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Blog – PowerShares Series Tennis http://www.powersharesseries.com Tue, 20 Feb 2018 20:18:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tennis Channel’s Brett Haber Reports On The Action From Down Under http://www.powersharesseries.com/tennis-channels-brett-haber-reports-on-the-action-from-down-under/ Fri, 25 Jan 2013 22:32:24 +0000 http://www.powersharesseries.com/?p=5591 Greetings from down under. It’s been about two months now since our merry band of Powershares Series warriors disbanded for the season. After a much-needed holiday break, it’s always nice to come here to Australia and re-connect with the tennis family – and that includes many of our Powershares Series brethren. Jim Courier, Mats Wilander, […]

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Greetings from down under. It’s been about two months now since our merry band of Powershares Series warriors disbanded for the season. After a much-needed holiday break, it’s always nice to come here to Australia and re-connect with the tennis family – and that includes many of our Powershares Series brethren. Jim Courier, Mats Wilander, Patrick Rafter, Pat Cash and Andre Agassi have all been in Melbourne, and it’s been great seeing all of them.

I’m seeing more of Jim than just about anyone else – not just because we had dinner last week, but because he is one of the lead Analysts for Australian television’s coverage of the Open. Each night after I get off the air for Tennis Channel, I go back to my hotel room and watch Jim work the night shift for Channel 7. As those of you know who have watched his commentary in the states, he has a legitimate gift for this TV thing. Kind of annoying to us mortals when a guy can be so good at so many things.

My take on the Australian Open so far, is that it has gone largely according to script, but has been punctuated by a handful of signature matches and personalities that have made it compelling – as it always seems to be down here. From the start, it seemed unlikely that we would surpass the drama that unfolded on championship weekend here a year ago, wherein Novak Djokovic survived 10 sets and over 10 hours of court time in his semifinal wins over Murray and Nadal to claim the title. But a couple of matches have come close. The Djokovic thriller against Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round has to go down as one of the most riveting tennis matches of the past several years. I am among those who thought Nole was on his way out when he trailed 6-1, 5-2 after about 75 minutes. But then he changed his shoes – and changed his level of play. The guy is a warrior. He is also incredibly flexible and fit and somehow able to survive these incredibly physical encounters over and over again. Full credit to Wawrinka, though. The guy has spent his life living in the very long Swiss shadow of Roger Federer, but he is an outstanding talent in his own right, and one hopes that match propels him into the top-10. His performance against Djokovic has spurred a fun discussion among the commentators down here – who has the best one-handed backhand in tennis today? Wawrinka certainly entered the conversation with that performance. Federer has always been part of it. If you saw Nicolas Almagro’s five-set epic in the quarterfinals against David Ferrer, you have to consider him as well. And of course, Richard Gasquet always gets some votes for technical beauty. What do you think?

I think in terms of breakout stars at this grand slam, there has been one man and one woman who fought through the clutter of 256 names and announced their arrival to the upper echelon of the game. On the men’s side it’s Jerzy Janowicz. The big-serving Pole has been on the periphery of the sport for several years. He had fantastic success as a junior, but never really accomplished much as a pro until he arrived, out of nowhere, in Paris last fall and made it to the final of the Masters-1000 event at Bercy. That vaulted him into the top-30 in the rankings and here in Melbourne he proved he belonged. He only made the third round, but he showed some moxie coming back from 2 sets down in the second round against seasoned pro Somdev Devvarmin, and he put a scare into Almagro stretching him to tiebreaks in their first two sets. Janowicz has a powerful and multifaceted game and a very compelling personal story. He is going to be around for a while.

