Interview with Virginia Tech’s Jason Kros

Jason Kross

JTCC’s Jason Kros (pictured above with mother Rachel) signed with Virginia Tech

Fresh off signing his Letter of Intent to play tennis at Virginia Tech, All ACES interviewed Jason Kros on his transition to the collegiate game, navigating the recruiting process and a bevy of other subjects:

On the motivating factor to sign with Virginia Tech

Their engineering program.  And I love the guys on the team.  They are a lot of fun to be around. [Head Coach Jim Thompson] is more like a student than a coach.  He is really close with us.

On the team’s prospects for next year

I think we are going to be really good.  Our number one is playing very well and all the way through five we have players that were in the top 25 as juniors.  We are around 30 in the country right now and we can push for top 20.

On the fierce competition in the Atlantic Coast Conference

It is not easy, especially with Wake Forest and Florida State.  It is no walk in the park.  But I look forward to playing against some of the best guys in the country.

On Jim Thompson’s run of eight consecutive NCAA tournament appearances

When I was there, he made it very easy to believe that I would be stepped up another level.  And I think that is what he has done with everyone on the team.  And it is because of that he has had very consistent results.

On whether he would prefer playing singles or doubles

It does not matter to me.  I enjoy doubles more.  It is a faster game.  But there is something exciting about being out there all by yourself in singles.

On his experience at JTCC

I have been transformed here.  It started two and half years ago.  I came in and I was very small. Very thin.  I did not have a good base to my game.  I was looking at Division III schools.  About a year into my training, it started to turn around with the help of [Director of Tennis Vesa Ponkka]. And now I signed with a top 30 Division I team.  A lot of Vesa’s initial influence was technical. Working on strokes and footwork.  Once we were solid there, he did a lot on the competitive side. He built off of my work with [former JTCC coach Chuck Kriese].  Working on staying focused. Keeping my head in every point.

On his advice to a sophomore or junior on the recruitment process

Stay focused.  It is so hard.  I have made my fair share of mistakes in matches and I have seen players lose offers due to those mental and physical lapses.  They lost a lot of money from good schools.  I am very proud that I managed to stay focused the entire time.  You know that there is always someone watching.  It is difficult to keep them out of mind.  But if you forget about everything, then it is hard to recognize the fact that you are being watched by someone who controls the next four years of your life.

On his decision to stay within the state (he resides in Fairfax, Virginia)

At first the only thing I wanted to do was go to California.  I lived there before I moved to Virginia. But then it became a fact that I would be going somewhere that I do not know with people I do not know.  Blacksburg is four hours away.  If you think about it, that is close.  I know a group of my friends who are already bent on attending Virginia Tech.  And there is something to say about playing for the state.


National Signing Day features four JTCC players

Ines Vias signed with University of Illinois

Ines Vias signed with University of Illinois and will play for Head Coach Michelle Dasso

Today marks the first occasion in which the Class of 2015 can ink National Letters of Intent for the following sports:  basketball, wrestling, swimming and diving, lacrosse, volleyball, rowing, gymnastics, softball, golf, hockey, baseball and of course tennis.  The early signing period for these sports ends November 19.  Athletes (with the exception of basketball recruits) will still have until August 1 if they do not commit at this time.

As expected, there has been a flurry of activity including commitments from four Junior Tennis Champions Center student-athletes:

Ines Vias:  University of Illinois

A five-star recruit according to Tennis Recruiting Network, Vias is the latest JTCC alum to join Illinois.  Last year, Aaron Hiltzik joined his brother and signed with the Fighting Illini.

In her ninth season at the helm, Head Coach Michelle Dasso guided the team to a 14-10 overall record and 6-6 in the conference.  In 2012-2013, she produced the second and third All-Americans in program history and the first in 20 years.  The year prior, the squad featured three All-Big Ten honorees, the most in program history.  At her alma mater of Notre Dame, Dasso captured the ITA’s National Senior Player of the Year award in 2001 and was the program’s first four-time All-American.  She tops the Irish record books in several statistical categories, including career singles victories (140), most career wins at No. 1 singles (67), season singles victories (40) and combined season victories (74).

