Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 5)

Chase Rubin Congratulates Roger Federer for His Glorious 18th Slam

Chase Rubin: The Mental Grit of Roger Federer

Tennis enthusiast Chase Rubin pays tribute to Roger Federer for winning his 18th Slam at the Australian Open.

“There are no draws in tennis, but if there were I would have been happy to share this trophy with you tonight, Rafa.” – Roger Federer

The GOAT’s (Greatest of All Time) road to 18 has been a long one, and mired by criticisms, doubts, and questions about his abilities no less. But perhaps what makes this victory of Roger Federer sweeter is that he has possibly come to redefine what a modern athlete is or should be.

At 35 years old, Roger Federer is either a genius or an anomaly, depending on how you view it. He’s a genius for having managed to slow down or minimize the impact of aging on his body. Sure, he may have peaked and is already past his prime, but his game still easily lands him in the Top 5 of anyone’s list, and that’s something.

On the other hand, Roger Federer is an anomaly for defying expectations. In his mid 30’s, he has successfully done what few could even conceive. This is because many of his colleagues and predecessors have thrown in the towel and retired once they hit the big three-zero. Take a look at Andy Roddick who retired in 2012, for example. Roddick retired at age 30, with 32 career titles, and only 1 US Open title to his name. Roddick’s problem? Roger Federer stood in his way, defeating him in all of their Wimbledon final clashes. Many fans and analysts say the two’s rivalry was never on equal ground to begin with, and was lopsided in Roger Federer’s favor but if you look at Fed’s career development, you might see a different story.

In the world of tennis, there’s this notion that younger is greater, stronger, and more powerful. This is why some fans may be reluctant to confer the title of GOAT to Roger Federer, because he only won his first title at 22 years old. Tennis superstars Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were younger than that when they won their first Slam, but being an early starter doesn’t also mean that they should rightfully be called the GOAT, correct? With that said, Roger Federer is in a league of his own because he could have been just another Andy Roddick who threw in the towel and retired, but he isn’t—he’s Roger Federer and he showed the world that.

The nail-biting finish to the Australian Open will be remembered fondly in the years to come. Here’s why: Rafael Nadal blew a 3-1 lead in the 5th and made the grave mistake of playing into Roger Federer’s hands, which cost him the AO trophy. On Roger Federer’s part, he showed sheer tenacity and intense mental grit, finding a way out of Rafa’s high spinning balls to come away with a win after a spectacular 26-shot rally.

Even if you aren’t a fan of Roger Federer, you’d have to hand it to the Swiss Maestro for his showing at the Australian Open; it deserves a roaring round of applause for making history.

Stay tuned for more tennis thought pieces by Chase Rubin.



Chase Rubin On The Greatest Tennis Matches In Recent History

Chase Rubin: Top 3 Tennis Matches in Recent History


Hi, everyone! This is Chase Rubin with another blog update. Many of my friends are still talking about Federer and Nadal’s clash so I thought of writing about the greatest matches in recent history.

#1: 2008 Wimbledon Final – Elegance vs. power had come alive and clashed at Wimby 2008, in the form of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Apart from the quality tennis the two legendary players had put on display for millions of fans around the world, the context from which Wimbledon 2008 had based its narrative on propelled the epic matchup between Fed and Rafa to greater and more dramatic heights.

The Swiss Maestro was looking to win his sixth consecutive Wimbledon title at that time, while Rafael Nadal on his part was looking to land a rare French Open-Wimbledon double. Their clash lasted several hours as rain postponed the match, at least twice. To add to the excitement, both players were tied with two sets apiece and were playing in their prime. Fed was ranked No. 1 that year and Rafa often trailed behind him at No. 2. Many fans credit Rafa as the only player who had a chance of stopping Fed and that he did, in the 5th set. Looking back, Roger Federer claims that fateful day had gotten too dark to the point he couldn’t even see his opponent. True or not, Rafa won fair and square, finally winning a Slam on a grass court.

