Team MGS Sponsorship Kickoff Ceremony Recap

On Sunday, October 29th, My Game Solutions hosted a kickoff ceremony to celebrate our newly-sponsored athletes in Team MGS. The event took place at the Murray Hill Tennis & Fitness Center in New Providence, New Jersey.  Despite some really nasty weather, all of the athletes and their families came out and participated in the event.

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The event began with the sponsored athletes participating in some drills and icebreaker sessions on court. As they were enjoying the fun and cementing a bond with their fellow MGS team members, all athletes were pulled away individually for one-on-one interviews to discuss their tennis-playing career, and their excitement of being a sponsored athletes for My Game Solutions.

Meanwhile, parents listened to a presentation conducted my MGS staff discussing the company’s history, the MGS app (available now for download on App Store and Google Play), as well as the future direction of the company and the sponsorship program.  As the presentation concluded, the kids rejoined the group and everyone took a break to enjoy pizza and other light refreshments.

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Once everyone reconvened, Manuel Cavaco and Francisco Dias, leaders of the newly-minted MGS Tennis Academy, spoke more in-depth about the opportunities available for the athletes to become part of the academy to improve their game. We saved the best part for last. The final portion of the event saw each athlete come up one-by-one to receive all of their official Team MGS apparel and gear. Here are the new members of Team MGS:

  • Adam BojkovicRandolph, NJ
  • Adit SinhaNorth Brunswick, NJ
  • Daniel KongCommack, NY
  • Dominick MosejczukEast Elmhurst, NY
  • Eric HeMartinsville, NJ
  • Giuseppe CerasuoloBayside, NY
  • Jack WongEast Brunswick, NY
  • Malik TrailMill Neck, NY
  • Naomi KarkiEast Brunswick, NJ
  • Nibedita GhoshKendall Park, NJ
  • Nikhil KamdarBranchburg, NJ
  • Patricia GrigorasMiddle Village, NY
  • Ronit KarkiEast Brunswick, NJ
  • Safin ShaikhWoodside, NY
  • Stephan GershfeldHewlett, NY
  • Tauheed BrowningPhiladelphia, PA

We are looking forward to expanding our sponsorship program to other regions of the country in the upcoming months. If you are a young, elite tennis player or you know of one looking to get sponsored, stay on the lookout for a Team MGS tryout near you!

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The Zverev Takeover (Alex, Jr. that is…)

20-year old Next Gen star Alexander “Sascha” Zverev, Jr. is only getting better with each match. Over the past few months, the German professional tennis player has really impressed tennis fans all over the globe and has quickly become a fan favorite. With his intimidating 6’6″ stature and impressive skills, no wonder he is the youngest player currently ranked in the ATP Top 30, standing at the #4 world ranking.

Alex Zverev’s ATP Player Profile

This year, Zverev won the Citi Open in Washington, DC that took place in early August.  This came not too long after defeating Roger Federer in the finals of the Rogers Cup in Toronto.  However, he did not have much success at this year’s U.S. Open and was recently eliminated in the round of 16 at the Shanghai Masters by Juan Martin del Potro.

The fact that Alexander has shown so much skill this past year we can’t help but call this time “The Zverev Takeover.” If he keeps this up, he might very well reach the #1 ATP ranking.  He has had a sensational rise but is he the next big star in tennis or just enjoying what’s left of a lucky streak? Only time will tell.

alex zverev 1

Introducing the My Game Solutions Online Community!

My Game Solutions is the new app for players in all sports, whether you play casually or competitively. Our robust online community gives you the ability to connect with thousands of players, sports facilities, and coaches right at your fingertips, anytime, from anywhere in the world.

Tennis is our first sport to launch on the app. Other racquet sports including pickle ball, platform tennis, squash, and racquetball are soon to follow. After that, we will venture into many other sports and become a service that changes the face of the sports industry around the world!

The Three P’s: Alternatives to Tennis

By Chyna Browne

Tennis is a game we all know and love but recently there have been a few modified alternatives that have been gaining popularity in many circles. Among the most known variations are POP Tennis, Platform Tennis and Pickleball. We will call them the Three P’s. This will serve as a guide to compare and contrast each of these games to help you to pick one that is best for you. Before you run out to try something new, take a moment to familiarize yourself with each of these games.

