Pro Stringer Issue 3 - 2017 rt 3 2017 | Page 20


Gabe Jaramillo

We also do drills where the player has to recover short and deep balls , again the emphasis is on stoping , using the sliding technique , and the first step of the recovery .
Before Mary Pierce won the French Open her main drill was done on green clay , two and one , where she was hitting against two boys , the boys couldn ' t miss a ball , in the first drill she will hit cross court and the boys will hit down the line , she will hit for three minutes without stoping , then she will take a minute rest and do it again , she did six sets , after finishing the sixth set she would take a five minute brake and started with the second drill where for the same amount of time and same intervals she would hit down the line and the boys would hit cross court , by the time she got to the French Open she was a machine .
When I recruited Iva Majoli , during my first year working with her , we traveled to the Orange Bowl , at that time it was a clay court tournament , she got beaten very badly in the early rounds , I remember after the match every body telling me that I had lost my eye , in their view she could not beat her way out of a paper bag , which meant she was a pusher . After going back to the academy I let her know that pushers did not go anywhere , especially on clay , that if she wanted to be a champion she had to hit the ball , no fear . Every day she worked on high volleys and put away forehands , by the time she won the French Open she was one of the most aggressive players on tour .
4 ) Can a player use the same game style on any surface including clay courts ?
Since 2002 and 2003 the speed of the hard courts have been reduced a lot and the speed of the clay courts has been getting faster . When Agassi won the French Open in 1999 was the first player in the open era to have won every Grand Slam tournament , no player since Rod Laver had accomplished that achievement . Since 2008 Nadal and Federer have join Agassi ´ s elite performance by wining grand slams in all surfaces . Over the past ten years the changes in playing surfaces have changed how the game is played and these changes have made the game more competitive . In the past there were aggressive serve and volley players , like Sampras and McEnroe and defensive players like Bruguera , Borg and Villas . Today most players are aggressive base liners , players that play from around the base line forcing the opponent to hit a short ball , either inside the base line or around the service line , from there they attack that ball , most of the time using the forehand as a weapon , putting the shot away , they hit the ball with so much power that the majority of the time that ball does not come back . In the eighties players used continental and eastern forehand grips , so they hit that short ball with slice approaching the net to finish the point with a volley , the best opponents could do was to hit a down the line passing shot or a lob . They also had one handed backhands , that is not the case today , players preferred semi western forehand grips and two handed backhands , making the passing shots more accurate and with more variety . The speed of the surfaces and the grips have changed the game today . I am sure that if Agassi would have competed today with the new slower surfaces he would have broken every record in existence .
Players can ´ t change their style of play to accommodate the surface , in 2008 , I traveled with Nishikori to play his first Davis Cup match against India , the surface was grass , I told him to play his style , ag-