MATCH POINT NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2010
 
 
Young African Boy Realizes Tennis Dream at iTUSA

Nine year old Arnaud Sewanou began his new life at the iTUSA Training Center in Scottsdale, Arizona a few weeks ago. Sewanou, an athletic and talented young boy, already has developed his tennis skills in the poor West African country of Benin where he won the under-12 West African tennis championship. But arriving at iTUSA, Sweanou now has a chance to pursue his dream--to play on the professional tour. And he has arrived in the right place, as iTUSA is the international training center whose mission is to turn "players into champions."

Sweanou's chance to achieve what few African boys can even dream about is being sponsored by the iTUSA/Paul Segodo Africa Tennis Foundation. The foundation was started in 1995 after iTUSA's Rafael Font de Mora traveled to Africa to conduct a tennis clinic. When he arrived he could not believe what he saw: so many young talented tennis players who loved the game. They had all the athleticism and enthusiasm to become great tennis players, but lacked the basic tennis resources - shoes, rackets, facilities, and coaches. The iTUSA/Paul Segodo Foundation has dedicated its time and effort to improving the lives and futures of African children through the game of tennis.

"Very Good"

A charming and energetic youngster, Arnaud Sweanou's first words upon arriving at the iTUSA training center was "muy bueno" which means "very good" in Spanish. One of Arnaud's native languages is French, but he is already picking up Spanish from Font de Mora. He has settled into a Catholic private school with ease and this is largely due to his dynamic and charismatic personality. He will be staying at Rafael Font de Mora's home where he has his own living quarters. The plan is that he will continue to live in Scottsdale and train at iTUSA, where he hopes to become a college player and perhaps even play on the professional tour.

"Arnaud Sweanou has traveled very far to arrive here at iTUSA to pursue his dream," said iTUSA's Rafael Font de Mora. "Arnaud has everything it takes to go very far - athleticism, desire, and a great personality. It's a great pleasure and honor for iTUSA to give him this great opportunity. This is, of course, the vision of the Africa Tennis Foundation. We hope you all can come out and see Arnaud's progress as he becomes a young and accomplished man and tennis player."

Watch a video of Arnaud's story.

Special Thanks

iTUSA would like to give a special thanks to everyone at Saint Daniel The Prophet School where Arnaud will be attending, and especially to Father McGuire and Principle Mrs. Rita Standerfer, for helping Arnaud's dream become a reality. This opportunity could not have been possible without the great effort put forth by Paulin de Paolo Ahandin (iTUSA representative in West Africa) who has help Arnaud take the first step toward accomplishing his dream.

The iTUSA/Paul Segodo Africa Tennis Foundation

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

 
 
Guillermo García-López Beats Nadal in Semis; Wins Thailand Open

Guillermo García-López pulled off one of the biggest upsets on the ATP tour all year by defeating the World's number one player Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the Thailand Open. García-López, currently ranked #53, beat Nadal in three sets, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3, with aggressive groundstrokes and 10 aces. "I've never beaten a number one player in the world," said García-López, "I think this is the best victory in my career."

In the finals, García-López faced off Finland's Jarkko Nieminen, and in a close three set match (6-4, 3-6, 6-4), beat the Finn to take the Thailand Open Title, his second ATP Tour title. "It has been an unbelievable week for me," the Spaniard said. "From the very first round, right through to the final it has been a wonderful experience."

García-López Partnership with iTUSA

Back in April, iTUSA announced a new partnership with Guillermo García-López and Esparcia Sports. García-López has been utilizing iTUSA's Match Analysis service since Indian Wells to sharpen his tactical skills and provide exact training focus while achieving much improved results.

Previously, García-López's string of successes has included:

• Finalist at Eastbourne grasscourt championship in June.
• Seeded for the first time at the French Open.
• Semi-finalist in Estoril Open in Portugal.
• Defeating top ten players Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Madrid and Marin Cilic at Indian Wells.

iTUSA congratulates García-López in a great win and wish him continued success.

iTUSA Junior Star June Lee Scores ITF Success

June Lee, a member of iTUSA's World-Class Player Development Program, just won the Double ITF under-18 event in Puerto Rico. She also reached the Finals and Semi-finals in her first two ITF under-18 events in Honduras and Puerto Rico. June beat the number two seeds in both events (Totka from Hungary and Palumbo from Brazil) in straight sets.

The iTUSA Player Development system and program's methodology turns players into champions. June has been preparing all summer with iTUSA to make the jump from the USTA National level U-16 to International Tournaments with the best junior U-18 players in the world. June has made tremendous progress as shown by her success her first 2 U-18 events. The iTUSA Player Development program is unique in the United States, as iTUSA believes in exposing its players to the best international competition in the world, taking its players outside the U.S. for development.