Lilly Lynham:  Georgetown

The Washington Post covered Lilly signing with her hometown Hoyas here.

Jason Kros:  Virginia Tech

A Fairfax, Virginia native, Kros verbally committed to the Hokies in September.  In the past eight seasons, Head Coach Jim Thompson has led the team to the NCAA tournament.  During the 2012-13 campaign, the Hokies defeated seven ranked teams including a first round upset of No. 22 Michigan in the NCAA tournament.  The squad featured ACC Freshman of the Year Amerigo Contini.

Yancy Dennis:  South Carolina

Yancy will join fellow JTCC alum Thomas Mayronne on the Gamecocks squad.  The blue chip recruit relayed to Tennis Recruiting Network that he immediately felt comfortable during his campus visit.  “During my visit, I was able to relate to the players on the team quite well.  But more importantly [Head Coach Josh Goffi] played a huge factor – along with [Assistant Coach Ryan Young].  Both were very professional – and were interested in me not only as a tennis player but also as a person.”  Dennis continued, “I want to improve my tennis game significantly in order to progress toward my goal of becoming a professional player – while maintaining at least a 3.5 GPA.”

Information from the following Athletic Departments were used in this post:  University of Illinois, Virginia Tech and University of South Carolina.

Excerpt from JTCC school newspaper

The following is an excerpt from The Green and Gold, Junior Tennis Champion Center’s school newsletter.  The content is written by JTCC players and families.  The editor-in-chief is student-athlete Mackenzie Clark.

photo 1 (2)

Athletes burn thousands of calories per day and should eat every two to three hours

Nutrition and adequate rest are often thought of as secondary to practice and working out, especially to athletes like yourselves.  But nothing could be further from the truth.

For one, and quite literally, you are what you eat.  The macro- and micro-nutrients in the food you eat is what your body uses to grow.  Additionally, hormones released during your regular sleep cycle are categorized as anabolic, meaning they are responsible for growth, in particular, muscle growth. Here are some quick points for you guys to consider everyday.  Keep in mind that tennis,
even more so than any other sport, requires an enormous amount of energy, in terms of calories.

1. 8 cups of water a day is no longer the recommendation.  You should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water.  If you’re 150 lbs, that means 75 ounces of water.  Now, this doesn’t take into account any major physical exertion.  For every hour of major physical exertion (hitting, lifting, running), you should be drinking an additional 20 ounces of water, obviously depending on body weight.

2. As athletes, burning thousands of calories per day, you should be eating every 2–3 hours.  Eat a large breakfast, have a good-sized snack mid-morning, lunch, one or two snacks before dinner, a full dinner, and then a snack before bed. Listen to your body, a grumbling stomach isn’t just annoying, it’s a direct sign from your body that you NEED to eat.  Low-fat proteins (turkey, chicken, veal, fish, even beef), plenty of greens, and even large portions of starches (brown rice, potatoes, squash) should make up your meals.

3. When shopping for food, try and look for some healthier options.  Foods high in sugar will not help you.  For example, one slice of whole wheat bread contains 15g of sugar! On everything you buy, don’t look at the fancy marketing, look at the nutrition facts.  Look at the ingredients.  Look for “organic” and “non-GMO”.  Look for shorter ingredient lists.  Good food is simple food.

4. Gatorade, PowerAde, Vitamin Water…it’s all sugar-water.  They’re adequate in a pinch, but try and make your own “smart water” every morning.  Cut up some fresh organic fruit (oranges, lemons, grapefruit, limes, etc.), put them in a pitcher with water and mix.  It’s a nice refreshing taste and extremely healthy.  Add some mint or fresh ginger for anti-oxidant content.  Add a couple ounces of fresh (not from concentrate) organic cranberry juice for a fun twist.

The more mindful you are of what you put in your body, the better you will be able to perform on the court, in the classroom, and in everyday life.