So is Sloane Stephens. Depending upon how closely you follow tennis, you probably know a little about Sloane. You are about to learn a lot more. Even before her quarterfinal shocker, she was guaranteed to enter the top-20, now she will go even further. Her win over Serena in the quarters may turn out to be a seminal turning point in the timeline of American tennis – the moment the queen was dethroned by the next in the line of succession (okay, perhaps I’m taking the royal metaphor too far). However you want to phrase it, there’s no question that coming through that match was a huge milestone for Sloane. It’s never easy to beat someone whose poster once hung on your bedroom wall. Granted, Serena was physically compromised with back spasms during the match, but take nothing away from Sloane. She WON that match. Serena didn’t lose it. And what’s more about Sloane – she’s the complete package. She is talented, charming, smart, attractive, funny, engaging and personable. She is going to be a Madison Avenue megastar if/when she wins a slam. I actually she believe she will be the biggest female figure in all of American sports marketing. She’s that good. Hope your winter is off to a great start. I hope you’re enjoying the coverage on Tennis Channel. Hope to see you all soon.

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Jim Courier Australian Open Blog http://www.powersharesseries.com/jim-courier-australian-open-blog/ Wed, 23 Jan 2013 02:29:01 +0000 http://www.powersharesseries.com/?p=5581 Greetings from Melbourne where I am pulling double duty as a commentator for Australia’s 7 Network as well as following the American players in my role as Davis Cup Captain. Starting the year in the Aussie summer with long, warm days is what I have been lucky enough to do for most of the last […]

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Greetings from Melbourne where I am pulling double duty as a commentator for Australia’s 7 Network as well as following the American players in my role as Davis Cup Captain. Starting the year in the Aussie summer with long, warm days is what I have been lucky enough to do for most of the last 25 years as a player and commentator. 

So far it’s been a relatively mild event as far as extreme weather and memorable matches. We’re in the quarterfinals now and the only men’s matches that stick out are the Wawrinka/Djokovic epic and the Almagro/Ferrer comeback. Otherwise the top dogs have been cruising through as they usually do in these events nowadays. I’m looking forward to seeing Sloane Stephens play Serena Williams today. Sloane has a great smile and is a terrific player on her way up the rankings and Serena is simply Serena…awesome.

Many of my buddies from my playing days on the ATP Tour are here: Goran Ivanisevic, Pat Rafter, Pat Cash and many more of the guys are here playing in the Legends doubles event that takes place in the second week of the tournament. I have been hitting a few balls on the indoor courts when I’ve gotten the time with another tour buddy, Justin Gimelstob, who is here doing TV for the Tennis Channel.   Have to stay sharp.

I don’t get a chance to get away much from the courts as I’m working late most nights on TV but I did manage to get away to see The Killers in concert in Melbourne with fellow music aficionado, ESPN’s Chris Fowler, the other night. Melbourne is a fantastic city with a lot of great restaurants and a tremendous lifestyle so it’s nice to be able to sample it from time to time. The food in particular has really improved over the years. 

From here I will travel directly to Jacksonville for the Davis Cup Team’s first round match vs Brazil. Should be a good one. The Bryan’s are still here in Melbourne in search of another AO title and will be with us in Jax as well. Hopefully they can take the title and cruise on into D Cup with a lot of confidence.

Off to the courts. I’m calling the Federer-Tsonga match tonight. Hope it’s an epic.

JC

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San Jose http://www.powersharesseries.com/san-jose/ Fri, 16 Nov 2012 19:40:08 +0000 http://www.powersharesseries.com/?p=5176 I arrived in San Jose last night for today’s event at the HP Arena, a place I’ve played a few ATP tournaments in before. I’m ready to go up against Andre tonight in the semis for the first time of the season. I’m feeling pretty match tough now but Andre is the fittest guy out […]

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I arrived in San Jose last night for today’s event at the HP Arena, a place I’ve played a few ATP tournaments in before. I’m ready to go up against Andre tonight in the semis for the first time of the season. I’m feeling pretty match tough now but Andre is the fittest guy out here so I’m expecting him to run me around quite a bit tonight. Johnny Mac and Todd Martin are in the other semi so it’s going to be a great night.

