Dear Reader, allow me to make several winks to various emotional details that occurred during 2016 linked to sensations for this year 2017 that has just begun. Without being a journalist, without being a coach, without being anything more than a simple human being and hardly speaking beyond the top 100 in the ranking, because I cannot and should not speak of what I have not seen.
Beyond the results, in the emotional zone, not the simple emotions as we know them, but in that deeper psychological aspect, where the details give us warnings, of even having patches along the way, there will be no regularity, something will explode late or early. In what I have been most impacted, it is what I will remember best, which I hope not to forget any of them, if your dear reader remembers any more, I invite you to leave me a comment to let me know.
Speaking of Spanish, in the WTA , we have three among the first hundred, Garbiñe Muguruza, Carla Suarez and Laura Arruabarrena , without forgetting that the one hundred and six, already looming is Sara Sorribes Tormo , 19 years old, during the last two years we were sold to Paula Badosa , at the end another one was going up in silence; Honestly and I apologize to Paula , although responsibilities of expectations are on both sides, the people who take her by supposed greater maturity and experience are the ones who have more responsibilities, sure that in the end it will come little by little, without forgetting to enjoy the trip.
Speaking of this new generation that is coming, there are already many who are among the top 50 even, others are not, Daria Kasatkina (this one is a step above the rest, in my opinion), Annita Konjuh, Jelena Ostapenko, Belinda Bencic, Maria Sakkari , Sara Sorribes, Irina khromacheva, Usue Maitene Arconada, Donna Vekic , …… many other Americans, Russian origins and some Australian. The curious thing about many of them is that they come with a very similar energy, in terms of claw, struggle, dedication, illusion, work, sacrifice, simply amazing, it is tremendous, bridging distances between each one of them, I think a very nice tennis in the feminine.
Lara Arruabarrena , from what was proven at Wimbledon , told her to be brave, be brave, my feeling is of a lack of emotional clarification, I saw her as mentally confused by so much information, that in the end nothing is clear, you lose your essence, you block Against the current, that is a difficult uphill climb, which generates extra fatigue. I think that she can still give more, tennis has, and above all feel better about herself, at least it is what I have appreciated from the respect for her and the people who work with her.
Petra Kvitova , a shame about the incident ten days ago at her house, because she was the one that finished the most in shape of all, she was going up again, in fact she won the consolation master and almost did not sneak into the top 8, wish her a speedy and good recovery, also a good emotional learning of all this situation, which should make her stronger. My best wishes.
Victoria Azarenka , to wish her the best in her motherhood, all the happiness in the world in that new stage, a pity for how well she was going, but when one knows how to set the priorities, it is always good and nothing to object.
Caroline Wozniacki , I feel that she has taken an important step of maturity, hence also the good ascent of last year, for me she is a player who can give a lot, and I hope great news from her, damage cane and getting into the top- have it again, messing around.
Caroline Garcia, another player from whom I hope a lot, has for jumps further, however that focus also on doubles as she did last year, did not benefit her, if she focuses only on Singles, she can do great things, especially with herself. . We will see what it holds for us.
Monica Puig: Winner of the Olympic Gold, a friend asked me the following questions about it Carlos, Why does Monica Puig have spectacular Olympic games and weeks later such a disastrous USOPEN? How is that change possible? These questions, if they are capable and their egos allow it, should be asked by top coaches. My answer is in the emotional, putting the trophy, that moment above the sport practiced, the journey that leads there, when there is not that balance these things happen. This year is going to have a lot of demand from public opinion and the media, she should not disconnect at any time from where she comes from. Monica this year if she should take that step forward, by herself not by the demands of others.
I could name Daría Gabrilova, Yulia Puntiseva, Kiki Bertens ,. … etc … as I have said before, there are already many young people between 19 and 23 years old among the first 50, in girls the change of generation will be much earlier than in boys, not counting Garbiñe Muguruza situated well already.
Garbiñe Muguruza , because apart from Roland Garros , and some quarters there, little more in 2016. If it is true that during the French Open , he showed an energy, more unconscious than conscious, in terms of pressure management, of the different situations given during the competition, showing smiling, calm, calm, focused, an energy accompanied by that tennis, which she has, and when she shows both combinations, she can hurt anyone, but on feeling good about herself internally … something that throughout the season it faded. Also later he got a little arrogant, his relationship with Sam SumykShe had several collisions, to end up in balance, which I’m not sure if enough to surprise herself and others during this year that has just begun. We will see.