87-year-old Russell Fink: The Late Bloomer

Russell Fink with his National Clay Courts Silver Ball

College Park Tennis Club member Russell Fink achieved the highlight of his senior playing career two weeks ago at the USTA National Men’s 85s Clay Court Championships, winning a silver ball by reaching the final in singles. This caps off a remarkable year of top results for Mr. Fink, who has now risen to No. 3 in the country and No. 22 in the world for the 85s age division. What makes the story more remarkable is that he didn’t even pick up a racquet until his mid-50s. 

Fresh off his success, Mr. Fink sat down with the All Aces staff last week to talk about playing at his age, his thoughts on what it takes to play top level tennis, and what he hopes to achieve with his success.

First of all, congratulations on the win!

My first silver ball! I got a number of bronzes in past years. Of course, my goal is to get a gold by the time I’m 100! (Laughs)

How did you start playing competitively?

I was in my mid-50s, I’m 87 now, and I got to the top of Prince George’s County ladder and I thought, “Oh boy, I’m pretty hot stuff,” (Laughs) so I decided to play the national senior events. I got the bug and I never really won anything for years. I asked one of my friends one time, “I enter all these tournaments and lose in the first round, what should I do?” He says, “Enter the next tournament.” Over the years I realized these really good guys have been playing at the top of the pros and even in college. Well I started playing when I was in my mid-50s, so they had a 40 year head start on me! They all sit around and talk about who they played in college; well, in college, I didn’t really know which end of the tennis racquet to hold. It’s been a fun trip.

Did you take lessons to get started with tennis?

No, I’ve just gotten into lessons in the past four years and I’ve started playing tennis better than I ever have in my whole life. I choose to be an example proving that old saying false, that “old dogs can’t learn new tricks.” This old dog is playing better tennis than he has in his whole life. And I’m mixing with guys who have played Davis Cup and who’ve been world champions and stuff like that. What can I say? It’s great!

You get to travel around a lot?

This year, I played about 12 tournaments. The year before was a little higher than that–15–but, it’s my avocation and it’s a costly one. People have to decide what they spend their money on; I’ve enjoyed this and my wife has supported it–she comes along on some of them.

Do you have a memorable match or moment from tournament play?

There’s a guy named Fred Kovalevski, who’s one of these guys who played the Davis Cup and tournaments like that and was a world champ as a senior. A few years ago, he was playing a local tournament nearby to get the points he needed for his ranking. So I met him in the first round in a local tournament. I can remember clearly: I was ahead of him 4-3 in the first set…and then he changed his game. (Laughs) I count it a very high privilege to look back and say that I experienced playing people that, at one time or another, were number one in the world, and keeping them on the court for an hour and a half. I figured win, lose, or draw, he had to play for an hour and a half in order to get past me!

Do you have a favorite shot?

Yeah, the one that gets the ball over the net. (Laughs) Actually, at my age, my serve is pretty good. This afternoon I was having a lesson with a guy named Steve Miguel and I told him, “My serve doesn’t work against Clement Hopp [No. 1 in the USTA Men’s 85s rankings]!” He told me a story: “When I played at Ohio State, it rained one day and we had this match with Northwestern. It was my court, the lights were dim, and I was proud of my serve. I got on the court with the number one guy from Northwestern and he just took my serve…it was like nothing! He walked on the court–my court, my place–and he beat me 7-6, 7-6. Turns out, it was Todd Martin!” So he says to me, “This is Clement Hopp! Don’t worry about your serve, the guy was good.”

What goes into your conditioning regiment?

It’s not so much muscle building as it is endurance. Offseason I’m in the gym maybe three times a week; during the season maybe once a week just to sustain my strength. It’s mostly shoulder and mid-body. With my legs I get on the court and I do bicycling for a couple of seasons a year. You just have to do it. I don’t do free weights so much as just bands and stability ball. I love water exercises, so that does my legs.

Most of the guys my age who are toward the top of the rankings, they will work out. You won’t find a fat guy on the senior tour! Most of them have also gone through major medical scares. These guys have had heart bypasses–there’s an open where you can’t play unless you’ve had a bypass! You have these people that have come through these major medicals and have been told they can’t play tennis anymore and have responded “fooey!”