Andre and I participated in a stunt for ABC’s Good Morning America last week during the NYC tournament at the Garden with GMA anchor Josh Elliot spearheading a revenge based “gotcha” moment on his co-anchor Lara Spencer. Lara loves tennis and the premise was that she would film a segment on her passion, tennis, to air on GMA while what was really happening was Josh directing a conspiracy to provoke her. I was cast as the bad cop, with Andre playing the good cop, and my orders were direct…play mixed doubles with Lara against Andre and one of her bet friends and I was to get upset at Lara and have a meltdown due to her poor playing. One of the challenges was that Lara played very well and it is awfully tough to conjure up anger (fake or real) when you are winning. We got there in the end and you can watch the results here (http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/andre-agassi-jim-courier-josh-elliott-punk-lara-17706940

I must admit it was more challenging than I expected to be the bad boy out there. I long ago learned to control my temper (relative to its natural state) so it was awkward to have to force it to reappear out there and also to not start laughing at any point (and how Andre kept it together while I was throwing rackets, cursing, stomping around, etc. I will never know). In the end, Josh got his revenge for Lara’s spoof on him a few months back. Lara was a good sport about it all, thankfully. 

After tonight we move on to Las Vegas and then there will be just two events remaining (Denver and Anaheim). Mac and I are in a dog fight for the #1 ranking so these last events are extremely important. It’s put up or shut up time.

JC

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Blog for San Jose: Ready for Round 2 http://www.powersharesseries.com/blog-for-san-jose-ready-for-round-2/ Wed, 14 Nov 2012 14:40:46 +0000 http://www.powersharesseries.com/?p=5124 Looking forward to being at the Shark Tank in a week. I love thatplace…great memories of San Jose. The first stop on the PowerShares Serieswas fun in Surprise. Courier got the best of me there but I’m thinking Iwill be a bit better prepared this 2nd go ’round. I’ve been super busy oflate with my […]

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Looking forward to being at the Shark Tank in a week. I love that
place…great memories of San Jose. The first stop on the PowerShares Series
was fun in Surprise. Courier got the best of me there but I’m thinking I
will be a bit better prepared this 2nd go ’round. I’ve been super busy of
late with my new business so I’m itching to get out and compete. It good to
feel the emotions of playing while being a coach. It helps in relating to
the players I work with because we still feel lots of the nerves…well, at
least I do. Come see us or tune in on the TV in a couple weeks.

 

– Todd

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Surprise reflection http://www.powersharesseries.com/surprise-tour-stop-reflection/ Tue, 16 Oct 2012 19:46:18 +0000 http://www.powersharesseries.com/?p=4495 Being a part of the PowerShares Series tour stop in Surprise has always been a favorite stop of mine since my wife Amber and I have sentimental reasons for going back. This past week was no different although I certainly did not expect to run into such a red hot John McEnroe!  That’s probably the […]

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Being a part of the PowerShares Series tour stop in Surprise has always been a favorite stop of mine since my wife Amber and I have sentimental reasons for going back. This past week was no different although I certainly did not expect to run into such a red hot John McEnroe!  That’s probably the best I’ve seen him play since we’ve been competing post ATP Tour but I’ll definitely be ready for him the next time we play which shouldn’t be too long from now.

One highlight of my time in Surprise was going to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America which provides wonderful treatment and care of patients fighting cancer. The time that Todd Martin and I had to visit with some patients was wonderful, and to see so many of them smiling with an upbeat attitude was an inspiration for us all! It was also a great reminder of how blessed we are to be able to do the things we often take for granted, such as playing tennis. My hope is that these patients will get well soon and be back on their feet doing the things they love with the people they love doing them with!

 

Michael

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33,000 FEET ABOVE THE USA http://www.powersharesseries.com/33000-feet-above-the-usa/ Sun, 14 Oct 2012 20:56:12 +0000 http://www.powersharesseries.com/?p=4437 And we’re off…I’m on the plane headed home the day after stealing wins from both Johnny Mac and The Big Fella, Todd Martin, last night in the Series opening tourney in Surprise, AZ. Details? You want details? Well, I’m glad you asked (said the imaginary voice in my head) as I have another 3 hours […]

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And we’re off…I’m on the plane headed home the day after stealing wins from both Johnny Mac and The Big Fella, Todd Martin, last night in the Series opening tourney in Surprise, AZ. Details? You want details? Well, I’m glad you asked (said the imaginary voice in my head) as I have another 3 hours to go on this flight and writing this is more fun than listening to the annoying conversation the people in the seats in front of me are having.

