The pros are on break. Or well, at least from playing tournaments. The top guys do some exhibitions, some for charity and some for money, and pretty much everyone is working on their physique for next year. The tennis calendar is tough and you need to be on your toes when January comes around.
So what do tennis fans do in the off-season besides reading “the-year-that-passed” articles on tennis.com and watching highlights on Youtube?
We work on our own games! (I hope). At least that's what I try to do. It's not always easy though, even in sunny Malta we get rainy days during winter and on my way to the tennis court yesterday it started to pour. Tennis cancelled = Grumpy me.
That's why today we've booked the one and only indoor venue in Malta to at least hit some balls for an hour. I need at least two sessions every week not to suffer from severe tennis abstinence and turn into the Grinch.
How do you play tennis? Is it all about match play or do you actually play some drills as well? I think a lot of people could benefit from cutting down a bit on the match play (I've seen many who don't even warm up – hey INJURY!) and using at least 20% of their tennis time in doing some fun drills or working on a particular shot. Tennis is so much more fun when you feel you're improving.
One good way to improve without having to be on the court or at the gym, is to watch top players practice and study their technique. Here's a good video of one of my favourites (now probably drinking and smoking with his arm around a girl in some bar), Marat Safin. See how cleanly he hits the ball even with a small racquet such as the Prestige Classic (under a Microgel paintjob)
Lots to be inspired from there.
Time for me to hit the courts!