Posted on

The Week that was across the Tennis World, BJK Cup, Davis Cup, Saudi Arabia, Nadal and More

This week on Beyond Top 10 Tennis featured the Billie Jean King Cup through to Monte Carlo and Nadal’s return to Barcelona with a significant emphasis on some key ranking progressions and regressions. If you haven’t tuned in already, I’d encourage you to do so to get a better grasp of where we’re going and how this is being shaped to afford further context to a Top 10 tennis player, their ranking and ultimate standing when it comes to claiming that maiden Grand Slam or notching up that extra two, three, four or more.

First and foremost, the BJK Cup is a far cry from the original Fed Cup and its ‘brother‘ — the Davis Cup. The ties are smaller and done so in a shorter period and the crowds are a little lacklustre in comparison to what use to be. That said, I’ll be the first one to say that irrespective of these changes it has helped players on both the WTA and ATP tours with their scheduling. Quite frankly, they’re over-cooked come end of year when these events would take place and/or would miss out on valuable points if they opted to play. Simply put, players shouldn’t need to make a choice — the calendar should open up for them to play. 

Interestingly, this is exactly what the WTA did this week with only a handful of smaller tournaments that were in action and/or underway. The same isn’t necessarily the case for the ATP but it comes pretty close. Arguably and for some reason unknown to be frank, the ATP still offers more tournaments in contrast to the WTA for players to not simply participate in and/or play, but offer the very fact of affording a ‘livelihood’ from their sport. And that’s the catch. Equal prize money should be on both sides of the playing field.

Money, money, and a little bit more. From the WTA succumbing to the dollars and saying yes to the season finale to be held in Saudi Arabia is an absolute pitfall of the game. Honestly, it’s incredibly sad. Super disheartening and all the rest. Why did the WTA need to go so ‘low‘ as to say yes to a country that does not have a universal level of equality throughout their country? Granted it is a women’s sport and the best of these women for the 2024 season will be now going there to play the season ending Championships but it is now somehow a terribly ironic situation granted that women who call this country home are not afforded the same levels of respect and freedom

Two primary pillars the WTA has fought incredibly hard for and with the BJK Cup qualifiers playing out the past week, it’s a timely reminder that the WTA really needs a shake-up at the top to put these women and their rights front and centre in contrast to making poor ‘monetary’ decisions.

The ATP is booming in comparison. Yes, more tournaments throughout the year for prize money to be up for grabs. Sure, they’ve also gone for the money-grab especially in reference to the Davis Cup and the shamble that has followed, but women’s rights is something the WTA has actually fought for in contrast to the ATP not necessarily making these inroads simply because men were never at a disadvantage. That said, the ATP has gone as far as starting to offer minimum prize pursues for players ranked outside the Top 100 to ensure they can make a living whilst the WTA has yet to take any (public) action in this respect.

Tennis is an expensive sport. The reality is a lot of players cannot afford to continue their quest towards the Top 10 simply because of the cost. This is why AM8 International was built with a firm precedence of accessibility and affordability. This means no matter where you’re based in the world, you can access our resources. The same applies for affordability. By designing these resources to guide you alongside a subscription option, players can save upwards of $300,000 over the course of a 10 Year playing cycle. And in reality, if you decide not to subscribe and stick firm to our resources and take advantage of the Elite Performance Package each quarter, you’re saving ten-fold that amount whilst accessing quite literally the best in the world.

What is equally upsetting in this regard is that first and foremost, I’m a huge fan of Nadal — I mean, who isn’t? Though his recent association with Saudi Arabia isn’t doing the WTA any favours. Sure, there have been other names associating with the country but both Nadal and Federer have lifted tennis to another level. I can see where they’re coming from by all accounts, but with a woman’s safety needing to be the #1 priority this still remains upsetting on a wider scale and deserves the full attention of both governing bodies to restructure their approach on inclusion and where events are held.