Surprise, AZ is about 30 minutes from downtown Phoenix and it rests at nearly 1500 feet of altitude. With that altitude comes a tennis ball which moves quicker through the air than at sea level. The court in Surprise is a fast hard court which makes the conditions pretty speedy overall. I had the challenge of facing the big serving and bigger returning Todd Martin in the first semifinal. This was the first tournament of the year for us and we were both a little unsure going into the match which meant that neither of us wanted to serve first. Rarely am I at all concerned about a coin toss but I really wanted to receive serve first so I could ease into the match without the pressure of holding my serve right away. So of course that meant that Todd would win the toss, elect to receive serve and send my blood pressure spiking.

So, against my will, I start the match serving and go down quickly love-40 with an unforced error and two double faults. Not good. The ball was flying on me and I couldn’t get my second serve to drop down in the thin air. Somehow I managed to make some first serves, claw my way back to deuce and eventually hold serve. Whew. I then drew first blood with a break of Todd’s serve in game two and raced to a 3-0 lead before Todd settled in and started to get his teeth into the match. One-set matches can change quickly and sure enough when I served for the match at 5-3 I got “tight” and Todd broke back (just between us we can call it what it was, a “choke”). We each held serve from there to go to a tiebreaker. I had settled down after losing serve and managed to deliver a solid performance in the breaker and win it 7-5 to earn my spot in the final.

I had some time to regroup before the final, as my semi was the first of the night, so I retreated to the locker room to change clothes, eat a little and rest up as I would get about 45 mins before heading back out to play the final. Mac beat Michael Chang surprisingly quickly, 6-2, so I knew he was enjoying the quick conditions and would be a handful. So, off the couch and back into the fire I went…

I won the toss this time, electing to receive as I felt like I needed a bit of time to get warmed up after the rest. I had confidence in my game now but I still didn’t want to drop my serve early while I was still loosening up after the 45 minute break. It was a bit cool in the Arizona fall night as well so my body was taking a little longer than usual to get going. John opened up with a very solid service game hold, including making all of his first serves, and I knew I was in for a battle.

We traded holds up until 5-6 in the 8 game pro-set final with neither of us having a break point on the other. At 5-6 I got into some trouble as John pressed the attack button on his returns and hit some great shots to get to break point. We got into a baseline exchange, which is usually in my favor, and John missed a shot long on the baseline which I hit back in the court casually and waited for the out call which never came…oops. John won the point to go up 7-5 and I lost my mind on the chair umpire (Look for that part when this airs on FSN and Tennis Channel later this year). The rational part of me understands that once a call has been decided it won’t be changed and that the smart thing to do is move on immediately and forget it but the competitive part of me doesn’t always allow the rational fellow a say in the matter. It took a good 60 seconds for Mr Rational to get a word in with Mr Competitive but he finally got involved and the match continued, with John now serving for the match. I needed to do something I hadn’t been able to do yet, break the crafty lefty’s serve. I dug in, tried to forget the bad call (internal thought at that moment; “be mature, man…you’re 42 years old!!) and managed to grind out a break of serve. I think John may have gotten a little tight trying to serve it out, as I had earlier against Todd. No one is immune!

Having broken back just when I thought all was lost, I played like a man with a new lease on life. I felt free and relaxed and I would guess that John felt exactly the opposite. I held serve easily at 6-7 to send us into a tiebreaker that would decide it all. High stakes at its finest. I caught fire in the breaker, ripping returns, passing shots, forehands and serves with abandon. I was able to run away with it in the end, 7-1 the score in the breaker, and savored the feeling of victory, which never gets old.

I will tell you when I got up at 6am this morning my body reminded me it had not played tournament tennis lately either…I was tired and more than a little sore, especially in my lower back and feet. I assume (or maybe I am just hoping) that now that I am “tournament tough” again I should feel better the rest of the PowerShares Series physically. We’ll see about that but one thing I can tell you without hesitation is that I would trade feeling great physically for the mental satisfaction I feel today from winning last night. That feeling never gets old.

