Is Pilates as Good as Everyone Says? – The New York Times

“After Shari Berkowitz was injured during a live dance performance onstage, doctors told the actress that one wrong move could leave her paralyzed for life. She had suffered three herniated discs in her neck, with one bulging into her spinal column. Months of physical therapy got her out of the danger zone, and then she discovered Pilates.

Though excellent doctors and physical therapists got her through the initial healing, she said Pilates gave her “strength and confidence in my ability to move — the confidence that I could move again,” she said. The workout led to her full recovery and inspired her to become a Pilates instructor and studio owner herself. “Pilates was so transformative for me, when I see a client start to develop that same physical and emotional strength,” she said, “it’s extremely satisfying.”

Ms. Berkowitz is not the only Pilates devotee to speak about the workout’s transformative powers. Many studios tout a quote attributed to its founder, the German boxer and strongman Joseph Pilates, that declares: “In 10 sessions, you feel better, 20 sessions you look better, 30 sessions you have a completely new body.” “

World Cup 2022: Teams in the round of 16 bracket | king5.com

How does the group stage work in the World Cup?

“Teams advance to the knockout round based on a point system, the two teams with the most point secure a spot while the remaining two are eliminated.

Winning a game awards three points, while tied games give teams a single point. Losing teams go without points.

Overall goal difference determines which teams advance in the World Cup if the points are tied after all three group games. ”

Source: World Cup 2022: Teams in the round of 16 bracket | king5.com

So the Forehand Is Your Best Tennis Shot? You Sure? – The New York Times

“During the Rolex Paris Masters, you will consistently see players taking a circuitous route to a ball, running around what should be a backhand to take a whack from their forehand side. Most players hit forehands harder and with more spin, seeking a better chance to seize control of the point.

And yet that greatest strength may also be the greatest weakness. Despite the peril, players attack the opposition’s forehand while serving and during a rally because the forehand is also less stable and more likely to result in an unforced error, especially on a faster indoor court like the one for this tournament, which begins Saturday and runs through Nov. 6.

“Around 90 percent of the time a player’s forehand is stronger, so you fear it more, but it isn’t always the most consistent,” said Steve Johnson, adding, “I’m one of the players who’s going to let it fly and litter the stat sheet with winners and errors.” “

whole artice     Oct. 28, 2022

“During the Rolex Paris Masters, you will consistently see players taking a circuitous route to a ball, running around what should be a backhand to take a whack from their forehand side. Most players hit forehands harder and with more spin, seeking a better chance to seize control of the point.

And yet that greatest strength may also be the greatest weakness. Despite the peril, players attack the opposition’s forehand while serving and during a rally because the forehand is also less stable and more likely to result in an unforced error, especially on a faster indoor court like the one for this tournament, which begins Saturday and runs through Nov. 6.

“Around 90 percent of the time a player’s forehand is stronger, so you fear it more, but it isn’t always the most consistent,” said Steve Johnson, adding, “I’m one of the players who’s going to let it fly and litter the stat sheet with winners and errors.”

Backhands, especially two-handers, are more compact so less can go awry.

“The forehand is a bigger swing and a more complex shot technically,” said Michael Russell, who coaches Taylor Fritz. “If you look at the top-10 players you’ll see many hit their forehands quite differently, but the backhands have more similarities. So the forehand is going to break down more under pressure.”

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Taylor Fritz hits a forehand during a match in Indian Wells, Calif.
Credit…Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Attacking the forehand is more common than in the past because of changes in technology and playing style, said Wayne Ferreira, Frances Tiafoe’s coach. Modern rackets and strings enabled players to hit stronger backhands, while the desire to further amp up the forehand has led most players to more extreme Western grips, he said.

(The Semi-Western and Western grips favored by many players, men and women, involve rotating the racket in the hand to the point that it looks almost unnatural to swing it, until you see a player whip through and rotate up on the ball creating tremendous topspin impossible with less nontraditional grips.)

“The reason forehands are worse today is because of the grip — you can create more pace, but you’ll have a harder time controlling it,” Ferreira said, blaming training and development that locks in these grips when players are young. “Frances has a Western grip forehand, and I think it’s too far over, but sometimes it’s too hard to change it back.”

Just because a player may be more prone to mistakes on their forehand does not mean you can just go after it all the time.

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Denis Shapovalov hits a forehand during a match in the Australian Open.
Credit…Graham Denholm/Getty Images
“You still try to stay away from that shot and then force the player to hit one when you have a good opportunity,” said Denis Shapovalov, who lost to Novak Djokovic in the Paris Masters finals in 2019. “It’s a gamble any time you go there. You might get beat or you might get a point out of it.”
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Russell said that each point had many variables, including both players’ confidence, but said the court surface was also a crucial factor.

“On a faster indoor court [like at the Paris Masters] or a grass court you have less time to prepare and a lower bounce, so guys with big swinging forehands have a hard time getting set,” Ferreira said. “On clay the ball is slower and bounces higher, so it’s more in the pocket where players are comfortable on the forehand.”