Click here to learn more about the iTUSA World-Class Player Development Program.

iTUSA's Meghann Shaughnessy Maintains Doubles Momentum

Meghann Shaughnessy and her doubles partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands were finalists in the Pilot Pen Open in New Haven and Quarter-finalists in the US Open, beating world number two Caroline Wozniacki and her partner Daniela Hantuchova. Shaughnessy and Mattek-Sands also won a measure of revenge, beating US Open number four seeds Peschke and Srebotnik, who Meghann and Bethanie lost to in the finals of the Pilot Pen. Congratulations to iTUSA's Meghann Shaughnessy and Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

iTUSA Announces Two New Distributors in South America

iTUSA is proud to announce they have signed two new prestigious distributors in South America, Tenis Argentino in Argentina and Guillermo Guerrero in Chile.

Tenis Argentino and Diego García in Argentina

In Argentina, iTUSA has reached an agreement with Tenis Argentino and its CEO Mr. Diego García. Tenis Argentino is the company in charge of training and equipping coaches nationwide as well as the promotion and implementation of the game of tennis in clubs and academies throughout the country.

Mr. García is a nationally recognized coach who has presented in various symposiums both nationally and internationally, including ITF workshops. He has also written numerous articles for various publications and created and coordinated “Tennis X 2,” which is a promotional tool whose target is to double the number of children playing tennis in Argentina. He has also created the program called “Playing Tennis in Open Spaces,” which includes playing tennis at beaches, supermarkets, public parks, and parking lots.

He is also responsible for developing in Argentina the ITF initiative called “Pay and Play." This is a worldwide initiative with the sole mission of increasing the participation of tennis in the world. Finally, García is responsible for developing and organizing the up and coming 13th Regional ITF Workshop in Mar del Plata, Argentina from the 4th to the 10th of October. You may learn more about this workshop where iTUSA is a sponsor and has been asked to present its groundbreaking system and technology platform by visiting: http://www.argentinaworkshop.com.ar/home.html

Guillermo Guerrero in Chile

In Chile, iTUSA has established a distribution agreement with Mr. Guillermo Guerrero, a nationally recognized coach who is the Director of Junior Tennis for the Viña del Mar region. At the same time he runs a successful academy called Nova Tennis “ANTEGG,” where many of his students have achieved a national ranking in Chile.

Mr. Guerrero is also a writer for a national paper “La Voz” and is currently hosting a very popular internet sports program. He has held numerous positions throughout his tennis coaching career. He has also been the representative to various prestigious brands in Chile like Yonex and Prince, and he is at the moment the official representative for Babolat rackets and strings in Chile.

Guerrero's expertise also reaches into the area of construction where he has been responsible for building several public courts in Chile, as well as in schools, in order to promote the game among the young people of his country.

We would like to welcome both Mr. García and Mr. Guerreo into the iTUSA family and wish both of them a prosperous and successful venture.

 


 
Blindfolded - by Pablo Giacopelli

This is a two person drill. The pro stands on one side of the net while the student stands on the other side, positioned around the service line. The student stands with his back to the pro (hence, the "blindfold" idea). The pro initiates the drill by saying "go" and then tossing a ball gently underhand to one side of the player. The player must pivot and turn quickly and determine which side the ball has been tossed to and then move smoothly to hit a groundstroke over the net. The pro will then drop another ball, sometimes to the same side, sometimes to the other, so the player has a two-shot sequence to perform from the point he/she turns around. This drill is a fun drill, excellent for teaching the student how to read and anticipate quickly.

Watch the drill now.

iTUSA Training Drills Tutorial

This month we're featuring a video tutorial of our Training Drills Database, an amazing knowledgebase of tennis instruction built over 20 years by the iTUSA coaching staff. The Training Drills Database is both a resource and a service. It's a monthly instructional service that incorporates the iTUSA Player Training System into the industry's most powerful online instructional resource. Using a step-by-step online menu, a player or coach can select lessons and videos that focus on all areas of the game, from footwork, to stroke mechanics, to tactics and strategy.

The iTUSA Training Drills Database features over 1400 online video drills (over 20 years in development) specifically designed to develop and apply each skill in a match situation. New drills are being added weekly. The Training Drills Database is the only resource in the industry that provides instruction and drills for all surfaces (grass, clay, hard courts) and all levels of play. In sum, the iTUSA Training Drills Database is the most advanced and comprehensive tennis development tool in the industry.

Click here to watch the tutorial of our Training Drills Database.


 


Watch Instructional Drill Now
 
Tactics and Strategy, 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 #11 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.

In modern tennis the two most important strokes are the serve and the return, as well as the two first shots you hit to start each point. Typically, these are the strokes that make the difference in a match. This is the reason why you need to learn how to play these first shots in the correct way, as doing these correctly will mean you will be able to take the initiative in the point and be able to beat your opponent.

It is not necessary to be able to serve at 130 mph, nor return like Nadal or Ferrer. Always remember that you can be aggressive by either using power or by placement (and the placement applies to both the ball and your own position on the court). That's why the more variety of shots you master, as well as spins, means the better armed you will be to dictate points during your matches.