This week has also been quite a significant one in respect to player rankings with emphasis on our predictive analytics and the anticipation of results. What does that mean? Well, for some time now I’ve been sharing a few primary insights from our data with key player indicators. In January it was Fritz who was noted as regressing outside the Top 10 and possibly a brief stint back inside the Top 10 prior to regressing once again. Check. Next was de Minaur who would break into the Top 10 — double check! Whilst de Minaur is just outside the Top 10 at this stage, this is really a matter of time and a game of points on the line. Insofar as performance is concerned, de Minaur remains ripe for the Top 10. Then there was Tsitsipas, however, with those additional points from Monte Carlo he has surged back inside the Top 10 when in reality it should really look like a #10 and/or #9 ranking at best. Rudd’s ranking progression is slightly different as he has been making traction this year and he was predicted to be more comfortably inside the 8% by now — double check-check. Next comes Rune who has been predicted this season to regress outside the Top 10 and this has finally come to fruition. Of no fault of his own, granted he did actually have a reasonable performance at Monte Carlo, rather it really is his level and results up until now that have finally caught up to his ranking and as such aligns with his current level of play. 

By all means, if Rune pieces together his performance from Monte Carlo and continue to build on this momentum, then he will be back inside the Top 10 come the French Open.

 

And what about the WTA tour? Given that is was a relatively quiet week on tour with the BJK Cup underway, there were some surprise performances. Svitolina went down and so did Garcia. Radacanu and Osaka picked up some solid wins. Pegula had some tight matches and Swiatek breezed through. Overall, Swiatek was the primary player in action this week whose performances aligned with her ranking whereas a number of other players did not necessary align with their ranking whilst those ranked outside the Top 100 (i.e. Radacanu and Osaka) delivered. Arguably, Osaka has been playing in line with a Top 50 ranking and at times, a Top 20 ranking with some fluctuations. Therefore those results are of no surprise. The bigger surprise was Radacanu taking the win over Garcia — a noteworthy performance. Yet there were some key players missing from action this week but that is also due to team selection, availability and current ranking. Without getting into the politics of it all, it’s fair to say some teams had more robust and well-rounded players inside the Top 20 that were in action whilst some teams were quite simply underdone.

Last but not least, Nadal deserves more of the limelight. Despite not going further at Barcelona he had an almighty task against de Minaur. Sure, even a season or two ago Nadal would have been the favourite and on clay I’d say he’s favourite any day of the week but unfortunately for Nadal, his body won’t allow him to play the level of tennis we know he’s capable of playing and de Minaur took the advantage. 

However, don’t be fooled, not every player would have been able to achieve this result with the sheer aura of Nadal forcing many to their knees before the first ball. 

My primary hope for Nadal, of course albeit bias, is for him to lift his Roland Garros trophy one final time and if it’s not to be, for his run at the French to be solid, deep and if someone is to take Rafa down for it to be in 5 brutal sets that leave his opponent knackered but also, if they’re good enough to overcome him on clay, then for them to be good enough to go all the way and lift the trophy as the ultimate reward.

To learn more about our data, predictive analytics and how to optimise your own performance, head on over to AM8 International. To learn more about AM8 International check out our selection of Books and/or options to join Dr B’s Pack to gain exclusive access to the best in the world. Not quite ready? Head on over to Beyond Top 10 Tennis for free access to 80+ episodes directly from Dr Berge of what it really takes to win multiple Grand Slams to securing that Top 10 tennis ranking with new episodes each week. More? Catch up on our Tips over on TikTokTwitterThreads or Instagram for quick snippets to apply in your game, today.

Posted on

Tennis Rankings and How to stay on track towards the Top of the Game

With 12 Books to my name and 11 of those that have specifically noted the ‘how’ behind developing a Top 10 tennis ranking alongside Grand Slam Championship wins to ‘how’ to win that maiden Slam to achieve replicated success, if there’s something remarkable to achieve across the tennis landscape there’s a very good chance I’ve researched it, investigated and compiled the data, put in the hard yards, used various analytical models developed over the past twenty years, and delivered on these outcomes.

You don’t get to be at the Top of the game as its leading scientist and authority behind these key metrics without putting in the work. Truth be told, the likes of Swiatek to Alcaraz and their respective ascension to the Top of the game was all noted by these predictive analytics. And whilst I’ve previously shared this, it’s an incredibly important reminder that what has been uncovered — this new wave of data and insights, really does deliver what no Academy and/or Club across the world really does — on repeat.

