Home Pro Game News Basel tournament director: Federer refused our offer
Basel tournament director Roger Brennwald discusses his event’s relationship with Roger Federer, and says the two sides have yet to reach an agreement on his appearance fee for the October tournament.
Former Basel ball boy Federer has played his hometown tournament 13 times and won it five times, but his contract with the event expired after last year. While Federer recently said he intends to play Basel even without a contract, there has been discord on both sides. The tournament just announced it has signed Rafael Nadal to play this year.
“Roger has always [been our] top priority,” Brennwald told the Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger. “We have launched campaigns in the millions for him and allowed him to promote his sponsors, which is not very common. We are grateful for the time we were allowed to have with him. The thing is very simple: We have made an offer to him, which he refused. We have submitted a second offer, which he has not responded to. We do not normally pay a seven-figure [appearance fee].”
Brennwald also complained that he is unable to speak with Federer directly and always has to go through his agent Tony Godsick.
“We actually speak the same language, but with Godsick it’s not fun,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I can contact Djokovic or Murray if I want. I have spoken personally with Nadal. But with Roger it’s not possible.”
Rafael Nadal: Is This the Greatest Clay-Court Legacy There Will Ever Be?
Rafael Nadal’s eighth title at the 2013 Barcelona Open may have been the most predictable result in tennis history. Even during a week in which television commentators opined that Nadal is neither in top form nor playing consistently, he rolled through five matches without dropping a set.
There is no longer a debate about Nadal’s place as the greatest clay-court player of all time. His European clay-court accomplishments include eight titles at Monte Carlo and Barcelona, seven titles at the French Open and six titles at Rome. For good measure, he also added two Madrid titles and one at Hamburg.
That’s 32 clay-court titles, not including a handful of clay titles at other venues, and still more tennis years ahead.
The only question left is whether there will ever be another clay-court player who can surpass Nadal’s legacy.
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How To: Master the Front-Foot Hop
Attack short balls with force while staying in position.
If you’re attacking a short ball to your right (or to your left if you’re left handed), there’s a great way to both hit a forceful inside-out approach shot and keep your momentum going forward toward the net, rather than toward the doubles alley, which will leave you out of position. It’s called the front-foot hop, and here’s how it works. …
1. Track the ball, get into position, and start with your weight on your back foot. This shot requires a traditional neutral-stance forehand, rather than the now-commonplace open-stance forehand. Since you’ll be stepping in and landing on your front foot before you hit, be sure to keep the ball well out in front of you.
2. Step into the shot and rotate your shoulders and hips as you would on an open-stance forehand. Your shoulders should be level and your center of gravity should remain over your midsection. Don’t lunge forward.
3. As you make contact, you’ll naturally push off your front foot and lift off the ground. Be sure to have a long swing out toward your target. Don’t pull off the ball too early.
4. To complete the hop step, land on your front foot. This move allows you to maintain excellent balance and keeps you from going too far to your right. Another benefit: It won’t slow you down as you try to position yourself at the net.
Three everyday superfoods that maximize your body’s recovery after training.
Training and nutrition must go hand in hand: While exercise is necessary for strength, endurance and body composition, it also takes a toll on the body. The wear and tear results in the build-up of free radicals, unstable oxygen compounds that contribute to DNA damage, often referred to as oxidative stress. Unchecked oxidative stress fuels inflammation, muscle wasting and premature aging, and increases the risk of such diseases as diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Fortunately, some every day superfoods can undo the damage. Here’s how they minimize cellular harm and maximize post-training recovery:
Strenuous exercise is known to generate an inflammatory state in the body, a trigger of premature aging and disease. While we’ve long known that berries protect the brain, new science from Appalachian State University finds that consuming blueberries after running enhances immunity, slashes inflammation and reduces oxidative stress.
Eat More Toss blueberries into smoothies, or thaw and fold into muesli along with organic nonfat yogurt, sliced almonds, organic oats, cinnamon and fresh grated ginger.
Dark chocolate has enjoyed a health halo in recent years, and a new study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found it’s also effective for reducing oxidative stress in athletes. Men who consumed a 100-gram bar of 70 percent dark chocolate before cycling experienced higher blood antioxidant levels pre-exercise and reduced markers of oxidative stress post-exercise.