#2: 2012 Australian Open Final – The greatest match ever in the Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic rivalry, the 2012 Australian Open final revealed the superhuman power and endurance of both players. The match lasted 7 minutes short of six hours and the win cemented Novak Djokovic’s rightful place among the sport’s greatest.

Rafa took the first set but lost focus as Djokovic took control of the next two sets. As one might expect in a fierce rivalry such as this, Rafa took the 4th and pushed every tennis fan to the edge of their seats with a 5th set but failed to sustain the momentum. Always humble and philosophical, the King of Clay had the same generous words to say about his opponent despite the loss: Djokovic is indeed one of the greatest service returners the sport has ever had.

#3: 2015 French Open Final – Stan Wawrinka became the new King of Clay after defeating crowd favorite Novak Djokovic in the Roland Garros finals of 2015. Without Rafael Nadal in the picture, it seemed that Djokovic had the French Open in the bag and would continue his reign as No. 1, but as history played out, every player is bound to encounter some upsets.

One of the few remaining players with a one-handed backhand that could rival Roger Federer’s, Wawrinka dominated his Serbian-born foe in a shocking four-set finish, complete with powerful serves and shots. The Roland Garros finals is recognized as one of the best matches in recent years, showcasing quality tennis in contrasting styles. Though Wawrinka may be a late bloomer compared to other tennis greats, his climb to the top has nevertheless shaken up the predictable narrative of men’s tennis with the same old characters.

What other matches do you think should have made the list? Feel free to leave me, Chase Rubin, a comment!



Chase Rubin 2017 Roland Garros Predictions

Chase Rubin Predictions On French Open 2017


Chase Rubin is a passionate tennis fan who hails from greater Philadelphia. He can’t wait for Roland Garros as he is looking to bet his money on Rafael Nadal to make a comeback, just like what Roger Federer did at the Australian Open. Read his analysis below:

With Roger Federer defying crowd expectations at the Australian Open, the question on every tennis fan’s mind now is: who will reign supreme at Roland Garros in May?

If betting favorites are any indication, then Andy Murray is the unanimous favorite with odds pegged by bookies at 4:1. Next in line are Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Rafael Nadal, and finally, Roger Federer, respectively.

As a huge tennis fan, I find the ranking a little surprising; I would rank Wawrinka higher given his explosive performance last year at the US Open. There’s no saying whether these bookies are tennis fans themselves, which might give their predictions some credibility as well. To my mind, it’s a close call between Djokovic and Wawrinka. However, just like how the Australian Open panned out, no tennis fan should underestimate the “impossible” from happening, which is to see the Spanish King of Clay make a huge comeback.

In the spirit of discussion, it must be noted that every time Rafael Nadal lost at the Australian Open, he went on to win the French Open. While it’s been years since he last won a Grand Slam, Rafa still has it in him to make another finals appearance at Roland Garros, in my opinion. This is because, not only will he be playing on his favorite court surface, but he also gave Roger Federer a run for his money at the Australian Open, pushing the match to five sets.

If you ask me, one reason why Murray seems to be the heavy favorite right now is because of his play style on clay, which is more defensive than offensive. It’s worked in the past but I think he would have to be extremely lucky not to run into either Djokovic or Rafa early on, which could very well translate into an early exit for him.

As for Roger Federer, if he ends up winning Roland Garros, then the win would likely end all debates about him being the GOAT (greatest of all time) or not. He’ll also add another feather to his cap for having won Grand Slam titles on all court surfaces twice, something his greatest rivals have not achieved yet.

In the end, everything is up in the air. The Swiss Maestro has said he would much rather play on his favorite grass court in Wimbledon and then proceed to the US Open, but a fan can hope. After all, that’s the only thing we fans had to hold onto as his critics belittled him early on in the Australian Open.

The French Open officially kicks off in May. Until then, anything can happen! What do you think? Who will win Roland Garros? This is Chase Rubin; feel free to stay tuned to my blog!



