Were you able to watch the Wimbledon final over this Fourth of July Weekend? It was pretty good. Novak Djokovic, who was just newly named the number one player in the world, was playing against Rafael Nadal. The former number one player ranked in the world. I don’t quite understand how those tennis rankings worked, but Novak secured that #1 spot with his semifinal win.
Widely regarded as probably the fittest tennis player on the circuit, Nadal isn’t shy to show off his fitness. He wears sleeveless shirts on the court to show off his guns (which I would probably do the same thing) and routinely tracks down balls lesser players wouldn’t have a chance of getting. His speed for tennis seems to be unmatched, until now.
Djokovic has lost only one time this year and that was at the seminfinals of the French Open. One time! Think about that for a second. He is on one of the greatest streaks in tennis history. I think it is good for tennis to have him sneak into the class of Nadal and Roger Federer. If only an American could step up his game, but that is a rant for another day.
Djokovic lost in the U.S. Open Final and decided to make a re-dedication to fitness. He felt that was his weakness when he played the likes of Nadal. So, he started lifting, did speed drills to improve his speed and quickness, and really upped the cardio so his endurance would be top notch.
So, Djokovic comes into this Wimbledon match trying to become the first player other than Nadal and Federer since like 2002 to win this championship. He eventually did win in 4 sets and it was pretty fun to watch and listen to the commentators.
Djokovic was using his speed to his advantage. Because he was so quick and fast, he was the one tracking down all the shots and putting Nadal on the defensive. Speed is so important in tennis. If you are fast and quick, you can get yourself in an optimum position to hit the ball the way you want to hit it. Meaning, you are putting your body in proper position to mechanically make the right hits.
So if you have improved your speed and quickness, you can create a competitive advantage for yourself by constantly returning every ball to your opponent. Ultimately, this will cause frustration to your opponent and he will probably make some mis-hits. Especially, if his speed and quickness isn’t up to snuff.
The commentators kept noting Djokovic’s speed and how he was getting to every ball. At one point, I heard one of my favorite phrases, “Speed Kills!” Never thought I would hear this in tennis.
We don’t get the chance to work with many tennis players. The last one we worked with, Matthew Wareti, made it to the states this year in tennis. He had worked with us before his freshman year and he ended up making states as part of a doubles team. This past year was for singles. Consequently, I think we would be a real asset to a lot of tennis players. They get so focused on practicing tennis all the time, they falter in their overall athleticism. That has to be developed, but another rant for another day. It could be as simple as the exercise I posted the other day. Click here and read about Improved Running Speed With One Simple Exercise.
If you play tennis, then you are really doing yourself a disservice if you do not work on getting faster and quicker on the court. Your speed for tennis can become a real weapon for you that can rival any cannon like serve you might be able to produce. Don’t neglect your fitness for the tennis game. If you do, you might be playing against an opponent who read my article and is dedicating some time to fitness. My money will be on that guy.