Sure, you’ve got Serena’s former coach and their Academy. You’ve got various ones here in Australia. Next you’ve got Ferrero to Henin and Clijsters, plus Nadal’s and there’s definitely a two dozen others across the landscape — then ten-fold. By all accounts, you primarily only hear about two or three of them essentially because these coaches are on the ATP tour (primarily) working with Top 10 players. That said, Serena’s former coach did not develop Rune from scratch nor Halep — they’d already peaked

Ferrero and Alcaraz are a unique story. Same applies for Swiatek and even Jabeur to Rybakina and Sabalenka. That is to say, the WTA has done the hard work and these are not from “big name” Academy’s (at the time) — and that’s the point.

If anything, it’s about the journey and finding those who are willing to be with you on the way to the top. From inception— a new feature on AM8 International I’ve developed to help guide players and coaches, in cohesion, through to delivery-centric outcomes — that Top 10 tennis ranking and more, there’s really a lot more to it than meets the eye.

The funny thing is hundreds if not thousands of potential players are based at these Academy’s around the globe with some Clubs bigger than others. The irony here is that they’re not privy to this data nor have they repeated their results at scale. That’s the difference between them and AM8 International — I let the data do the talking. Which essentially means names from De Minaur to Ostenpenko — Top 10, Collins to Dimitrov who are having stellar seasons and one has already landed back inside the Top 10 with the other on their way, have been tracked in alignment with our data to indicate that these are by no means surprise results.

But promises are a funny thing. A romance of sorts between the dreamers to desires and bringing them to life. But can they really? Try not to fall into the trap unless they have PoW (Proof of Work) and your ranking continues to ascend alongside your performances. Granted, one can be great, but without the two you’re lopsided — you’re missing a key piece to the puzzle. And that’s okay given that 50% of the current Top 10 are missing these key metrics and are lagging so far this season.

But it starts at the foundations. The same applies for time off with injuries and how to mitigate these. But guess what? It comes down to your technical metrics and these technicalities if you may have been built and designed by yours truly — and are attributed to these ranking milestones and their respective achievements. If your coach is not privy to this ‘new’ wave of technical prowess, that Top 10 status is behind the eight ball. Alas, that’s why I designed the 8 Keys to ensure each and every player and coach has access to become the best in the world and join the next generation of play.

The catch? There is none, not really. It simply requires consistency and hard work. The commitment to learn the 7 Keys before the 8th Key runs your game home. And where’s home? Well in this context, comfortably inside that elusive 8% — inside the Top 10, opposed to the 2% that will regress each and every season (as a baseline).

If you’re not inside the Top 10 sure enough you have a long way to go. But that’s what The Long Game was built for to ensure you have a Pathway to follow without getting lost in all the jargon and over promises. For real, to bring dreams to life in contrast to letting them go due to injury and/or underperforming.

Oh, the best part? It’ll also save you ten-fold in the long run. Why? Quite simply I wanted to ensure AM8 International remained affordable and accessible for all which means irrespective of your socioeconomic background, there’s a PoI for you and a place you can go to for guidance and advice whilst keeping you up to speed with the latest insights behind progressing towards that Top 10 tennis ranking — ranked inside the WTA or ATP Top 20 or Top 10, or at the other end of the spectrum — developmental and/or a current high performance player, there are inroads to take (and tackle) step by step.

The best part? The epitome of the tennis world awaits and we’ve got the data to support it. But if anything, today’s lesson really is about caution — not everything you are told is always the truth. As in life, ulterior motives are a truth so if those dreams are as dear to you as my commitment to delivering on our promises, take a few minutes (or an hour, to be thorough) and sieve through AM8 International — then track back in a few week’s when our new upgrade becomes available. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. If anything, you’ll be more informed and better understand the more intricate details that go on behind the scenes and where to get started — irrespective if you’re Top 500 and/or Top 50 on the WTA or ATP tour, we’ve got a place for you to ensure those dreams become a reality.

To learn more about our data, predictive analytics and how to optimise your own performance, head on over to AM8 International. To learn more about AM8 International check out our selection of Books and/or options to join Dr B’s Pack to gain exclusive access to the best in the world. Not quite ready? Head on over to Beyond Top 10 Tennis for free access to 80+ episodes directly from Dr Berge of what it really takes to win multiple Grand Slams to securing that Top 10 tennis ranking with new episodes each week. More? Catch up on our Tips over on TikTokTwitterThreads or Instagram for quick snippets to apply in your game, today.

Posted on

Australian Open Day 4: Insights on de Minaur v Arnaldi