Do you keep up with the professional tour? Do you have a favorite player?

I love to watch them! Last night I was watching Federer and I watched too much of it. I love Federer. And, on the women’s side, whenever Ivanovic gets on the court or Sloane Stephens, I can’t take my eyes off of them. We always root for the Americans, of course. I’m glad Jack Sock is making it–I like him a lot. And Isner, I can’t get over watching Isner, he’s just so smooth.

We’re all really excited about Tiafoe. My friend always keeps track of him if he’s playing in a tournament, so we keep up with him. I look at these kids and I wonder which ones of them will make it. They hit the ball so well and so hard…do they have the drive inside to succeed and will Tiafoe be able to withstand the notoriety? Will he be able to hold his head up? No matter how old or young you are, the brain will affect what’s happening with your body.

What advice would you have for our junior players?

The pro I work with, Steve Miguel, always asks, “what’s your aim?” and I say, “to get better.” He says no matter where you’re playing or who you’re playing, the aim is to improve. More and more, the older I get, the goal becomes to enjoy and play the best I can play, which maybe I can improve tomorrow. Play the best you can and enjoy yourself.

Tell me about your role with Annapolis Area Tennis School.

It’s a non-profit that does what you do with your community program here. One of the things I’ve brought to the organization–a lot of it is very personal–is senior tennis. Vic Braden was quoted in the paper this week–and I remember him saying this long ago–saying “If you don’t fall over when you’re leaving the water cooler, you can learn tennis.” That’s my particular individual contribution, even though I’ve been running the outfit for ten years. Most of the teaching I’ve done, which hasn’t been much, has been with seniors. If I can be an inspiration in some way to the senior crowd, that would be great. I’ve seen seniors develop from almost nothing to getting on the court and playing social, hit-and-giggle mixed tennis and have fun. And they can do it!

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

I didn’t even want to say this much! (Laughs) Really and truly, when something like this happens, you have to be elated, but yet, I can point to that [rankings] list and point to 20 guys that can beat the pants off of me. Of course, I can point to another 20 that I can beat the pants off of them, but it is what is and I’ve enjoyed it. Tennis adds life to your years and years to your life. I just love to see the old guys play. It’s pretty rotten tennis in many cases, but they’re there! And they’re picking up balls and getting their exercise. They’ll get maybe one ball out of every ten over the net, but that’s good enough!

Remembering Vic Braden

Legend and Junior Tennis Champions Center Senior Advisor Vic Braden passed away yesterday morning at the age of 85 from a heart attack.  The entire tennis community grieves this distressing loss and we offer our condolences to his wife, Melody, and four children, Kory Braden-Hittelman, Kristen Paul, Troy Davis and Shawn Davis.

There has been a deluge of remembrances on Twitter including:

Beyond his immeasurable impact in teaching the technical aspects of the game, Braden was also well-versed in the psychological elements as expressed in these quotes he authored:

The moment of enlightment is when a person’s dreams of possibilities become images of probabilities.

Learn to think like a winner.  Think positive and visualize your strengths.

Losers have tons of variety.  Champions just take a pride in learning the same old boring winning shots.

Holding Court with guest Sean Maymi

Editor’s Note:  If you are reading this post on your phone, click here to listen to the podcast.

Former Michigan assistant coach and current Junior Tennis Champions Center senior coach Sean Maymi joined us in the Holding Court podcast studio to discuss his coaching career, changes in collegiate tennis and the influence of legends Brian Gottfried and Todd Martin.

JTCC partners with Tecnifibre for “On the Road”

kudla tf

JTCC alum Denis Kudla is sponsored by Tecnifibre

The Junior Tennis Champions Center has partnered with high-performance tennis equipment brand, Tecnifibre, to become the premier training center for Tecnifibre’s ATP World Tour “On the Road” program in the United States.

