All Posts by Mehrban

1 TFP 066: Jamie Loeb – Staying Mentally Tough on the WTA Tour

TFP 066: Jamie Loeb – Staying Mentally Tough on the WTA Tour

On Episode 66 of The Tennis Files Podcast, I spoke with WTA world #164 Jamie Loeb about her rise from the juniors to playing the biggest tournaments in the world.  Jamie developed into a top junior, had a championship run at the University of North Carolina, and qualified for the US Open while still in college before turning pro full-time.  Jamie is grinding it out on the tour and living the dream of traveling the world as a professional tennis player.

I first met Jamie at the Player's Party at the Citi Open last month, along with her former teammate and friend Tessa.  I remembered that my former assistant coach and teammate Ale Pedergnana is close friends with Jamie, and after a friendly chat and compliments on her dance moves, Jamie was nice enough to come onto the podcast.  We chat about her keys to success on the pro tour, how she overcame the toughest moment in her career, how tough it is to survive financially as a pro, what racquets and strings she uses, tips for pros on how to improve your Instagram game, some great insights into how you can improve your tennis game, and much more. 

I've also added something new for the first time: a transcript of the interview.  See below to read the transcript or click here to download the transcript!  It was a pleasure speaking with Denis on the podcast, and I wish him all the best in his career.  Let us know what you think about this episode in the comments below!

Click Here to See the Transcript!

Please let me know what you think about whether I should keep doing transcripts for the podcast!  Based on your feedback, I'll decide whether to keep doing the transcripts or scrap it.  It's an added cost (obviously), and I actually had this one automatically transcribed then fixed it up myself and it took a ton of time, so I'll have to figure out a better way if you want me to keep doing the transcripts. Thanks for your feedback!

Time-Stamped Show Notes

  • [1:57] Jamie’s incredible dance moves
  • [4:09] Breaking the myth about Jamie’s mom being her coach
  • [5:43] How her family influenced her game growing up
  • [7:25] When Jamie knew she wanted to turn pro
  • [8:35] How Jamie’s sister Jenna won a state championship on a broken ankle
  • [8:59] Her tennis role models
  • [9:37] Three things that most of the world doesn’t know about Jamie Loeb
  • [12:03] When Jamie started seriously training for tournaments
  • [13:14] How many tournaments she played as a junior
  • [14:02] Was burnout ever an issue as a junior player?
  • [15:37] The decision to finish up high school online
  • [17:30] Is high school tennis is a good training ground for serious junior tournament players, and potential improvements
  • [19:30] Jamie’s experience training at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy
  • [20:29] A typical day like at JMTA
  • [21:30] Practice matches with John McEnroe and why he never does mini-tennis
  • [24:45] Playing at the US Open in 2015 vs. Wozniacki after winning the American Collegiate Invitational
    College Tennis at UNC
  • [27:23] Deciding to attend UNC instead of going pro full-time
  • [30:47] What is your first memory of your college tennis career?
  • [32:03] Elements of Jamie’s game she improved the most while at UNC
  • [33:42] How to develop maximal focus and tunnel vision
  • [36:57] The most important piece of advice her coach Brian gave her at UNC
  • [39:51] How many days a week the team trained fitness vs on-court practice in the fall season, and how that changed in the spring
  • [41:31] Deciding to leave school early to turn pro
  • [42:30] Big differences between college tennis and the pro tour
  • [43:59] Focusing on the dynamic warm-up
  • [45:27] A typical day of training while on the tour
  • [46:18] How much weight training is part of her fitness?
  • [47:28] Traveling with a coach, and how frequently her coach joins her at tournaments
  • [48:54] Does she travel with other team members besides her coach (physio, stringer, etc)?
  • [50:48] How hard it is to stay afloat financially on the tour
  • [52:25] The most expensive things pros have to pay for
  • [53:15] Housing with volunteer families
  • [54:01] Jamie’s relationship with her fellow American players and the kinds of activities they do together
  • [55:24] What Jamie does to relax from training and tournaments
  • [56:45] The lowest point in Jamie’s career and how she overcame it
  • [1:02:08] The highlight of her pro career
  • [1:03:13] Her experience at this year’s US Open at her home tournament
  • [1:04:08] Jamie’s tournament plans for the rest of the year
  • [1:04:56] Her thoughts on this year's US Open final and the controversy at the end of the Williams-Osaka match
  • [1:07:05] The most ridiculous tournament experience of her career
  • [1:08:05] Getting things done in the morning
  • [1:09:09] Tips for improving your Instagram game
  • [1:10:45] Jamie’s favorite food to eat before a tennis match
  • [1:11:59] Jamie’s drink of choice to stay hydrated during a tennis match
  • [1:12:16] Jamie’s racquet, string and tension
  • [1:12:37} The friendliest ATP and WTA pros
  • [1:14:03] Jamie’s favorite tennis player of all time
  • [1:15:06] Jamie’s social media accounts
  • [1:16:28] Advice from Jamie to improve your tennis game

Subscribe to automatically download new episodes!

