Practice makes perfect. It also makes tennis tournaments.
I find practice gets mentioned far more in the men’s game, probably because of the extremes of some of the top players. Rafa goes balls to the wall on all his practices as if they were a slam match, Fed relies on schedules, patterns, consistency, and Novak likes to yuck it up with the guys. That being said, watching a player, any player, in their practice, is something that makes a tournament, sets the atmosphere when you’re there, and is really such a bonus feature to the whole experience.
Practices are also different. Today I saw Marion serving at cones down the tee, Dinara practicing cross court backhands, Agi practicing volleys, there’s all sorts of stuff. Sometimes, player will play legit points against each other and really go at it, and that’s when things can get fun…
On Monday, I watched Flavs and Vika go at it, and it definitely wasn’t pretty. While Flavia seemed the angry one at first, getting absolutely killed, spraying balls everywhere, and eventually smashing balls against the back stop in frustration, it wasn’t long before Vika had her own set of problems.
Vika’s errors got ridiculously out of control, and she ended up firing a ball backwards off the court and into the Banque Nationale court. I mean, into to, not against. It very easily could have knocked someone in the back of the head, or entered play there. At the switch of ends, she steamed at her coach “when I ask you for the ball, give it to me right away.”
Once Flavs was on our side, she was yelling “aahhhh puta!” and having a hell of a time with just about everything.
The end result? Both of them lost a combined 6 games in their respective matches. Get that shit out on the practice courts, people. Especially against another good player. It’ll help you keep things together for your next match.