ATP Sao Paulo
80% of Rafa Nadal seems to be enough. Enough to win another ATP title on clay court after 8 months dealing with a knee injury that kept him far away from tennis. Indeed, Rafa doesn't need to be at his best to win again. In Sao Paulo the Spaniard dominated in the final David Nalbandian in straight sets taking the win 6-2 6-3. It clearly was a one-way match with Nadal taking the early lead and keeping the momentum on as the Argentine wasn't able to find some alternatives to his game. It's Rafa's 51st ATP title (37th on clay), the first coming after the 2012 Roland Garros. It's time to be happy for Rafa and his fans, even though it is clear that the Spaniard still needs much improvement to have a chance to win against the Fab Three, the guys that were Fab Four with him until last year. Now Rafa has to fight his way to the top and is going to take longer than expected. To see him winning Roland Garros this year would be quite surprising.
Still counting, now it's 8. Eight times Julien Benneteau has finished runner-up in ATP finals. Sunday the French was yet again stopped one win away from the title by last year's runner-up Juan Martin Del Potro. The Argentine, who lost to Federer in the final last year, this time didn't let it go and conquered the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament for the first time. The final was fought only in the first set, then Del Potro was too consitant for Benneteau. The Argentine won 7-6(2) 6-3 and lifted 14th ATP trophy of his career.
ATP San Jose
Milos Raonic confirmed himself as champion of the SAP Open today. The Canadian - who won the title last year - was once again unstoppable in the American tournament dominating Tommy Haas in the final to win his 3rd ATP title, his second this year after Chennai. Milos took out the No.2 seed 6-4 6-3.
Victoria Azarenka officially become the best WTA player right when she had to give up her No.1 spot in the rankings. To be the best in women's tennis you must be able to beat Serena Williams and Vika finally did it on Sunday in the final of the Qatar Total Open. The Belarusian played amazing tennis to take out Serena in three sets 7-6(6) 2-6 6-3. Vika won her 16th WTA title, but most importantly showed that she can compete and beat a player who was considered to be unbeatable in women's tennis. May it be the start of a new rivarly? Maybe Serena will not think so.
How to play from the baseline
The expression “to endure the rally” is about those indeterminate moments of a rally where none of the players is leading.
The ability to endure the rally is fundamental when you play a “long rally”, because it offers you the chance to measure your opponent’s strong points and vulnerabilities, besides letting you position as best as possible for your next offensive shot.