Jeson Patrombon: A Filipino in Pro Tennis?

”Looking at Jeson’s performances the last three weeks, I say it’s a good indicator that he is ready for the pros”

These are the words from his coach. Manny Tecson believes Jeson Patrombon can already make it in the tennis pro world after reaching the quarterfinals in 2011 Australian Open (Junior Singles), being a finalist in 22nd Mitsubishi Lancer International Juniors Championships and by ranking eighth in the world in ITF Juniors. Patrombon is expected his professional debut either in Thailand or in India next month (April 2011).

All the best for Jeson! Playing good tennis is all in the mind and if he believes he can play well in hardcourt, it is still possible he and his coach can fine-tune his game for grass and clay. I am waiting all these years in the pro world and as I see it, this is just the right time to excel in the sport many people think it’s only for the rich.

I did a little research online and this is what I found about Patrombo’s style as recalled by his coach. Thanks to this forum!

“Since Jeson did not benefit from formal coaching when he was younger, the first year was dedicated to developing his technique to be competitive in the international level, because a lot of his basics proved wrong. His forehand did not have racket head speed to generate power; he was just stroking the ball, typical of club players, and not hitting it. Also, he was not using his upper body by turning the shoulders and coiling his body to generate pace on his shots; he was just guiding the ball over the net. His backhand was weak because he was not stepping in on the shots, as he was just waiting for the ball and hitting it on his back foot, which puts your weight backwards and not forward into the shot. His serve was also very weak because he was just arming the serve and not getting his entire body involved into the serve by using his legs like a spring and exploding to the ball. He did not know how to volley and did not have an idea where to place the volley once he got there. His footwork was weak and he was so thin so we had to develop his upper and lower body strength.”

Survivor Insights 94: Redemption Island – “Stealth R Us” (Episode 6)

1) The Specialist, The Mentalist, The Assassin: It’s unclear to me why Phillip was calling himself “the specialist” when the reason he’s still around the camp is Boston Rob. Boston Rob wanted him to stay longer than Francesca, Matt and Kristina. Boston Rob allowed him to survive three tribal councils and making him think he’s a part of the alliance. You see, it was all Boston Rob here, no Phillip in the whole picture. Phillip was probably making himself believe in all what he’s saying in confessionals. And, from what I read in, it sounds like there will be a season featuring Coach, the Dragon Slayer versus Phillip, the self-claimed Specialist with lion/gorilla tattoos.

2) Losing to Winning: Grant was the sole reason why Ometepe dominated the Reward/Immunity Challenge. His quick movement and great reflexes made him catch all four balls right before it landed on the ground. Without a doubt, this was Grant’s biggest airtime yet. He showed how good an ex-NHL player he was and how physically competitive he is for this game. Even Mike’s defense had no answers with his athleticism.

For the past five episodes, the editing only showed us the laid-back side of Grant, who’s also Boston Rob’s sidekick. But in this challenge, Grant was the superstar and he could potentially be one of the the season’s dark horses should he make the merge.

Back in Tocantins, the same challenge was also played and a lot of things went crazy. Someone got injured, someone lose his tooth and just like Grant, someone scored three consecutive points for his tribe’s victory.

3) What is he doing?: Zapatera made the right decision to vote-out Stephanie. It is difficult to trust someone who already made a deal with the other tribe even when it’s still a Tribe vs Tribe.  They already lose two challenges in a row and here’s David who was too focused in winning. I respect David’s decision to switch but I disagree with it. It was just a wrong strategy at the wrong time. I kept wondering why he still chose to stay loyal with Stephanie when Sarita was his original ally. If David hated Sarita, fix it, and just pretend everything is all right.

The mental frailty of the game could have consumed him. I used seeing a controlled David in the past but in this episode, David must have missed his life inside the courtroom and prosecuted Sarita incorrectly. His efforts to save Stephanie was just on the right dot, totally impressive, but the truth is; he was not convincing a number of people in a jury. He was still a part of a tribe and he needed to go with the decision of the majority.

With what he did, David needs to find a way to fight for his life and he must also make sure the strategy will take him in the right way. Time is running out and his chances of making the merge probably went from 60% to 30%. It’s my mistake to still think the deal between him and Mike was there to stay.

4) Phillip vs. Ashley: Back in Ometepe camp, there’s the argument between Ashley and Phillip. According to Probst, Phillip just wanted some appreciation and that’s understandable. The man deserved some credit for all his hard work and this was the one thing Ashley failed to recognize. Phillip was annoying, that’s right, TV viewers knew it, but as a nurse in real life, Ashley could have used the art of therapeutic communication and said the right words to Phillip just to calm the situation. Without Boston Rob, Ometepe might have just fallen apart after the argument.

