The Open

img_2112Look who made it to the Open!


JoAnn and Frank Marfino

img_2082Darla and Randy Highley

fullsizerenderSherry and Steve Pino

The Neels and the Jakobsens were also here!

img_2053I’ll be back at Bonita Bay Club Monday.

See you there 🌅

Dominique Levin
USPTA Tennis Professional

What is the Right way to Compete?

Most pro players have all the shots.

But figuring out the right way to compete takes years of experience and fine tuning. When do you stay calm and when do you need to let all emotions go?

Ryan Harrison and Jared Donaldson are both having successful US Open runs and are giving us some insights as to how they compete.

1) Stay in the moment.

Donaldson is only 19 years old. But he knows about the ups and downs and how to deal with them.

“That’s what happens sometimes in tennis. You think you have it; then the next moment you don’t. That’s why you’ve got to make sure you stay focused on every point and every game. You never know when your opponent might start playing better or you might start playing a lot worse. You have to be in the moment 100%.” – Donald

2) Accept the distractions and choose to ignore them Harrison has struggled in the past with staying focused, letting distractions get to him. Playing World Team Tennis has helped him overcome that.

“When you’re playing World Team Tennis you’ve got no ushers. You’ve got people moving left and right. There is music between points. You’re playing on colored courts. You’re playing lets. All sorts of crazy things are happening. I decide just to focus in and block it out. Whenever you know it’s going to happen you just don’t think about it. That’s going to happen. It’s part of it.” – Harrison

3) Forget about the past.

“When you’re down things can change really quickly. You have to have a short term memory because if you think back to the rough matches you’re not in the moment.

That’s the most important thing to executing in the moment.” – Harrison

4) Control your temper.

“My personality is a fiery one. I like to be really intense when I’m competing. Flirt with that line of getting so intense that it’s taking me away from what I was trying to accomplish out there. It’s kind of a hard balance to work through. I went through phases where I was trying to calm down so much that I lost my competitive fire. Now I feel I’m competing really well.

I’m not monotone but I’m also being selective about when I get fired up.” – Harrison

Dominique Levin
USPTA Tennis Professional

Mental Lessons from Frances Tiafoe

The lessons tennis players take away from tough losses can be life altering and often career changing.

American youngster Frances Tiafoe said the loss against compatriot John Isner was the toughest of his career. Tiafoe was up 2 sets and was serving for the match at 5-3 but nerves got the best of him. In his press conference that night he shared a few insights after his 3-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 7-6 first round loss.

1) First serves in play

“Serving for the match I thought I had it. I didn’t make as many first serves. I probably should have played a higher percentage in, but it’s tough.”

2) Don’t  get too excited after small victories “If I could replay that I probably wouldn’t get as hyped up as I did when I broke. Maybe that would have taken a little out of it.”

3) Enjoy the experience

“I pretty much did everything but win the match today. It was an unbelievable experience. Early on everything I touched was golden.”

4) Stay positive

What did John say to you at the net?

He said “you’re going to be great and don’t let this get to you.”

5) Turn your weaknesses into strengths

“I need to keep going on the practice courts and keep doing what I’ve been doing. Working hard, getting my strengths even better and my weaknesses to be one day be strengths.”

Dominique Levin
USPTA Tennis Professional



US Open – Day 1

I spotted some celebrities on Day 1 of the US  Open. Alec Baldwin, Vera Wang, Anna Wintour, Susan Sarandon, Debbie Messinger, and Bonita Bay Club’s Sherry and Steve Pino!



What a nice way to start the fortnight.


And who knows who this famous German Doctor is? Dr. Ruth! She was sitting in the World Team Tennis Suite next to my office in Ashe Stadium. Her eyes lit up when she was asked if she wanted a cookie. Germans just love their chocolate. Oh, the tennis was very nice too!


Check out the sunset above Grandstand, the brand new, beautiful court!