Sometimes players begin targeting the forehand with their serve. If a player has a big backswing, Brandon Nakashima tries exploiting that by tossing in more serves to the forehand. “They will be more prone to mis-hits or shorter returns,” he explained.

Russell said the shorter backhand swing made it easier to absorb a first serve’s power and block it back. Ferreira noted that while “you have to mix it up a lot,” most players prepared to return serve by setting up for the backhand, so players must adjust to serves to the forehand. (One-handed backhands require a more notable grip shift in those moments.)

During rallies, Johnson said, attacking the forehand is necessary to open up the backhand. “I try to catch guys by surprise and go to their forehand when they’re looking for the backhand,” he said.

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Frances Tiafoe hits a forehand during a match at the French Open.
Credit…Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Players have to choose their spots, Ferreira cautioned. “Players do very well hitting inside out forehands from the backhand corner, but because of the grip they don’t do as well hitting forehands on the run as they used to,” he said. Ferreira said there were certain players (like Matteo Berrettini) with huge forehands where you need to be more careful and others (like Alexander Zverev and Jannik Sinner) where you’re more likely to gain a free point. “But even with Berrettini you can go to the forehand when he’s not expecting it.”

Ferreira said players should also attack opponents’ forehands when they were hitting approach shots or at the net, because if they kept the ball down, with a slice or flat shot, it was more challenging for forehands to handle.

Russell agreed that every player could be pushed on the forehand side, especially if they had to hit the ball while moving. “On the backhand they’ll use the slice as a defensive shot, but most players don’t practice the forehand slice, and you can make them late if they have to hit forehands on the run.”

He said even Rafael Nadal, who with Roger Federer now retired is the forehand king, can be beaten on that wing. “If you can rush Rafa, he has a tendency to lift a little more,” Russell said, before adding, “but you have to execute it perfectly or you’re running on a yo-yo.

Johnson said some players lacked confidence and pressuring the forehand early could pay off.

“If they miss a couple early, they’ll stop going for as much on that shot,” he said. Not everyone falters, however. “Some guys can miss a hundred forehands in a row and won’t question going for the 101st one.”

Nakashima and Shapovalov added a final caveat: A crucial moment, with the set or match on the line, may not be the best time to test your opponent’s forehand. “In a key point, you don’t want to get surprised by a big shot,” Nakashima said.

Attacking the forehand at that juncture is like throwing a changeup instead of your best fastball with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Shapovalov added. This tactic is a weapon to deploy, but wisely.

“In the big moments,” he said, “you want to go where you’re confident and where the percentages are highest to win the point.”

So the Forehand Is Your Best Tennis Shot? You Sure? – The New York Times

“During the Rolex Paris Masters, you will consistently see players taking a circuitous route to a ball, running around what should be a backhand to take a whack from their forehand side. Most players hit forehands harder and with more spin, seeking a better chance to seize control of the point.

And yet that greatest strength may also be the greatest weakness. Despite the peril, players attack the opposition’s forehand while serving and during a rally because the forehand is also less stable and more likely to result in an unforced error, especially on a faster indoor court like the one for this tournament, which begins Saturday and runs through Nov. 6.

“Around 90 percent of the time a player’s forehand is stronger, so you fear it more, but it isn’t always the most consistent,” said Steve Johnson, adding, “I’m one of the players who’s going to let it fly and litter the stat sheet with winners and errors.” “

Roger Federer net worth: Career earnings, prize money for five-time US Open champion | Sporting News

Incredibly, Roger Federer currently has a net worth of around $550 million (£448.3m) according to website Celebrity Net Worth, making him the second richest tennis player to ever exist after Ion Tiriac, who has made most of his money in business ventures post-retirement.

His status as arguably the greatest tennis player of all time in his peak has cemented this, despite the fact he has not played competitively since the 2021 Wimbledon quarter-finals, where he was defeated by Hubert Hurkacz in three sets.

This has seen the 41-year-old slip down the ATP world rankings, though it hasn’t affected him from a financial standpoint due to his legendary status that has seen Federer pick up 20 Grand Slam titles from 31 finals, five of which came at the US Open.

Roger Federer career earnings

Federer has accumulated $130.5 million (£111 million) in ATP career earnings across his career on-court, though his vast wealth has come from various high-profile endorsement deals which have seen the right-hander bring in $1 billion (£812.3 million) into the bank, linking up with various companies including Nike, Rolex, Mercedes-Benz across his time as a professional athlete. ”

Source: Roger Federer net worth: Career earnings, prize money for five-time US Open champion | Sporting News

Bill Russell, Celtics Center Who Transformed Pro Basketball, Dies at 88 – The New York Times

“Even before the opening tipoff at Boston Celtics games, Bill Russell evoked domination. Other players ran onto the court for their introductions, but he walked on, slightly stooped.

“I’d look at everybody disdainfully, like a sleepy dragon who can’t be bothered to scare off another would-be hero,” he recalled. “I wanted my look to say, ‘Hey, the king’s here tonight.’ ”

Russell’s awesome rebounding triggered a Celtic fast break that overwhelmed the rest of the N.B.A. His quickness and his uncanny ability to block shots transformed the center position, once a spot for slow and hulking types, and changed the face of pro basketball.”

