The Summertime Tennis Routine.
Summertime is strategy time for the Pro tennis players. With only three weeks between the French Open and Wimbledon, players often need to rest, regroup, get game time or intensively train. Each player has there own strategy between Wimbledon and the US Open.
Each player needs to take a hard look at themselves.
Each player needs to really evaluate where they are in regards to mental, physical and long term playing strategy in the summer months. There are tournaments available for all plans. The ATP Tour does not have any ATP 1000 level tournaments in July and there is a mix of clay, grass and hard court opportunities to play at the lower levels including Challenger level for those that would like to pick up points or tune their game for a particular surface. Similarly the WTA has smaller tournaments until the end of July with the Silicon Valley Classic. Each player decides what they need in July to hone their game.
When August starts, the major tuneup for the US Open starts. Again, there is strategy as to which tournaments to play in regards to collecting points, preventing long term injuries and getting ready to peak during the US Open. The ATP Tour offers two ATP 1000 level tournaments at the beginning of August. The Rogers Cup and the Western and Southern Open are in conjunction with WTA higher level tournaments as well. Some top players enter both the events, others only one. It is totally based on what they think they need: points, game time, or rest prior to the big prize of the US Open.
North American Players are showcased.
From the end of July through to the US Open the largest North American tournaments of the summer are played. Both Canada and the US get to showcase their up and coming players with wild cards and entries into the qualifying matches for the tournaments. There has been a definite effort to build tennis as a national sport in Canada over the last 10 years by Tennis Canada. In the US, tennis also in a stage of rebuilding great ATP and WTA players. The effort in both countries is paying off.
Hard Court in North America.
The Rogers Cup is often where the pride of this building of tennis as a sport in Canada gets to be shown off. There are some very interesting first round matches with Canadians at different places in their tennis journey facing each other in both the ATP matches and the WTA matches. All eyes will be on the first round Genie Bouchard vs Bianca Andreescu match as well as the first round Vasek Pospisil vs Felix Auger-Aliassime match. What are the odds that these two first round matches as all Canadian are even occurring? Both Montreal and Toronto will have stadiums full of Canadian fans as tennis is becoming a major sport in Canada.
The Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati is the final match before the US Open for most of the top players. Winning this tournament is a huge boost of confidence for any player entering the US Open. Young and up and coming US players are featured as wild cards or qualifiers and it is often their introduction to the bigger stage.
Who is scheduled to play.
In August, both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have chosen not to play in the Rogers Cup. However, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams will be playing both in the Rogers Cup and the Western and Southern Open.
Skipping the Rogers Cup signals a need for rest and training prior to the intense effort of the Cincinnati tournament and then the US Open tournament that follow. Playing both of the warm-up tournaments usually signals a need for sharpening your competition game and possibly a needs for points. Williams has openly admitted she needs to sharpen her closing winning feel of the game prior to the next Grand Slam. The feel that is necessary to have to close out a highly competitive final is something that needs to be tuned and kept ever present for a top player to dial into it at the right time. Players lose that feel if not competing.
With Nadal playing both tournaments, it will be a real test for his knees. By entering both, he still has the option of pulling out of the second tournament and addressing any knee issue that comes up prior to the US Open.
Monday, August 5th starts the real run up to the US Open. The competition is high and the struggle between the older and the younger players as to keeping or taking the mantle is more intense than ever. Both the ATP and the WTA are enjoying exciting times.