More to come this week…

Dominique Levin
USPTA Tennis Professional

Olympics Tennis Clinic


We celebrated the Olympic spirit today at the first annual Bonita Bay Club Olympics, part of the Games of the 31st Olympiad.
To honor the Olympic motto – higher, faster, stronger – we started with drills and finished with a pair of gold medal matches.
Mrs. Valva/Mrs. Spears and Ms. Lederman/Mrs. Little won gold, respectively, beating their opponents in hard fought finals. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸







Tips for Planning Your Next Party

All parties, no matter what kind of theme, are similar in the planning. They all require arrangement and coordination. Here are some tips in getting organized to plan a party…

You need to give yourself enough time to plan your party. Generally the amount of time needed depends on the type of party you are planning and how big the party is going to be. Most people don’t like the stress of having to rush things. One of the biggest risks of waiting until the last minute is that some of your guests might not be able to make it due to prior commitments. The last thing you want is for only a few people to be able to make it and then having to reschedule.

You should also decide on the theme early on in the planning process. Once you have decided on a general theme the rest of the planning process will be simpler. A theme helps to make the decisions about what kind of invitations, activities, decorations, and food to have. Also, keep it simple with the theme and something that is easy to tie everything together.

Another factor in planning is deciding on a date your guests are able to attend. Before deciding on a date and time, you may want to check the availablity of close friends and family. Timing is also key. It’s best to decide on a time frame and to let your guests know how long they should expect to be there. A guest list is key – knowing who and how many people are coming will help in making further decisions. I hope these tips will help with the planning of your next party.

Darcy Bodiker
Catering Manager

Camera Woman on Centre Court

IMG_1748It’s good to have connections, especially in the Wimbledon world. My good friend Steve works as a camera operator on Centre Court and showed me his office yesterday.

He operates a camera called XMo which delivers extreme slow motion. The BBC directors love his shots and his replays make the broadcast all the time. IMG_1746 IMG_1745

Dominique Levin
USPTA Tennis Professional

The Queue

For most people getting tickets to Wimbledon, it turns into an overnight outdoors adventure.

Ticket demand for the match between British club pro Marcus Willis vs. Roger Federer was very high yesterday but it wasn’t impossible to see the spectacle live.

Wimbledon remains one of the very few major UK sporting events where you can still buy premium tickets on the day of play. There is one Queue for the on-day sale of tickets. Payment is by cash only. A limited number of tickets are available daily for Centre Court, No.1 Court and No.2 Court, except for the last four days on Centre Court, when all are sold in advance. In addition, several thousand Grounds Passes are available each day.

To get their spot in the Queue people camp out overnight on a field at Wimbledon Park, just a few hundred yards from where I play tennis with my IBM and ESPN friends. Early in the morning, about 6:00 a.m., anyone in The Queue will be woken by the Stewards (volunteers), asked to dismantle their camping equipment and get ready to stand in line. At about 7:30 a.m. volunteers issue wristbands to those towards the front of The Queue who want tickets for the Show Courts. The number of wristbands issued exactly matches the quantity of tickets available for each court on that day. After play, people must return to pick up their camping gear and maybe get in line for the next day.



Dominique Levin
USPTA Tennis Professional

Bruising of the Courts

Just a couple courts away from where Roland Garros Champion Garbine Muguruza and future super star Dominic Thiem played practice matches, members of the All England Lawn Tennis  & Croquet Club competed on the show courts today in what is part of an annual tradition, the “Bruising of the Courts.”

Normally members aren’t allowed to play on show courts but today was special.

Two days before the start of the Championships a few select members played a set of mixed doubles in sunny, ideal match conditions – with chair umpire, ball kids and the official line review system, Hawkeye, in place. The Club does this to make sure every human and every piece of technology, including the LED scoreboards, function properly before the Championships commence on Monday.


Muguruza and Thiem also did some testing. The Spanish No.2 seed hit with Julia Goerges to prepare for her first round match against Italian Camila Giorgi.

Thiem, seeded No.8, practiced with Gilles Simon to get ready for German veteran Florian Mayer who recently beat him on grass in the semifinal of Halle.

Have a look at the pictures of Muguruza and Thiem:IMG_1706

If you compare their service motions (both are in the trophy position) you’ll notice that Thiem has his tossing arm almost 90 degrees higher.

Muguruza has the tendency to drop her tossing arm too soon. Also her wrist could be more relaxed for better racquet head acceleration.

Let’s hope she fine tunes the little things this weekend. She needs plenty of confidence to be able to win her second major.

Dominique Levin
USPTA Tennis Professional