 

Jim

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2012 PowerShares Series – The Waiting Game http://www.powersharesseries.com/2012-powershares-series-the-waiting-game/ Thu, 04 Oct 2012 18:36:25 +0000 http://www.powersharesseries.com/?p=4227 Tom Petty was right…the waiting is the hardest part.  One week from today I’ll get on a plane, fly to Phoenix and drive over to Surprise, Arizona for the first stop of the 2012 PowerShares Series.   I’ve been hitting 4 days a week in NYC since I returned from Davis Cup in Spain, playing […]

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Tom Petty was right…the waiting is the hardest part. 

One week from today I’ll get on a plane, fly to Phoenix and drive over to Surprise, Arizona for the first stop of the 2012 PowerShares Series.  

I’ve been hitting 4 days a week in NYC since I returned from Davis Cup in Spain, playing sets most of those days to get my body and, just as importantly, my mind ready for the battle ahead. I haven’t played a live match (with an umpire, crowd, etc) in a few months time so I’ve been putting a real emphasis on concentration in my practice matches. The last match I played was up in Montreal in early August against Michael Chang during the Rogers Cup WTA event (sorry, I don’t count the exhibition with Kevin James as my doubles partner at the US Open as a live match) so I want to make sure my brain is battle ready for the stress of the one-set matches ahead. 

On the PowerShares Series we play in shootout type tournaments where there is little room for error. A one-set match can be over very quickly if you start slowly and get behind early on. Being down 3-0 in a best of 3 sets match isn’t a real cause for concern but it absolutely is when you’re playing a one-set match. It took me a few tournaments last year to get used to the format but now that I know what I’m dealing with I’ll be better equipped for it in 2012. The key for me is to make sure I am good and warmed up physically and ready to go from first ball mentally. There’s no “feeling” your way into these matches. It’s a sprint from first ball. 

I played a good hard set in practice today. I was sharp. I am ready. I am tired of waiting. 

 

Jim

October 4, 2012

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2012 PowerShares Series Launch Day http://www.powersharesseries.com/2012-powershares-series-launch-day/ Wed, 18 Jul 2012 13:57:51 +0000 http://www.powersharesseries.com/?p=3812 Today is launch day for the 2012 PowerShares Series with a press day that I am attending with Andre, Johnny Mac and our good friend Jill Baar of PowerShares as well as the InsideOut crew at the Nasdaq Site/Times Square in NYC. Good times. I’m fired up to get the information out to everyone about […]

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Today is launch day for the 2012 PowerShares Series with a press day that I am attending with Andre, Johnny Mac and our good friend Jill Baar of PowerShares as well as the InsideOut crew at the Nasdaq Site/Times Square in NYC. Good times. I’m fired up to get the information out to everyone about where we will be playing this fall.

The 2012 calendar of events is official with new cities on this year’s tour like San Jose, Anaheim, Atlanta, Denver and my two hometowns…Tampa (original) and New York City (current). And with the players lined up it’s going to be one heck of a ride this fall when we get rolling with Sampras, Connors, Rafter, Chang, Wilander, Martin as well as Andre, Mac and me getting after it.

I’ve been mostly in NYC since Roland Garros at work at InsideOut HQ getting prepared for the full fall of PowerShares tennis ahead. When I haven’t been tucked away in my NY office with our fantastic InsideOut team, I’ve been spending some time on the tennis court (including playing some exhibition matches in California), hitting the golf ball a bit and generally enjoying an idyllic summer thus far. 

Once we get closer to the US Open it’s going to be an extremely busy rest of the year with plenty to do (TV at the Open, Davis Cup in Spain), culminating with a lot of PowerShares Series events starting in Surprise, AZ on October 13. I will shift into major training mode in August to get the base I need to play well and handle the physical load of the tournaments ahead.