Chase Rubin on Where to Eat in Philly

Chase Rubin on His favorite Philly Eats

Chase Rubin has some sound advice for those who are visiting Philly: Find a cheesesteak, order some water ice, buy a soft pretzel. These food items are the essence of Philly eats; but you better save room, because nowadays, there’s way more to Philly eating than junk food. Like most cities with a booming food culture, there are two camps: the traditional and the modern. And while Philly is a city nationally recognized for its modern Israeli and vegan delights, dig a little deeper and you’ll find that some of the iconic dishes are rooted in Italian-American tradition, original-Americana recipes, and the wonderful contributions of a bustling immigrant community.

Lamb shoulder, Zahav.Zahav is a major point of Philly pride—a nationally renowned essential that’s led the charge for exceptional Middle Eastern food in America—and this staple is its de facto signature dish. Despite limited availability, travel writers and food editors have deemed the pomegranate-braised, chickpea-strewn masterpiece reason enough to plan a trip to the city, and it’s even gotten so popular the restaurant devoted an entire month to this single dish.

Roast pork sandwich, John’s.There are lots of worthwhile ones to try, but despite the fact that John’s uses spinach in place of the broccoli rabe that’s typically preferred, it’s impossible to deny the iconic stature of this particular sandwich. Chase Rubin also highly recommends trying the roast pork at Paesano’s (called the Arista) and George’s, both conveniently located in the Italian Market, and at High Street on Market.

Cannoli, Termini Bros.South Philly is rightly known for its picture-perfect family-run Italian bakeries, spilling over with sweets like torrone, lobster tails, and zeppoli. So while, sure, you could get a good cannoli in a number of other cities, the one at nearly-century-old Termini Bros. is both definitive and integral to the Philly experience.

Salt roasted beets, Vedge.New visitors to Philly are often surprised by how robust the city’s vegetarian and vegan dining scene is, but maybe that’s changing now that Vedge has become a destination restaurant in the truest sense of the word. And while many menu highlights are subject to change, one enduring staple is this dish of salt-roasted beets layered with avocado, smoked tofu, and capers.

Square Pizza, Santucci’s.While the quality and variety of pizza styles to be found in Philly has recently exploded, unique classics like the square pie from Santucci’s have been around since the 50’s and is essential to defining what Philly pizza truly is about. It’s well-charred in cast-iron pans and piled with “upside-down” toppings (i.e., the sauce is on top), and tasting the stuff is absolutely crucial to understanding Philly pizza.

Root beer float, Franklin Fountain.The ice cream soda was invented in Philadelphia in 1874, and there’s no better place to get into the old-timey spirit of the thing than Franklin Fountain. They make their own root beer here, but you don’t have to limit yourself—they also have Coke floats, the raspberry-peach combo Ladies’ Choice float, and even an option to design your own combination.



Chase Rubin Top Shocking Upsets in Tennis

Chase Rubin: Top 4 Shocking and Unexpected Upsets

Hi, everyone! This is Chase Rubin for another blog update. Today I’ll be rounding up my top 4 biggest upsets in tennis. I’m sure there have been plenty more in the sport’s long history but these matches always come to mind for different reasons:

#1. Stakhovsky vs. Federer at 2013 Wimbledon 2nd Round – Wimbledon’s poster boy Roger Federer suffered a major upset in 2013 against Ukrainian player Sergiy Stakhovsky, bowing out in the 2nd round. Before their fated clash, the Swiss Maestro had amassed 36 consecutive Grand Slam quarter finals appearances and was the defending champion that year. Stakhovsky lost the 1st set but bounced back seemingly out of nowhere to claim the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th set. The Ukrainian failed to capitalize on his run, but at least he’s got bragging rights that he once beat the world’s No. 1 and on his territory no less.

