Let me tell you something: If you want something, you at least have to try to accomplish whatever goal you have in mind (ala Mueller 😉 ). Did I just state the obvious? You and I both know this is not a bullshit self-help blog.
I have been having a nice bit of tennis conversation with a reader who is a Thiem aficionado (see his solid comments in this post). The discussion revolves around this reader’s attention to my criticism of Bresnik, Thiem’s coach/manager. I firmly believe that Dominic can get better coaching, but what I miss-on is the depth of that relationship. I know Bresnik has basically had a hand in raising the (still) young Austrian. But one can see, imo, some glaring patterns in his game that make him simply too vulnerable to qualified competition. I’ve been over this. Make some changes.
Along these same lines, interesting to see the perspective from Vajda regarding his conditions to agree to return to coaching Nole. This is nuts-and-bolts stuff, folks.
1. Quit treating tennis like a philosophy — it’s a practice.
2. Get rid of the philosopher.
3. Eat more like what an athlete eats (because you’re an athlete).
4. Extension of eating, let’s build more muscle, cuz you’re an athlete.
I love it.
Asked if he had wanted Djokovic to stop consulting with former player and academy owner Pepe Imaz, who advocated a ‘Peace and Love’ approach to the game, Vajda said that he did.
“Yes…but it was not my No. 1 condition,” he said. “That was speaking to Novak in person. The second was that we set specific rules and plans for the next few months. At the second tournament together in Barcelona, we had a full team, and we sat and talked.”
They told Djokovic that they wanted a change in approach.
“We [said] we would not like it if those around were as intrusive as before. We wanted him to play tennis not as a philosophy but as a practice,” he said. “I was not wanting Novak to be influenced by people who know what tennis is but don’t understand the mentality of a top athlete. Tennis cannot be based on a philosophy. It’s a mano a mano sport. If you want to be at the top, the path is through practice and repetition, playing and a good mentality.
“We all pulled towards this and worked hard.”
Another priority was to build back Djokovic’s physical conditioning.
“He has an athletic build ideal for tennis…but it was necessary to strengthen his muscles,” said Vajda. “Gebhard Phil-Gritsch worked a lot on his fitness, and the muscle mass returned. Source
Thiem and Zverev are the only two youngsters that seem to have some deep major draw game at this point (see the little exchange on Zverev between me and my Polish friend — like minds).
Zverev hired Lendl from what I hear. Either way, the proof is in the results: Thiem and Zverev the younger have a few that count, for sure; especially Thiem.
The Edmund, Kyrgios, Chung, Shapovalov, Coric types are completely unproven in Bo5.
We are a long way from home, people. We’re lost, hungry and scared.