Subscribe on iTunes Button

Click the icon above, click the blue "View in iTunes" button, then hit "Subscribe."

Subscribe on Android

Or hit the subscribe button in your favorite podcast app!

Right Click Here to Download the MP3

Click Here to Download the Transcript!

Links Mentioned in the Show

Tennis Files Youtube Channel - Subscribe!  You know you want to 😉

TFP 065: Denis Kudla

TFP 042: Clay Thompson

If you enjoyed this episode, subscribe to The Tennis Files Podcast in iTunes or your favorite podcast app!

For more tips on how to improve your game, subscribe to my newsletter and download a free copy of my eBook, The Building Blocks of Tennis Success below!  Thanks for listening!

TFP 065: How Denis Kudla's Obsession with Tennis Turned Into a Pro Career

TFP 065: How Denis Kudla’s Obsession with Tennis Turned Into a Pro Career

On Episode 65 of The Tennis Files Podcast, I spoke with ATP world #73 Denis Kudla about how his obsession with tennis turned into a pro career.  Denis turned pro as teenager and has had his share of ups and downs, but through it all his passion for the game and excellent support system has helped him catapult back into the Top 100 once again.

Denis has always been one of my favorite players to root for because he is from Arlington, Virginia, which is very close to where I’m from (Maryland), and also because he is a very down to Earth guy.  I first met and interviewed Denis at the Citi Open last month after he and Frances Tiafoe played a doubles match (two in the same day actually).  Denis wore a Washington Capitals shirt, which has been the pride of DC for their championship win (and one of my favorite hats to wear). 

Denis was kind enough to make some time to speak with me while he was in New York preparing for the U.S. Open.  You’ll hear Denis talk about his tennis career from the beginning, how he trained as a junior at the Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC), why he has always prioritized fitness, and how he bounced back from the lowest point of his career.

It was a pleasure speaking with Denis on the podcast, and I wish him all the best in his career.  Let us know what you think about this episode in the comments below!

Time-Stamped Show Notes

  • [2:36] Denis’s training and preparation for the US Open
  • [3:43] Playing golf at the Stowe Tennis tournament in Vermont
  • [4:26] Similarities between tennis and golf
  • [5:27] Why this has been the best year of Denis’s sports fan life (Washington Capitals / Philadelphia Eagles)
  • [7:47] Denis’s first memory of hitting a tennis ball
  • [9:04]  Transition to training at the Junior Tennis Champions Center, and why Denis’s family made the decision
  • [10:37] How Denis stayed focused on his tennis training as a junior and avoided distractions
  • [11:54] The most important changes Denis made in his game as a junior
  • [13:27] A quote that has always stuck with Denis throughout his career
  • [14:05] The structure and hours of being homeschooled at a tennis academy (Junior Tennis Champions Center)
  • [15:51] Denis’s closest friends and competitors during his junior career
  • [17:17] How to overcome your doubts against stiff competition
  • [18:26] Why Denis decided to turn pro instead of going to college
  • [19:44] The lowest point in Denis’s professional career and how he bounced back to the Top 100
  • [21:34] What caused Denis to hit rock bottom as an ATP pro
  • [22:59] Differences between Challenger and ATP Tour Level players
  • [24:14] Why routines don’t always work as a professional tennis player
  • [25:44] What Denis changed in his fitness routine after losing a two set lead vs. Thiem at the Australian Open
  • [26:39] Denis’s approach to fitness in the off-season
  • [27:22] One piece of advice from Denis to help you improve your tennis game

Subscribe to automatically download new episodes!

Subscribe on iTunes Button

Click this icon, click the blue “View in iTunes” button, then hit “Subscribe.”

 

Subscribe on Android

Or hit the subscribe button in your favorite podcast app!

 

Right Click Here to Download the MP3

Links Mentioned in the Show

Tennis Files Youtube Channel – Subscribe!  You know you want to 😉

If you enjoyed this episode, subscribe to The Tennis Files Podcast in iTunes or your favorite podcast app!

