Get your high socks, headbands and racquets ready, the Brisbane International is back in 2017 and it looks to be better than ever!
To get in the spirit (and to help you lift your tennis game), we sat down for a chin wag with Brisbane International contestant John Millman, ahead of the January tennis event at the Queensland Tennis Centre…
Do you have any tips for tennis enthusiasts to get immediate improvement in their technique?
When things aren’t going all that well for me I try to keep things simple out on the court. I try and follow something Agassi once said he’d do when he was struggling on court and that was that he’d go back to basics by telling himself to concentrate on two things; watching the ball at contact with your strings and moving your feet so you aren’t caught out flat-footed.
What do you think about when you are about to give the ball a slog?
These days I’ve hit that many that it’s all ingrained in me – it’s in my muscle memory. But for social tennis players, I’d encourage concentrating on meeting the ball at contact with a flat racquet face. This will make sure you get a more solid strike.
How do you feel when you make an unexpectedly great shot?
For me, if the timing has been spot on and I hit the ball better than expected, I then have to react quickly to the situation. I will look to shift my body weight forward with the anticipation that I could be getting a shorter ball in reply that I can attack.
How do you prepare for a huge event like the Brisbane International?
The Brisbane International really is one of the events I most look forward to playing. It’s also crucial in preparation for the Australian Open, so the weeks leading into it is my preseason. A chance to do four hours a day on court and another three off is an attempt to be best-prepared for what can be pretty demanding conditions to play tennis in.
Tennis racquets aside, how handy are you on the tools?
I have to admit that I’m pretty useless. I grew up in a household of four sisters and my Dad is pretty useless too, so I’ve had no one to teach me anything. Quite embarrassing really!
What: Brisbane International
When: 1 – 8 January, 2017
Where: Queensland Tennis Centre, Brisbane
Price: From $39