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.
Well, Roberto Bautista Agut , started the year solid for the Antipodes, even lifting the Auckland trophy , then he kept solid with ups and downs. To remember me, even more than what I experienced in Queens , it was the rain break at Wimbledon against Bernard Tomic , something that did not sit well with him, the result for me of the excessive tension with which he goes out and plays the games, as if he had a wood nailed from head to toe. My objection from the respect and affection I have for him, his team and his family. If you lower that tension without losing the tiger, it is capable of anything.
Guillermo Garcia Lopez , he already showed it to me in 2015 and he showed it to me this year, I have the feeling that he has much more tennis than shown, for me a big mistake, it is the automatic wheel of the “VAMOS” (subject that I will deal with), something They use most of them at different levels, where my good friend Willy is number one in use, for me it hurts him more than it helps, I am one of those who believe that concentration and power comes from within, not from the mouth- mind, where it can lead you to accelerate, pricipitarte, and bewilderment of what is happening. Polishing that emotional part, knowing that physically (as I saw in Queen’s) they are the fittest they are, he must give himself joy and give it to us as well.
David Ferrer , change of arms, from PRINCE to BABOLAT , the lack of familiarization-automatic assimilation for the body-mind, could take its toll, but above all I think, the pause is still missing, otherwise, the rest of the qualifiers of there is no need to repeat them because we all know them. Depending on the approaches you are marking, we will see one David or another.
Fernando Verdasco , professional player, who takes his job seriously, on the other hand I saw a stifled, accelerated uncle, who seems that everything ends quickly, it was a constant burden, they are one of those people, who as our grandparents or parents would do in the past , they would slap us in the face, and they would tell us “Stop fucking paraaaa, breathe, there’s no rush” “Give yourself a deadline to finish but don’t run” “Raise your head and look around you.” No matter how much you change your coach, have a “supercoach” like Emilio , if that emotional part does not wash it away, we will see little change, although in this case Emilio , some pause can give you at that point, enough? .
Nicolas Almagro , in energy, reminds me a lot of Verdasco, I have to remember after injuries and others, they have been among those who have risen the most in the ranking, recovering ground, we will see if Pablo Andújar takes the same path.
Pablo Carreño Busta and Albert Ramos Vinolas , both followed a similar line during 2016, more or less good consistency, great games, some other title, but they do not end up being “killers” , they lack that security punch (how easy it is say it, right? and how difficult to execute right?) in combination with good energy management.
Feliciano Lopez , started the year winning the doubles tournament in Doha with Marc Lopez , then a constant line to Quito , where he gave him a “somatic syncope” , due to the height, the pulsations, and others if you remember, where Feli had already shown On more than one occasion, that somatization of things, of something small making it very big, giving importance to things that do not have it so much, although in this Rafa Nadal , surpasses him. As a result of this in singles throughout the year, he did not walk very fine, that if in doubles together with Marc Lopez, player-person who gives calm and tranquility to things, apart from an interesting intelligence point, Feliciano was perfectly suited , Roland Garros doubles and presence in the Master Cup , where by the way Rafa Nadal He also took advantage of Marc Lopez’s emotional point. On Feliciano, wait, I can’t wait long, if that emotional part doesn’t generate changes, we all know the rest. (Changing emotional is not changing your personality, this should not be touched by anyone).
If we talk about Gasquet, Simon, Tsonga, Monfils, Fognini, Seppi, Kohlscherieber, … … and an endless number of other players, we see sparks, but the engine does not start, and it is not for discipline, or character, or whatever Another reason, basically a lack of intention, desire, an eye to detail and above all love and affection for what they do, as long as we follow that Ferris wheel, we will continue to see sparks. In rankings below, the feeling is that there are many with this same profile.
On Nextgen, we saw Nick Kyrgios , win his first tournaments, Marseille and Atalanta , some showing up like Zverev , we will see if Coric starts, how Kokinakis returns , the patience or not of Lucas Poullie , … etc … and more … it could be a year of many riots or nothing, although I think many have been passed by, there are many other juniors, like all those I saw at Wimbledon ( Stefano Tsitsipas, Ulises Blanch, Nicolas Kuhm, Alejandro Davidovich, …. etc) with very good manners, lack of tables, real knowledge of life and humility, so there will still be a couple of years left. For the moment, for balance between action and thought, I stay with Alexander Zverev .
Juan Martin del Potro: He showed months before, and some time later, that the human being is so stupid and an asshole, that if something serious does not happen where it forces you to ask yourself things, we do not change, well some need several blows (it is not the case of Delpo ), you break your armor, you let it go, you stop being an asshole to be, more affable with family, fans and others, you join it to a discipline, to a sacrifice, to a job, to a Love, to a love but above all to a huge faith, without stopping to think about what is not in your hand, then time returns you to the place you should, but being a person above a player, and it is in this type of player-people who the most young people should pay attention. Thank you Delpobecause of what you taught and shared with the world last season, even if journalists stayed in the first layer. It is not at odds to be successful with carrying that tiger-love in every detail, in every action, in every moment of each one’s daily journey.