5) Matt’s Island: The Redemption Island is now owned by Matt. No one else but him. It’s his home for a number of days now and he’s winning duels four in a row. A shaky Matt started this week’s duel but got his way out to defeat Krista.

Episode Rating: 8 of 10 stars

Photos courtesy of: CBS

Three in A Row For Novak Djokovic!

Three Tournaments in 2011, Three Titles, Unbeatable in 18 Matches

Novak Djokovic is just unstoppable after winning Davis Cup Finals in 2010. He started his 2011 campaign in an exhibition in Hopman Cup alongside with Ana Ivanovic. He went straight in Melbourne to win Australian Open for the second time (d. Andy Murray in straight sets). Three weeks after, he flew to Dubai to defend his 500-Tour-Tournament title for the third time against Roger Federer (6-3, 6-3). Just today, in the first Masters 1000 Tournament of the year in California Desert, the 23-year-old Serbian denied Rafael Nadal for the BNP Paribas Open title as he rallied after losing the first set (4-6, 6-3, 6-2).

Eighteen matches in a row and only five were played in three or four sets. Include into this number the two single rubbers in which Nole won in Davis Cup against France and three singles in Hopman Cup, that’s a total of 23 matches of forehands, backhands, running left, right, forward and back.

“I am extremely happy with the way I’m playing and with the success that I’m having,” Novak told reporters after winning the Indian Wells tournament. “But I know that the season is very long, and I don’t want to be too euphoric about the win. I need to celebrate a little bit, and then move on. I have a big will to win each match I’m playing and I want to keep on going, keep on playing good tennis…”

Djokovic is now heading in Miami for Sony Ericsson Open (also a 1000 Masters Tournament), the last hardcourt tournament before the clay season begins. Win it and Nole will officially become the 2011 King of Hardcourt. Bring out the draw, please!

Photos courtesy of: Yahoo! Tennis ATP World Tour

Survivor Insights 93: Redemption Island – Consistency (Episode 5)

1) Three in a Row for Matt: Playing SURVIVOR is about consistency. Although you are forced to stay in a place far away from your home and with strangers you just met, you consistently need to stay calm and play at your best. Although you dislike and despise your tribemate, you consistently must remind yourself that you still need them to go farther. Matt Elrod was just one of the unlucky contestants who got blindsided after sealing a solid alliance but a stay in an island, not the exile but the redemption saved him. He still got another chance to prove himself.

While in Redemption Island with no enough food and no comfortable shelter, Matt showed us what consistency truly means by winning three back-to-back-to-back duels (Who would forget the duel in the photo on the right?). He’s unstoppable and he’s the beast no matter what type of challenge is thrown at him. Either it’s physical, mental or physical-mental challenge, he could still win.

Hands down, Matt has redeemed himself but for how long? Consistency is about fitness and good fitness means consistency.

  • Is Matt still fit enough to keep winning?
  • Should he return in the game, how will he play against everyone in the camp now that he used to live all by himself and just competing with only one person?

2) Stephanie & her “fuzzy” strategy: By becoming Russel’s sidekick, Stephanie already put herself in an alliance of three versus six. Now that Russel’s gone, she’s putting herself in a more vulnerable position by making a zigzag-alliance with Boston Rob even when the two tribes are not yet merged. Even if Krista lose to Matt in Redemption Island, this strategy could benefit Stephanie a lot, if and only if it will happen the next day. However, that’s not the case at all.

#1 Problem: What if Zapatera lose the next challenge?

#2 Problem: Why seal a deal with somebody who’s not in your tribe when when it’s still a game of Tribe vs Tribe?

3) Phillip, A Star?: It’s clear that Phillip is a star of this season (according to Jeff Probst).  From episode one up until now, the editing never gets tired of his fuchsia underwear, his Coach-like insights during confessionals and his crab-hunting routines. Although he already pissed a number of his tribemates (Francesca, Boston Rob, Natalie and Ashley in particular), he’s still not voted out. He’s still at the camp, playing the game while making some grounds with Andrea.

4) One Wrong Decision, Everything Falls: Sarita failed to recognize David’s strengths before the challenge, therefore, the entire tribe fell short. Zapatera lose and not on a purpose! If only Sarita chose David to be the tribe’s caller and puzzle-solver, it could be a tense showdown between him and Boston Rob, right? I have not seen David bring his game into the next level and this was supposed to be the right time.

5) An Update with Boston Rob: What’s new with him? During the challenge, he lead the Ometepe in a convincing victory and at camp, there were no traces of exhaustion in his face playing SURVIVOR. In Jeff Probst’s own words, “…Rob is double-crossing Grant.”

Episode Rating: 7 of 10 stars

Photos courtesy of: CBS