For more tips on how to improve your game, subscribe to my newsletter and download a free copy of my eBook, The Building Blocks of Tennis Success below!  Thanks for listening!

TFP 064: Interviews with David Goffin, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Donald Young and more at the 2018 Citi Open

TFP 064: Interviews with David Goffin, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Donald Young and more at the 2018 Citi Open!

On Episode 64 of The Tennis Files Podcast, you’ll hear several of my interviews with some of the best tennis players in the world and my top takeways from them to help improve your tennis game.  I spoke one-on-one with David Goffin, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Donald Young, Marcos Baghdatis, Hyeon Chung, and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski at the 2018 Citi Open last week after their matches and heard a ton of excellent tips from these amazing players that I want to share with you on the podcast.

It was a pleasure interviewing these players, and I have to thank everyone from the Citi Open, ATP Tour, and LINK Strategic partners for helping make these interviews happen.  If you want to see more media from this year’s tournament, including my interviews and press conferences, head over to my Youtube Channel!

I hope you enjoy this episode of TFP with the pros, and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Time-Stamped Show Notes

Interviews:

  • Donald Young – 4:30 
  • Thai-Son Kwiatkowski – 11:28 
  • Marcos Baghdatis – 16:39
  • Hyeon Chung – 21:32
  • David Goffin – 26:09
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas – 34:40 and 43:51
  • Bonus Clip: Alexander Zverev Championship Press Conference snippet (pretty funny 🙂 ) – 50:58

Subscribe to automatically download new episodes!

Subscribe on iTunes Button

Click this icon, click the blue “View in iTunes” button, then hit “Subscribe.”

 

Subscribe on Android

Or hit the subscribe button in your favorite podcast app!

 

Right Click Here to Download the MP3

Links Mentioned in the Show

Tennis Files Youtube Channel – Subscribe!  You know you want to 😉

If you enjoyed this episode, subscribe to The Tennis Files Podcast in iTunes or your favorite podcast app!

For more tips on how to improve your game, subscribe to my newsletter and download a free copy of my eBook, The Building Blocks of Tennis Success below! Thanks for listening!

Citi Open 2018: Alexander Zverev Championship Press Conference

Citi Open 2018 Press Conferences: Alexander Zverev, Alex De Minaur, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares – Championship Sunday

I had another awesome year at the 2018 Citi Open!  While I am sad to see it end, I am enjoying  getting enough sleep again.  The rain was brutal at times, but the tournament managed to get all the matches in and finish on schedule, so kudos to the Citi Open team for that!

I learned a lot from interviewing the pros this year.  There were a lot of gold nuggets that they mentioned, which if taken to heart, can really improve your tennis game.

You can check the interviews out on my Youtube Channel or on the latest episode of my podcast, which will be published by the end of this week.  

Even though we got rained on more than we could have imagined, it was awesome watching the best players in the world, a couple of whom are from my area, play some fantastic tennis.

Below are press conferences with the singles champion, Alexander Zverev, the singles finalist, Alex De Minaur, and the doubles champions, Jamie Murray (brother of Andy Murray) and Bruno Soares.

Alexander Zverev - Singles Champion


The #1 seeded German talks about the key to his victory against the surprise finalist from Australia, winning his second straight Citi Open title, his predictions for the success of the NextGen pros, and his plans for catching Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the rankings.

Alex De Minaur - Singles Finalist

De Minaur discusses his fantastic run at this year's tournament with the media. He talks about how Alexander Zverev defeated him in the final, the home crowd-like support for the Australian in DC, and his excitement over a new career high-ranking which will enable him to directly qualify for the main-draw of the world's most prestigious tennis tournaments. 

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares - Doubles Champions

That's all I've got (at least for this year) of the 2018 Citi Open.  I hope you enjoyed checking out all the interviews and press conferences of this year's tournament!

Special thanks to the Citi Open, Sheena, Molly and the staff from LINK Strategic Partners, Edward and Greg from ATP, the officials, ballboys, media, vendors, players, and everyone else involved who facilitated the interviews/press conferences and helped make this year's tournament another top notch event!

If you want to check out more content about the 2018 Citi Open, visit tennisfiles.com for more content!  

To receive more updates and a free eBook to improve your tennis game, subscribe to my newsletter below!