#2. Delpo vs. Federer at US Open Finals 2009 – It may seem unfair that Fed is bound to encounter more upsets than most because he’s set the bar so high for himself, but the US Open Finals in 2009 turned out to be a shocker for many fans. It was the first time the Swiss Maestro had lost on the cemented court in over five years—and to a new kid on the block at that. For others, they remember this match as a rare moment wherein they got to see the ever-calm and nice Fed lose his cool and swear at the umpire. Well, if you had won the US Open title straight from 2004 to 2008 like Roger had, wouldn’t you blow a fuse if things weren’t going your way?

#3. Stosur vs. Serena at US Open Finals 2011 – Even Serena fans will concede that their favorite player really lost the US Open finals, both in terms of the match and proper decorum. It’s unfortunate that Sam Stosur’s first Grand Slam title may be overshadowed by Serena’s outburst and “tantrums” at the umpire. She was penalized for screaming “Come on!” at Stosur while in play, which was considered an intentional verbal hindrance. Of course the ever-fierce No. 1 seeded Williams did not take the penalty lightly and had to talk out her feelings. Meanwhile, Stosur kept her cool and played excellent tennis over the following sets, proving to everyone, including Williams, that she was the best player in women’s singles that year.

#4. Vinci vs. Serena at US Open Semi Finals 2015 – Another Serena match that tennis fans will remember in the years to come: Roberta Vinci vs. Serena Williams at the US Open Semi Finals; Vinci crushed Serena’s hopes of achieving that elusive calendar-year slam, which only three other women have done in the history of the sport. Vinci lost the first set 2-6 pretty quickly but even Williams ran into problems herself, with clumsy mistakes that translated into free points. Once the Italian veteran had finally found her rhythm, there was no stopping her run to a spectacular 3-set finish against one of the greatest female athletes of her generation.

What do you think should have made the list? Feel free to leave me a comment.

Stay tuned for more tennis thought pieces by Chase Rubin.



Chase Rubin: Focus on Young Players

Chase Rubin: Focus on CoCo Vandeweghe and Frances Tiafoe

Chase Rubin runs a tennis program for Philadelphia’s inner-city youth, and has helped produce over 20 players who have gone to NCAA Division I programs. He is on a constant quest to produce a full-time pro-level tennis player, and is very happy about the resurgence of youth tennis in the United States. Today, he writes about young, up-and-coming players CoCo Vandeweghe and Frances Tiafoe.

CoCo Vandeweghe

If CoCo Vandeweghe’s surname sounds familiar, it is because she comes from a family of athletes. She’s the daughter of Olympic swimmer Tauna Vandeweghe, the granddaughter of former New York Knick Ernie Vandeweghe, and the niece of two-time NBA All-Star and current NBA vice-president of basketball operations Kiki Vandeweghe. As an seventeen-year-old, she started playing in the WTA, winning two ITF titles within two years. She kept on growing until she reached current height of 6’1”, giving her a distinct reach advantage over her opponents.

CoCo is known for her very strong serves; in 2014 alone, she hit more than 300 aces. She plays very aggressively, hitting the ball early and taking the ball close to the net. Her favorite shot is the forehand, and she prefers hard and grass courts. While she is just 25 years old, she has already reached the singles and doubles semifinals of the Australian Open, losing only to eventual champion Venus Williams, and is currently ranked 20th in the world for singles play. In addition, she has reached the mixed doubles finals at the Australian Open and the US Open, both in 2016. CoCo Vandeweghe’s star is still on the rise, and it won’t be long until we see her inside the top ten of the WTA rankings.

Frances Tiafoe

At nineteen years old, Frances Tiafoe has already breached the top 100 of the world rankings. His story could serve as an inspiration to everyone wanting to make it big in the world of tennis. The son of immigrants from Sierra Leone, he started playing tennis at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in Maryland, which his father helped build as a construction worker. His play was noticed by a tennis pro at the center, and he started training in earnest at the age of eight. When he was 15, he won the prestigious Dunlop Orange Bowl, defeating Stefan Kozlov; two years later, he again met Kozlov in the U18 National Championship, winning a five-set match and earning a ticket to the US Open.