POP Tennis

POP Tennis is a variation that comes from the 100-year-old game known as paddle tennis. The cost for equipment and court rental is very similar to traditional tennis. Once you have your own stringed racquet, tennis ball, and tennis shoes you’re ready to go. The main differences from regular tennis are their are different court dimensions and smaller racquets. There is Classic POP which plays on a 50′ court, POP 36 plays on 36′ court, and POP 60 plays on a 60′ court. POP Tennis uses the same rules as traditional tennis. The International POP Tennis Association certifies the courts and determines if it is suitable for official POP tennis competition. If you are looking to start an official tournament or league  you might want to check them out first. Finally, if you want to find a player you can go to the official POP Tennis website

or use the My Game Solutions app to find players near you.

pop tennis.jpgPlatform Tennis

Platform tennis is also known as paddle tennis, a game that has been played in America for over a century. Players can enjoy this sport outside in either cold or warm weather and enjoyed by all ages.  It is played at private clubs, backyards, and public facilities. Platform tennis courts are 1/3 smaller than your average tennis courts and the most striking difference is that the courts are surrounded by a 12-foot enclosure.  So if you’re a person that enjoys the traditional format of regular tennis, this will be the best fit for you. The cost for playing platform tennis is also similar to that of regular tennis.  One main difference in the equipment needed is that you use an 18-inch paddle instead of a stringed racquet. Also, you use a depressurized tennis ball instead of the fluorescent yellow ball you normally use in tennis. If you want to find out more information about the game and some upcoming events and tournaments, check out the website.

platform tennis
Pickle Ball

This game follows the basic rules of tennis, however, instead of using a racquet you use a paddle and instead of a tennis ball you use a plastic ball. So this game is kind of a hybrid between regular tennis and platform tennis. Many times, this game is played inside because the court is smallest, and you can often convert an indoor vollleyball or basketball court to make two pickle ball courts. Like the other two variations, pickle ball has its own tournaments.  You can find more information about them here. Of the Three P’s pickle ball is the easiest to pick up and play in a casual environment and can be enjoyed by all ages.  Pickle ball also happens to have the most tournaments, so if you’re interested in making connections with others while having fun you should definitely consider trying this sport.

Golden Village Palms Pickleball

Racquet Stringing for Dummies

You hit a ball hard and mid-rally you hear a pop.  You look down and you have popped a string.  If this is your first time popping a string, you may be confused on the next steps.  Most tennis clubs provide stringing services and the price depends on the club’s service fee and the type of strings you request.  In total, restringing a racquet should cost anywhere between $30-$60 in total.  Below is Tennis Warehouse’s explanation on the various string types and how they affect your game in different ways.

types-of-tennis-string

Nylon

Synthetic gut or nylon? Truth be told, most synthetic guts are made with nylon (sometimes referred to as polyamides). There are different grades of nylon, with varying levels of feel, so don’t be afraid to try different synthetic guts until you find the right fit. All in all, synthetic gut delivers a good combination of playability and durability at a great price. Nylon filaments offer truly impressive comfort and power.

Natural Gut 

The ultimate in playability, feel, and tension maintenance. Often overlooked due to it’s cost, natural gut is the best choice for players with arm problems or those who crave its sublime, comfortable, crisp feel. It used to be the number one choice of ATP and WTA tour players across the world. Now used more in hybrids, combining polyester mains with natural gut crosses (with some players using gut in the mains for more power and feel). Natural gut offers maximum feel and control due to its ultra low stiffness, which provides phenomenal ball “pocketing”.

Polyester

Polyester is a very durable string designed to provide control and durability to players with long, fast strokes. Polyester is the number one choice on the pro tour because it allows advanced ball strikers to maintain surgical control on their fastest, most aggressive strokes. The incredible stroke speed enabled by polyester also translated into categorically higher level of spin, which literally changed the trajectories and angles available to the player. Polyester also served to harness the immense power that came with the graphite era. Due to its high stiffness and relatively low power, polyester is not recommended for beginners or players with arm injuries.

Kevlar

The most durable string available. Kevlar is very stiff and strings up very tight. Therefore, it is usually combined with a soft nylon cross to reduce stringbed stiffness. Ultimately, kevlar hybrids are the least powerful and least comfortable strings currently available. Players trying kevlar hybrids for the first time (from nylon strings) are recommended to reduce tension by 10% to compensate for the added stiffness. Not recommended for beginners or players with arm injuries.

After you choose a string, tension is the next most important component to consider.  Different levels of tension suit different styles of players.  Tennis Warehouse’s explanation on string tension, which is provided below, is a great outline of the varying effects of tension on how players play.