“We at Tecnifibre are very pleased to be partnering with one of the premier tennis academies in the United States,” said Dave Dorsey, National Sales Manager of Tecnifibre USA. “As a premier brand of competition-level tennis products, Tecnifibre looks forward to working alongside the Junior Tennis Champions Center in the development of the next generation of professional players. The JTCC fits perfectly with the Tecnifibre brand and our partnership with the ATP World Tour. The tennis community can expect even greater things from both the JTCC and Tecnifibre as we combine elite-level resources to assist top juniors in their quest to be “On the Road to the ATP World Tour.”

“We are looking forward to a new era of innovation as we began our partnership with Tecnifibre. The JTCC was founded on the idea of preparing all our players to reach their full potential- as young adults and as athletes, said Ray Benton CEO of the JTCC. “Working alongside Tecnifibre will allow us to offer our students the best in technical equipment as they train.”

The Junior Tennis Champions Center is a world-class training program offering opportunities for junior players from all backgrounds to reach their full potential both on the court and in the classroom. The JTCC was selected by the USTA as the first Regional Training Center for its high performance program and is committed to becoming the best junior developmental training program in the world. Since being founded one hundred percent of the JTCC’s graduates have either earned collegiate scholarships or pursued careers in professional tennis.

Founded in 1979 Tecnifibre is a Paris-based global manufacturer of tennis equipment. Tecnifibre created “On the Road to the ATP World Tour” as an exclusive program led by Tecnifibre-sponsored ATP players, including Janko Tipsarevic and Denis Istomin. This program is a unique and exclusive program helping juniors discover what it takes to reach and excel on the ATP World Tour. “On the Road” represents the revival of Tecnifibre’s spirit to develop young players and help them reach their top performance. Tecnifibre’s mission is to innovate products for all players in order to optimize their potential on-court.

The College Park Tennis Club is the premier tennis club in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area offering an exceptional 32-court tennis facility featuring indoor, outdoor, hard, red and green clay courts. The club is equipped with a complete fitness complex, including a speed and agility center, yoga studio and personal trainers on site. The CPTC was one of the recipients of the 2013 USTA Outstanding Facility of the Year. In addition, JTCC was awarded the 2013 USTA Developmental Program of the Year.

JTCC announces new coaching additions

Ben Cappuccitti, JTCC Senior Coach

Ben Cappuccitti has been at the head of several renowned Ben newacademies since 2005. He was mentored for two years by coaching legend Jose Higueras, during which he acted as Dmitry Tursunov’s traveling and physical conditioning coach. After being promoted to director of Higueras’ California academy, Cappuccitti developed players whose accomplishments include top 20 ITF rankings, USTA Gold Ball champions, and 5 NCAA championships. He was also responsible for ATP professional Igor Kunitsyn’s off-season training for two years. Cappuccitti’s latest achievement came in 2012 when he helped University of Florida graduate Antoine Benneteau gain 700 spots in the ATP rankings in less than a year, reaching a career high of 380.

Anastasia Revzina, JTCC Staff Professional

Anastasia Revzina comes to JTCC as one of the most Anastasiaaccomplished college players and coaches of the last few years. In a four-year playing career at the University of Florida, she won the SEC Conference Championship 3 times, with Anastasia eventually named team captain. She made the SEC academic honor roll 3 times and won an award honoring her sportsmanship. Upon graduating with a B.S. in Public Relations, she became the University of Florida Volunteer Assistant Coach while earning her M.S. in Management and M.A. in International Business. With her on the coaching staff, the team went on to win the NCAA Team Championship in 2012 and finish runner-up in 2011. In her junior career, Anastasia was among the top 5 players in Russia and top 100 in the world, while also competing for the Russian National Junior tennis team. During her time, the team won the European Team Championship and were World Cup Team runners-up.

Medical Timeout with Bill Tyner: Wrist Injuries

Medical Timeout

Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) Bill Tyner has provided sport medicine services for USTA Regional Training Center camps and tournaments at the College Park Tennis Club (CPTC) for the past three and a half years.  Bill has experience helping professional tennis players with their fitness programs and has provided sport medicine services for local and national junior tennis events.  An avid tennis player, fan and student of the game, Bill believes that proper injury care/maintenance, fitness and nutrition programs allows the tennis athlete to get the best out of their abilities.  