Tiafoe’s tennis upbringing could be described as being done by the book – he grew up surrounded by tennis pros at the JTCC – but his game is all power and rawness. His shots are almost theatrical in their power, and his quickness shows in the way he flies around the court, reminding spectators of a young Roger Federer. He looks larger than his listed height of 6’2”, and has great on-court presence. However, there is still much to fix in Tiafoe’s game. Both his forehand and backhand techniques have a lot of extra movement, and his serve doesn’t involve as much wrist action as it normally should. But the ceiling is there for everyone to see, and with proper guidance, he could break into the top 50 in the world this year.



Chase Rubin Explains the Difference Between Grass, Clay, and Hard Courts

Chase Rubin Explains: Grass, Clay, and Hard Courts – What’s the Difference?

Chase Rubin has played in all sorts of tennis courts, from the Philadelphia Cricket Club’s grass courts to the blacktop courts of East Compton. He believes that inner cities should invest in their sports facilities, including tennis courts, as a way of keeping the youth from drugs and alcohol. His volunteer tennis instruction program has produced more than 20 NCAA Division I athletes since it started. Today, he discusses the three most common kinds of tennis courts today.

Have you ever wondered why some tennis players excel on clay courts and never seem to win on grass, and vice-versa? Why do the different Grand Slam tournaments use different kinds of courts? Each of the three most common kinds of tennis courts – grass, clay, and hard court – have certain characteristics that favor certain kinds of playing styles. Below, we discuss the differences between the three kinds of tennis courts, and the playing styles that they favor. In addition, we will give you examples of players whose careers were defined by their excellence on particular kinds of courts.

Grass Courts

Commonly associated with the Wimbledon Championships, grass courts require a lot of maintenance and thus have a short playing season. While they are relatively rare in the United States, they are the most common surface in the U.K. Due to their slippery surface (which only gets even more slippery after a drizzle), grass courts are considered the fastest of all tennis court surfaces. Balls bounce lower on grass courts, and the movement of the ball is a bit unpredictable due to the softer and uneven texture of the surface. Grass courts favor players with good serves and net games, such as Pete Sampras, and matches played on grass tend to be fast-paced, with a lot of power shots.

Clay Courts

Marked by a deep, red color, clay courts are strongly identified with the French Open and the Roland Garros tennis stadium. They are made of brick or crushed stone such as shale. There are other clay courts, made from crushed basalt, that have a greenish hue. Clay courts are considered the slowest playing surfaces in tennis as they reduce the speed of the ball, reduces the skid of the ball on the court’s surface, and cause the ball to bounce higher. They neutralize the power of hard-hitting players and favor those who generate a lot of spin on their shots and players who prefer staying on the baseline, such as Rafael Nadal, who is often considered the King of Clay.

Hard Courts

Hard courts are the easiest to maintain; thus, most country clubs and city tennis facilities use them. Most hard courts are layers of sand mixed with acrylic or synthetic material on a foundation of either asphalt or concrete. They are considered by the International Tennis Federation as a good surface for players of all types, and is generally considered a “democratic court” as it occupies the middle ground between grass and clay. Balls travel at a speed between those produced by grass and clay courts, and bounce higher and very predictably. Hard courts are favored by baseline players and others who like long rallies, such as Roger Federer, who has won five Australian Open titles on a hard court made from blue Plexicushion.



Chase Rubin Rounds Up the Greatest Rivalries in Tennis

Chase Rubin: Top 3 Tennis Rivalries in History

Chase Rubin is a real estate development professional who spends his free time on the hard court practicing his backhand. Today he talks about some of the greatest rivalries the sport of tennis has witnessed.

With Roger Federer clinching his 18th Slam at the Australian Open, he may have just effectively renewed fans’ interest in his rivalry with the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal. To be honest, any rivalry that involves Roger Federer is worth watching, so let’s take a look at other rivalries in history that are equally worth highlighting.

