Adidas Thanks iTUSA for Job Well Done with its Pro Players Development Program

The adidas Player Development Program was launched in 2003 as the “adidas International Pro Team” in cooperation with Rafael Font de Mora. Mr. Font de Mora provided consultancy services and opened up iTUSA academy in Scottsdale, Arizona to participating athletes. There, players benefitted from world class training, high tech instructional methods and other amenities essential to professional players. 6-time Grand Slam winner and adidas legend Stefan Edberg, as well as top coaches Tony Pickard and Carl Hogeskog, also worked in unison with adidas, Rafael Font de Mora and iTUSA in the early years of the Program.

The adidas Player Development Program enters its 8th year in 2011 with an inspiring catalogue of player achievements to celebrate, including a French Open Grand Slam title for Anna Ivanovic in 2008.

Click here to see video of the iTUSA/adidas International Pro Team and to hear the coaching philosophy that took Stefan Edberg and Martina Hingis to world number one in singles and doubles. For the adidas International Pro Team, iTUSA expanded and refined what has become the iTUSA World-Class Player Development methodology. This methodology incorporates all aspects of a player's development. The "iTUSA Tennis System" helped to transform Meghann Shaughnessy and Anna Lena Groenefeld from their junior days, among other top players, into world-class WTA professionals. The iTUSA professional tennis player development program is rooted in a proven, multi-stage process that focuses on the cultivation of a complete, world-class tennis athlete that is committed both on and off the tennis court. The iTUSA system includes state-of-the-art instruction in all areas of tennis, including stroke production, bio-mechanics, footwork, strategy, fitness, nutrition, tactical mental toughness and tennis video analysis.

"Having Stefan Edberg and Martina Hingis there when we launched our Player Development Program was very special," said Rafael Font de Mora, iTUSA's founder and president. "It's also gratifying to see how this all-around, intensive training focus during November and December has caught on with many pro players and their trainers. Now most of the top pros go through this rigorous training prior to traveling to the Australian Open, which begins just in a few weeks. We're pleased to have played a part in this evolution and in taking the game to a new level."


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June Lee travels to Spain and trains with iTUSA at the Academia de Tenis Ferrer

June also had the opportunity to work with Vicente Calvo (Fernando’s Verdasco trainer and fitness coach). Spain is the world's number 1 tennis power. Spain has 8 male players in the top 50 in the world! No other country comes close. Spain has dominated Davis Cup over the last decade, winning four times in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2009.

The Spanish Federation uses iTUSA's state-of-the-art instructional and video technology to assist all Spanish tennis players, including many of the top-ranked men's players, Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams, as well as amateur players aiming to improve their game and rankings.

David Ferrer Reaches #7 in ATP Rankings

Congratulations to David Ferrer for finishing in the top 10 in the world for the 3rd time. Here is a recap of David's momentous year:

• Achieved #7 in ATP World Singles Ranking
• Played in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, featuring the top eight players in the world
• Won $2.6 million in prize money
• Won 2 ATP tour events, Valencia Indoor and Acapulco Outdoor
• Match record of 60-24

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez Training Drills

Guillermo Garcia Lopez training drills will be featured in next month’s Match Point newsletter. These are the drills that Guillermo has been working on to prepare the 2011 campaign. Here are the highlights of Guillermo's break-through year:

• Achieved a career-high ranking of #29 in the world in ATP World Singles Ranking
• Finalist at the first ATP World Tour grass court event in Eastbourne, UK in June
• Won second ATP tour event at the Thailand Open, defeating Nieminen. In the semi-finals, Garcia-Lopez beat Rafael Nadal.
• Reached the quarter-finals in Beijing, Barcelona and Estoril

Arnaud's First Christmas in the U.S.

Arnaud Sewanou spent his first Christmas in the U.S., celebrating with his “Academy kids” friends and coaches. The kids and their families all welcomed him as he received many gifts including his new white Maltese “Blanco." Arnaud has acclimated very well to living here, and has improved his English significantly. “I love Christmas in America and playing tennis here,” says Arnaud.

Read the background of Arnaud’s story from our October newsletter here.

iTUSA thanks everyone who has sent clothes, equipment and donations in support of Arnaud’s hopes, goals and most of all his “dreams.”

Click here to view a special video and to learn how you can help the Foundation.

6 Ball Drill: Attacking Down the Line + Defending Cross Court with full court (Advanced), by Mariano Peinado

Objective: Develop the proper footwork as you change directions with your shots correctly, while attacking the short balls down the line and defending crosscourt.

Description: This is the second week we have covered the topic of how to best utilize the direction of your ground strokes, while working on the footwork moving in all directions. This week's more advanced drill requires better movement as you will be using the entire court.

On the first two balls you will move laterally working on defending cross court with depth. The third shot is a shorter ball that you will move forward, uncoiling into the short ball as you hit it down the line. Recover by moving backwards with double step footwork. It is crucial that you defend this shot by playing HIGH and CROSS COURT, and start the same sequence in the reverse order.

At the iTUSA Academy we use this drill regularly during preseason training, as well as during competition phases. During preseason we have our players hit as many as 6-10 series in a row with up to 3 minutes rest in between series. The intensity of the series is moderate keeping the heart rate between 120-150 beats per minute. During competition phases we limit our players to one or two series intervals, with a 20-second rest between series. This simulates the duration of a point in a real match situation. We vary the frequency of the heart rate, raising it to about 180. On recovery days during competition phases, do not raise their heart rate above 150 to avoid over-training.

Watch the drill now.

More Drills in iTUSA's Training Drills Database

In the coming week, the iTUSA Training Drills Database will be expanded with 9 new drills.

Please visit this link to view iTUSA's Training Drills Database with over 1,000 training drills:


Watch Instructional Drill Now
Where to Serve and Why, by Mariano Peinado

About Mariano Peinado

Mariano Peinado is one of iTUSA's outstanding tennis instructors and a core member of the iTUSA team. He has been teaching tennis in Spain since 1981. Among his many coaching accomplishments, he was the coach of David Ferrer (currently #7 in the world). He developed David’s game from age 5 to 12 years old. Earlier this year, iTUSA announced that Ferrer had joined the iTUSA family and will be using iTUSA tools and technology.

Where to Serve and Why

It could be that you do not have the power or variety in your serve that the pros do, knowing where to serve and why can add a weapon to your game. Too many players think of the serve as a way to start the point without realizing the consequences or options that are involved. There are 3 basic areas in the service box where you can serve. The first is wide towards the doubles alley, the second to the body and the third is down the middle towards the T. Each of these service areas have different tactics that you must follow.

When you serve wide the key is to make your opponent streched to return your serve. If you can achieve this, you will have the advantage to come to the net and volley or to dictate the first shot of the rally if you decide to stay back. You could also hit a winner if the return of serve is short. If you do not move your opponent wide enough, your oppoent will gain the advantage of your serve. Your opponent now has the choice to hit an angle or a deep forcing return.

Be alert to not overuse the body serve because your opponent can often hit an offensive return. The key of this serve is to use it as a surprise element unless you know that this type of serve is one of your opponent's weaknesses.

The serve into the T will limit the ability of your opponents to angle their returns. Like with the wide serve, the key is also to stretch your oppoent so you increase your chances to take the advantage of a shorter and weaker return of serve.

In summary, utlizing the geometry of the court will help you successfully plan your serve patterns. Having a game plan will help you anticipate as you will be able to execute each point as you planned. Next time you need to hold serve in a crucial game, think of the return you want to receive so you can serve accordingly. Remember that 80% of the returns off a good wide serve will be down the line or towards the middle of the court, so place your serve and have a plan.



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