Power

If a player is seeking more power from his racquet, he should try dropping tension a few pounds. The stringbed will deflect more (and the ball less), returning greater energy to the ball. There is a point of diminishing returns where the string bed turns into a butterfly net, but it’s well below any racquet’s recommended tension range.

Control

A tighter stringbed deflects less and deforms the ball more, providing less energy than looser strings. This means the ball won’t fly as far when you hit it. Beginners who are shanking the ball in every direction won’t gain any advantage by increasing tension, but intermediate and advanced players who are hitting a lot of long balls will be able to reduce the depth of their shots without changing their swing. It is also generally accepted that spin potential is enhanced with higher tensions, which provides even more control for topspin and slice players.

Here are other considerations for players with different circumstances:

Arm Injuries – lower tensions result in a softer stringbed and a larger sweet spot, reducing the amount of shock and vibration transmitted to the hand and elbow.

Switching Racquets – too many players are stuck on a tension (“I always string my racquet at 60 pounds”) and don’t make allowances when changing racquets. Whether changing head sizes, brands, or buying a new titanium racquet, a player will need to make the corresponding tension change. If 60 pounds was mid-range on his old racquet and the new racquet’s tension range is 50-60 pounds he should start at 55 pounds with the new racquet.

Switching Strings – if a player changes from a soft string (natural gut, synthetic gut, multi) to a poly-based string, we suggest reducing tension 5 to 10 percent to compensate for the higher stiffness. This is more art than science and may require trial and error to get the feel exactly right. When switching to kevlar be advised that this material is much stiffer than nylon synthetics and quite a bit stiffer than most ploy-based strings – so adjust the tension accordingly.

The Beginning of the End for Venus?

At 37 years old, seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams is pushing herself to unprecedented physical limits. For a regular person, you would think that it is time to throw in the towel by now.  This year alone, she has made it to the finals of two Grand Slams (Australian Open and Wimbledon) and to the semifinals of the U.S. Open. It was announced this week that she has qualified for the WTA Finals in Singapore on October 22-29.   Despite having a good season by the average player’s standards, Venus has championship pedigree and is not satisfied with anything less than winning. However, with the rising talent in the WTA and the impending return of her sister Serena, Venus has missed her window of opportunity to win another Grand Slam.

We witnessed the beginning of the end for Venus at her 2017 U.S. Open semifinals match against Sloane Stephens.  That match should have given Venus the wake up call she needed to realize that it’s time for her to give it up. But instead, Venus is still trying her hardest to get back to the top. It’s clear that Venus is trying to make a come back with the work that she has put in this year alone. Even so, she only made her way to #5 in the WTA ranking, as 23-year old Garbiñe Muguruza makes it to #1.

Venus will be making her first WTA Finals since 2009. The fact that it has taken her over a decade to come back should say a lot and prove even more that her time has passed. It’s time to give it up and pass the torch to the next generation! At this point, will she every make it to the top? Only time will tell.

Is it Time for Federer to Retire?

36-year-old Roger Federer is arguably the greatest tennis player ever, but is his historic run coming to an end? Recently, Federer dropped down to #2 in the ATP World ranking points after Rafael Nadal’s outstanding U.S. open win. Despite winning two Grand Slams this year, it’s official that after Federer’s latest injury he is starting to lose his mojo. With the way Nadal is playing, the more he thrives the more fans can see Federer’s demise. 
At the Laver Cup this past weekend, Nadal and Federer competed for the first time as doubles partners.  They took home the championship after defeating Americans Sam Querrey and Jack Sock. Even in this shining moment, Federer continues to fall in the shadows of Nadal. Currently, Nadal has not yet surpassed Federer’s 19 Grand Slam wins but from the looks of it, he is well on his way. Also, add in the fact that he is five years younger than Federer and looking to be in the top form of his career. Federer even realizes this himself, saying “Am I surprised that he’s World #1 right now? Maybe a little bit, just because last year we were at the Academy both injured not knowing where our careers were going to go.”  Was this Federer admitting that Nadal can surpass him? I’ll let you be the judge, but for me that certainly seems to be the case.

Take a look at the current top 5 players in the ATP World rankings:

  1. Rafael Nadal- 9465
  2. Roger Federer- 7505
  3. Andy Murray- 6790
  4. Alex Zverev- 4310
  5. Marin Cilic- 4155

Source: The Metro UK