Eat More Indulge in artisan brands with at least 70 percent cocoa content. Mast Brothers is a Brooklyn-based brand of hand-crafted intensely dark bars that include such varieties as Serrano Pepper and Maine Sea Salt.
In a recent study published in Nutrition Journal, Swedish scientists found that when 15 healthy subjects were asked to perform 20 minutes of intense exercise, blood markers for oxidative stress spiked by between 42 and 84 percent. But after a washout period, when the same study participants consumed 150 ml of tomato juice every day for five weeks, blood samples revealed no indicators of oxidative stress. Scientists believe the juice’s antioxidant package, which includes lycopene, vitamin C and carotenoids, may be responsible for the results.
Drink More Look for 100 percent organic tomato juice, which has been found to pack higher levels of beneficial antioxidants. Spruce it up with lemon, black pepper and a pinch of cayenne poured over ice, or chill as a base for simple gazpacho by adding minced cucumber, onion, bell pepper, garlic, cilantro and olive oil.
Great Shots: Roger Federer’s Serve
1. Because a serve needs to be powerful, balanced and rhythmic, the first moments are critical. It’s best to establish a pattern that works well and always repeat it, whether it’s bouncing the ball a number of times or pausing for a set amount time before beginning the motion. Federer doesn’t rush his first sequence of movements. His hands start together and his racquet is drawn back and down while his left hand drops.
2. The serve has a lot of moving parts and it must be coordinated. But how it’s coordinated has changed over the years. Instead of tossing and lifting the racquet at the same speed, most players today let their racquet trail slightly behind, as Federer does here. This can prevent the racquet from stalling at its peak height (a hitch like that can ruin racquet-head speed). Federer bends his legs and shifts his energy into his quadriceps.
3. As the ball goes up, Federer’s right arm is bent and his wrist is loose. Many club players squeeze the handle of their racquets in a death grip. This creates tension in the wrist and forearm, and tension is the enemy of racquet-head speed. Federer’s toss is straight and off to the right at around 2 o’clock. His shoulder turn is such that his opponent is now looking at his back, so it’s tough to read what kind of serve he’s going to hit.
4. Here it is: the famous trophy position. But here’s what few people discuss about this moment in a serve: where the server is in relation to the ball. Federer is almost underneath it with his chest pointing up and he’s looking up at it. His racquet is in mid-loop and about to drop down. From here, he can spring upward and into the ball, transferring all of his energy into the serve.
5. At liftoff, Federer’s racquet is at its lowest point. This is key. His legs, torso and chest are on the way up, but his racquet hasn’t started to move forward yet. His entire motion has had one purpose, and that’s to create the ideal conditions for the racquet to spring forward as quickly as possible. Everything is in support of making his arm go faster.
6. This is a perfect shot of what a serve should look like just after contact. Federer’s racquet arm is fully extended. There’s a little arch to his body, since he’s moving both up and out (the serve is a bit like a summersault). The height of his racquet gives Federer more room to hit down into the service box from a more favorable angle. His head remains up and his eyes are on the point of contact until well after the ball leaves his racquet.
7. Federer’s head is still up in this image, even though his swing is mostly complete. His wrist has rotated down onto the ball and his momentum is into the court. He keeps his left arm close to his body to maintain his balance. The serve is a violent, powerful swing, but Federer makes it look remarkably smooth and effortless.
8. Federer lands just inside the baseline on his left foot. His right foot kicks back, which aids his balance, and his knees are bent. He’s looking into the court now, and he’s well positioned to move either to his left or his right after a split step.
French Open boosts payouts for ‘13
PARIS — Prize money at the French Open will rise for both singles champions and players who lose in some of the early rounds.
Roland Garros organizers said Monday that the overall total for the tournament will go from $24.6 million to $28.7 million, with the winners receiving $1.96 million compared to $1.64 million in 2012.
Players eliminated in the second, third and fourth rounds will receive 25 percent more than they did last year. The tournament begins May 26.
French Tennis Federation director Gilbert Ysern says his organization “wishes to maintain its effort with regards to players eliminated during the first week.”
Further increases totaling another $13.08 million are expected by 2016.