Day #4 of Newk’s camp again started out chilly (55 degrees) and the forecast was for rain all day; so it was modified play inside on the four covered courts for another day!
Emmo Says …
- When you feed the ball in practice and warm up, use the stroke you most need to practice
- Practice half volleys by yourself by dropping the ball in front of you, bending your knees and stroking a half volley over the net
- If you practice on a wall, make sure to still actively move your feet
- In serving, try to drop your grip as low as possible on the handle and grip it lightly
- The serving power will come from that loose wrist allowing you to drop the racquet head and then come forward
- On the backhand, bring the head of the racquet back – not high at your shoulders – but at the same level as the ball
- And, come through with a stiff wrist and slow, easy motion … with minimum follow through
- Try to get 85% of your first serves in
- And strive to NEVER miss a return of serve
- On the backhand volley, take the ball way out if front of you
- Move your feet, move your feet
We started off with all the doubles matches; and Jim B ended up in the first group at 8:15 a.m. (!) and playing against the very tough Kangaroo team of my good friend Willy Hoffmann and very challenging lefty Rob Delman (NYC).
The lighting on the indoor courts is poor, the courts are slick/fast, and Rob Delman had a great lefty serve. Are those enough excuses? They stomped us 8-1.
I was frustrated enough that I then hit on the indoor backboard till I worked up a good sweat; and then went back to my room to take a nice hot shower.
We then went inside and in the later afternoon and did hitting drills … with Wayne Ferreira and Mark Philippoussis on the opposite side of the net!
That was followed by the BEST exhibition match in my 15 years at camp… Wayne Ferreira and Mikael Pernfors vs. Johan Kreik and Mark P. While there was some showboating (Pernfors performing like a Swedish Monsor Brarami), there were incredible shots and gets that had the crowd cheering.
While our Wankers are leading in the half match played today, as are the Kangaroos, tomorrow (weather permitting) we will complete the two half matches. Which means, any team can win. So we shall see.
After a Mexican night dinner, I presented the second Senior Moment award of giving away a copy of my “Senior Tennis” book (which is available in Newk’s pro shop). After my prelude talking about Emmo and my dealing with prostate cancer nearly 12 years ago, it was awarded to my good friend Willy Hoffmann, who just got an “all clear” on his year-long challenge of bladder cancer.
That was followed by a fantastic video production created by Byron Miller highlighting the Four French Horsemen from the early days of tennis.
And by popular demand, Roy Emerson told three of his classic stories that had both the first-time rookies and veterans alike laughing.
Then the annual Australian Boat Race (the team beer chugging competition) Commissioner Doc Al Eden went over the teams and rules and was then held in the bar at the same time as the Sox/Dodger game. I went to my room to watch, but I would assume it was won, as usual, by Newk’s ‘very experienced’ combined Kangaroo/Wanker team.
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