U.S. Open Thoughts / 2016 Trips

First, we want to wish all of our past Tennis: Europe participants who are or soon will be getting their first taste of college tennis action, the best of luck !  Likewise, to those of you playing high school tennis in the fall season which in the East is generally the girls' season.  And for those past players who are rising seniors and will be applying to college, do not hesitate to contact us for our assistance, expertise and networking in the college application process.

       At the same time, our new Summer 2016 itineraries have been completed and can now be seen on our web site, www.tenniseurope.com  click on Itineraries and prices.  We are especially happy to offer more flexibility on the lnegth and dates of any trip--travel with us as long or as short as you like.  Note also several new offerings: for our language students, we have a 14 day tennis circuit to the French Alps and an 11 or 16 or 25 day trip solely to Spain. Improve your tennis while improving your comprehension by speakign the language 24/7.   As mentioned in our last blog, we also have two teams traveling to Umag, Croatia, one of the best kept secrets but beautiful resort areas in Europe.  And we return again in 2016 to The Big Island and Maui, Hawaii for 14 days of a USTA tournament and friendly matches in those island paradises.  Take a look at 2016 and let us know your questions.  Now is the best time of year to talk while we still have places available on all of our 11 teams.

      The U.S. Open is about halfway finished with major media attention on Serena's chase for the calendar year Grand Slam and with it tennis history.  As we have seen her struggle, fall behind early, and then rally to win matches so far, we wonder if she can sustain all of these comebacks.  Approaching her next match, how can Serena prepare herself mentally...knowing that one bad day or even two bad sets can spell the end? Think about it yoursel: if you were Serena, would you be a head case by this point?  We watch her matches and see her alternate between playing nervous with tons of unforced errors and playing in the zone where she hits winner after winner. At this writing, her story is incomplete, but if you are like most of us, you are rooting very hard for her to achieve this milestone.

       Then there is the sad story of Jack Sock and the 11 other players who were forced to retire during their matches in the first week of oppressive heat and humidity.  The question here, discussed at length by commentators, is when weather endangers a player's health, what is enough?  We are told that the USTA has a weather "emergency" protocol once the temperature reaches 104 degrees F.   104 degrees?  Considering that the New York area has reached 104 degrees maybe once every several years, even with global warming, is this a realistic level to stop matches?  Can more be done to protect a player's health during these hot spells?  Several media sources like Sports Illustrated have weighed in, proposing that ALL matches should be reduced to two out of three sets instead of insisting on 5 sets for all men's matches.  Is this a solution?   Can more be done at courtside to assist a player when, like Sock, they collapse from heat related cramps?

       Let's see what the remaining week of the Open will bring !

Martin Vinokur, Tennis: Europe