Back in the Zoo~~~
We're back from Mobile refreshed and rejuvenated by the neon-bright azaleas, the chance to wear sunscreen and flip-flops, and the Southern hospitality. It was a very satisfying trip and it was good to catch up with tennis families and coaches I hadn't seen in some months and also get acquainted with some new ones.
Now that the tournament match reporting is over, I'll shift more into my commentary mode, and during my travels today, I've been thinking a lot about girls champion Reka Zsilinszka and her game. This recent article by Charlie Bricker about the emphasis on power in junior tennis is a thoughtful one, and in Mats Wilander he has the perfect contrarian.
As I watched Zsilinszka dissect progressively better opponents by the same monotonous 6-1, 6-2 scores, I began to appreciate just how special she is. No one plays like her, and not just because they can't. They don't want to-- just like no one wanted to play like Brad Gilbert, winning ugly, as he titled his book. But when all those beautiful backhands and forehands (not many beautiful serves or volleys or lobs, especially in the girls game) fail to translate into victories and titles, actually employing a strategy might be worth a try.
NOTE TO MY EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:
The bloglet server has been down for days, and I have no idea when it will be fixed.
(Emails to them detailing the problem bounced back to me--never a good sign.)
If you've found your way here without the email to remind you, I encourage you to scroll down to read all the Spring Championship articles posted since their server went down last Wednesday.