The Keys for Madison

Madison Keys

There are players with “good” talent that really maximize what they have.  Think of David Ferrer and Lleyton Hewitt.  Then there are some very talented players who frustrate us fans who are cheering for them to do well.

Madison’s Keys

After watching talented American Madison Keys lose badly in the US Open semi’s, I wonder what it will take for her to listen to all the people around her and “get the ball back in play”!

She was up 2-0 in the first set and had three consecutive break points.  One was a good serve by her opponent; but the two others were simply unforced errors.  She would go on to lose eight games in a row and THIRTEEN out of 13 break points in that match.  What should she do??

James Blake Revisited

Talented Mr. Blake was the same way … his coaches kept on telling him to “take something off your shots” to get into more rallies and use his incredible foot speed.  But no, he wanted to do it “his way.”

“The greatest doubles player on the planet”

That is how Patrick McEnroe describes Jack Sock, who just teamed with Mike Bryan to win the US Open doubles title.  And if you watch closely, you will see that while Sock really CRUSHES his forehand, it is usually hit to a fairly conservative spot (down the middle or to the singles lines).

Where is Bob Bryan?

They reported that he too just had hip replacement; and if he can “get back to just 90%,” he will try to come back on the pro tour with his twin brother.

Mike Surpasses Newk

With this 18th major title, Mike Bryan now goes past our favorite Legend, John Newcombe (17) to hold the most Major doubles titles.  P.S. Emmo has 16.

And speaking of “Legends,” Jimmy Miller reports that he will be returning to camp this October for the first time in many years!  Welcome back.

Know someone who should read this?  Send them a link and if you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at

My Book: if you’d like to get a copy of “Senior Tennis”, just click on the link on the upper right of this web page to go to, look at the list of places under “My Book” on the bar above, or ask me what clubs are carrying it!

4 thoughts on “The Keys for Madison

  1. Ironically, I play in a senior men’s singles league in NJ/ PA where James Blake’s older half brother is a participant — and one of the best players in the league. He does not have the same style as James. He has a good but I would not say overpowering serve. He places it well rather than tries to hit it with excessive pace. He seems to prefer receiving to serving. He is an aggressive baseliner/ keep-the-ball-in-play-and-make-the-opponent-run-a-lot kind of player. He often seems to prefer hitting backhands to forehands. His forehand is quite flat, and his backhand is nearly always flat or a slice; he could not hit topspin to save his life. He likes to drop shot and lob a lot. He rarely attempts to crush a ball but, instead, likes to strategically work a point until his opponent is out of position. Yet, he is very fast and can get to a lot of balls — especially for the age group. All of which makes me wonder how much of a tennis player’s style is genetic and how much is just learned behavior.

    Marty, i think a player’s style starts and ends in their head! thanks, george

  2. George, I believe that is the 64 million dollar question , how to get us tennis players not to self destruct. Many coaches shake their heads saying why?

    OhioJack, when you figure it out, pls let me know! thanks, george

  3. George,

    Great to hear that Jimmy Miller is coming to TF this year again. He is a great guy!


  4. I have the same frustration watching Coco Vanderweigh. Very talented, could outplay anyone with a booming serve, strong forehand, comfortable backhand but consistently self-destructs. I think most good players believe their game got them to where they are so they don’t want to ever change. Stubborn is good AND bad.

    Tom, yes, she is another one. thanks, george

Comments are closed.