#1: Venus vs. Serena – Definitely one for the books! The Williams sisters’ rivalry spawned a whole new level of popularity for tennis that even got non-fans talking. There was the Serena Slam in 2002, when Serena had won all Grand Slam titles that year, defeating her sister Venus in the finals. The sisters themselves admit to being uncomfortable and uneasy whenever they had to face each other—that’s happened 26 times, 8 of which were in Grand Slam finals. Their hot rivalry may have fizzled over the years, with Venus struggling with her autoimmune disease (she was diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome in 2011), but fans will always remember the sibling rivalry as one of the greatest in all sports, and not just in tennis.

#2: Agassi vs. Sampras – Before there was Roger Federer vs. everyone else e.g. Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray etc., there was Andre Agassi vs. Pete Sampras. Agassi is one of only seven men to have won Grand Slams on all court types, and is credited to have helped boost the popularity of tennis in the 1990s. Plus he’s got an Olympic medal to boot. Sampras, on the other hand, has more career titles to his name, including seven Wimbledon titles and 5 US Open titles. “The Punisher” and “Pistol Pete” faced each other a total of 34 times, 16 of which were in the finals. Their rivalry deserves a mention because of their contrasting styles, which made their matches quite unpredictable and hence, more exciting. Agassi is known as the greatest service returner in history while Sampras was renowned for his killer attack-serve.

#3: Navratilova vs. Evert – The greatest rivalry in women’s tennis pre-Williams era spanning 16 years, Martina Navratilova vs. Chris Evert faced each other a record 80 times on the court, 60 of which were in the finals! “Chrissie” and “Martina” first met in 1973 in Ohio; Chris was 18 while Martina was only 16. As one might expect from young teenagers, the two became friends, though they were polar opposites in playing styles and personalities. In my opinion, what makes this rivalry different from the rest is the backdrop from which it was played on: the women’s and gay rights movement in the 80s. Chris Evert was the poster girl of women’s tennis—feminine, graceful, and apolitical—while Martina Navratilova was everything but. She became an activist for the LGBT community, several years after coming out as a lesbian herself.

Whose rivalries do you think deserve special mention? Let me know! I’m Chase Rubin and thanks for visiting my blog.



Chase Rubin on the Williams Sisters’ Impact on Tennis

Chase Rubin: Williams Sisters Have Changed Tennis for Good


Chase Rubin, a volunteer tennis coach and community worker based in Philadelphia, has been witness to some of the greatest feats in tennis history. He caught the Grand Slams during the heyday of Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf, and Martina Hingis, and is delighted by the surge of American interest in tennis. He attributes much of that interest to the Federer-Nadal and the Williams sisters’ rivalries. Today, he tells us about the impact that the Williams have made on the world of tennis and beyond the court.

The rivalry between sisters Venus and Serena Williams has been ongoing since 1998, when they first faced off in the second round of the Australian Open. Even if the match was shorter than expected, it was just an indication of things to come, starting with their Key Biscayne final in 1999, which Venus won 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Since then, they have matched up 28 times, with Serena holding a 17-11 lead over her elder sister. Serena also has 71 singles titles to her sister’s 49, still a record of sorts.

But where did this competitive fire come from? Before the Williams sisters came along, African-American women were a rarity in individual sports, much less a sport with an elitist connotation as tennis. Their father, who played recreational tennis, was inspired by 1978 French Open champion Virginia Ruzici, and decided that his daughters would follow in her footsteps. He started giving Venus and Serena lessons at a very young age, and took them to the public tennis courts in Compton. Because they were playing each other a lot back then, they developed both a fierce rivalry and a close bond, one that would serve as the catalyst for their careers.

