cramp

The Weekly Debrief – Mardy Fish’s Winning Secret Weapon

The US Open Series went into full effect this week in Atlanta seeing big names such as Mardy Fish and James Blake in both the singles and doubles draws. We also had a full-on twitter explosion speculating whether Juan Martin Del Potro is ready to defend his US Open title in Flushing Meadows, as well as a new title winner in Hamburg. There was also a dose of celebrity stardom in Los Angeles this weekend seeing the likes of Gavin Rossdale, Jon Lovitz and a slew of tennis legends. Let’s check out this week’s Top Moments in the Weekly Debrief.

Top Four

1. Mardy Fish has been bursting through the scene at lightning speed, picking up his second title in as many weeks at the Atlanta Tennis Championships.

Fish first took out top seed Andy Roddick in the semifinals 7-5, 6-3. This marked Fish’s first win over his good friend in their last ten meetings: “It’s one of the best wins I’ve had … It’s tough to beat a great friend … He (Roddick) said to me at the net: ‘I know how hard you’ve worked, so enjoy it.”

Fish then went on to defeat John Isner 4-6, 6-4, 7-6, in a humid and hot day that saw on-court temperatures reaching well over the 100 degree mark. The 2 hour and 45 minute match saw both players affected by the heat, with Fish even needing an IV after the match because of dehydration. He also had a long visit in the trainer’s room stating that he “sort of went into a lower body cramp with both legs.” In September of last year, Fish underwent knee surgery and had not shown great results until this summer. But he states: “It’s night and day. A year ago I would have fallen in the second set probably, or probably played a match to where I knew physically I couldn’t last so I needed to change my tactics. I just simply don’t have to do that anymore.”

The question surrounding Mardy Fish is how can he rebound so quickly this summer and have the best results of his career? It may be his slimmed down figure or the rehabilitation on his knee, but we found something else that could be the answer: a winning secret weapon, the Power Balance silicone wristband (pictured below).

Hundreds of athletes in various sports are using Power Balance, and the company is stressing that the athletes wouldn’t be wearing them if they didn’t firmly believe in its benefits. Several NBA players stand behind the product, including Los Angeles Lakers’ Lamar Odom who wears one on each wrist. “I definitely feel a difference on the court when I wear the wristbands. It gives me more energy and balance when I’m on court.” Fish also recently started wearing one on each wrist and the results are fast coming. Power Balance bands feature a “performance technology using holograms embedded with frequencies that react positively with the body’s natural energy field to improve balance, strength and flexibility.” Check out Power Balance’s website and the numerous athlete testimonials advocating its benefits at http://www.powerbalance.com/ .

2. Over at the German Open Tennis Championships in Hamburg, first-time ATP winner Andrey Golubev took out Jurgen Melzer in 90 minutes, recording a 6-3, 7-5 win. Ranked 82 in the ATP rankings, he will move up to a career-high of 37. Golubev just turned 23 last week and celebrated by beating world number 6 Nikolay Davydenko. After his run to the finals in Saint Petersburg in 2008, he failed to win more than two matches in a row at any ATP level tournament and had only won eight matches this entire season before coming to Hamburg. This also marks the first time a player from Kazakhstan has won a title.

3. If you were anywhere near twitter this past week, then you could have come across the news that Juan Martin Del Potro was “expected” to defend his title at the US Open. News first broke out when a provisional entry list for the US Open came out with Del Potro’s name on it, after which the USTA claimed that the Argentine has begun hitting in preparation for the US Open. The fact that Del Potro’s name is on the provisional entry list should not be news. For Grand Slams, players are usually on this list until they officially pull out. Undoubtedly, this news was meant as promotion and marketing for the event but it was handled poorly by the USTA.

After several hours of back-and-forth communication between reporters, media and writers, a dependable source out of Argentina claimed to have spoken to Del Potro’s camp and was told that he was not hitting yet. Later that evening, Del Potro updated his twitter and addressed his return (via translation): “I haven’t picked up a racquet yet so I can’t tell an exact date. When I know I’ll tell you the news here. I’m improving, that’s a good thing.”

The same day, Del Potro’s kinesiologist spoke on ESPN Radio in Argentina and confirmed that Del Potro is slated to still come back at the Thailand Open in September, but most likely not in time for the US Open.

4. In a new partnership with the Andre Agassi Foundation, this week’s Farmers Classic tournament held a “Stars Under the Stars” gala in Los Angeles in preparation for the event this week. As part of the opening, Andre Agassi took on John McEnroe and defeated him 6-4, 6-2. Below are photos of their warm-up and post-match handshake.

This was followed by a celebrity showdown, consisting of Michael Chang and musician Gavin Rossdale beating out Jim Courier and comedian Jon Lovitz, 5-3. Laughs were exchanged as well as some great points between the players. Rossdale is married to fellow musician, Gwen Stefani. He may better be recognized in the tennis world as a friend and supporter of Roger Federer, having often been seen in Federer’s box at both Wimbledon and the US Open.

Tennis player, Tommy Haas with pregnant fiancè Sara Foster were among the spectators.

Clockwise from top left: Courier and Lovitz; Rossdale and Chang; Rossdale serving; Lovitz, Courier, Rossdale, Chang

ATP BONUS
The ATP catches up with James Blake as he answers questions posed by his Facebook fans. See what he has to say about Serena Williams, why he doesn’t shave his beard during tournaments and what he has in store for the future. http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2010/07/30/Blake-Facebook-Answers.aspx

That’s it for this week’s Debrief. Just stop by anytime you want a recap of the ATP tour. We’ve got you covered!

John Isner Reads Top Ten List on Letterman

American John Isner found himself in New York City on Monday for a taping of the Late Show with David Letterman. Isner delivered the nightly Top Ten List that was related to his recent first round marathon match at Wimbledon against Nicolas Mahut where he won 70-68 in the fifth set.

The category was “top ten thoughts that went through John Isner’s mind during the 11-hour tennis match.”

10 – I’m exhausted

9 – We’ve been playing so long I’ve forgotten – am I Isner or Mahut?

8 – Remember when I said I was exhausted? That was 8 hours ago!

7 – Wonder if I’ll be sore tomorrow?

6 – I’m gonna lay back until 51-50, then make my move

5 – I’m asleep

4 – Why couldn’t I have played Federer? It would’ve been over in 15 minutes

3 – Cramp!

2 – Honestly, I don’t care if I win or lose – I just don’t want to die

1 – Larry King has had marriages that didn’t last this long

Isner appeared to be having a good time, smiling throughout the short bit. He particularly laughed while reading numbers 4 and 1.

Letterman congratulated him afterwards and presented him with a dozen red roses.

Certainly some nice recognition for the sport of tennis and a well-deserved moment for the affable Isner to enjoy.