Stan Wawrinka: The feeling that he walks with a breastplate overhead, always enraged, but when he opens, there is a different type inside, and when on the track he combines both types, without forgetting his true part, he becomes a Lion difficult to defeat, as he showed on many occasions and in the last US OPEN . We should never cover ourselves excessively behind a cuirass, without our most human part, little or nothing is achieved. He has left Richard Krajicek , apart from the US OPEN , not much to rewrite, I do not know if he has any new supercoach so fashionable at the moment.
David Goffin and Thomas Berdych , very simple for the first if I would pay a ticket to see him play, for the second no, and it really is not a question of tennis, for me it is attitude, and that they both need to give that punch above the table, both have had coach changes during the past year, now I don’t know who they are, it seems like too much information out of order. Although it seems that Goffin comes with a more different face, we will see what they do in this new year, especially Goffin .
Kei Nishikori , a sensation similar to Dominic Thiem , and even Rafa Nadal , could be included at this point, more quantity is not equal to success key, if the main tool is not improved. With Kei , one part is his true personality, that should never be touched, but another part is the mechanized blocking, with training thinking more about the rival than himself, errors more from the coaches than from him, probably. Thiem for much physical, without balance it does not matter, the strongest never usually wins, but the one who is not afraid, the most intelligent and the one who is most connected to the moment that the action is taking place.
Rafael Nadal , at the beginning of the year, we saw Rafael Nadal of the last years, even in Quito or Rio , he left us the detail, of how he somatized so much, that he asked his bank to bring him a pill for his stomach; when most situations, with good emotional management, lowering unnecessary stress and tension, the unreal created by us, usually disappear. It is surprising, because along with the good times of Fernando Alonso , they sold him to both of us as the Mental Force, taken to clubs, academies, and even schools and companies as motivation, which makes good marketing.
It is true that in 2016 Monaco and Barcelona won , it usually happens, the victory of one if the other tournament is followed without rest, the inertia takes you in the same direction, as soon as there is the next stop, the blow will come, yes or yes. If we talk about the Olympic Games , he showed us the current Rafael Nadal completely naked , that player-person with self-love, dedication, claw, desire, strength, courage, etc. in combination with anxiety, obsession, overwhelm, Stress, mental and body acceleration, where all that combination was best reflected was in his match for the bronze with Kei NishikoriKei, very intelligent, decides to go to the bathroom, hurrying all the time, with a shower included, so I transmit an energy of calm, peace and recovery to the body, while Rafael Nadal , instead of taking part in those 10 minutes, dedicated himself to to make the world war, interpreting everything as negative, marked, and without seeing how positive I can do in those 10 minutes, of course Captain Conchita Martinez did the same. Here I could learn the lesson, that life does not treat anyone badly but we treat ourselves badly.
Regarding the interviews with his sponsors, or at press conferences, between what he says and what he does, it had nothing to do with it. Of the most resounding, I don’t know if it was this year or the previous one, but as an immigrant in London, and having been on the street and others, saying “In Spain we shouldn’t complain so much, I travel the world, I see many things and We are very fortunate in the land that we have ” Sorry? You travel as a tourist, hotel-competition (club) -hotel (maybe in between promotional act), you are not on the real street, you do not see what life really is, … etc … I’ll talk about it in another article.
More of the same with his wrist injury, contradiction after contradiction, it seemed perfect to me, his risk in the Olympic Games , they are not held every year, nor does his emotional attitude help him to recover properly, nor if you have a wrist injury. wrist, continue to wear a Watch worth more than 600,000 euros on your wrist, any physiotherapist knows that it does not help the wrist, carry any type of weight, no matter how light, and even if it is on the healthy wrist, because the body is a united loop, more intelligent than ourselves, which we believe to be masters of everything. This during the Us Open He was seen, apart from images, holding weight in his hands while walking through the streets, if you put tension in your hand, you don’t let it relax either, I said this a physio can say it better than I can.
Regarding the year that we have just started, I hope little, although this now with Carlos Moyá , the weak side of Rafael Nadal is not the strong one of Carlos Moyá either , so apparently in the videos through social networks and some interviews If the main ingredient is not changed, we will continue to be the same or better said worse, more frustrated, more questions, more bombs for the head, more self-deception, … etc … I want to believe otherwise, I cannot. The difference is simply looking at how Roger Federer took advantage of these months of absence.
Milos Raonic: He started the year strong, defeating Roger Federer in the final in Brisbane, and the semi-finals at the Australia Open, then the final at Wimbledon (by the way, a lot of people didn’t even know who Andy Murray’s rival was ), semi-final in China, semi-final in Paris and semifinal at the ATP Master Cup. It is true that the game is not the happiest for the fans, also because of the personality, or insecurities, or perhaps because of the obesity of exploiting his serve, forgetting the other facets of tennis; where by the way Raonic at the end of the season, broke relations with Carlos Moyá , to end up signing Richard Krajicek,little change we will see. Even so it ended and the year begins as the third in the world, we will see how the year unfolds, because now that things have tightened, the falls and rises are going to be very common.
