Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tournament bag checklist

Kristianne Bontempo | Towpath Tennis Employee | Legit Tennis Fanatic

With the Akron Open days away, we wanted to help our competitors prepare for their matches by creating a checklist of necessary equipment/accessories you should have during a tournament weekend.
  1. At least 2 racquets - If one string were to break, you'll have a backup ready to go.
  2. Water and lots of it - You should be drinking water on EVERY changeover. Make sure you provide yourself with enough water to get through a possible 3hr match, especially on a hot day. Never assume the facility has water on the courts.
  3. Hat, visor, sunglasses, sunblock if outside - Having to serve in the sun is just as painful as having burnt shoulders that are hot to the touch. Make sure to protect your eyes and your skin.
  4. Spare clothing - For those ultra sweaty moments whether it's a change in shirt, sweatbands, socks, or shoes.
  5. Wallet - In case you need money for vending, nearby restaurants, or a last minute stop at the pro shop for stringing.
  6. Small first aid kit - Be prepared with some basic essentials; band-aids, medical tape, ibuprofen, and braces if needed.
  7. Extra hair ties (ladies) - We can't tell you how many times we've heard on the court, 'Does anyone have a hair tie?"
  8. Towel - Expect to sweat!
  9. Snacks - You never know if the tournament will be offering food, so bring along little baggies of some energy boosting foods that will keep you going throughout the match (ex. bananas, nuts, energy bars, etc.)
  10. Check the tournament site for time, location, and directions - If you've already checked, check again! You never know when there might be a last minute change due to weather or other match conflicts.
Not necessary but helpful to have:
  1. Extra pair of shoelaces, dampeners
  2. Nail filer
  3. Cooler for drinks with ice
  4. Icy hot for a quick muscle fix
  5. Blanket or lawn chair for spectating

Monday, July 15, 2013

Top 5 misconceptions about tournament play

Kristianne Bontempo | Towpath Tennis Employee | Legit Tennis Fanatic

With the close of Wimbledon and our very own Akron Open around the corner, we can't help but admire what it takes for these players to play in such large scale tournaments--in respect to both levels of play of course. But for many players, they tend to be intimidated by the tournament atmosphere or think only the top players around qualify to participate. There might be a list of other excuses in why they shouldn't participate but today we have a rebuttal on why you should not only play tournaments, but why you might actually LIKE them!

Common misconceptions

1) Single elimination - Unless there's an Open division, there rarely is a single elimination format outside of the ATP Tour, meaning you will always get a second chance. Granted you're 2nd chance may be in the consolation round but hey, a 2nd go at it is better than nothing.

2) Intense mentality - The pressure is on but it's all in your head! If you play more relaxed in leagues then imagine its just another day on the court with your teammates because many of times it is!

3) Individual play - We're used to thinking of tournaments as only singles play because that's what we mainly see on TV. But if singles is not your game or you prefer the team atmosphere, then doubles is an excellent option. Many tournaments offer men's/women's doubles & mixed.

4) It's expensive - On average, apart from the USTA/club fees each player is guaranteed at least 2 rounds of play, receives some sort of appreciative participatory gift (t-shirt, towel, water bottle, etc.), complimentary snacks/beverages is sometimes offered, and trophies are awarded to the winners and runner-ups of each draw (consolation winners may be awarded a trophy as well). Depending on the tournament, winners might win bigger prizes such as tennis bags, rackets, or cash. If you ask us, the money is well worth it!

5) Serious atmosphere - Sure the match may be taken seriously, but the general atmosphere where friends and new court-mates gather around is enjoyable for many involved. If anything it's just a thrill to kick back and enjoy a day of excellent tennis.

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What it takes to beat the unbeatable opponent

Kristianne Bontempo | Towpath Tennis Employee | Legit Tennis Fanatic

After a week into Wimbledon, we cannot help but remark on the bizarre twist this memorable tournament has taken. Top seeds like Federer, Sharapova, and Serena Williams are dropping like flies to lower ranked players and one hit wonders. But where do these players find the belief that they can beat the unbeatable? Is it the racquet that gets you into the right mindset? The perfect outfit? A lucky ball? 
Sabine Lisicki ends Serena Williams' 34-match winning
streak to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon 2013.

Sometimes we accept it as dumb luck or an off day on the court for the top seeds, but we want to give credit to the 'longshot' winners because we know for them it was so much more. You might say the field is not even, but it's the unseeded player that has nothing to lose whereas seeded players have (in their perspective) everything to lose. The belief stems from the fact that winning isn't forever. The tide is shifting, circumstances are changes, and the will of the underdog is stronger than ever making this tournament's unbeatable pool more vulnerable.

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