much he could do if we hit at his feet or passed him.

Mentally I stayed calm/relaxed throughout, and all aspects of my game felt good.  FH crosscourt returns were blazing, down the line were untouchable, BH slice was on, and the serve was working well. My only blip, and it was a big one, was a horrific service game to start the second set. I “pulled a Maria”, double-faulting 4 times to give them a one game headstart.

What can I say? Since shoulder surgery, it occasionally happens. Eddie didn’t walk off the court in disgust, though, so I knew we’d be okay.
I understand, Maria, really I do!

PostHeaderIcon My 2013 USTA Chronicles: Match #3 versus SFTC (or “Let Me Count the Ways I Hate Slice and Dice Tennis”)

(Third match in the documentation of my 2013 USTA Adult League season)

Date: 4/28/2013
Location: San Francisco Tennis Club
Conditions: Indoors
Doubles or Singles Played: Singles
Personal Match Result: 6-2 6-1 Loss
Team Match Result: 1-4 Loss
Personal Season Record: 1-2

Match Notes: Indoor conditions were at SFTC fine. It was a warm day in SF, so indoors was a little warm and humid.  But that had no bearing on my match, which I can only refer to as a “Slice and Dice” tennis nightmare.

Physically, I felt fine. Mentally, I was miserable after the first few games. I kept telling myself to keep positive, but it was tough because I hate playing matches like this. Always have, and probably always will. I know I shouldn’t joke about gun violence, but all I could think was “Someone please shoot me” with each passing game.

Almost every one of my opponent’s shots landed short, with little to moderate pace and tons of spin. This applied to his serve as well as his groundstrokes. I shanked short balls all over the court, struggling to find a consistent rhythm on my ground game. He wasn’t a bad guy, but his Cuisinart game (and some tight calls on balls before they landed) annoyed and frustrated me from start to finish. I hit a couple of nice shots and service returns, but not enough to get anything going or change the outcome.

Though I was miserable dealing with his unorthodox game, I won’t resort to saying, “I wish he would play ‘real’ tennis” like I’ve heard others say in the same situation. It’s not my opponent’s job to hit balls that are easy for me to tee off on. It’s my job to adapt my game to the situation. I just wish I’d had the patience to do that.

Going forward, I’m sticking with doubles. I realize that dealing with opponents like this one is part of the challenge for singles, but it’s a challenge that holds little interest for me these days. Singles will now be relegated to the practice courts with friends.

The one positive I did take from this match was a successful demo of the new Graphene Head Speed Pro. I started the match with it, but switched back to my regular (and more familiar) Head Speed MP 315 after falling behind 2-5 in the first set. (I should note that I won fewer games with my ‘familiar’ racquet after the switch.) It felt good.  Stay tuned for the racquet review later this week.

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