Roger Federer: The feeling of being one of the most balanced body-mind players on the circuit, he spent most of 2016 without competing, semifinals at the Australia Open and Stuttgart , little more before being absent for a while due to injury. In these months we have seen, as apart from having to undergo surgery, apparently everything was fine, we saw how he was able to empty his mind, hiking and some other activities that I miss. In the videos of this Australian tour, you can see that as he has been showing in his social network, that he has been able to disconnect very well mentally, something also to benefit the injury in a collateral way, he is seen relaxed, posing at ease with the fans, … etc … something that I at least hadn’t seen for a long time.
This bodes well for 2017 , as long as the internal channeling is still good and without explosions. His long term, is the way he does not want pressure, but rather to enjoy, without losing the spirit of healthy competition, the look of the tiger, the needlessness of being overwhelmed to achieve his present objectives; So seeing him as he comes emotionally, with tennis already known to all, if he is able to put a bit of patience in intense moments, that internal channeling of which I spoke before, it would not be unreasonable to risk in the possibility of winning two Grand Slam this year and some other Master 1000. We will see it.
Novak Djokovic, first part of 2016 very good, with two Grand Slam and several Master 1000, then came the descent, personal problems, and in recent months the well-known conflict generated by his work with Pepe Imaz and whether or not to continue with Boris Becker, according to the media. I will not get involved with respect to Pepe Imaz, I simply do not share the approach, nor the definition, regarding Love and Peace. That said in every profession, where it involves a labor transgression (our dreams need it), it requires and is essential that pride or Ego on that stage, that square, or in this case on that tennis court, but, and this in capital letters It requires being connected with the meaning of life, because if not, the north is lost and you distort reality, forgetting what your human identity is, losing essence, qualities and power.
For this 2017 , we will see how Novak Djokovic arrives , but if he continues with those emotional uncontrols, we can expect the best and the worst, peaks up and down, without regularity, a lot of internal despair, and images of little example for young people. I do not know how it should be now, so a little patience and see what the year gives us.
Andy Murray: Tennis is a sport where regularity is not a strong factor, if living on circumstantial successes, I think that Murray breaks that topic, a number that is the result of perseverance and patience, that’s how the year ended and that’s how it begins, like number 1, after a 2016, with a Grand Slam (Wimbledon) , a gold medal at the Olympic Games , several masters 1000 and a final victory in the master cup in London . Especially the second part of the season was superb, full of a lot of regularity, rare in tennis, and difficult to see that regularity again, because of the way people work today.
About 2017 for him, for me the problem will not be in the physical, it is left over, the issue will be emotional, basically, the tennis year ended a week later, a couple of weeks in London , wedding, then Miami for the preseason, and the question where have you let your mind relax and unwind long enough? I think that he has not done that and can pay dearly for it. If after Australia it takes several weeks of some mental disconnection, you may maintain good regularity and end the year as it started as number 1. Congratulations once again Andy , because you deserve this the most !.
On doubles, to highlight Kontinen / Peers , they have incredible chemistry, the Brian are already in other priorities, the different French couples, we will see it, and finally Jamie Murray / Bruno Soares , they started 2016 strong winning the Australian Open , then not much noise and then they won the US OPENIn short, when they get on, they lower that acceleration a bit, they are a very close couple and not easy to beat them. Anyway, doubles nowadays, a discipline where there are only a few specialists, and many singles combine both (a welcome mistake in my opinion), so there are almost always different couples, and it is difficult to follow properly.
The 2017 seems to be a year of transition between the old and veteran generation, where there will be combinations movements, but still that extra experience of the above will slaughter more than one, meaning that there may be revelations but not big changes, it is time of expectation, vision, attention, and patience to carefully observe how events unfold, even to anticipate it, if you are there to avoid future situations not advised.
A very important point for me is the weight of women in the ATP circuit , not only in the WTA , why can’t a woman train-be a physio-etc … in the ATP? 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 yet? , less closed systems and more coordination, not forgetting to include the ITF .
Like the absurd phenomenon of the Supercoach , something that in the male is very widespread, where many are filled with flowers, with only circumstantial successes, basically, if I use my common sense, 11 months of tennis, 44 weeks, to as many tournaments more or less, this without adding Challengers, Futures and others of course, each player plays an average of about 30 tournaments and wins 4 if they win any, because the constant real regularity, in a discipline such as tennis, seldom occurs, for various factors, not because of impossibility, which in the end, is still circumstantial successes. In recent times the greatest achievements came 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 so much with veterans, where I consider that one’s personality should never be stolen, if guided without getting into it, something that I am afraid 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 .