Tag Archives: Milos Raonic

Marinko Matosevic, classic late bloomer.

13 Aug

5 about

Marinko Matosevic on the rise – thanks to new coach Mark Woodforde.

You would hardly call it a quick ascent up the tennis rankings for Australian 28 year old Marinko Matosevic. Marinko has been chipping away at a tennis career since the age of 10, and was stalled in the rankings between 250 to 1000+ for his first 7 years as a pro. In fact, even as a 26 year old in 2011 Matosevic was still outside the top 200. How do you keep going when you are so far from your dream?

Resilience. Perseverance. The reality that this may be your last chance. Maturity. Stubborness. All have played a part in Marinko’s climb. 2012, his 9th year on tour. Matosevic clawed his way above the pack rising from the minor ATP Challenger event in laid back Caloundra to a qualifying breakthrough into the main tour event in Delray Beach. Matosevic carried that qualifying form all the way through to his first final, and by year end had not only broken through the top 100 barrier to #49, but had picked up the prestigious “ATP Most Improved player for 2012” award. And one other baton was passed on – Marinko Matosevic ended the year as Australia’s top ranked male singles player. This baton, however, was more an indictment on the state of Australian tennis, than an endorsement of Matosevic’s rise.

After a horror start to 2013, which saw him almost tumble out of the top 100, Marinko Matosevic has sought the advice of former Aussie great Mark Woodforde. In the one month together he has reached 2 quarter finals, and had wins over Tommy Haas, Benjamin Becker, Benoit Paire and Milos Raonic. Every one of those players would have had Marinko for breakfast for the first 8 years of his career. Perhaps he has learnt new skills. Listening, belief, and more than likely, fear. Fear at how close the finish line is to a late blooming career, and fear in the inability to see yourself doing anything else once that fleeting career is over. For Marinko – the time is now.

The PRO.


Kei – Opens doors in Japan

7 Oct

Kei has the key to Japan

Japan’s Kei Nishikori has won his hometown ATP Japan Open after a  3 set defeat of young Canadian gun Milos Raonic. Nishikori, dubbed Project 45 by JTA officials, becomes the first Japanese player to reach, and then win his home event final.

It has been a stellar year for the young Japanese player and he has consolidated a top 20 ranking at #17 currently. Not bad for someone who was outside the top 50 12 months ago and was ranked over 430 toward the end of 2009.

See my blog on Nishikori’s rise to prominence from January 25 this year in the archives section or via this link. https://tennistipsfromapro.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/kei-nishikori-now-he-really-is-big-in-japan/

Nishikori has a bright future ahead of him and is truly a STAR in Japan. Watch out for more success from Kei.



Serve BIG and eat meat – just like Milos.

17 Feb

Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic from Canada, who had a match in the Australian Open against Lleyton Hewitt where he averaged 217 km/h on his first serve and who this week hit a 250km/h bullet in the ATP event in San Jose this week, was asked “how?”

Here’s some serve tips from one of the most exciting prospects on the tour. 

Speed isn’t everything. Start with rhythm. And focus on target areas.
“Even from a young age I was able to serve pinpoint, play well. I spent a lot of time on it and just never focused on speed, that sort of came I guess with a lot of hours. I just have a good mental outlook on it, I think. I keep the same rhythm for everything. I’m able to hit all the spots from the same toss and I think this is important, to try to give away as little as possible.”

Work out in the gym.
“The speed has gone up gradually. Obviously I’m getting stronger and working more on my fitness and that is helping.”

A good shoulder helps!
“I’ve got a good shoulder, so I’m fortunate. I remember in school I was good at shot-put and all that kind of stuff with the shoulder, and that was without even working on it.”

Learn from the best. This is great stuff – love the comment on tempo and control of a match. Good goal for you all.
“Pete Sampras has always been my idol, because I just liked his style, the control of his serve, how he was able to do the same thing with one toss, hit all the spots. I thought he had a tremendous second serve and he did a very good job controlling the court and controlling the pace. You always had the feeling that the match was in his hands, win or lose. That’s something I’ve been working on and trying to develop as much as I can. I felt as those Sampras inspired those things in my game and development.”

Eat red meat.
“The night before a match, I eat medium-rare steak. Can I get to 260km/h with my serve? I don’t know, maybe. As long as I keep getting the free points I’ll be happy, I don’t care if it’s 165km/h or 265km/h.”

In a study The PRO is currently carrying out with his players – one group using a radar and benchmarking serve speed, and the other not using it…the overwhelming outcome is that using a radar while training definitely helps players attain faster serves sooner.

So there it is – one point for all to remember Raonic didn’t develop that serve overnight. He definitely used all the “P” words: perseverance, patience, positive thinking AND the 3 most important “P” words of all – practice, practice, practice. And maybe you too can serve like Raonic.

*Thanks to the tennis space for their Raonic interview.

The PRO.

Boom Boom – the big servers.

27 Jan

Australia Day fireworks seen from the concourse at Melbourne Park.

Today’s tennis is increasingly becoming a power game. Racket and string technology, superb athletes and a mastery of sports sciences has led to monster forehands, killer backhands and the real weapon. The Serve.

Here is the lowdown on serve speeds from the official IBM radar at this years Australian Open. Serve speed leaders for the tournament to date in the mens draw: Milos Raonic (Canada) 228kmh, closely followed by a cluster of servers clocked at 224kmh – John Isner (USA), Andy Roddick (USA) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (France). Rounding out the big servers was Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) with a 220kmh bomb.

On the womens side of the ledger no surprises for guessing the fastest server – though not by much – yes Serena Williams (USA) with a 191kmh cannon ball, closely followed by Sabine Lisicki (Germany) 190kmh, and Aussie Jarmilia Gajdosova rounded out the top 3 with a 187 kmh blast. Some very strong serving – and match this with good target areas and you have the back-bone of today’s power game.

** And what about 15 year old Aussie junior Daniel Guccione who served a 228 kmh bomb in his 1st round juniors match!

The PRO.