Guest writer and analyst, Evan Gaudreau is back with a piece about Jenson Brooksby called “A boy named Jenson”.
Check out his other analysis and articles here. Let’s get going with “A boy named Jenson”.
Intro from a weirdo
The Man dressed in Gold, from head to toe, walked into the room, arms swinging in a chopping motion, strutting his stuff.
Is that Jenson Brooksby? I thought.
“You have a tight body,” he said. “I can see that from your tight pants.” Weird!
The Man dressed in Gold sat down.
“Yes. Yes. You are tight like a tiger.”
His voice sounded familiar.
“Would you like a smoke and a pancake?” he asked me. “Or a flapjack and a cigarette?”
Where have I heard that?
“No?” He held up another plate.
“Cigar and a waffle?
Pipe and a crepe?
Bong and a Blitz?”
“Well, there is no pleasing you!”
That was Goldmember from Austin Powers.
Hold on! Wait! Oh man! He just ate a piece of his dead skin.
That’s the kind of whacky thoughts that pops in my head, especially when the movie memory gets triggered by Jenson’s flaky lips.
I’m talking about me!
Jenson D Baena 6-1, 6-4 in the first round.
If you want to look at stats, basically, Jenson won twice as many points as Baena. I have the points being 64-31 (Nature called at 5-3 and I didn’t take down the points in that game and guess what? I don’t work for you…I work for #2 said Austin Powers).
In the first set, out of 37 points, just eight significant points were played in the set. Meaning points over 3 shots, basically.
Brooks starts each game with a mixed load combo (except game 3, which was quick and painless). He sets his tone. Establishing the load combo to his opponent, telling him, “You are in for a rough day, mentally.”
There was nothing that stood out in how he finished the games at that point, also. He throws in two load combos in games 4,5, and 6.
Here’s the deal. He’s not playing these games and saying, “I’m only going to do one load combo to start the set and throw double loads to finish the set.” He would like to play more load combos, but Baena is making a lot of first or second ball errors, making it tough to establish. So he takes what he can get.
Another thing I noticed is where his first balls are going, whether on return or on the service games. A good % go to the backhand side to start the point. Oh! But wait! Game three cracked me up because he hit every first ball to the backhand side. Yet on the game points in games 1 and 3 he flipped flopped. 1st game, he went after the forehand corner on game point, the Third game back to the backhand.
Yet as the set plays out, he takes a few first balls over to the forehand side. The cool thing about that is that to close the set, the first ball to the forehand corner messes with the opponent. If you haven’t read my pieces before, I will repeat this one comment. How you finish matters! How you finish games, sets, and matches and what you’re trying to do to your opponents’ mind. Manipulation.
Focus on where you hit the ball, not how you do it
For instance, It’s funny to me to serve predominately out wides for a set, yet throw in a few aces down the T on game points, and your opponent is thinking about the T serves. But it does take time to use your brain on the court and if you’re so focused on your technique after every error, well, good luck to you. You do know it’s not about luck, right? Just making sure.
He also throws in a stretch combo at the end of the set.
Here’s a trick. Read and take notes. Your own notes. When you write on paper, it sinks in better for some reason.
To start the second set, Baena let a 40-0 game slip away. At 40-15 Jenson gave him a mega load combo to both corners and got a let chord to get back to deuce.
Man! Doesn’t that always happen? You’re trying to get into the match and your opponent hits a BS shot. One thing to pay attention to is the idea of changing patterns as you build a lead. Jenson occasionally tries to come to the net when he’s up and finishes a couple of points at the net. Not a bad thing to work on. What better way to work on something than during game time?
At 4-0, I dropped a note on the paper. Baena is the guinea pig. Meaning he tried to drop shot Jenson and it worked. He also is trying to win at the net, which also kind of worked. He claws his way back into the set. But at the same time, Jenson is sending more balls to Baena’s forehand side, trying to win points differently. Also, trying to think of the future and practice what he needs to get better at during matches. Maybe?
Your training dictates how you play
There’s another concept that pops up too. Grip change combos. Ask yourself one question. Do you like Nike or do you like Adidas? Then ask yourself, How do I remember how to spell Adidas and what do the letters stand for? Acronyms! Phonetics!
All Day I Dream About S%#. For you youngsters, the last word is soup. Do we have to start the convo about the Birds and the Bees? Oops. Shame on me. BOOM! BANG!
Seriously, ask yourself what drills you do and write down how you train. Why? How you train comes out in your play. For me, it seems obvious—the patterns etc. and the training that goes with them. Like Baena. I’ve never spoken to him or his coaches. I don’t speak Spanish! Yet! When I watch him play and see the slow starts, it makes me wonder what he does for training.
Does he roll out onto the courts, do mini-tennis (not a fan unless you’re a beginner) hit a ton of crosscourt’s and lines or hand-feeds, then do some stretch trying, forehand to backhand side to sides, then do some volleys, then play points an hour later???
Your training dictates how you play.
I remember being a slow starter in matches as a kid, mainly in the first rounds. Why? Because I would come out to the courts and do exactly what I just wrote about. Do an hour of hitting and then play points.
Then a bell went off in my head. Maybe I should play sets first and then train whatever the issue was that day. Let me tell you, over time, I stopped starting out slow. In fact, the other guys were starting slower than me… Do you remember how Jenson started the games….Load combos…. that’s another idea to take away….stop giving so many freebies early in games. Make your opponent beat you for once.
Another takeaway is how to finish matches differently. It can come back to bite you in the butt, but do you think you can survive with your one good pattern before someone finds you out?
I’m done for this piece. I want to move on to the Khachanov match and talk more about grip change combos.
Coming up soonish!