Denis Kudla Frances Tiafoe - Citi Open 2018

Citi Open 2018 Interviews / Press Conference: Frances Tiafoe, Denis Kudla, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev

The 2018 Citi Open was a blast.  Even though we got rained on more than we could have imagined, it was awesome watching the best players in the world, a couple of whom are from my area, play some fantastic tennis.

Below are interviews with Frances Tiafoe, Denis, Kudla, and Stefanos Tsitsipas.  Tiafoe and Kudla notched several wins in their singles and doubles campaigns.  Kudla reached the quarterfinals after having a rough stretch at previous Citi Opens, and Tiafoe reached the round of 16.  Together, the close friends put together a fantastic run culminating in a semifinals showing against Mike Bryan and Eduoard Roger-Vasselin, after winning their quarterfinals match 12-10 in the third set against Ivan Dodig and Ben Mclachlan.  

Below is my interview with Mid-Atlantic's own (Go Caps!), Tiafoe and Kudla:

Frances Tiafoe and Denis Kudla


The 19-year old Greek prodigy Stefanos Tsitsipas had a fantastic 2018 Citi Open, culminating in a win over ATP world #11 David Goffin in the quarterfinals.  The #32 ranked NextGen star then lost a tough straight-sets battle with Alexander Zverev.  I managed to speak on-on-one with Tsitsipas twice this week.

Stefanos Tsitsipas - Quarterfinal Victory

Stefanos Tsitsipas - Round of 16 Victory

And below is a hilarious press conference with ATP world #3 and Citi Open #1 seed after his win over Tsitsipas:

Alexander Zverev - Semifinal Victory

If you want to check out more content about the 2018 Citi Open, visit tennisfiles.com for more content!  

To receive more updates and a free eBook to improve your tennis game, subscribe to my newsletter below!

2018 Citi Open: David Goffin Interview

Citi Open 2018 Interviews: David Goffin and Chung Hyeon

I've got a couple more interviews for you to check out from Day 3 of the Main Draw at the 2018 Citi Open!  I interviewed ATP world #11 and #3 seed David Goffin, and South Korean superstar Chung Hyeon one-on-one before the rain and thunderstorms poured in to halt play for the night.  My dad and I were trapped in the stadium for half-an-hour....good times!

Goffin defeated P.H. Herbert in a third-set tiebreaker and Hyeon defeated Marcos Baghdatis in three sets as well! I mixed in a couple action clips with the interviews, so let me know what you think about them!  Enjoy!

David Goffin

Chung Hyeon

Note: I didn't have my photographer with me and I took these videos at night, so it's definitely not the best quality videos I've ever produced.  I hope you still enjoy the content!

I'll be updating the TF blog with Citi Open interviews and press conferences throughout the week, so be sure to keep checking out tennisfiles.com for more content!  

On to Day 4 of the Main Draw!

To receive more updates and a free eBook to improve your tennis game, subscribe to my newsletter below!

Citi Open 2018: Main Draw Day 2 Marcos Baghdatis

Citi Open 2018: Main Draw Day 2 Interviews – Kwiatkowski, Baghdatis, Young

I'm back with more media for you to check out from Day 2 of the Main Draw at the 2018 Citi Open!  Below are three interviews I conducted with ATP Pros playing their first round matches of the main draw: former UVA Ace Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, Cypriot Veteran Marcos Baghdatis, and Atlanta native Donald Young.  I mixed in a different angle and an action clip with Thai, so let me know what you think about that one!  Enjoy!

Thai-Son Kwiatkowski

Marcos Baghdatis

Donald Young

I'll be updating the TF blog with Citi Open interviews and press conferences throughout the week, so be sure to keep checking out tennisfiles.com for more content!  

On to Day 3 of the Main Draw!

To receive more updates and a free eBook to improve your tennis game, subscribe to my newsletter below!

Citi Open 2018: Alexander Zverev Press Conference

Citi Open 2018: Main Draw Day 1 Press Conferences

What's up Tennis Files fam!  Below are three press conferences I had the honor of having access to thanks to media credentials from the Citi Open.  Alexander Zverev, Kei Nishikori, and hometown hero Frances Tiafoe spoke to the media on Day 1 of the tournament before playing their first matches later in the week.

Alexander Zverev

Kei Nishikori

Frances Tiafoe

I'll be updating the TF blog with Citi Open interviews and press conferences throughout the week, so be sure to keep checking out tennisfiles.com for more content!  

I also attended the player party Monday night and got to snap pictures with several awesome pros, including Alexander Zverev. You can check them out on my Instagram page here.  Follow me on IG and I'll follow you back!

