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After Getting His “Ass Kicked” In the Men’s Final At the 2023 Australian Open, Stefanos Tsitsipas Has A Few Words For Novak Djokovic

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It was a clash of tennis titans between Serbia’s Novak Djokovic and the rising Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas for the Australian Open title. It was a highly contrasting battle, too, as the former World No. 1 was going for his 10th hard-court title at Melbourne while the World No. 4 was eyeing his first Grand Slam title. The result, however, favored the more experienced Djokovic, winning his 22nd Grand Slam.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, however, won’t return empty-handed from Melbourne. On top of the $1,625,000 prize money, he also gained much experience while fighting for the season-opening Grand Slam.

Stefanos Tsitsipas learns a “very good lesson”

During the Australian Open finale, Tsitsipas had a slow start, as Djokovic claimed the 1st set with ease: 6-3. But the Greek tennis sensation didn’t let this upset him. Battling the nerves from the first set, Stefanos pushed the then 9-time Australian Open champion to a tiebreaker in the 2nd set, which ended in 6-7 in favor of Novak. Even after losing the first two sets, the Greek bravely played on, pushing the World No. 5 to yet another tiebreaker. The final set also went to the Serbian ace, earning him his 10th Australian Open.

novak djokovic stefanos tsitsipas 2023 australian open
Novak Djokovic holding the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup with former Australian tennis player Ken Rosewall and Stefanos Tsitsipas after his victory during the men’s singles final at the 2023 Australian Open. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST / AFP)

During the post-match presser, Tsitsipas opened up about finishing as the runner-up at the season’s first Grand Slam. While praising Novak, he mentioned the Serb’s gameplay and said,

“Losing finals is not the best feeling in the world, for sure.[…]You know, Novak is a player that pushes you to your limits. I don’t see this as a curse. I don’t see this as something, like, annoying. This is very good for the sport, to have competitors like him, to have champions like him.”

While setting his sights on the top spot, which Djokovic now owns, Tsitsipas said,

“He’s very important for us that want to get to his point one day. Getting our asses kicked is for sure a very good lesson every single time.”

I feel that the Greek tennis star is definitely on track to being at the top someday.

What do you think of the men’s final match at the 2023 Australian Open? Let us know your thoughts about Novak Djokovic’s and Stefano Tsitsipas’ gameplay in the comments!



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10 Reasons Why You MUST Warm Up Before A Match Or Work Out

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I’ve been playing league tennis for a long while, and I’ve noticed that nearly all players will actually skip warming up. Now, I’m not talking about the quick 10 minutes on the court with your opponent(s), where you practice a few strokes and serves; I’m referring to the warm-up that should be done before that one… the warm-up that gets the muscles moving and blood pumping.

Tennis consists of numerous quick movements, both from side to side as well as forward and backward, so it’s important that players properly warm up. In talking to a number of players, I found that while a few do warm up before they get to the court, the majority choose to skip it because it is “too much of a hassle” and “takes too much time”, that it’s not worth the effort since they warm up during the match. Well… whatever their logic is, they couldn’t be more wrong!

A proper warm-up should ALWAYS be done before each match or workout session, and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time either since 5-10 minutes is typically all you need to get your body ready for working up a sweat.

Warming up will:

  1. Increase blood flow to your working muscles, better preparing them for the match or workout to come.
  2. Increase the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, which prevents you from getting out of breath too early or too easily.
  3. Prepare your heart gradually for an increase in activity, helping you avoid a rapid increase in blood pressure.
  4. Prime your nerve-to-muscle pathways to be ready for vigorous movement, which can improve the quality of your match or workout.
  5. Improve your coordination and reaction times.
  6. Reduce the chance of soft tissue (ligament, tendon, and muscle) injuries by allowing your muscles and joints to move through a greater range of motion easily and safely.
  7. Lubricate your joints for easier (and less painful) movement
  8. Increase blood temperature, which can allow you to play or work out longer and harder.
  9. Prompt hormonal changes in the body responsible for regulating energy production.
  10. Help mentally prepare you for the match ahead, giving you a few minutes to get pumped up!

A warm-up can be a lower intensity version of the activity you are about to do, or it can be something totally different, but that uses the same muscle groups.

Warm up before every match and you’ll not only have an advantage over your opponent, but you’ll also have fewer injuries.





















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Four Fabulous (And Healthy) Prep-Ahead Smoothie Recipes

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Today we’re sharing four fabulous, (mostly) vegan/dairy-free healthy smoothie recipes, all of which can be made ahead so you won’t be late for your tennis match or work, or wherever you need to be. Each one of these healthy AND delicious smoothies has no added sugar, which means no juice, no maple syrup, no honey…nada. Just the natural sweetness of the fruit in the smoothie!


Prepare the smoothies ahead of time:

You can use freezer bags, but mason jars are perfect since they are reusable. Jars do require more space in your freezer to store, and they collect frost faster, so it’s best to prepare the smoothies no more than 2 weeks prior to drinking them.