Hoping to see a lot of you along the way this fall. Feel free to reach out to me and the other players with any comments and/or questions via our twitter handle (twitter.com/#!/@PowerShares10s) and our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/championsseriestennis). We’ll be checking regularly and I’ll do my best to answer anything and everything that comes my way. 

 

Jim

July 18, 2012

 

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Courier’s Aussie Open Reflection and Davis Cup Outlook http://www.powersharesseries.com/couriers-aussie-open-reflection-and-davis-cup-outlook/ Tue, 31 Jan 2012 20:37:24 +0000 http://www.powersharesseries.com/?p=2897 While recovering from the almighty pain that is Australia to NYC jet lag I thought this would be a good time to jot down a few post-Aussie Open and pre-Davis Cup thoughts. 1. It’s hard to get my head wrapped around the physical effort I saw on Sunday night in Melbourne, even a few days […]

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While recovering from the almighty pain that is Australia to NYC jet lag I thought this would be a good time to jot down a few post-Aussie Open and pre-Davis Cup thoughts.

1. It’s hard to get my head wrapped around the physical effort I saw on Sunday night in Melbourne, even a few days later. The tennis Novak and Rafa were able to summon late in the match boggles my mind. Ivan Lendl and I were talking Monday morning about it on our way back to the States and both of us were shaking our heads and asking the same question…how could they possibly not cramp up out there? Ivan and I were known to be among the fittest of our time but neither of us felt like we could have possibly made it through the way those guys did. It was a hot night (Novak changed his 1st shirt at the 30 minute mark of the match) and the rallies were brutal from the get go. Whatever it is that these guys are drinking/eating on court, I want some immediately to stave off my jet lag.

2. The bar keep being raised in the men’s game and it is an absolute blast to see the guys respond. Rafa adds weight to his racket in the off season to directly combat Novak and Murray hires Lendl to get over the Slam final hurdle and opposition. I’m not exactly sure what Federer is doing but he’s surely not sitting on his hands waiting for these guys to get worse. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better in the men’s game (Federer-Nadal) along comes Novak with Murray nipping at their heels.

3. Women’s tennis could really use solidification at the top to induce some rivalries. They’re up against tough competition with the men but it would be terrific if Azarenka became a multi-slam winner this year and had Kvitova rise up to meet the challenge. We need a storyline. If Serena can stay healthy and active, having her battle against the new guard would make for compelling viewing. I am not of the mind set that having so many different slam winners is exciting. For the good of the game, we need one of those slam winners to really step up. I don’t care who it is and I know they are trying, but still…please, someone step up.

4. Whatever the issues are with the perception of tennis popularity in the US, there is no such issue in Australia. Tennis dominated the media and water cooler landscape for 2 weeks down there. I did a lot of interviews while I was there working for their network, Channel 7, and it was a nice change to not hear the question “so what’s wrong with tennis? Why has tennis lost its popularity?”

5. Davis Cup’s 1st round is next week. We travel to Switzerland this Saturday night. We announced our team which will be Mardy Fish, John Isner, Mike Bryan and Ryan Harrison. Bob Bryan’s wife, Michelle, is giving birth to their 1st child this week so Bob is not available. Andy Roddick was not planning on joining us and with his injury in Australia he would’ve been out anyway. I’m looking fwd to having Ryan involved, even though he is unlikely to play. We had a great 2 day training camp with Ryan, Donald Young and Jack Sock in December in Tampa and these guys are all working hard to be a part of the team going fwd. Mardy and John are the singles guys and it’s most likely Mardy and Mike in the doubles although we’ll need to see how the singles goes on Friday before we finalize the doubles squad for Saturday. It’s a big challenge with Fed and Wawrinka in front of us. We’ll be ready to fire come match time.

