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with Deb Skinstad, MA
One of the highlights for me was watching Nadal and Fognini’s semi-final battle in Monte-Carlo. And, to finish off this incredible run on clay, Fognini went onto win the Monte-Carlo event in fine form, beating Lajovic in two sets. The Monte-Carlo win is Fognini’s first ever Master’s 1000 title.
Beside the viewing excitement, the commentary for clay court tennis is riveting as well. Phrases and words like ‘perfecting the clay court craft’, ‘marathon’, ‘style’, ‘skill’, and ‘long cross-court rallies’, to name a few. For the viewer, spectator and fan, these images and narration paint a vivid picture of grit, endurance and athleticism that clay court tennis – the slowest grand slam surface – is renowned for.
The theme for our May issue, as we head toward the second Grand Slam of the year, the French Open, is clay court tennis and clay court tennis players – specifically focusing on those players who transition from other surfaces to clay. It’s with great pleasure that I introduce to you our contributors this month. Up first, in our ‘Ask the Expert’ section, we consult a Physiotherapist, namely, Alex Cascone. The topic presented: “Adductor Strains: Understanding Injury Risk and Performance Enhancement”. Alex does a great job in condensing a complex topic and making it practically applicable to our broad readership. Moreover, the visual cues depicted in the photographs and an accompanying video - stretching routines and exercises - sums up an excellent take home message with practical significance and ramifications for tennis players. Secondly, in our ‘Coaching Corner’, we are introduced to an international tennis coach Norman McMarthy, from Cape Town, South Africa. Norman gives our readers an inside scoop on clay court tennis and the transition from hard court tennis to clay court tennis – specifically targeting our competitive junior players. Norman’s article is entitled: How to get dirty and enjoy it! Transitioning from hard courts to clay’. Thirdly, we have some great material, as always, from the professional tennis tour, namely the WTA with their ‘Physically Speaking’ articles. We have included one fantastic article this month for your reading pleasure.
Finally, our content this month is rich with all things pertinent to clay court tennis at the moment. We trust the information presented will assist you in your pursuit of broadening your skill-set and knowledge within tennis medicine and sport science related fields.
Happy reading - Here’s to a great clay court season!
Yours in tennis,
Deb Skinstad, MA
(PhD Sport Science candidate)
Society for Tennis Medicine and Science quarterly Newsletter
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