Wednesday, 27 August 2014


Australian Tennis Professional Marinko Matosevic will have to go down in history as possibly the 'luckiest' player of his generation. Now Marinko may not agree, in fact he may think that he has been dealt a cruel blow in his professional career up to date but i see many positives in his playing history.
The rather feisty Aussie , who makes the headlines on occasions for his rather over the top mannerisms finally broke through at the French Open this year for a first round Grand Slam win. It took him 13 attempts as he drew some rather 'handy' opposition up until then but let's put his losses into perspective.
How many tennis professionals can say that they played the best players on a regular basis and were made to play at their absolute full potential ? How many tennis players simply get beaten by fellow pro's who were ranked lower than them with rather 'average' profiles and few tournament victories to speak of ? In other words, how many tennis professionals look back on their career and ask questions such as "Why wasn't I one of the fortunate players who got to play the absolute benchmarks of my generation?  Did my opposition really get the best out of me"?
I often wonder the wisdom of winning a tennis tournament at any age or standard with lop sided results. Where is the indicator as far as form is concerned ? If you lose in the semi's to an in form seeded player by a scoreline of 6-4, 7-5 then surely this is a true barometer as to how well you are playing. Is this a better form guide than winning a tournament by an average score of 6-1, 6-2 with minimal opposition ?
If you are a sprinter and you win a 200 meter race easily then are you being pushed ? Would losing to a State Champion sprinter by a whisker be more of an an indicator as to how fast you really are ?
If you are a 'big fish in a small pond' in your town and are not being pushed in your chosen sport then is it a good thing for you ? Will it simply give you a false sense of your real ability ?
 Around 18 months ago I was lucky enough to have a hitting session with former Australian Tennis Professional  Neil Borwick. Now Neil was no house hold name but he did beat the great Boris Becker in 1993, that's a pretty famous win in any man's language.
 Neil also teamed up with Swedish legend Jonas Bjorkman and defeated legendary team Jacco Elting and Paul Haarhuis. These two in fact won every Grand Slam in doubles so to have that win next to your name is one of the highest accolades you will ever own.  Neil was everyone's form barometer at the Coops training facility in Brisbane when we were teenagers in the 80's.
After an hour's practice we played points and I asked him to not go easy on me, I wanted that all important indicator, even at my age." Hey Champ , no favor's thanks, make me earn it", or words to that effect anyhow. Neil beat me 8 games to 4 but i walked off court a happy man, I won some games and respect from a man who had victories over the best. No matter how old you are in tennis, finding the form barometer is essential for future growth, mentally and physically.....
Part 2 to follow

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