Carla Suárez , stone against stone and always the same stone, remembering the harsh images of Madrid Open, playing totally ill, almost without strength, a suffering even for those who saw it, we did not know if it made sense to continue playing like that, the value of tennis did not It is that, nor should the value of the person be that, which is an example for others, either, from my point of view. A clear thing if there is, to professionalism, struggle, dedication, work and discipline, not a single one can put it but, in that if it is an example, however, my question is, where is Carla’s personality on track ? Where is your independence? . The feeling of pulling too much of the mechanization and lack of that natural improvisation, that human heart. I don’t expect much in this 2017, seeing that it will continue in the same Ferris wheel.
Madison Keys , another of the young women who are already there, physical power, race, naturalness, dedication, courage, but the emotional agony in which she intersects on many occasions, losing strength through her mouth, handling that momentum, can it be she one of the great revelations of the year? . I would not be surprised, nor would it be unreasonable if it were.
Svetlana Kuznetsova , veteran, intelligent, doing things well, great end of the year to finish ninth in the world, but don’t think too much, more focus on herself than on the one in front, little more can be said, I love seeing her play, and I think that they can still give themselves many joys, and an example for the young people to look at.
Johana Konta , the British of Australian origin, I recently had her at the Queen’s Club, I loved her energy, her spirit, that helps a lot to enjoy what to do and get more than one, without knowing what else you have there. Also some videos of her preseason say a lot about the team that surrounds her, working with that energy, where even though there is toughness, there can be fun, it is unlikely, not to have success. I see her doing great things !!
Karolina Pliskova , a brave player, with character, a lot of personality, agile, … her weak point to trust herself more, those concrete doubts, if they appear even in important moments, weigh her more than they should, even so she has taken an important leap , you can really raise your level even more. We’ll see what the year gives us, out of the corner of my eye, I wouldn’t lose sight of it, just in case.
Dominika Cibulkova , also a brave player, with character, a lot of personality, and a lot of poise, she does not wrinkle anything. Failure that I see, her impetus, her haste, that certain “anxiety”, with a point of serenity, she can still do what I have done so far, let us remember that she is the current teacher. We will see how it delights us this year, it must achieve that regularity of being there.
Simona Halep , a total warrior player, with a lot of self-love, dedication and work, situations that I perceive to be weak or to improve, in many moments she puts herself at too many speed marches, that is not a good travel companion, such as lack of vision, of panoramic , a better use of that intelligence, the feeling that you end up more mentally tired than physically, that makes you think, probably the physical fatigue is not as much as what you may be wanting to make you know. It has everything also to get to surpass itself more than imaginable.
Agnieszka Radwanska , player with vitality, very intelligent, who seems not to but does it to you, it really is a kind of wall, with implausible body positions, that if on the other side of the court you are not mentally focused on yourself, it can reach you To despair, it may not be archaic, but it is consistent, my objection about its weakness, would say a physical and emotional reinforcement, letting yourself be carried away by that extra necessary, for a better balance at all times.
Serena Williams , I remember the words of her coach who said that she would win the four Grand Slam of the year, and in the end she only won one at Wimbledon , in fact at the first exchange in Australia , she lost the final against Angelique Kerber and the final of Roland Garros against Garbiñe Muguruza . For me the worrying thing was that anxiety, almost extreme stress with which she has been playing in the last year and a long peak, similar to that of Nadal , it was difficult to see her play like that, especially when she was behind on the scoreboard. It is clear that this was not enjoying or loving tennis, I don’t know if there would be personal issues or that, although it seems that at the end of the year, that agonizing intensity dropped a bit.
Any way, not a good example for the young girls, those emotions so altered, however, afterwards, their sympathy, their closeness with the people, their good vibes, the humility to always congratulate the rival when they make a good point, in their perseverance, fight, regularity until a year ago, all that if it is a great example for the young women. This year with a wedding in between, we will see how much is blurred or not, how emotionally intensity is affected in his work. We will see, always to have it. Serena is Serena .
Angelique Kerber , started the year winning the Australia Open , with a dip included, then nothing until Stuttgart , final lost in the Rio Olympics against Monica Puig , with a very bad loss, with a lot of arrogance, bad gestures towards the rival, final in Cincinnati and the USOPEN victory . If we think about what happened in the games, if it is worth a person with a lot of character, personality, bad losing, etc, .. but also very raised egos, reaching pride, which for me does not honor what a number one should be.