Bear in mind that the player that serves usually has the advantage. Therefore, you need to be aggressive with your serve. The most important thing to remember about the return is that you need to get the ball back in play. When you return the second serve, it is very possible that you will have some sort of advantage, depending on the type of second serve your opponent hits (you may be able to be aggressive without taking major risks). Always remember that missing an easy second serve return is like hitting a double fault.

Following this, I am sharing with you several examples on how to initiate points with the serve and the return. The second shot after the serve and return should not be seen as a winning shot but rather a shot that you use to move your opponent. You will be surprised and the amount of points you will win without having to take major risks. Sometimes you will have to play a defensive shot, which means that you need to therefore learn to read your opponent's ball in order to choose what your shot selection should be. Clearly there are many more ways to start a point, depending whether the ball is long, wide, straight to the body, fast, slow, or with spin. But here are some ways to start our analysis.

1. Serve - from the deuce court

A. Serving wide to your opponent's forehand

• If your opponent's return is cross court, you play a down the line forehand
• If your opponent's return is to the middle or a little on the backhand side, you play an inside out forehand
• If your opponent's return is down the line you play a backhand cross court
• If your opponent's return is very short sometimes you can play a wrong-foot cross court forehand

B. Serving to your opponent's backhand

• If your opponent's return is short to the middle, you play a cross court forehand
• If your opponent's return is cross court, you play a down the line forehand
• If your opponent's return is down the line, you play a backhand cross court
• If your opponent's return is short to your backhand side, you play an inside out forehand

C. Serving to your opponent's body

• If your opponent's return is cross court, you play a down the line forehand
• If your opponent's return is to the middle & short, you play a cross court forehand
• If your opponent's return is short to your backhand side & close to the middle, you play an inside out forehand
• If your opponent's return is to your backhand side, you play a backhand cross court

2. Serve - from the ad side

A. Serving to your opponent's forehand

• If your opponent's return is to your forehand side, you play a down the line forehand
• If your opponent's return is to your backhand side close to the middle, you play an inside out forehand
• If your opponent's return is to your backhand, you play a backhand cross court
• If your opponent's return is short to your backhand, you play an inside in forehand
• If your opponent's return is short to the middle, you play a cross court forehand

B. Serving wide to your opponent's backhand

• If your opponent's return is down the line, you play a cross court forehand
• If your opponent's return is to your backhand side close to the middle, you play an inside in forehand
• If your opponent's return is to your backhand, you play a backhand down the line

C. Serving to your opponent's body

• If your opponent's return is to your forehand side, you play a cross court forehand
• If your opponent's return is to your backhand side close to the middle, you play an inside in forehand
• If your opponent's return is short to your backhand side, you play a backhand down the line
• If your opponent's return is short to your backhand side close to the middle, you play an inside out

3. Returning your opponent's serve from the deuce court

A. When your opponent serves to your forehand, your best returns can be:

• Cross court forehand high and deep
• Forehand deep to the middle of the court
• Forehand down the line deep
• Inside in forehand deep to the opponent's backhand

B. When your opponent serves to your backhand, your best returns can be:

• Backhand deep to the middle of the court
• Backhand deep to the opponent's backhand

4. Returning your opponent's serve from the ad court

A. When your opponent serves to your forehand, your best returns can be:

• Forehand deep and high to the opponent's backhand
• Forehand deep to the center of the court
• Inside in forehand to your opponent's forehand, if your opponent's forehand is weak

B. When your opponent serves to your backhand, your best returns can be:

• Backhand deep to the middle of the court
• Backhand cross court high and deep

The second shots in this case are dictated by the shots your opponent hits back to you. Obviously you will have to determine, depending on your opponent's serves and returns, which patterns bother him the most and make sure you use them every time.

Please keep in mind these patterns to start the points when you play matches and try and apply them every time. You will notice your unforced errors going down and your level of play going up. I guarantee you that you will have double the fun playing your matches.

iTUSA's Match Analysis

Now it is possible to learn strategy and tactics with a new technology and service, iTUSA's Match Analysis. Players and Coaches do not need to understand or study meaningless and subjective statistics, and guess about the effectiveness of specific shots or tactics. Each winner or error and pattern of play is registered in the iTUSA database and is reflected in the Match Analysis video. This way the coach and player can review together why and how they are successfully executing winning shots and what exactly they are doing wrong in their errors. The stroke mechanics, tactics and mental toughness can also be analyzed and reviewed with this analysis tool.

Benefits of iTUSA's Match Analysis

• Summary of why a player is winning/losing points and matches.
• Objective analysis of the player's strengths and weaknesses.
• Statistics with video samples combined in the same report.
• Stroke Analysis, tactics, strategy and mental toughness can all be analyzed by using just one tool.
• Faster way to progress from match to match, as the player and coach know exactly what areas to focus on in each training session.
• Rapid learning, maximum motivation and MORE VICTORIES!!

Click here to learn more about iTUSA's Match Analysis.

 


 


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