report from IW

03-22-2004, 02:59 PM
Another steal from the tennis week board ;)

IW Report
Post By : Hey

OF The Men:
First I'd like to say the men can do what no multi-million PR firm or Ad Agency can ever do to make Tennis even more enjoyable to watch.
I'd like to thank all the Shirtless guys and their coaches who practised hard in intense heat and took tennis to another enjoyable level of viewing! :)
My first day there, Marat (so sexy) Safin and Dominick (fleet on his feet) Hrbaty were working out, both shirtless! :) Very nice. They were doing an up the line, cross-court, cross-court, up the line drill that was pretty awesome. An impressive Paradorn (also shirtless)Srichapan was hitting with the likewise Robin Soldering, who I had never seen hit before. They were both in good form. I got to watch Mikhail Youzny prepare for his match against Andre Agassi. Also watched Roger Federer work out twice. First to prepare against Fish, he was changing pace, painting the lines, in perfect form, worked hard, then went out on to the grassy field and kicked around a soccer ball with Grosjean and some other guys. Another shirtless Sagis Sargsian working out and a shirtless Max Mirnyi working out with his coach a drill "slice, slice, rip, slice, rip". I'm telling you, you do not truly respect the fitness level of these guys until you visit practice courts and see how hard they work out and especially in temps. of 95-97 degrees, and then they go play their next round. It is awe inspiring! Grosjean was great to watch as was Juan Ignacio Chela who was nailing his shots in practise, but fell to the world's number 1 Roger Federer in the Quarterfinal. I watched Harel Levy at the net with his coach doing volley drills so well. Oh and a Shirtless Moya and Tommy Robredo!! Very nice. I watched Tommy Robredo work out on a couple different days. His coach (also shirtless :) is a very competent lefty. It seems to me a huge advantage if your coach is also a good hitting partner. Mostly it's like Brad Gilbert said in his book, mostly preparing for their next round is fine-tuning, no major changes, everything is already set. Tommy hit a huge forehand out wide, which his lefty coach got to and returned with pace, Tommy ripped it to the opposite corner and naied it deep. It was so impressive, a trophy shot. His coach walked over to the center and pointed his racquet down, alto he was talking in spanish, even I knew what he was saying. He had been pulled off the court, the shot more up the middle was less risky and a better choice. Makes me wonder...later that day did he say "by the way Tommy, that was a good shot"? I was very impressed with Tommy. I watched Taylor practice his 1st serve, it would be on, then betray him. Must be frusterating. I think he would have won the match against Blake if he had used his second serve when his first serve failed and played it out. There is nothing wrong with his play, he is very good. But, I am a beginner...what do I know.
When I saw a strong Lefty working out, I didn't know who he was... but had to know, he was good, really good. I asked people around me, but no one knew. It helps to know what racquet they play with because really sometimes it is difficult to tell who these guys are. When he took a break and sat down his coach picked up balls, I asked, "he is Labadze, Iraki" he said. Still did not know who he was at that point but he had powerful strokes and I couldn't stop watching.