The latest buzz with tennis injuries are ones that occur in the wrist.  Juan Martin del Potro has missed considerable time on and off since 2009 with surgeries to both wrists, his latest being to the non-dominant.  Rafa Nadal missed the 2014 US Open with an injury to his non-dominant wrist. NCAA champion Danielle Rose Collins (University of Virginia) has had numerous wrist surgeries to her dominant wrist.  At the ITF tournament in College Park last month I saw first hand numerous wrist and forearm injuries with one player retiring from a semifinal match because of wrist pain.

The most common wrist injury is tendinopathy (tendinitis).  This is the result of repeated over-stretching of the tendons, caused by deceleration forces when the racket strikes the ball.  The extensor tendons on the back of the wrist are affected when hitting backhands while the flexor tendons on the front of the wrist are affected hitting forehands.  Increased frequency of play and faulty stroke mechanics lead to increased chances of getting tendinitis.  Women appear to get these injuries more often than men.  Typically pain and tenderness is experienced over the involved tendon.  When the flexor or extensor carpi ulnaris tendons are injured, pain will be on the ulnar side of wrist.  Pain over the flexor carpi radialis tendon causes pain of the radial side of the wrist.  Extensor carpi ulnaris tendon injury is seen more frequently in the non-dominant hand of two handed backhand players.  Pain can be elicited when the wrist is extended against resistance or with ulnar flexion.  Serving and hitting forehands affects the flexor tendons and can be elicited by wrist flexion and pronation against resistance.  The injury should be treated with ice, rest and anti-inflammatory medication.  Strengthening exercises can begin once the pain has subsided.  Splinting of the wrist is occasionally done to reduce motion and symptoms.

Wrist sprains involve over-stretching or tearing of one or more ligaments. These are bands of fibrous tissue that connect the bones to one another. Usually these injuries happen when a player falls on the court. Symptoms include tenderness and swelling initially over the area of injury.  Pain and swelling may progress with time and eventually involve the whole wrist and hand.  Some bruising may develop and the ability to use the hand and wrist may be impaired.  Treatments for sprains include ice, rest and anti-inflammatory  medication.  This is followed by strengthening exercises after pain has subsided.  Splinting or bracing is done to reduce motion and symptoms. One of the more complicated wrist injuries is the snapping wrist.  This involves the extensor carpi ulnaris tendon snapping on the backside and small finger side of the wrist.  When the roof (retinaculum) tears or stretches players will experience a snapping sensation when the tendon slides back and forth from its normal position.  This injury can result from a single sudden movement or repetitive movements.  Flexing the wrist toward the little finger side of the wrist (as when hitting slice forehands, low volleys and topspin serves) will cause this occurrence.  Symptoms include snapping and pain on the little finger and backside of wrist when rotating the forearm and wrist.  The tendon can be observed moving from its normal position with supination (palm up) and relocates to the normal position with pronation (turning palm down).  Acute injuries of this type should be immobilized for six weeks.  Surgery is necessary when treatments fail and symptoms persist over long periods.

Clicking and painful  wrist involves the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC).  This small disc-like structure serves as ligament connector, stabilizer and shock absorber between the bones of the wrist and forearm.  The TFCC may tear as a result of traumatic injury or degenerate with time and age.  This cartilage may develop a tear with continuous repetitive motions.  Players with an ulna that is longer than the radius are at higher risk for this injury.  This anomaly causes a pinching of the TFCC between the ulna and the bones of the wrist and also leads to degenerative situations.  Symptoms include pain and uncomfortable clicking on the little finger side of wrist.  Sometimes clicking may be painless and not as concerning as clicking with pain.  Flexing the wrist towards little finger side or extending wrist such as doing push ups or gripping a racket may cause pain. The wrist will generally hurt during play and may or may not persist after play.  Rest and immobilization may allow for torn cartilage to gradually heal.  Splinting is recommended for several weeks followed by improving grip strength after healing.  When symptoms persist you may require surgery.  Surgical options for this injury include arthroscopy to repair torn fibrocartilage, or an open procedure depending on the location of the tear.  In cases where the ulna is particularity long it can be shortened with an open procedure.  This requires a three to six month recovery period.  Wrist pain in adolescent players involves inflammation of the growth plates (wrist epiphysitis).  This usually occurs on the thumb side (radius).  The wrist growth plates become inflamed when repetitive  stress is applied such as repeated hyper-extension and rotations. Repeated stress or injury to growth plates interferes with bone development, causing inflammation and developing into premature closure of the growth plate and bone shortening.  This injury is seen most in adolescents under the age of sixteen who over train and attempt  to hit lots of topspin while they are experiencing growth spurt.  Symptoms include tenderness over the distal end of radius.  Inflammation and swelling could appear along with a tender bump in this area.  Activity increases pain especially serving, bending or bearing weight on the wrist.  Decreasing activity helps mild cases of this injury while moderate to severe cases require significant reduction of activity and immobilization.

