Jez Green from Argentina... PDF Print E-mail

Hi all, Jez here from Argentina on the first leg of the coast tour of South America. I have done this tour four times before and it’s always been one of my favourite trips. The way of life and energy over here is really special and it never fails to provide some interesting moments - just like the time five years ago I was woken up from a peaceful sleep at 3 am to the sound of drumming and on investigating (as you do at that time of the morning) I soon realised that it was the first day of Brazilian carnival.

 

Obviously it was pointless to try and sleep then, so I grabbed a drum off some local and joined the thousands in the streets, doing my best Tommy Lee impression, and just went on through ‘til dawn.

That is the way out here, you have to get involved in the energy or it will frustrate you - in a way, if you can’t beat them, join in!

It’s kind of the same way with the tennis, you have to have enough confidence in yourself to match the spirit of the clay court players out here and to be able to get stuck in mentally as they will try and mess you up (like drumming outside your hotel at 3 am). But if you show that you are up for the challenge and whatever tricks they bring you can deal with, then you can be very successful.

You have to play your game out here on the clay but you also have to be good enough to neutralise theirs and that’s not easy as some of these guys are very proficient on this surface and will make a good career playing just on clay. Safe to say they know what they are doing.

Ilija has started well, winning a couple of matches and eventually losing to a tough Chilean who is on course to win the tournament. But he will have to keep developing his “5-set mentality” so he can learn to win with aggression and patience, the former which he has and the latter which he is developing. The very positive thing is that these clay courters hate players coming into the net against them, they never really see it so it makes them very uncomfortable and this is one thing Ilija is starting to do well.

This trip is a fantastic trip for Ilija and I’m sure he realises this. I have had players who have been broken by this trip and I have had players who have been made by this trip – it’s tough but great fun. It is one of the best developmental circuits around as it requires players to be physically fit, mentally resilient and able to deal with some very slippery South Americans. But if you rise to the challenge and give as good as you get, both on and off the court, the improvements you make can last your whole career…and it’s such great fun!!!

Happy sliding,

Jez
 

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