To receive more updates and a free eBook to improve your tennis game, subscribe to my newsletter below!

TFP 063: Stringing Machine Tips and Tricks with Mark Gonzalez From Alpha Racquet Sports

TFP 063: Stringing Machine Tips and Tricks with Mark Gonzalez From Alpha Racquet Sports

On today’s episode of The Tennis Files Podcast, I spoke with Mark Gonzalez from Alpha Racquet Sports about stringing machines. I asked Mark about the different types of stringing machines, how to choose the right one for you, and tips and tricks to become a great stringer.  The International Alliance of Racquet Stringers (IART) has said that Mark’s knowledge of stringing machines ranks among the very best in the industry.

Mark wears many hats in the tennis world; he is a Sales Manager for Alpha Racquet Sports, an industry consultant for IART, and a Yonex rep.  Mark has a reputation for being super responsive and has helped me figure out my stringing machine needs. When I did research on best value stringing machines, Alpha was the brand that popped up more often than all the others in the forums and everywhere else, which is why I decided to bring Mark on the podcast.

It was a pleasure having Mark on The Tennis Files Podcast, and I know this episode will help you choose the right stringing machine for your game and become a better stringer.  You’ll also save a lot of cash if you get a tennis machine which you can use to play more tennis, upgrade your racquets, and enjoy happy hour after your league matches (if you are of-age, anyway! 🙂 )

I hope you enjoy this episode of TFP with Mark, and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Time-Stamped Show Notes

Intro

  • [4:02] The biggest advantage of owning a stringing machine
  • [5:32] The biggest hesitation that players have when deciding whether to buy a stringing machine
  • [7:20] What sparked Mark’s interest into the world of stringing machines
  • [9:46] The stringing machines Mark has used throughout his tennis and stringing career?

Researching Stringing Machines

  • [11:47] The optimal approach to buying a machine
  • [14:30] When buying a stringing machine, do we plan for the short term or long term? i.e. space in apartment, stringing skill level, potential to string for others, etc.
  • [15:47] What are the biggest mistakes people make when buying a stringing machine?

Different Types of Stringing Machines

  • [17:31] What are the different types of stringing machines?
  • [20:42] The kind of machine Mark recommends for a player’s first machine, that plays 2-3 times a week and breaks strings once every 2-3 weeks?
  • [21:55] The drop weight machine is the cheapest kind generally – why is that?
  • [23:53] Who would you suggest a drop weight machine for?
  • [25:06] Why drop weights can be one of the most accurate types of stringing machines despite the price
  • [25:47] Is an electric machine worth it, and if so, what type of players would you suggest get one?
  • [27:58] 2 point vs 6 point machines – what does this mean, and does it matter?

Stringing Accessories

  • [29:38] The most helpful stringing tools for stringing racquets
  • [32:29] What part of the stringing machine tends to break the fastest and what to do about it
  • [34:55] What is the WISE electronic tensioner head and what type of benefit would we gain from getting one? Is it worth it?

Stringing Racquets at this year’s Australian Open

  • [37:33] Mark’s experience stringing at the Australian Open and the ATP/WTA players he strung racquets for

Stringing Technique

  • [40:19] The biggest mistakes novice and intermediate stringers make
  • [41:40] The best way to measure how much string you need to string your racquet and the “4-Wingspan Rule”

Alpha Stringing Machines

  • [42:57] The awesome stringing machines Alpha has in its lineup and a cool story about customer service
  • [49:46] Are there any new machines planned for Alpha in the near future, and how we can get an Alpha stringing machine if we are interested in one?

Final Thoughts

  • [51:46] Mark’s key tip to help you choose the right stringing machine

Subscribe to automatically download new episodes!

Subscribe on iTunes Button

Click this icon, click the blue “View in iTunes” button, then hit “Subscribe.”

 

Subscribe on Android

Or hit the subscribe button in your favorite podcast app!

 

Right Click Here to Download the MP3

Links Mentioned in the Show

Alpha Racquet Sports Website

Alpha Axis Pro – Awesome Crank Machine with Stand and My Top Pick

Alpha Revo 4000 – Excellent Portable Tabletop Crank Machine

Tennis Files Youtube Channel – Subscribe!  You know you want to 😉

If you enjoyed my interview with Mark, subscribe to The Tennis Files Podcast in iTunes or your favorite podcast app!

For more tips on how to improve your game, subscribe to my newsletter and download a free copy of my eBook, The Building Blocks of Tennis Success below! Thanks for listening!

1 2 3 25