Peritendinitis crepitans, intersection syndrome (also known as squeaker’s wrist) is inflamed tendon sheaths of the two radial wrist extensors.  The two muscles that move the thumb are affected with pain and swelling.  In addition four to eight centimeter proximal to the thumb side of wrist are affected by pain, crepitus and swelling.  When there is a sudden increase in activity, repetitive wrist flexion and extentsion there are chances that this injury will develop. Symptoms include swelling on back of forearm thumb side near wrist. Moving wrist or thumb against resistance increases pain. ROM of wrist and thumb is limited and movements produce cracking sound that is sometimes audible and can be palpated.  Treatments include activity modification, ice, splinting and in some cases cortisone injections are used.  When nonoperative methods of treatment fail surgery is required to release or remove the inflamed tendon.

As you can see lots of things can go wrong with a wrist.  I believe this is overlooked by players and coaches and you can get misled by some of the information passed on.  It is very important for tennis players to implement a comprehensive shoulder/elbow/forearm and wrist conditioning program in their training.  Taking a proactive approach and finding a balance between training to prevent specific injuries and court time will allow players to spend less time being injured.

Halys downs Tiafoe in US Open juniors semifinal


Tiafoe nearly pulled off upset in US Open junior semifinal on Saturday

Revenge was in his grasp.

No. 6 seed Francis Tiafoe nearly overcame a shaky first set but fell short to No. 5 Quentin Halys in the semifinals of the US Open junior tournament, 2-6, 6-3, 6-7(6-8).

The two met last year at the US Open juniors with Hayls winning in dominant fashion, 6-0, 6-2.  In the early going, it looked to be a repeat performance for the Frenchman.  Halys set the tone with twisting serves, consistent groundstrokes and strong net play.  Tiafoe was unnerved by his lack of production and subsequently launched a ball over the Court 17 stadium in disgust after losing the first set.

Tiafoe was down early in the second as Halys was staked to a 3-2 lead.  But then there was a momentum shift.  In response to Halys’ erratic tosses that caused him to re-set his serve on several occasions, Tiafoe shouted, “Just serve!”.  The incident seemed to spur the 16-year-old American as he rattled off four straight games.  Halys atrocious serving provided another window of opportunity as he served a paltry 37% and had seven double faults in the second frame alone (he had a startling 15 double faults in the match).

At 1-2 in the third, Tiafoe was perturbed after a delayed let call.  He went into a tailspin afterwards and lost seven of the next eight points.  He finally settled down and started to rip his patented fireball forehand that pushed Halys from doubles alley to doubles alley.  The match then started to mirror the Djokovic-Nishikori semifinal tilt occurring a stones throw away in Arthur Ashe Stadium.  A tiebreaker was destined to settle the duel.  Hayles saved one match point then secured the victory when Tiafoe dumped a return in the net.  He fell to the ground in elation as Tiafoe chucked his racquet into the net.

Match Stats

Francis Tiafoe


Quentin Hayles


Double Faults


52/92 (57%)

1st Serves In

65/111 (59%)

29/52 (56%)

1st Serve Points Won

42/65 (65%)

7/16 (44%)

Break Points Won

7/12 (58%)


Unforced Errors



Total Points Won