The Rally to Race

Hi everyone! I haven’t touched a tennis racquet for a week so today it was time to get back in action. Right across from Arthur Ashe Stadium is the Mercedes Benz car display set and they invited fans to play tennis simulator games. I played the Rally to Race game. The challenge of the game was to avoid hitting the moving red circle but to come as close to it as possible. The goal was to make the car at the bottom race to the other side and collect points. 

Watch it here: https://youtu.be/VYZT4jJnFOw

Dominique Levin
Assistant Director of Sports

You’ve got TIME

As the most progressive major of all four, the US Open is adding a new feature almost every year. One new addition this year is the serve clock. 

Every match court has one for singles and doubles and players are getting used to seeing the seconds tick down as they prepare for their match.

Between points the chair umpire starts the 25-second clock right after or a few seconds after the previous point has finished.

Some players, like Nick Kyrgios, don’t even come close to using the 25 seconds. But I notice most players let it tick down to 10 or 8 seconds before they start their service motion. Many say they are relieved to see how much time they have left before they need to serve.

We don’t have a serve clock ticking at Bonita Bay Club but taking your time before you serve has huge benefits.

I sometimes see players rushing from point to point without slowing down to connect with their partner or think about the serve strategy for the next point. Rushing makes you physically and mentally tired. 

Remember, just like the pros, you have 25 seconds to plan your next point and establish team unity with your partner.

Skipping that part can make you anxious and unsure. Catch your breath and slow down.

This might be a game changer for your fall matches this season.

-Dominique Levin
Assistant Director of Sports

Louis Armstrong has a Roof!

Every time I return to Billie Jean King National Tennis Center I can admire something new.

The US Open grounds underwent a $600 million renovation project and Louis Armstrong Stadium was the last piece to finish.

Now America’s most impressive tennis grounds have two roofed stadiums.

Arthur Ashe Stadium added its roof in 2016 and now the new Louis Armstrong, named after Queen’s famous jazz musician, also has one.

What a treat for fans who have come to enjoy tennis. Not only will they still get to watch matches when it’s pouring but most will love the shade when the heat is on.

The 95,500 square-foot roof and the upper deck provide plenty of shade for the lower deck. 

Andy Murray practiced his target serving here Sunday in preparation for his match with Australia’s James Duckworth Monday.

Every time he hit a ball can several thousand spectators went wild! 

Dominique Levin
Assistant Director of Sports

The Tennis Shot Clock Has Arrived

Basketball has one, football has one and now tennis has one, too! 

The Tennis Shot clock has officially arrived at the US Open. For the first time, it is being tested in junior girls and boys matches.

After points end, players have 25 seconds to start the new point. It has always been up to the umpire’s discretion to call time violations if players take too long between points. Now there’s a count down clock visible to everyone. If time expired before the ball is in play the server gets a time violation warning. It if happens again they lose points. The pros might adapt that system in the future. 

What does the serve clock look like on court? Watch it here in my video – it’s part of the scoreboard, left of the player. 

Dominique Levin
USPTA Head Tennis Professional

Labor Day Shopping – US Open

Labor Day is the best day to get some US Open shopping done: I tested the Wilson Ultra – so many pros have it! Looks amazing, too!

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Did you know you can customize your Wilson racquet with your favorite colors?

I’m going to get one in black and gold – Go Colorado Buffaloes!

I also had to get Muguruza’s Adidas shoes. They fit amazingly well and look good.dominique levin blog tennis raquetIMG_4257

Marlaine already ordered them for our new pro shop!IMG_4268

Of course, I also had to get a pink US Open towel. No tournament is complete unless I come home with one.

Enjoy the rest of the Open!

Dominique Levin
USPTA Head Tennis Professional

Player Insight Video – Mannarino’s Lefty Serve

French veteran Adrian Mannarino is known for making it look easy. In this slow motion video of his serve you can see how he’s able to produce tremendous racquet head speed by having a loose grip. But he doesn’t just use power (his average first serve speed is 111mph), he often varies his stance and toss locations to add variety and spins to his arsenal. That way the returner is unable to find a rhythm.

Let’s see how Austrian sensation Dominic Thiem will deal with the lefty serve.

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

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!

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What a nice way to start the fortnight.

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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!

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

More to come this week…

Dominique Levin
USPTA Tennis Professional

Olympics Tennis Clinic

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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. ??????

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