She, also due to that arrogance, becomes very desperate, as we say in Spain “to speak in Aramaic”, you leave your nature, what you are, your focus, absolutely everything, apart from not enjoying the game, you win or lose, the public also notices that, but above all oneself inside knows it and that generates frustration, knowing that you have more to give, even if you don’t know how much. The main thing about this player, who does not seem like a bad girl, is that she must begin to respect her rivals much more, in this Serena is far above, but very above. Angelique Kerber always to be reckoned with, despite her Ego, capable of the best and the worst.
The doubles there are many variants, as in the boys, I stay with three couples Martina Hingis / Sania Mirza, Caroline Garcia / Cristina Mladenovic, Bethanie Mattek-Sands / Lucie Safarova , the latter I like a lot because they have a very beautiful complicity, an energy very special, in doubles it is also fundamental as the relationship is outside. Already having a mixture of individual players with doubles players and everything else unpredictable.
Here the Nextgen, in which the media do not pay much attention, they are already looming in the elite and they continue to appear more, including a Spanish one, close to doing so, without forgetting that now we have three among the top 100, one ready and then there is not much else. Currently, apart from those named above, I know that I will have left many, for the moment at the expense of the American, Australian and other of Russian origin arriving, they are the ones that for the moment set the tone, at the expense of possible surprises.
Also detail to point out, that there are not too many women working with players, most of them men, which leads me to the next question, I hope your dear reader, you can leave me your impression, do you think the reason for not seeing almost women coaches- physios … etc and others in the WTA circuit is why the players seek protection and feel safer with men? In other words, looking at the young women, do they emotionally-psychologically become weaker at the same time, feeling less independent, do they make their trainer-physio … etc, do they feel more secure?
As I have said in the previous article, that of the boys, I would like to see more women working for the ATP circuit , even for the WTA , I consider that we are not very aware yet, of the wide and different perspective that a woman can contribute to men, not only for tennis, but in any executive leadership, I consider them essential, as long as they are healthy women.
That ridiculous ego of how you have worked in the WTA and not in the ATP , you cannot work for the ATP and vice versa, it is stupid and ridiculous excuse, tennis is tennis, here, in China, in America, in the ATP and in the WTA , maybe also machismo? , less closed systems and more coordination, not forgetting to include the ITF . Like the absurd phenomenon of the Supercoach , something that in women has not spread much yet, but it is better not to say it too loud, just in case, it will not happen.
However, yes, many are filled with flowers, with only circumstantial successes, basically, if I use my common sense, 11 months of tennis, 44 weeks, more or less as many tournaments , this without adding Challengers and others of course, total each player disputes an average of about 30 tournaments and wins 4 if he wins any, because constant real regularity, in a discipline such as tennis, seldom occurs, due to various factors, not because of impossibility, which after all, does not it ceases to be circumstantial successes. In recent times the greatest achievements, when they were still children without being definitive adults, once the transition is over, some maintain a record, others end up certainly broken and obsessed, without finishing finding answers to more and more questions, increasing season after season. .
What is worrisome also in Nextgen, are two things, one that many of the above, have not been as good examples as many media have wanted us to believe and two the figure of the Sports Psychologist , on the rise with young people not both with veterans, where I consider that one’s personality should never be stolen, if guided without getting into it, something that I fear is done the opposite, and this is going to generate many many problems.
Simple example: A handler-Your dog, it seems nice to have a dog that opens the door, takes your keys, opens the drawer and brings what you ask, puts the dishwasher, … etc, but is it Is that the essence or personality of the dog? In my opinion, no, I want a healthy, educated, balanced, happy dog, but without losing the essence that it is a dog.
Exactly the same with humans, and many psychologists are being that extremist trainer, basically because they are worse than the patient, or because of ambition and closed ego (the latter would be more serious). This affects the personality of the kids and the game of course. I do not get tired nor will I get tired of repeating the neutral guides thing.
2017 , we will see what awaits us, we do not need a revolution or big changes, but if an evolution, we will not see that at a high level, on a smaller scale small granites yes, I am afraid that without being enough for an evolution, but better something than any.
I invite you dear reader, you have to leave your comments on the questions raised in the conclusion and throughout the article and also before any other objection on any other topic discussed in the article. Delighted to receive all kinds of perspectives and opinions.
Happy YEAR 2017, wish you all the best for everyone beyond the TENNIS family !!
Faithfully with affection,
A lover & respectful of the values and spirits of whatever sport but specially The hidden on tennis .