Russell, who propelled the Celtics to 11 N.B.A. championships, the final two when he became the first Black head coach in a major American sports league, died on Sunday. He was 88.”

” . . . . He led the Celtics to eight consecutive N.B.A. titles from 1959 to 1966, far eclipsing the Yankees’ five straight World Series victories (1949 to 1953) and the Montreal Canadiens’ five consecutive Stanley Cup championships (1956 to 1960).”

Since I was born at the end of 1952, I was 6 to about 13 during this run, so it’s not surprising I missed this story.  I also missed that he was as a powerful star black athlete,  one of the first, to stick his neck out and join the civil rights movement.

Thank you Richard Goldstein for an excellent and inspiring obituary.

The Strategy, and Importance, of the Service Toss – The New York Times

“The tennis ball ascends into the air and for a brief moment — like the one atop a roller coaster — all is tranquil. And then, bam, the racket, whipping through the air, makes contact and the action begins.

The serve is the only time in tennis when the human hand, not the racket, dictates the direction and placement of the ball. And that makes starting with a good toss essential to winning.

“You have total control of the serve, and so the toss is a key component,” said Craig Boynton, who coached John Isner and now coaches Hubert Hurkacz, who climbed from 35th to 9th in the rankings in 2021 as his service results improved.”

A Few Tennis Pros Make a Fortune. Most Barely Scrape By. – The New York Times

“On Halloween night 2019, the Canadian tennis player Vasek Pospisil faced Chris O’Connell, an Australian, in a third-round match at the Charlottesville Men’s Pro Challenger in Virginia. The event was part of the A.T.P. Challenger Tour, a rung below the main circuit in men’s tennis. The match had a minor-league vibe: There were maybe a dozen spectators, and one of them was Pospisil’s coach. The total purse for the weeklong tournament was just $54,000, not uncommon for Challenger-level events. The winner would get $7,200.

Pospisil, a former Wimbledon doubles champion who sometimes sips maple syrup for energy during matches, was playing there as part of his comeback from an injury that sidelined him for the first half of the 2019 season. A strapping 6-foot-4 with perpetually flushed cheeks and thighs that look as if they were stolen from a linebacker, Pospisil has an aggressive game built around a big first serve, a concussive forehand and a deft touch at the net. O’Connell normally plays attacking tennis himself. Against Pospisil, however, he was thrust into the role of counterpuncher.

The match was a case study in contrasting fortunes as well. Tennis had left Pospisil very comfortable, with more than $5 million in career earnings. He was happy just to break even in Charlottesville and could afford certain luxuries, such as the presence of his coach and meals from Whole Foods, not available to many players on the Challenger circuit. The 25-year-old O’Connell, on the other hand, had made less than $200,000 as a pro and had cleaned boats and worked in a Lululemon shop to sustain himself financially. Heading into the match against Pospisil, he was ranked No. 139. He had recently won a Challenger event and reached the semifinal of another. He would go on to finish 2019 having won 82 matches in total, more than any other man or woman on the pro tour. Yet, after expenses, he would earn just $15,000 or so.”

David Lindsay Jr.

David Lindsay Jr.Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:

Thank you Michael Steinberger for this oustanding report. I’m caught off guard. Watching Novak Djokovic in the French Open, I decided to dislike him forever, mostly, because he bounces the ball too many times and takes too long before serving. Such behaviour is repulsive and unsportsmanlike. It is so difficult to find out that he is actually a good guy, maybe a hero of sorts, who just takes too long to serve, because of child abuse or some dark insecurity. Novak, I will support your union, and with enthsusiam, if you limit your ball bounces to six per serve.

David Lindsay prefers 24 serves to warm up his serve, writes about everything under the sun, including tennis, and occassionally climate change, at Inconvenientnews.net.

Lindsay Crouse | Naomi Osaka’s French Open Power Move – The New York Times

Ms. Crouse is an Opinion writer and producer.

“When Naomi Osaka dropped out of the French Open on Monday, after declining to attend media interviews that she said could trigger her anxiety, she wasn’t just protecting her mental health. She was sending a message to the establishment of one of the world’s most elite sports: I will not be controlled.

This was a power move — and it packed more punch coming from a young woman of colorWhen the system hasn’t historically stood for you, why sacrifice yourself to uphold it? Especially when you have the power to change it instead.

Women have long functioned as bit players in sports industries designed by and for men. Now Ms. Osaka, who at 23 is the top-earning female athlete in history, is part of a growing group of female athletes who are betting that they’ll be happier — and maybe perform better, too — by setting their own terms. Increasingly, they have the stature and influence to do so.

In 2019, the runner Mary Cain, now 25, explained how rather than continue to harm her mental health by competing for Nike’s famed track coach Alberto Salazar, she left the sport in 2017 for a few years — and wound up changing it. She is starting a new kind of women’s track team, in which the athletes are employees of a nonprofit instead of working for a corporation.  . . .”