The Williams sisters’ impact on tennis cannot be overestimated. At the beginning of their rivalry, women’s tennis did not make much of a dent on the TV ratings. But when the two faced off in the 2001 US Open, the final match drew more viewers than the college football game between Nebraska and Notre Dame, which were both in the AP rankings that year. In fact, broadcasters have reported higher viewership during US Open finals in which both sisters were playing.

Aside from the TV ratings, the impact of the Williams sisters’ competitive fire can be seen in the increased interest of African-Americans in tennis, either as professionals or as recreational players. At the grassroots level, one-third of all new players are of African-American or Hispanic descent, and even the president of the US Tennis Association has acknowledged the Williams’ sisters influence on that trend.

Finally, the Williams sisters have redefined what it means to be an African-American woman in the world of sports. Prior to their rise up the rankings, women’s tennis was relatively slow-paced and genteel. However, the Williams sisters brought a certain flair to the game; their flamboyant outfits and muscular builds have set the bar very high. As singles players and as a doubles team, the two sisters are constantly pushing the envelope of femininity and womanhood. In fact, Venus has made a solo appearance on the cover of Vogue the first African-American female athlete to do so.

I can personally feel the effects of the rivalry and their partnership. Since they took the world by storm, more African-American kids from Philadelphia and its inner city have entered my group’s tennis workshop, and I am glad to report that many of them have received college tennis scholarships. This is why I am forever indebted to the Williams sisters – they are a tough act to follow, and their rivalry and partnership will rank right up there as one of the best in sports.



Rubin: Best Tennis Cross-training Activities

Chase Rubin: Top Cross-training Sports for Tennis Players


Chase Rubin is a health and fitness advocate based in Philadelphia, and is an avid tennis fan and player. He provides tennis instruction to the city’s inner-city youth, and his program has produced more than 20 athletes who have received scholarship offers from top NCAA Division I schools. His techniques include cross-training, which helps develop endurance, agility, and lateral movement. Today, he writes about sports which could also serve as excellent cross-training activities for tennis players.


Much has been said about the health benefits of swimming, especially its effects on cardiovascular endurance. Swimming helps improve your blood circulation and teaches you the proper way to breathe. In addition, it is ideal for tennis players as it involves the muscles you use whenever you serve or make an overhead shot, particularly in the arms and core. The repetitive nature of the crawl stroke, in particular, builds muscular endurance against minimal resistance.


Even if you couldn’t dunk or hit a three-pointer to save your life, the sheer legwork involved in basketball will help develop your agility, leg strength, and lateral movement – three skills that every serious tennis player should possess. If you don’t believe me, try playing man-to-man defense on a guard in a half-court setup. Martina Navratilova, for one, was a basketball player in her youth, and it shows in her precise lateral movements on the clay or grass court.


Soccer, whether played on a regulation pitch or a seven-a-side field, is always a good cross-training activity for tennis players. It helped develop Rafael Nadal’s on-court endurance as the usual match is ninety minutes long. Soccer also develops footwork, helping you respond to shots quickly. Ever noticed how competitive soccer players are judged by how fast and how often they run up and down the field? A tennis court will seem like a short distance after you’ve played a game or two of soccer.

Sand Volleyball

Sand volleyball is one of my favorite cross-training sports. For one, it’s harder to move around and gain some elevation when you’re playing on sand. Thus, it forces your fast-twitch muscles to develop at a faster pace, giving you explosiveness when you’re on the tennis court. Two-man sand volleyball also develops quick reflexes and hand-eye coordination, which are important in tennis.

Martial Arts

This might seem like something out of left field, but martial arts such as aikido or the Filipino stick-fighting technique of escrima will help you fine-tune your timing and balance. The latter also helps develop hand-to-eye coordination, a killer instinct, and quick reflexes, all of which will serve your net game well later on.


The best form of aerobic training for tennis players is running. It helps develop your hamstrings and lower leg muscles better than any other sport. Try to incorporate tempo runs and mid-distance runs into your training routine. You don’t need to run a marathon to get the results you need; quick runs of up to two miles and quarter-mile sprints should do the trick for you.



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