  • Place the frozen fruit chunks at the bottom, and follow with your add-ins: extracts, flax, chia seeds, spices, etc. are all totally fine to add in!
  • Top the jars with any greens like kale or spinach (great nutrition and fiber that you CAN’T taste!!), and seal with the jar lids.
  • NOTE:  DON’T use fresh fruit as any moisture will freeze the fruit to the jar itself, making it difficult to get out of the jars.
  • These smoothies will keep for about 2 weeks in the freezer.

The Tropical Turmeric Smoothie

This smoothie is PACKED full of anti-inflammatory promoting ingredients including the turmeric, pineapple and leafy green spinach (or kale). And you can’t taste the turmeric or the leafy greens, just pure tropical bliss! This makes a perfect post-match or post-workout treat as the anti-inflammatory properties help your body to recover more quickly.

smoothie

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Michelle Bell

Serves 1  |  Total calories: 305  |  Total protein: 5g  |  Total carbs: 49g

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-1/4 cups almond milk
  • 1 cup kale or spinach, packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen pineapple chunks

PREPARATION

  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

  2. Add the pineapple chunks and blend again until completely smooth.


Blueberry Coconut Protein Smoothie

This smoothie is packed full of antioxidant rich blueberries, hydrating coconut water, and gets a boost of protein thanks to a scoop of hemp hearts. The blueberries, coconut water, nutty hemp hearts and greek yogurt pair perfectly together for a protein-packed post match/workout snack!

smoothie

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Michelle Bell

Serves 1  |  Total calories: 300  |  Total protein: 17g  |  Total carbs: 49g

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup spinach, packed
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (full-fat plain or Greek)
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts

PREPARATION

  1. Combine the first three ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the blueberries, coconut extract, and hemp hearts. Blend again until smooth.

Green Mango Antioxidant Smoothie

This smoothie is PACKED with superfoods: mango, spinach, chia seedsground flax…so many antioxidants in one drink! A touch of almond extract pairs surprisingly well with the mango and really takes the flavor up a notch. And a big YAY for the antioxidants! We want all the antioxidants we can get because they can lower the risk of cancer and fight against aging!

smoothie

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Michelle Bell

Serves 1  |  Total calories: 289  |  Total protein: 8g  |  Total carbs: 41g

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup spinach, packed
  • 1-1/4 cups almond milk
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen ripe mango chunks
  • 1 teaspoon ground flax
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

PREPARATION

  1. Combine the spinach and almond milk in a blender and blend until smooth.

  2. Add the mango chunks, flax, chia seeds and almond extract. Blend again until smooth.


Goji Peach Cherry  “Good Night” Smoothie

Goji berriesare linked to a huge list of health benefits including longevity, calmness and improved sleep, and weight loss. Interestingly, cherries are a good source of melatonin and are linked to improved sleep as well. What a tasty way to get a good night’s sleep before your morning match!

smoothie

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Michelle Bell

Serves 1  |  Total calories: 229  |  Total protein: 6g  |  Total carbs: 36g

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup spinach, packed
  • 1 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 1/2 cup frozen peach slices
  • 1 tablespoon goji berries

Optional:

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground flax

PREPARATION

  1. Combine the spinach and almond milk in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the cherries, peach slices, and goji berries. Blend again until smooth.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Goji berries can have some side effects, particularly with Warfarin and diabetes drugs, and should be avoided entirely if you’re pregnant.



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5 Tips To Neutralize A Net Rusher In Tennis

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Rushing the net happens more often in doubles tennis, and occasionally you’ll come across a team in which not just one, but BOTH partners will not only serve and volley, but will also come in to the net with their returns. EVERY. FRICKIN. TIME.

Uuuuugh! It’s so frustrating! They move in to the net and mentally slap you with intimidation, putting you in defensive mode, forcing you to think fast and make a passing shot.

But DON’T FALL INTO THEIR TRAP. Only the very best volleyers cope well at the net, and even though they might seem they can handle it, the odds are strongly in your favor that they can’t. Matter of fact, sometimes this intimidation is merely masking some other weakness.

Don’t get me wrong, if you’ve got a solid ground stroke, you’ll get it by them a few times. But sooner or later (no doubt sooner), your opponent will be reading you like a cheap romance novel.

So what can you do?

You’ve gotta change up your game – and often. Call your opponent’s bluff and make her work for the point! These are some great things you can do (other than your passing shot) that will help neutralize your net rusher:

  • hit deep – keep your groundies low and close to the baseline, which will keep them back.
  • lob – force the net rusher back by lobbing over the head of the person already at net. Both players should then move back, which will allow you and your partner to take control of the net.
  • hit a dipper – using heavy topspin, hit a short return to the net rusher’s feet as she’s coming in, which will result in her hitting a shorter, higher and softer ball, thus setting up your passing shot.
  • get aggressive – give the net rusher a taste of her own medicine. As she’s coming in, hit the ball as hard as you can, keeping it low and aiming for her abdomen – and move in. At best she’ll only be able to block the ball back, setting up your passing shot.
  • mix it up – keep you opponent guessing by dishing out all of the above.

If you succeed in discouraging a net-rusher, you often find that all their ammunition miraculously disappears!





















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