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Gold Coast Open

Published: 04 May 2009 - 12:24 by mike

Updated: 05 May 2009 - 08:54

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Rita, just wondering if you went to any of the Gold Coast Open on the weekend? If so what did you make of the matches? I enjoyed watching Steve Finitis' nicks, angles and deception.

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From mike - 05 May 2009 - 08:54

Thanks Rita. I don't know you by sight and I hadn't remembered until the end that you live in SE Queensland.

My first opponent was the 3rd seed (I was 14th) and I wasn't that dissapointed with my loss, because he was clearly better. He would almost always win regardless of how I was playing. The other three matches I think I could have done a lot better.

I did ask about Robyn a while ago, I think she has moved away and joined the force.


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From rippa rit - 05 May 2009 - 07:41   -   Updated: 05 May 2009 - 07:46

Mike - if you ever see me at a tournament don't be shy as I am only too happy to watch your match. How you play of course is often dictated by the standard of your opponent.  Was your opponent a top seed? There could have been some nervousness or anxiousness in your game as you obviously wanted to play well.  Sometimes you do play well (within your own standard) but the opponent just does not allow you to take control, especially if there is more accuracy and pace on the ball too.

It is good to see you listing your goals, and now knowing how to improve those weaknesses is the next step I guess. Solo practice, pair routines, restricted games and competition would be my advice.

Tournaments are certainly a way of putting your game to the test, and giving you some fresh goals. If you follow the ten fundamentals that would be a good base for your game.

It is very frustrating when you cannot get into the game no matter how you try. Can you find a better player at your club to do some training and get them to focus on tight serves so you can get some practice at returning shots into the corners and moving into the T?  If you are doing things right each player should alternate from the T to the corners, corners to the T alternately, until an opportunity to capitalise on a weak return comes along.  Not all shots have to be hit with extreme power until the opening is there to crunch the ball.  While you are out of position always try to control the shot with tight length.

I hope that helps.  If you find Robyn Cooper in your area, a lesson or two with her would be good too as she has an excellent grasp of the game gained over many years.

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From mike - 04 May 2009 - 21:19

Well my own performances were extremely ordinary. I was disappointed with how I played -- each shot existed in isolation, so even the good ones did nothing to give me an adventageous position in the rally. I struggled with fundamentals like returning serve and getting my opponent to the back which I had thought I was past. I was battling to hit a decent shot and move effeciently the whole time so I got no where near the realms of touch, deception or even tactics really.

As for what I learned, I'd say I need to improve

  • fundamentals (controlling the middle, hitting a tight shot)
  • footwork
  • watching the opponent
  • consistency

I played a tournament in Rocky the previous weekend, and though I lost there too, I at least played better. I think that was more educational because I could sense the areas that need improvement to play at a higher level. At the Gold Coast I wasn't even playing to my own level, so it's hard to differentiate what I need to "improve" as opposed to "get back to normal".



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From rippa rit - 04 May 2009 - 16:23   -   Updated: 04 May 2009 - 16:25

Mike - actually I did pop in for a couple of hours on Saturday arvo and renewed a few friendships from the past.  Well, to be honest it was hard to find a good match though that was early in the tournament. I watched a bit of  Zac Alexander, Jacob Alexander, Nathan Turnbull, Steve Finitsis, Donna Urquhart, Zoe Petrovisky, Melissa Martin, Amelia Pitcock, and concentrated on a match of Danny Woolbank (as he was an ex junior student).  A really good match though Danny was not quite fit enough to finish it off (he had had a previous match in the morning and run out of legs in the fifth.  I had a chat to Michelle Martin (she was not actually working but was looking at her AIS players), Brett Martin, Melissa Martin (nee Vacca from SA). Overall I was pretty disappointed with the depth of standard - it has slipped horribly.  The women have a long way to go.

Steve was not doing anything other than length and run during the match I saw.  I am pleased to know he can do the other shots. I guess I am still thinking of the good old days.

So, Mike, what did you learn?


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Thanks a million, rippa rit! I'm going to the club now, actually

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