Jim

1.31.2012

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A Day in the life of a Champions Series player http://www.powersharesseries.com/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-champions-series-player/ Fri, 04 Nov 2011 17:36:24 +0000 http://www.powersharesseries.com/?p=2805 Jim Courier It’s the first week of November and I’m ten days removed from the final tournament of the 2011 Champions Series. What a run it was: One-night tournaments taking place in 12 cities over a 31 day period all across the United States where I played against an incredible lineup of players: Agassi, Sampras, McEnroe, Connors, […]

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Jim Courier

It’s the first week of November and I’m ten days removed from the final tournament of the 2011 Champions Series. What a run it was: One-night tournaments taking place in 12 cities over a 31 day period all across the United States where I played against an incredible lineup of players: Agassi, Sampras, McEnroe, Connors, Chang, Wilander, Lendl and Martin. Four players faced off each of the 12 nights in major arenas such as the TD Garden in Boston, Verizon Center in DC, United Center in Chicago and Staples Center in LA. It was a great experience on many levels and most of all it was rewarding to see, meet and hear the tennis fans who came out to watch us battle for the nightly crown.

I’ve played quite a few tournaments and exhibitions in recent years but this schedule was a different ask, both physically and mentally, than I was accustomed to. First of all playing one-set matches forced the intensity levels higher than normal as there was no room for a slow start in the matches. Secondly, the travel was constant and relentless. Starting a weekend with a tournament in Seattle on Thursday, flying late Thursday to LA to play there on Friday followed by one more flight late Friday night to Las Vegas for a Saturday night tournament was exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. The travel was the hardest part for me, although there were quite a few fun times on the plane with the other players. It can be challenging to arrive at the hotel at 3am after a post-tournament flight with the knowledge that you have big matches ahead of you as well as a lot of other requirements which make the Series work. Some may think it’s simply playing the matches at night but there’s a lot more that goes into a day at one of these stops. Let me show you what each tournament day consisted of in these events for all of the players:

12pm: Phone interviews from hotel room (30 minutes)

2pm: Check out of hotel and leave for the Arena

3pm: 1 hour hitting session on center court with sponsors and VIP Clinic Experience purchasers (2 players do this at 3pm and the other 2 players do another session 4-5pm)

4pm: Autograph items for VIP’s in the locker room (15 minutes per player)

5pm: fifteen minute media session on center court

5:15pm: warm up with another player for matches (20 minutes)

6pm: 15 minute Q&A session in VIP area with emcee Brett Haber and questions from the audience (each of the 4 players does 15 mins separately from 6-7pm)

6:45pm: Stretch w/our physio Gary Kitchell and get ready for the matches (15 mins)

7pm: All players take photos in private room with VIP Backstage Experience purchasers (15 minutes or so)

7:20pm: Do pre-match TV interview in the tunnel

7:30pm: Semi-final #1 (some nights I played the 1st semi and others the 2nd. Relax time was pretty much during the other semi)

8:15pm: Semifinal #2

9:15pm: Championship match

10:30pm: Tournament over, stretch-shower-pack up

11pm: Leave arena for the airport to catch flight with all players and Series staff to next city

11:45pm: Plane takes off

1:30am: arrive at next city, car takes us to hotel

2am: Arrive at hotel and try to sleep.

Rinse and repeat.

Three of the five weekends had three tournaments (thurs-fri-sat), one of the weekends had two events (fri-sat) and one weekend just a single event (just Saturday night – that was easy!).

Playing/competing is obviously the main thing I needed to focus on but as you can see there were a lot of other activities during the day which ensured the VIP’s and Sponsors had a special experience as well, which they did. Ultimately, I got into the rhythm of these events and learned how to manage my energy to be able to peak for 7:30 each night. By the end of the Champions Series I was playing at my highest level, which allowed me to win two of my last three tournaments and finish in 2nd place in the final rankings, behind Pete and just ahead of Andre.

If you want to see some of the “behind the scenes” moments for yourself there will be plenty included alongside the tournament matches in the Champions Series TV shows which have begun airing on Fox Sports Net (FSN) all across the United States. All twelve tournaments will air both on FSN as well as Tennis Channel so check your local listings for Champions Series Tennis and tune in to see us do what we do best…and some other stuff.

For my next blog I’ll put together some thoughts on some of the more memorable matches and moments from the 2011 Champions Series. There’s a lot to choose from.

The post A Day in the life of a Champions Series player appeared first on PowerShares Series Tennis.

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